• Overview
  • Winston Paul Educational Center
  • Mabel Cratty
  • Beasley Campus Center
  • Brandenburg Hall
  • Ferro Pavilion
  • Request info

Discover a new way to host a meeting!

The Conference Center at George Williams College offers year-round lodging and meeting spaces for groups in a beautiful, lakeside environment. Our goal is to provide you and your guests with an unforgettable experience.


We offer a variety of unique meeting spaces for groups from 10 to 250. Get away from the ordinary with our distinctive interior and exterior spaces for meetings and events. Download our digital meeting planning worksheets:

From its vantage point at the top of campus, the Winston Paul Educational Center and Lodge features several meeting spaces and 20 spacious guest rooms. The two-story, fully accessible lodge offers a central elevator, convenient parking and cozy fireplace lobby area.

Carrie Ann Room Room size: 1,320 sq.ft. Maximum Capacity: 80 Planning worksheet (pdf)

Located on the second floor, the Carrie Ann Room is a unique meeting space for groups up to 80. High-beamed ceilings and a spectacular view of the lake make the Carrie Ann Room a very popular meeting location.

Winston Paul B Room size: 576 sq.ft. Maximum Capacity: 24 Planning worksheet (pdf)

This classroom-size space, across from the Carrie Ann Room, is the perfect spot for smaller groups. The room features a podium, presenter PC, LCD screen and an amazing lake view.

Winston Paul C Room size: 506 sq.ft. Maximum Capacity: 20 Planning worksheet (pdf)

Adjacent to the fireplace lobby, this meeting room is equipped with a podium, presenter PC and LCD screen. It’s a great meeting room for groups of 20 or less.

This historic Prairie-style building, constructed in 1929, underwent a major renovation in 2012 and received a Merit Award for excellence in architectural design for its restoration. The building features a fireplace entrance lobby, central meeting space, one breakout room and an expansive porch.

Duncan Hall Room size: 1,240 sq.ft. Maximum Capacity: 100 Planning worksheet (pdf)

This central room features a stone fireplace, vaulted beamed ceilings and state-of-the-art projection and sound systems. Duncan Hall can expand to the east and west through moveable walls, allowing guests to enjoy the lakeside breeze.

Porch Room size: 690 sq. ft. Maximum Capacity: 60 Planning worksheet (pdf)

The beautiful wraparound porch offers stunning views of the campus and lake.

Writing Room Room size: 368 sq.ft. Maximum Capacity: 14 Planning worksheet (pdf)

The Writing Room offers additional breakout space with plenty of natural light for small groups.

Home to campus dining facilities, the Beasley Campus Center features indoor and outdoor seating areas, modern kitchen facilities and a variety of functional spaces for large and small groups.

The Bistro Room size: 442 sq.ft. Maximum Capacity: 40 Planning worksheet (pdf)

The Bistro includes a natural stone fireplace, marble bar and comfortable furniture, providing the ultimate setting for a reception or small gathering. A wall of French doors opens onto the Chapin Patio.

Chapin Patio Room size: 1,924 sq.ft. Maximum Capacity: 140 Planning worksheet (pdf)

A distinctive outdoor location with sweeping views of campus, the Chapin Patio is available on its own or in conjunction with the Bistro and/or Executive Dining Room, weather permitting. The patio features comfortable outdoor furnishings, but additional round tables and chairs may be provided for larger groups.

Dining Hall Room size: 2,000 sq.ft. Maximum Capacity: 120 Planning worksheet (pdf)

This large space features tables, chairs and booth seating for casual dining. Recently remodeled, it serves as the main dining location for groups. The space also includes a casual gathering area that features couches, a flat-screen television and games such as foosball and ping pong.

Executive Dining Room Room size: 754 sq.ft. Maximum Capacity: 50 Planning worksheet (pdf)

This elegant dining room provides seating for up to 50 guests and features a stone fireplace and tasteful décor. French doors offer natural sunlight and accessibility to the Chapin Patio.

Seabury Room Room size: 2,800 sq.ft. Maximum Capacity: 250 Planning worksheet (pdf)

The Seabury Room, which recently went through a contemporary renovation, is an open and elegant gathering space boasting 20-foot ceilings, state-of-the-art technology, a grand piano and an elevated stage.

Sir George Williams Memorial Room Room size: 240 sq.ft. Maximum Capacity: 10 Planning worksheet (pdf)

Available for very special, intimate gatherings, the Sir George Williams Memorial Room is a historically accurate reproduction of the London meeting room where George Williams and his colleagues founded the YMCA. One of only two such rooms in existence in the world, this space provides a unique location for a memorable dining experience.

