The first campus wide Undergraduate Symposium (originally called the Undergraduate Research Symposium) was organized in 1999 as part of UW‐Madison’s sesquicentennial Teaching and Learning celebration. WISCIENCE (known then as the Center for Biology Education), the Graduate School’s McNair Scholars program, and the newly established Undergraduate Research Scholars program collaborated to create it. In its first year the Symposium included poster presentations by 44 students. For the first few years the Symposium was administered primarily through WISCIENCE (with funding from HHMI). Since that time it has been institutionalized in the Provost’s Office and is coordinated by a committee comprised of representatives from many different units associated with undergraduate education, research and creative work—one of which is WISCIENCE. The event has grown from 44 student participants in the first year to 500‐600 students annually.