Memorial Gymnasium

Memorial Gymnasium is a 2,500 seat multi-purpose arena in Charlottesville, Virginia. It opened in 1924. It was home to the University of Virginia Cavaliers basketball team until it was replaced when University Hall opened in 1965.


Established originally as a memorial to the University's World War I casualties, this elegant facility continues to play a vital role in the athletic, recreational, and physical education kinesiology programs on Grounds. The classes of 1920 and 1921 pledged a collected total of $142,000 in support of the gymnasium as a memorial, and construction was completed in 1924. From its completion, the gymnasium housed a variety of sporting and social activities, including basketball, boxing, and dances.

Mem Gym was the site of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Stab in the Back" speech on June 10, 1940, when, in the middle of giving his commencement address to the graduating class, he was informed of the alliance between Italy and Nazi Germany.

Current usage

Currently, Memorial Gymnasium, commonly known as Mem Gym to Virginia students, hosts the school wrestling and volleyball teams, and is also used by the school as an intramural sports venue. The building includes a workout center, and boxing practice facilities, as well as an indoor jogging track that circles the gymnasium on the second floor. The Older swimming pool at the gym was converted into an indoor soccer ground during the renovation.

Recent renovations

An anonymous gift of $845,500 provided for extensive improvements to 79-year-old "Mem Gym," which was home to the U.Va basketball program for 42 seasons before University Hall opened in 1965. It was also the past home of the U.Va swim and dive teams and indoor track teams. After renovations, the building - now used extensively by the University's intramural programs - also serves as the home arena for the Cavaliers' wrestling and women's volleyball teams.

Building Activity

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