Sweeping views of the campus and lake make Brandenburg Hall an elegant location for group meetings and small breakout sessions. Available on a limited basis, the fully-accessible building offers a central meeting space, two classrooms, board room and restroom facilities.

Classrooms A and B Room size: 252 sq.ft. Maximum Capacity: 12 Planning worksheet (pdf)

Both classrooms feature a podium, presenter PC and LCD screen, making them ideal locations for group meetings up to 12 participants.

Board Room Room size: 195 sq.ft. Maximum Capacity: 8 Planning worksheet (pdf)

The intimate Board Room has a conference table with seating for eight participants.

Great Room Room size: 784 sq.ft. Maximum Capacity: 40 Planning worksheet (pdf)

The Great Room features walls of windows that provide abundant natural light. Complete with a stone fireplace and areas for buffet-style catering, the space is the perfect option for lectures or an intimate reception.

Space size: 5,280 sq.ft. Maximum Capacity: 250 Planning worksheet (pdf)

Inspired by the famous Benedict Music Tent at the Aspen Music Festival, the Ferro Pavilion is home to Music by the Lake, George Williams College’s summer concert series. The covered open-air outdoor pavilion features an expansive stage and level seating area.

  • Overview
  • Who can stay at the Conference Center?
  • Winston Paul Lodge
  • Lakefront Rooms
  • Oak and Hickory Lodges
  • Request info

Enjoy peaceful surroundings with time to relax and rejuvenate.

Whether surrounded by woods or sitting overlooking the lake, your stay will be warm and inviting. And whether you are accompanied by a group, family, friends, or just by yourself, you're sure to discover the magic of a lakeside stay on our historic and beautiful campus.

It's a question we get a lot, so here is a rundown of who may stay with us. If you don't see yourself on the list, just ask!

  • Registered conference attendees
  • University department visitors
  • Campus event participants
  • Aurora University and George Williams College alumni
  • Students currently enrolled at any Aurora University location
  • Parents of currently enrolled students
  • Current employees of any Aurora University location
  • Aurora University trustees
  • Seasonal mooring holders at George Williams College
Maximum Guests: up to 2 adults or 2 adults and 2 children Overview worksheet (pdf)

Enjoy extensive views of the lake and grounds when staying in the Winston Paul Lodge. This two-story building offers 20 rooms, each with two queen beds, private bathroom, hair dryer, telephone, flat screen TV, wireless internet, coffeemaker and small refrigerator. The fully-accessible lodge has a central elevator, convenient parking and a cozy fireplace lobby.

Maximum Guests: 2 Overview worksheet (pdf)

Experience the lapping of the waves and beautiful views when staying in the closest shoreline accommodations on Geneva Lake. Lakefront buildings 2–5 offer 14 rustic rooms, each with a queen bed, private bathroom, telephone, flat screen TV, wireless internet, coffeemaker and small refrigerator.


The newly-renovated Carolyn Burch Gramley Lodge offers 12 tastefully appointed guest rooms, each with a queen bed, private bathroom, telephone, flat screen television, wireless internet and coffeemaker.


Maximum Guests: 4 Overview worksheet (pdf)

Nestled amongst tall trees, Oak and Hickory Lodges offer bunk-style accommodations. These two-story buildings feature the same basic lay out. Each floor has three rooms, including one room with two sets of bunk beds and two rooms with three sets of bunk beds, each with their own bathrooms. The lower levels have a large meeting area with floor-to-ceiling windows, while the upstairs offers a cozy loft space. These lodges share a common courtyard with a firepit and are available during the summer months for groups up to 32 participants.

Let our executive chef make your stay memorable! The Conference Center is proud to offer a wide variety of menu items, from a simple coffee delivery to a plated dinner and everything in between.


The Beasley Campus Center provides delicious menu choices for all our students and guests. Served buffet-style each meal features fresh ingredients and healthy options, and we are happy to accommodate special dietary needs with advanced notice.


If you are looking for something above and beyond our daily food service, we offer a full array of options for executive and event dining needs. Consult our catering menu or contact the Conference Center for more information.


Download our menus:


The Conference Center is the perfect place for your special day.

Your guests will be enchanted by the historic grounds, lake views and elegant atmosphere of campus. With spaces designed to be customizable for your wedding, we can create the perfect romantic lakeside setting for you to say “I do!” Our executive chef can assist you in planning the perfect meal for your guests and our team is happy to help create your vision of the big day. In addition to our beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces, we can provide your guests with overnight accommodations in our lodge rooms, including our newly-renovated lakefront rooms that offer a beautiful lake view during your stay. Our unique location on Geneva Lake will provide memories for a lifetime.


Don’t delay in contacting us, as the campus hosts a limited number of weddings throughout the year. Your breathtaking lakeside wedding awaits!


