Carroll University is excited to kick off our 175th Anniversary this academic year. A series of activities and events have been planned for the fall and spring semesters that will involve students, alumni and the entire Carroll community. Listed below are some activities that are sure to create lasting memories.

CU175 Lawn Sign installed on Main Lawn

Large orange text letters of CU 175
Be the 1 in our 175 by posing in the place of the 1 in our sign on Main Lawn.

The CU175 sign is approximately 6 feet tall, with 3D letters painted in our Carroll Pioneer Orange. The space where the '1' would normally appear will be left empty – and that's where you come in! We're inviting people to stand as the '1' for a special photo opportunity. Pose. Picture. Post. #CarrollU175. 

Paddock Bliss Art Gallery

While on campus, check out our “175 Years of Lifelong Pioneers” exhibit at the Paddock Bliss Art Gallery which opens during Homecoming Weekend. The exhibit highlights how the Carroll community has taken learning, innovation and service outside the classroom and around the world. The focus is primarily on the 19th and 20th centuries.

This exhibit is open Oct.14 - Nov. 24 and will feature:

  • Firsts
    • Some of the lesser-known “firsts” associated with the Carroll community.
  • Namesakes
    • Young-and-old photos of people for whom buildings are named, mounted on a banner-sized map of campus.
  • In Uniform
    • Carroll's connections to military conflicts, from the Civil War to Vietnam.
  • Sports
    • Focuses on a few individuals (Hanke, Breen, Kilgour, etc.), and will include looping video of football/basketball game footage.
  • Campus Life
    • Illustrates how students have shaped their own learning and engaged the local community through organizations and service.
  • ‘Round the World
    • Focused on CCE, NCEP and other global connections.
  • Fun Facts
  • In the Community

Pioneer Hazy IPA

Raised Grain's Pioneer Hazy IPA
Raised Grain Brewing Company has brewed a limited release of a special beer for Carroll’s 175th Anniversary. The beer, named Pioneer Hazy IPA, is available at Raised Grain’s taproom in Waukesha by the 4-pack and by the glass. You can also get a taste of the IPA at Club 400, Guitar For Life Cafe, Magellans on Main, Salty Toad, Taylor's People's Park, MainStream and at special Carroll events, such as Fred MacMurray Movie Night and Carroll’s Homecoming Weekend.

Orange You Glad You’re A Pioneer

Orange You Glad You’re A Pioneer was specially created by Divino Gelato in honor of our 175th Anniversary. The orange (creamsicle) and white (cake batter) flavored-gelato can be purchased for a limited time on campus during special events such as Fred MacMurray Movie Night and Homecoming Weekend, as well as at Divino Gelato’s Waukesha location starting Aug. 27. While you are there, you may also have the pleasure of tasting the Carroll Delight, a cake batter with caramel swirl flavored-gelato, also specially crafted for our 175th. Taste it while it lasts!

September 7-10: Student Kickoff Week

During the 175th Kickoff Week, students can participate in many activities including Orange You Glad You’re a Pioneer Gelato Day, Waste-Free Wednesday/Service Day, Throwback Thursday Photo Day in the Campus Center (Post in Front of the Pio Pete Through the Years Back Drop), and Food Truck Friday.

Illustrated movie poster for the absent minded professor
Movie poster for Walt Disney's, The Absent Minded Professor

September 25: Fred MacMurray Movie Night

We will host two movies that feature former Carroll student and the first actor to be called a “Disney Legend,” Fred MacMurray. The outdoor movie event will take place at Schneider Stadium, starting at 6:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and playing are two classics: “Son of Flubber” and “The Absent-Minded Professor.” Concession stands with food and beverages will be available, and activity books with crayons will be given to children who attend.

Composer, Paul Chihara

October 1: Paul Chihara; Victory Tour Kickoff Concert

Join us for this event with internationally acclaimed composer, Paul Chihara, who will be joined on stage by the Carroll University Music Program at Shattuck Auditorium on October 1 at 7 p.m. The performance will include large and small student ensembles, faculty collaborations and a presentation by Mr. Chihara about his work. 

It is free and open to the public. Mr. Chihara is currently on the NYU faculty, and created the UCLA Visual Media graduate program.  He is a survivor of a WWII U.S. Japanese internment camp.

Waukesha Unlocked

October 9-10, 2021: Waukesha Unlocked  

Carroll University is excited to open its doors for Waukesha Unlocked, a unique showcase of Waukesha's businesses, properties and organizations. The event, held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9 and Sunday, Oct. 10, offers guided tours and open houses throughout the city, and is a part of the city's 125th Anniversary celebration.

