• Overview
  • Winston Paul Educational Center
  • Mabel Cratty
  • Beasley Campus Center
  • Brandenburg Hall
  • Ferro Pavilion
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  • Overview
  • Who can stay at the Conference Center?
  • Winston Paul Lodge
  • Lakefront Rooms
  • Oak and Hickory Lodges
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Amenities
  • Lake access with private beach and pier

    Lake access with private beach and pier

  • Lakeside campfires

    Lakeside campfires

  • Nearby boat rentals, cruises and tours

    Nearby boat rentals, cruises and tours

  • On-campus performances and lectures

    On-campus performances and lectures

  • Complimentary Wi-Fi

    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

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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.