Amenities
  • Lake access with private beach and pier

    Lake access with private beach and pier

  • Lakeside campfires

    Lakeside campfires

  • Nearby boat rentals cruises or tours

    Nearby boat rentals, cruises and tours

  • On-campus performances and lectures

    On-campus performances and lectures

  • Complimentary wifi

    Complimentary Wi-Fi

  • 40+ lodging room options

    40+ lodging room options

  • 12,000 sq. ft. of meeting space

    12,000 sq. ft. of meeting space

  • Access to team building opportunities and local recreation

    Access to team building opportunities and local recreation

  • Audio visual equipment rentals

    Audio/visual equipment rentals

  • Relaxed atmosphere

    Relaxed atmosphere

  • Geneva Lake Shore Path

    Geneva Lake Shore Path

  • Customized menu options

    Customized menu options

Request Info








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About Us

Located on the scenic shores of Wisconsin's Geneva Lake, the Conference Center at George Williams College offers an ideal serene escape for gatherings, overnight retreats and business meetings. Guests find rest and serenity on the beautiful and historic grounds and take advantage of numerous indoor and outdoor activities. With 137 acres of lakefront beauty and wooded landscapes, including 860 feet of shoreline, the campus offers lakefront accommodations, flexible meeting spaces, catering and recreation opportunities including private lake access.

Plan your next retreat or conference on the George Williams College campus. Our professional staff will assist you from the planning stages through check out with attentive service, and excellent food and beverage choices in a beautiful, peaceful setting.


We offer:

  • Over 40 lodging room options for group bookings
  • 12,000 square feet of flexible and spacious meeting areas
  • Private venues for informal meetings or special events
  • Customized menu options overseen by our executive chef, serving up to 250
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Team building and leadership development opportunities 
  • Audio/visual equipment rentals available
  • On-campus performances and lectures on select weekends
  • Lake access with private beach and pier
  • Lakeside bonfires
  • Boat cruises or rentals nearby
  • Affordable pricing and warm hospitality by our professional staff

Make the Conference Center at George Williams College your year-round destination on Geneva Lake.


Contact us today!


262-245-8520
staygwc@aurora.edu

George Williams College is named for Sir George Williams, the Englishman who founded the YMCA in 1844. This historic site was established in 1884 to serve as a training facility to prepare young men to serve in the YMCA. Since that time over 130 years ago, the campus has welcomed visitors from all corners of the world. They have journeyed to the quiet shores of Geneva Lake in search of inspiration, recreation, education and renewal.


Today, as part of the expansive Aurora University community, George Williams College offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs in fields that specialize in serving others and that inspire our community commitment.


During the summer months, the campus is host to Music by the Lake, an outdoor music festival that began on our grounds in 1951. During the years that followed, Music by the Lake welcomed the likes of Isaac Stern, John Denver, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Doc Severinsen and many more luminaries of stage and screen. Revived in 2001, Music by the Lake has since featured Michael Bolton, Kenny Loggins, The Irish Tenors, Manhattan Transfer, Doobie Brothers, The Beach Boys, the Chicago Philharmonic and many others.


The conversation continues year-round with our Sundays at 4 series featuring today’s leaders in arts and ideas sharing their words and talents. We extend the invitation to neighbors and friends to join GWC faculty and students at these free events. Recent events have featured David Brooks, Fabien Cousteau, Doris Kearns Goodwin and music from Cantus and Prometheus Trio.

We are located in the Williams Bay/Lake Geneva regional area (350 Constance Blvd., Williams Bay, Wisconsin) and are in close proximity to many major metropolitan areas in Illinois and Wisconsin. 


Approximate drive times are as follows:

  • 90 minutes from our campus in Aurora, Illinois
  • Two hours from Chicago, Illinois
  • 80 minutes from Madison, Wisconsin
  • One hour from Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • One hour from Rockford, Illinois
Driving HereMap

From Aurora, IL

  • Take Galena Road west to Highway 47.
  • Highway 47 north.
  • Highway 14 west.
  • Highway 67 north to Williams Bay.
  • Turn right on North Lake Shore Drive.
  • Turn left on Ravinia Drive.

From Chicago, IL

  • Interstate 94 west.
  • Exit Highway 50 west for about 30 miles through Lake Geneva and then five miles further.
  • Highway 67 south to Williams Bay.
  • Proceed through Williams Bay and turn left on North Lake Shore Drive.
  • Turn left on Ravinia Drive.

OR

  • Interstate 90 west.
  • Highway 20 north.
  • Highway 23 north.
  • Highway 14 west.
  • Highway 67 north (and east) toward Williams Bay.
  • Turn right on North Lake Shore Drive.
  • Turn left on Ravinia Drive.

