Founded in 2015, Upper House embodies the vision of Stephen and Laurel Brown, whose entrepreneurial experience and Christian faith inspired them to launch a foundation that serves UW-Madison and the surrounding community. Part of Upper House’s story is captured in this report, Celebrating the First Seven Years, and in Upper House’s founding video below.

Founding Vision

Think? [Be] Do! summarizes our mission. We exist to ignite theological curiosity, shape Christian identity, and equip women and men to live out their faith for the life of the world. From the Grand Hall to the Den, Steve’s Café, the Porch with its swings, and the various meeting rooms, Upper House exudes a warmth and comfort that permeates our community and transformative programs.

Co-founder Steve Brown supported numerous campus initiatives at UW-Madison prior to launching Upper House. He participated in faith-based and interreligious dialogue, served on the steering committee for the Lubar Institute for the Study of Abrahamic Religions, and funded a trilogy of courses on early Christian literature, the Pauline Epistles, and the Gospels. Upper House is an extension of his desire to offer a place for Christian faith exploration and education. Of the foundation’s vision he says,

“We believe the Christian faith has a lot to contribute to the sifting and winnowing of great ideas, we want to challenge the campus, we want to engage the campus, and we want to support the campus through being a part of the vibrant conversation occurring at UW-Madison.”

Co-founder Laurel Brown adds,

“Even if we don’t know it, we all have a common goal—to better understand Christ and who we are as children of God. Providing this space—to gather, explore, and connect—is an important part of Upper House’s mission. We are trying to meet one of the most basic of human needs—to know Christ.”