McNamara Alumni Center Event Policies 2024

Reserving the McNamara Alumni Center:

To create an event contract, the following information is required: 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 Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover or checks made payable to “University Gateway Corporation”. The remaining balance will be due after the event takes place. McNamara and D’Amico Catering reserve the right to request full payment upfront prior to any event.

After you reserve the space, 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.

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.

Room rental charges:

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. University events (as defined: a University of Minnesota entity hosting, signing the contract, and paying for a University-sponsored event) qualify for reduced pricing.

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.

U of M alumni discounts:

Alumni Association dues-paying members at the multi-year and life member levels receive discounts on their meetings and events at McNamara Alumni Center. One year and student memberships do not qualify. Fully paid University of Minnesota Alumni Association life members of the university receive 20% off their room rental and up to $500 off any wedding package. Life members also receive a $100 gift card from D’Amico Catering with any Friday, Saturday or Sunday booking of Memorial Hall, Johnson Great Room or University Hall. Multi-year members receive 10% off rental of any room at McNamara Alumni Center and up to $300 off any wedding package. More information on this benefit can be found on the University of Minnesota Alumni Association website.

Outside vendors:

Event clients may hire any licensed vendor to provide decorations, DJs, specialty linens, floral, valet services, etc. for their event.

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.

Generally all events include 1-2 hours of set-up time prior to your guest arrival. Additional time may be requested depending on our event schedule. The McNamara Alumni Center is not responsible for items left overnight, or for lost or stolen items.

If you choose a vendor who is not familiar with our venue, we suggest you have them call us to coordinate delivery, parking, and to determine if a visit to our venue before your event would be beneficial.

Décor vendors most familiar with our venue, policies and procedures for installation:
Apres: 952-942-3399,
Event Lab: 952-224-8558,
Linen Effects: 612-355-2500,
Richfield Flowers & Events: 612-866-8416,

Deliveries can be made to the Oak Street entrance when there is not an event in progress in Memorial Hall. Please arrange deliveries in advance with the event staff who will consult the event schedule. Deliveries made while an event is in progress in Memorial Hall will need to use the Walnut Street entrance or loading dock located on Walnut Street. Deliveries should be made to Suite 100 and need to display your event name and your event coordinator.

If your set-up requires an electrical source, you are responsible for bringing your own extension cords. McNamara Alumni Center staff will provide gaffers’ tape for taping down cords to prevent tripping.

Vendors are responsible for their own parking. Some clients reserve parking for their guests, which may or may not include vendors. You are responsible for clarifying your parking with the client. Drop-off parking at the Oak St. entrance is for 20-minutes and is monitored by the University Parking department. A parking ramp is adjacent to the McNamara Alumni Center just NW of the building on University Ave. Trucks as high as 9’ can fit in the ramp. Please visit our website for a map and parking directions.


McNamara staff may take photos of your event (table settings, decoration details, room set-up etc.) and agree to not publicly share or use them prior to your event taking place. After your event, we may use these and any photographs taken by your event photographer or vendors on McNamara’s social media at our discretion, giving credit when known. After your event, we may contact your photographer or vendors and negotiate use of any photos for McNamara’s marketing, advertising and website.  

Loading Dock Procedures:

All deliveries to McNamara Alumni Center should go through the loading dock located behind the McNamara Alumni Center on Walnut Street. A map for the loading dock can be provided to you by your Event Coordinator.

Deliveries through the public entrances to McNamara (including Memorial Hall or University Hall) must be requested in advance of your event through your Event Coordinator.

To park at the loading dock, all persons must check in at the front desk. A vendor pass may be given to you and if so, it must be visible on your car window.

Audio and visual programming:

Our AV technicians have designed and installed most of the AV equipment in our meeting rooms. Their fee is $80 per hour. Your McNamara event coordinator can schedule a technician for your event if you desire or your program deems it necessary.

McNamara Alumni Center can accommodate events that expect media. The venue offers a few locations of mult boxes for media to access. Consult with your event coordinator for locations.

If you are bringing a musical performance to McNamara Alumni Center, performers must provide sound and/or sound technicians for their performance.

Music and P.A. systems must be kept at a minimum volume, and will be monitored by McNamara Management. McNamara Alumni Center has control over the P.A. volume at your event.

Rehearsals and sound checks are restricted to before and after business hours unless otherwise approved by your Event Coordinator.

McNamara Alumni Center will evaluate your event needs and you may be required to use an in-house technician to run musical performances. Please contact your Event Coordinator at least two weeks in advance with your needs.

Bands + DJs

The McNamara Alumni Center’s Memorial Hall has a house sound system although all outside music groups must bring their own, independent amplification systems. This includes electrical cords, extension cords, etc. Due to the nature of the proximity of other rooms that may have concurrent meetings and events going on, McNamara Alumni Center reserves the right to have the music in Memorial Hall lowered, regardless of the contract the music group may have had with the event client. This includes the time when the music must stop. (For weddings, all music must end at midnight.)

The McNamara Alumni Center event staff is willing to meet in advance with sound technicians to assess what their amplification needs may be.

Set-up, sound checks and teardown of musical equipment must be arranged in advance with the McNamara Alumni Center event staff. Building hours, prior events in the room and event staff supervision are taken into consideration. (For weddings, vendors must be off-premise at 1 am unless advance notice had been given and approved.) Due to the limited availability of storage space, we do not normally store equipment overnight. Any exceptions to this policy must be cleared with Alumni Center staff.

Event Set-up and Teardown:

Event setup and tear-down must occur through the loading dock, service elevators and corridors preferably during non-business hours.

All moving equipment must be provided by you (carts, pallet jacks, etc.). All carts and equipment must have rubber wheels. McNamara Alumni Center does not have any 2-wheelers, flat bed carts or for your use. McNamara Alumni Center cannot supply labor for set-up or tear-down of deliveries.