From Madison, WI

  • Interstate 90 east.
  • Highway 14 east through Darien.
  • Left on S & D Town Line Road.
  • Right on County Highway O.
  • Left on Walworth Road, which becomes Highway 67.
  • Turn right on North Lake Shore Drive.
  • Turn left on Ravinia Drive.

OR

  • Interstate 90 east.
  • Interstate 43 north (east) at Beloit to Delavan.
  • Exit Highway 50 east.
  • Highway 67 south to Williams Bay.
  • Proceed through Williams Bay and turn left on North Lake Shore Drive.
  • Turn left on Ravinia Drive.

From Milwaukee, WI

  • Interstate 43 south.
  • Exit Highway 67 south to Williams Bay.
  • Proceed through Williams Bay and turn left on North Lake Shore Drive.
  • Turn left on Ravinia Drive.

From Rockford, IL

  • Interstate 90 west (NW Tollway).
  • Interstate 43 north (east) at Beloit to Delavan.
  • Exit Highway 50 east.
  • Highway 67 south to Williams Bay.
  • Proceed through Williams Bay and turn left on North Lake Shore Drive.
  • Turn left on Ravinia Drive.

From Williams Bay, WI to Campus

  • Continue through Williams Bay on Highway 67 to our entrance sign.
  • Turn left onto North Lake Shore Drive.
  • Turn left onto Ravinia Drive.

Flying Here - Airport Information

The two closest airports are in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois; see below for detailed airport information.

General Mitchell International Airport (MKE) - Milwaukee, WI 
Milwaukee's Mitchell International, located about an hour from George Williams College of Aurora University, is the airport of choice for ease and accessibility.

General Mitchell International Airport (MKE)—Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee's Mitchell International, located about an hour drive from the Conference Center, is the airport of choice for ease and accessibility.

Transportation Services from MKE

  • Airport Connection—800-236-5450
  • Cardinal Transport Service—262-245-0675 
  • JADEX, Inc., limousines and buses—262-723-8456

O'Hare International Airport (ORD)—Chicago, IL

O'Hare Airport is a two-hour drive from the Conference Center.

Transportation Services from ORD

  • Cardinal Transport Service—262-245-0675
  • O'Hare/Midway Limo Service—312-558-1111

             Out of State Callers—800-468-0211

Is this a conference center or a college?

The Conference Center at George Williams College is a conference center housed on a college campus.


What kind of groups can schedule an event?

The Conference Center welcomes educational groups, non-profit organizations, religious retreats, business meetings, corporate events, weddings and more.


Who can stay at the Conference Center?

  • It’s a question we get a lot, so here is a rundown of who may stay with us. If you don’t see yourself on the list, just ask!
  • Registered conference attendees
  • University department visitors 
  • Campus event participants
  • Aurora University and George Williams College alumni
  • Students currently enrolled at any Aurora University location 
  • Parents of currently enrolled students
  • Current employees of any Aurora University location
  • Aurora University trustees
  • Seasonal mooring holders at George Williams College

What meeting spaces and services are available?

We have 12,000 square feet of flexible and spacious meeting areas, as well as a variety of audio/visual items available for rent.


How many guest rooms do you have?

We have more than 40 guest rooms including lakeside accommodations.


Is there a required group minimum?

We welcome groups from 10 to 150, and special events for up to 250.


Is the Conference Center handicap accessible?

The residential and meeting facilities are handicap accessible. However, the distance between meeting, food service and housing facilities ranges from 50 to 300 yards, requiring walking on either a level or moderate uphill or downhill terrain.


What food options are available for session breaks?

How about some fresh baked cookies? Or ice creams treats on a hot afternoon? We also offer bagels, assorted pastries, brownies, fruits and other options. Our snack menu provides a complete listing of beverages, snacks and breaks.


What arrangements do you have for handling special dietary needs?

When you are planning an event, please let us know of any special dietary needs or requests. We’ll be happy to discuss your unique requirements.


How do I request a proposal?

You may schedule guest rooms and meeting rooms through our Conference Center staff. You may also request a proposal by filling out our information form [link to form] and a member of our staff will contact you with further details.


How do I request a tour of the Conference Center?

We invite you to visit us! Schedule a tour by contacting our Conference Center staff at 262-245-8520 or emailing us at staygwc@aurora.edu.


What is the weather like?

With glistening blue waters reflecting off the lake in summer and beautiful softly covered snow on hills and trees in winter, the weather provides a wide range of scenic delights. Check out live webcam feeds of the GWC campus.


Is the general public welcome to come and enjoy the grounds?

Yes, we welcome visitors to explore the beautiful grounds of George Williams College. Stop by the Weidensall Administration Building front desk for a copy of our campus walking tour.