1919: Concept for a memorial at Iowa State discussed & planned.
1920: Project launched - to be privately funded; donation pledging began in June with campus rallies.
1922: Organization is incorporated as a non-profit under Iowa law.
1925: Pledges reach one million dollars.
1926: Site selected near Lake LaVerne; Architects Proudfoot, Rawson, Souers draw plans.
1927: Mortgage obtained; groundbroken on April 26; construction started by Arthur Neumann, Des Moines contractor.
1928: Opens September 23; Iowa State enrollment 4000.
1929: Construction complete in January. (North entrance pictured above). Stock market crash slows pledge payments.
1936-37 Elevator installed; fourth & fifth floors completed.
1939: The first south addition began, with aid of student fees; housed South Ballroom, more space in the Commons and six bowling lanes.
1943: Stained glass windows installed in Gold Star Hall.
1948-49 The second addition began with construction of a multi-story wing in the southeast corner; houses a dish room adjoining the main kitchen and meeting rooms on upper floors; third addition also began – a south terrace houses eight more bowling lanes.
1950-53: The fourth addition began with construction of northwest wing and west terraces; included air conditioning for the first time.
1955: Completion of Browsing Library and Chapel directly under Gold Star Hall.
1957-58: Fifth addition begins, covering the south terrace, providing space for the Book Store with the Sun Room above it.
1964-65: Sixth addition begins - Northeast wing; Pioneer Room and meetings rooms, Cardinal and Campanile Rooms, student office space, craft center.
1966-67: Seventh addition: parking ramp to the east of the building.
1972-74: Eighth addition begins: first phase of southeast wing construction, connecting parking ramp to building.
1977-78: Ninth addition begins: second phase of southeast wing construction.
1984: Names of Iowa Staters who perished in World War II, Korea and Vietnam are engraved in walls of Gold Star Hall.
1992: Extensive renovation of University Book Store occurs.
1995-96: Extensive first floor renovation for changeover of the cafeteria to a Food Court, and updated main kitchen, as well as student offices north of the main hallway; tenth addition is a utilities unit on the north/courtyard side of the southeast addition.
2003: The corporation is dissolved, allowing the Memorial Union to become a department of the University.
2006-08: Construction of the eleventh addition to the building (the third south addition) houses expanded book store space, the MU Market & Café and the Soults Family Visitor Center; also includes extensive renovation to the second floor, including restoration of the Great Hall and South Ballroom, relocation of the Main Desk and establishment of the Multicultural Center.