Fundraisers & Parties FAQs

The room rental fee covers the use of the room(s) for 6 hours plus time for event set-up and tear-down. This fee also includes internet access, house music, custom lighting, storage and any built-in AV equipment: in most rooms this includes podium with microphone and screen and projector. The only room that has a projector rental fee is Memorial Hall ($750).

The set-up fee includes the use and set-up of all tables and chairs owned by McNamara Alumni Center which includes 5ft, 6ft, 8ft, classroom, high and low cocktail tables, and our signature oval tables. Inquire with your event coordinator about quantity of tables and chairs. The set-up fee also includes all cleaning before and after the event.

Yes our AV technicians have designed and installed most of the AV equipment in our meeting rooms. With more than 60 years of AV experience between them, Marty Bussman and Gary Muellerlielle provide superior customer service and expertise. Their fee is $65 per hour. Your McNamara event coordinator can schedule a technician for your event if you desire or your program deems it necessary.

Award-winning D’Amico Catering is our in-house caterer. Food is prepared on-site and their sales and operations team office here at McNamara as well. You will have a separate contract and deposit with D’Amico Catering. Their event planners are on-site and can answer all of your food and beverage questions at 612.624.9838.

Memorial Hall:

  • Friday = $6,000
  • Saturday = $10,000
  • Sunday = $2,500

University Hall:

  • Friday = $2,500
  • Saturday = $3,800
  • Sunday = $1,000

Entire First Floor:

  • Friday = $8,500
  • Saturday = $13,500
  • Sunday = $3,500

Food, alcohol (cash & hosted bars) and non-alcoholic beverage sales apply toward the minimum.

Up to 10 guests can sit comfortably at one oval table. Your event coordinator will ask for your seating chart if you are having assigned seating. At that time, we will need to know how many tables you need as well as how many guests will be at each table.

The McNamara Alumni Center offers two beautiful centerpiece choices that complement our architecture: slate rock centerpieces and wild wire candelabras. Please visit our Items We Rent page for more information. We also encourage you to visit our Area Vendors page for a list of vendors familiar with McNamara, however, you can work with any licensed company of your choice.

We do not allow: helium-filled balloons, non-enclosed candles, glitter, bubbles, confetti, rice, sparklers, smoke, bubble or fog machines. Nothing may be affixed to any interior walls or podiums and any items placed in the water feature must be pre-approved by your event coordinator.

Depending on our event schedule, we are available to give tours or do site visits Monday-Friday from 8am – 5pm. Please call our sales team at 612.624.9831 to schedule your appointment. (Walk-ins are welcome, however appointments are highly encouraged.)

We will need some basic information from you to create an event contract including: company’s name, mailing address, phone number and event planner’s name, phone number, e-mail address and approximate guest count and event time. Once you receive the contract, you have two weeks to return the signed contract along with a non-refundable deposit. We accept payment by credit card or check. The remaining balance will be due after the event takes place.

You will be connected with an event coordinator who will work closely with you throughout the course of your planning on logistics including timeline, parking & audio-visual needs, room set-up and vendor coordination. Both your McNamara event coordinator and your D’Amico Catering planner are happy to meet on-site as needed.

Yes. A member from our event team will be on-site for the duration of your event. He/she will confirm the room set-up, assist with audio visual equipment, check-in with your vendors, post directional signage, confirm parking arrangements and adjust lighting and room temperature as needed. D’Amico Catering will also have a banquet manager and captain on-site to assist you with your food and beverage needs.

There are three public parking ramps located within two blocks of McNamara: the University Ave Ramp, the Washington Ave Ramp, and the Oak Street Ramp. The Alumni Center connects to the Washington Ave Ramp via tunnel and The Commons Hotel, the adjacent University Ave Ramp is connected directly to the Alumni Center via tunnel, and the Oak Street Ramp is a block and a half walk outdoors.

All three area ramps charge an hourly rate Monday-Friday during business hours with a daily maximum of $12. Less expensive surface lots are also available within walking distance of the Alumni Center. If you decide to cover the cost of parking for your guests, McNamara can provide you with pre-paid vouchers to distribute to your guests upon arrival. Guests will use these as a form of payment as they exit the ramp. If your event takes place in the evening, you may qualify for the discounted $8-$10 event rate which guests pay in cash upon arriving to the ramp. Guest parking can be paid for in this scenario by making reservations at least 24 hours in advance in the ramp for your guests ($1 fee + event rate/vehicle). Your McNamara coordinator will happily do this on your behalf as well as send you detailed instructions for your guests.

You can find detailed directions and a printable map of our location here to include with invitations. We also provide a 20-minute loading and unloading zone at our main entrance located at 200 Oak St SE. Nearby meters can also be reserved for $22/meter.

You can visit our Area Hotels page for details on three nearby hotels. We are connected by tunnel to The Commons Hotel, less than 5 minutes from the Courtyard by Marriott, and a 3 mile light rail ride away from the Aloft Minneapolis Hotel downtown.

Vendors have 3-hours of set-up time prior to your guest arrival. Additional time may be requested depending on our event schedule.

We kindly ask that all items brought into McNamara be taken out immediately following the event. We are happy to discard/recycle any items you no longer need and/or arrange with your vendors in advance to return and collect their belongings.

Yes. The rental package includes two rooms that can be used for your choice of storage, prep room, staff/volunteer room, and/or coatroom.

Clients who cancel within 1 year prior to their event forfeit their deposit; clients who cancel within 4 months prior to their event forfeit total room rental charges; clients who cancel fewer than 4 months prior to their event forfeit total room rental charges and any applicable administrative fees up to $400.

We understand that planning a fundraiser is all about keeping costs down and raising money for your organization. We offer the following at no additional charge to fundraising events:

  • 2 meetings with no room rental charges prior to your event (not including any catering)
  • Validated parking for up to 4 staff people the day of your event
  • Lockable room for storage made available the night before for deliveries and the morning after for pick up. Carts to borrow for transporting supplies
  • Building signage directing your guests to registration
  • McNamara event coordinator throughout the planning process and a dedicated event staff member and banquet captain the night of your event
  • 10 wooden easels for signage
  • Lavaliere microphone or handheld microphone for auctioneer
  • 9 7X5 wooden portable panels
  • Coat room + tags (coat check attendants incur a charge)
  • A staging room for band or performance members
  • Votive candles in the water feature
  • Lighting options during dinner and program
  • Phone line for credit card machines
  • Hand-pinned satin skirting on registration tables (silent auction tables incur a charge)
  • Up to 20 cocktail tables-short or tall-topped with linens throughout reception area
  • 6X8 skirted black platforms for stage extension or elevation needs (Total of 9)
  • Black, copper or maroon colored theatrical draping behind stage

We offer the complimentary services listed above, however, we always love seeing and welcoming back alumni into our space! Fully paid University of Minnesota Alumni Association life members of the university receive $50-$300 off their rental package. At the time of making your reservation, the person’s life membership must be paid in full. More information on this benefit can be found on the University of Minnesota Alumni Association website.