November 16, 2023

UAB, MSU Union Hosting Special Events to Honor Centennial Anniversary of Excavation Week

Excavation Week InformationIn honor of the 100th anniversary of the MSU Union Excavation Week, the University Activities Board (UAB) and iconic campus facility are hosting an Excavation Week Centennial Celebration on Nov. 20 from 2-4 p.m. on the main floor, upper lounge. Excavation Week was a one-of-a-kind event where male students, faculty, and volunteers worked together to literally dig the foundation of the then-MAC Union building.

Along with learning about the building's unique, fascinating history, attendees can also grab cake, ice cream, commemorative cups and individual succulents and pots to decorate.

“Given that the MSU Union means so much to so many through the years, it’s important we acknowledge these important historical, landmark events,” said Cathy Fitzpatrick, MSU Union and Alumni Memorial Chapel director. “It’s exciting to think about as we continue to highlight these anniversaries, looking ahead to the official centennial of the building’s opening in 2025. Excavation Week is a big part of that story.”

The MSU Union acknowledged the centennial anniversary of the MAC Union building groundbreaking ceremony this past summer. Following the actual groundbreaking ceremony in June of 1923, Excavation Week’s school-wide effort to dig the foundation of the building began on Nov. 19 through Nov. 24.

Excavation Week was the first of its kind in the nation and was, in large part, on account of scarce funding and resources around the time of World War I—proving a university Union for students could be built by students. The week drew headlines from coast to coast, a testament to how unprecedented it was to see this level of persistence and determination in a student body to build a campus Union.

To honor the construction, UAB will also be hosting a Spaghetti Skyscraper Showdown on Nov. 21st from 6-9 p.m. in the MSU Union Lake Huron Room. Participants can embark on the ultimate tower-building challenge! Attendees are encouraged to gather as a team, dream big, and let imaginations soar as we bring these iconic architectural influences to life, one sweet and spaghetti-supported skyscraper at a time. Excavation Week shirts will be given away while supplies last!

UAB has always had ties to the building. In its founding, it was then-called the Union Board, first made up of nine students, only two of which were women. Today, UAB is an integral part of the student experience and continues to be run by students. UAB is now open to all undergraduate students at MSU, representing all corners of the student body.

The UAB leadership says the organization is happy to be taking part in the Excavation Week festivities. Like Fitzpatrick, they say it’s important to honor the building’s history. For UAB, that history is their own as well.

“Generations of MSU community members, alumni and visitors have gathered at the Union to experience plenty of events—many of those were UAB events too,” added Fitzpatrick. “We hear from alumni and community members from time to time about their experience with events in the MSU Union. So, it’s great to strengthen those bridges with the past so that our current students and community know how we came to be where we are.”

The MSU community looks forward to celebrating more moments in MSU Union history as it approaches its 100th anniversary in the summer of 2025.

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