Carroll, marking its own 175th anniversary this year, will offer looks inside several of its buildings, from historic Main Hall to the cutting-edge technology of Doug and Nancy Hastad Hall and the Idea Lab. 



October 14-17, 2021: Homecoming  

Join us as Pioneers across the country are coming home to Carroll. We'll march, tailgate, cheer on the football team, and reconnect with one another. After our successful virtual reunions in 2020, we are thrilled to return in-person and invite ALL ALUMNI to join us for their decade reunion. At each gathering, we'll recognize our Pioneers celebrating a milestone reunion in 2021. Also, don’t forget to join us for the Homecoming Parade on October 16 at 11 a.m. The Parade starts at Catholic Memorial High School. For more information click here


December 4-5:  Holiday Concert

Shattuck Auditorium

 Ring in the season with Christmas at Carroll, our annual holiday concert featuring the Carroll University Music Program. This event will be live, in person but the purchase of a ticket will also include a live stream link if you would prefer to watch from home. This event is part of the Carroll University 175th Anniversary Celebration.
Two performances:
Saturday, December 4 at 7pm and Sunday, December 5 at 2pm.
$10 Tickets on sale October 15. 

Spring Events

Adam Carr

Founder’s Day: Thursday, Feb. 3 at 4 p.m. in Shattuck Auditorium with Speaker Adam Carr

Adam Carr is an independent journalist, historian, artist and community organizer. He works across a range of media and platforms as a writer, editor, photographer, filmmaker, public artist, dialogue facilitator and guide for in-depth tours. He was co-chair of the coordinating committee for a city-wide project commemorating the 50th anniversary of Milwaukee’s Open Housing Marches in 2017 and 2018. The year before that, his children’s book, “Explore MKE: Your Neighborhood, Our City”, was published in collaboration with 3rd grade classrooms throughout Milwaukee and SHARP Literacy. Adam has sat on several area boards and is the deputy editor for community engagement at Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. He was also a producer at Radio Milwaukee from 2008 to 2011.
Poster graphic of illustrated top hat with event details
Illustrated event poster for Oscar Wilde's, The Importance of Being Earnest

March 3-6: The Importance of Being Earnest at the Otteson Theatre

In Spring 2022, The Carroll Players will present “The Importance of Being Earnest” in celebration of Carroll University's 175th Anniversary and the Carroll Players’ 125th Anniversary. The production, originally performed in 1932, is returning to Carroll 90 years later to be directed by Professor Jennifer Dobby. “The Importance of Being Earnest” is Oscar Wilde’s brilliantly-clever comedic masterpiece. It tells the story of two young gentlemen in London, who each live a double-life, creating elaborate deceptions to find some balance in their lives. John Worthing escapes the burdens of responsibility to have an exciting life in the city, pretending to be his fictitious younger brother Ernest. Algernon Moncrieff, meanwhile, has invented a convenient invalid, Bunbury, whom he uses as an excuse to gallivant off to the country whenever he pleases. When John falls in love with Algernon’s cousin, Gwendolen, he is determined to come clean, but when Gwendolen reveals she can only love a man named Ernest, it somewhat complicates things. Oscar Wilde's brilliant comedy captures the struggle of four passionate lovers trying to conform to expectations and, in the most roundabout and delightfully funny way possible, love who they wish and live how they want.

Profile photo of pullitzer prize author Doris Kearns Goodwin
Doris Kearns Goodwin

April 23: An Evening with Doris Kearns Goodwin

Carroll University is honored to welcome Doris Kearns Goodwin to campus on April 23, 2022. The world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker and Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times #1 best-selling author will speak about “Leadership in Turbulent Times.” This will be a formal, invite-only dinner in honor of our 175th Anniversary. Since Carroll is Wisconsin’s first institution of higher education, with a strong, pioneering history, we thought it was befitting to invite one of the best-known historians in the nation on our campus to speak. After learning about Carroll’s rich history and stature in the world of academia, Goodwin was elated to accept our invitation, and determined to schedule a date to join us for a university event.

Robert Ballard standing next to the nautilus boat
Robert Ballard

May 7: Spring Undergraduate Commencement 2022

We will wrap up our 175th anniversary with Commencement. This year Carroll will acknowledge the outstanding lifetime achievements of Dr. Robert Ballard, who will be Carroll’s honorary degree recipient. Dr. Ballard will deliver the commencement address to the class of 2022 by sharing his wisdom with the graduates on “Living the Dream.” Ballard is best known for his 1985 discovery of the Titanic and succeeded in tracking down numerous other significant shipwrecks including the German battleship Bismarck, the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, the U.S. aircraft carrier Yorktown, and John F. Kennedy’s boat, PT-109. 

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Panoramic View of campus