The Oak Street turn around entrance has 20-minute unloading within yellow marked sidewalk.


McNamara Alumni Center has a very limited amount of storage space that may be used for your event. Space must be discussed with your Event Coordinator and reserved at least two weeks prior to the event. If you have not arranged for your event items to be picked up within one week of the conclusion of your event, it will become property of McNamara Alumni Center.

Food and beverage service:

D’Amico Catering is the exclusive in-house caterer at McNamara Alumni Center for non-University events. D’Amico Catering is a full-service catering company. Food and beverage service provided by D’Amico Catering includes event staff for your event.

For events serviced by D’Amico Catering, 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.

D’Amico Catering has a food and beverage minimum for events at McNamara. Food, alcohol (cash & hosted bars) and non-alcoholic beverage sales apply toward the minimum.

D’Amico Catering holds the liquor license and insurance and is responsible for all liquor served on the premises. We do not allow any outside alcohol.

Event Parking:

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 Graduate 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 are owned and managed by the University of Minnesota.

Ramps charge an hourly rate of $3.00 Monday-Friday during peak business hours and a $1 per hour rate outside of peak business hours, both with a daily maximum of $13-$15. 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 at registration. 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 $10 event rate which guests pay upon arriving to the ramp. Guest parking can be paid for in this scenario by making reservations at least 72 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.

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 $24 per meter.

Water Features in Memorial Hall

The water features in Memorial Hall are unique design features of the building and should be operating at all times. Draining of the water feature requires special cleaning of the surface and re-filling of the feature requires re-balancing of chemicals and water. The Memorial Hall water feature meets building code when filled. Modifying its use by removing the water and creating the conditions outlined above could put our operations at risk with both the building code officials and our insurance carriers.

We have installed a special pump control that allows us to cut the water flow to quiet the water sounds next to the stage. Requests for “quiet water” should be made to our building engineers and they will be happy to make the adjustments.

Signage and banners:

McNamara staff provide signage directing event guests from the University Avenue Ramp to the adjacent McNamara Alumni Center. Signage from the tunnels direct guests to event rooms, restrooms and elevators. If you choose to create your own event signage to have at registration, you may. All signage must be approved by your Event Coordinator one month in advance. Please email a proof to your Event Coordinator for approval. All signage must be professionally printed (no handwritten signs).

Banners can be hung from the balconies of Memorial Hall provided access is possible through tenant offices with balconies. All banners must have grommets. Rope or zip ties must be used to secure all banners. McNamara engineers may be available to hang banners although there may be a charge.

Only gaffer’s tape can be used to adhere signage onto McNamara surfaces.

Fire Regulations:

Fire codes require a 10’ clearance from all room perimeters. Aisles and a means of egress must be maintained throughout rooms. All aisles must be at least 4’ wide or greater and will be determined by McNamara Management.

Due to fire codes, exits and service passageways may not be used for storage of any kind, including event materials and trash. Trash must be taken to the proper trash receptacles or recycling rooms in the loading dock.

Candles are allowed if there is a glass container surrounding the flame. All candles or items with an open flame must be pre-approved by McNamara Management.


We reserve the right to require security for any function or event. We will develop an appropriate security plan, as deemed necessary, in consultation with the University of Minnesota Police Department or other law enforcement agencies as needed. We may share event reservation information with University Police in order to coordinate traffic, security, and other operational plans. Security decisions by McNamara Alumni Center management are final and non-negotiable.

Applicable charges will be the sole responsibility of the event patron and will be billed in full following the event. Such charges will include, without limitation, the then-current per-officer hourly rate of the applicable local policing agency or agencies. For reference, as of the date of this policy, the hourly rate for security provided by a University police officer is $108.00 per hour with a three hour minimum.

Policy on Political Activities:

University Gateway Corporation, a private entity which owns McNamara Alumni Center, is a tax-exempt charitable organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is prohibited from participating or intervening in a political campaign, which includes endorsing or opposing any candidate for public office, and contributing anything of value to candidates, political parties, and PACs. McNamara Alumni Center is available to candidates, political parties, and PACs on the same basis as it is to other patrons. Under no circumstances will University Gateway Corporation endorse or oppose a candidate, nor will McNamara Alumni Center be made available to political groups at a discount from standard event rates.

Policy on Freedom of Expression:

University Gateway Corporation supports freedom of speech and the value of free exchange of ideas and information. This freedom does not extend to speech directed to inciting or producing imminent violent or lawless action. In order to protect its physical assets and the safety of people and property in and around McNamara Alumni Center, University Gateway Corporation will not reserve space for any program, event, sponsor or speaker that it reasonably expects would result in disruption to the McNamara Alumni Center’s activities or incite a response that would threaten public safety.


Connections to house power will be done by MAC staff only.

Cords are a trip hazard and must be covered by gaffer’s tape. Cords running in public walk-ways require approval by Event Management.

Exhibitors must supply all cords from the outlet (no household cords). All electrical cords must be 12-3 AWG (American Wire Gauge).

If you have questions or concerns regarding your McNamara Alumni Center electrical needs, please contact Building Management.

MAC reserves the right to inspect and approve/reject any electrical devices and systems.

Service Animals:

Only animals trained to assist persons with disabilities are permitted within McNamara Alumni Center. Exceptions (such as animals auctioned at galas or mascots for sporting events) should be requested of Event Management.

Smoking Policy:

The McNamara Alumni Center is a smoke-free property.

Certificate of Insurance:

McNamara Alumni Center may require you to have a certificate of insurance on file for your event. Your event coordinator can provide to you the legal language required to have on the certificate.