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Amphitheatre utilized often

November 14, 2013

Student Jay Nordstrom sits in front of the Melvin Wall Amphitheatre after a walk through campus.
Student Jay Nordstrom sits in front of the Melvin Wall Amphitheatre after a walk through campus. The Amphitheatre is used for a variety of events, most notably Finals Fest. (Desi Danforth/Student Voice)

The Melvin Wall Amphitheatre has been on the UW-River Falls campus for more than 40 years, but many students are not aware of all the events that it hosts.

According to the UWRF Melvin Wall Amphitheatre website page, the structure was built in 1972, and was revamped in 2009. The Amphitheatre was made into a better and more comfortable place for people to enjoy different events at. Students, faculty and friends of the University helped in the construction.

Professor Melvin Wall worked with President E.H. Kleinpell in the original construction of the Amphitheatre, according to the UWRF website. Walls’ dream for the Amphitheatre was to make the southern part of the UWRF campus more appealing and attractive.

Michael Peterson, an employee of the Archives and Research Center in Chalmer Davee Library, found events that were hosted at the beginning of the Amphitheatre until now.

“Minnesota Orchestra performed a free concert at the dedication ceremony in 1972,” Peterson said. “They also host concerts, mainly for the summer concert series. The River Falls Brass performed there in 2005, and Phillip Phillips was supposed to perform there during finals week in spring of 2013.”

Along with these events, the Amphitheatre is also a place for class reunions, weddings and outdoor movies.

Andrea Ohmann is a senior at UWRF and was not aware of the different uses of the Melvin Wall Amphitheatre.

“I don’t really know much about the Amphitheatre at all,” Ohmann said. “I’ve walked past it a few times and think it’s a cool looking place, but I don’t know much more.”

After four years of attending school at UWRF, Ohmann was surprised to learn that the Amphitheatre is used for more than just Welcome Week.

“I have never been to the Amphitheatre,” Ohmann said. “I know that they do welcome week activities there for freshman students, but I had no idea they had weddings and concerts there.”

One aspect of the Amphitheatre that many people are not aware of is the fire pit that is located in the southeast corner of the Amphitheatre.

“I really wish I was more aware of the different events that the Amphitheatre hosts,” Ohmann said. “I think it would be great to have more events for students there during the spring and fall especially, since it’s such a unique structure and in a beautiful location.”

Although the Phillip Phillips concert that was supposed to be hosted at the Amphitheatre fell through, there is still a possibility for future events for students at the Amphitheatre.

“I think they should have another concert there this spring,” Ohmann said. “It’s a great location that is central to campus, and I think it would be cool to see a concert there before I graduate in May.”

For more information on the history of the Amphitheatre, you can visit the Archives and Area Research Center on the lowest level of the Library.

Anyone interested in planning events at the Amphitheatre should email reservations@uwrf.edu.