Upper Gwinn is approximately 6,000 square feet and includes a foyer and large meeting space that can seat around 450 people. The meeting space can also be divided into two separate rooms, one seating 240 people (Queen Anne Room) and one seating 120 people (Cascade Room).


Whether you’re an internal or external client, here are guidelines to keep in mind when planning for an event in Upper Gwinn Commons.

  • Tables and chairs may not be moved from any other location on campus.
  • Soft seating furniture must remain in the lobby.
  • No object or sign may be attached to the walls with tape, nails, or screws.
  • With approval, Facilities may assist in hanging banners or signs.
  • Bubble/smoke machines, glitter, chalk, or other such items that may cause damage to the interior or exterior of the building are not permitted.

Reservations: How far in advance?

  • SPU “main events” (approved by the SLT): Reserve space in Upper Gwinn up to 12 months in advance.
  • Other SPU events: Reserve space in Upper Gwinn up to 9 months in advance.
  • External non-SPU events: Reserve space in Upper Gwinn up to 6 months in advance.

All internal space requests are made through Roomfinder. All external space requests are made through the Event Request Form.

Use of the foyer

The foyer cannot be reserved as a standalone space. We book both the Cascade and Queen Anne rooms concurrently and all groups need access to the foyer. As a result, foyer activities are limited to check-in, registration, and other similar small activities. To use the foyer for more than these activities, you must reserve the entire Upper Gwinn Commons.

Concurrent reservations in adjoining rooms

Conference Services books events in both the Cascade and Queen Anne rooms concurrently, while remaining sensitive to event type, noise level, and other factors.


Contact Conference Services (conferenceservices@spu.edu) for current rates for the Queen Anne Room, Cascade Room, and all of Upper Gwinn (exclusive use of Queen Anne, Cascade, and foyer). We use a streamlined flat rate per room.

External groups may also submit an Event Request Form. Internal groups can contact Conference Services with questions at 206-281-2187 (x2187 from a campus phone) or conferenceservices@spu.edu.

Reservation priority at SPU facilities is determined for both SPU and non-SPU events by definition and date. Here’s how it works.

SPU events

SPU events are defined by two categories — “Main Events” and “Other Events.” They are co-curricular, educational, and social programs that enhance and promote the University’s academic and community environment. Main events are given priority during the autumn, winter, and spring academic quarters.

Main events are reoccurring events that support the broader SPU mission, as determined by the President’s Cabinet.

  • Examples: Homecoming, Group, Faculty Dinner, Board of Trustees meetings.

Other events are those that fit into the broader description of SPU events; they are primarily designed for, and attended by, SPU students, faculty, staff, and their guests; and/or, they are primarily funded by SPU dollars.

  • These events are reserved on a first-come, first-served basis after SPU main events are scheduled.
Non-SPU events

Non-SPU-related events are those requested by nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations [501c3]. These programs are primarily designed for and attended by people not related to SPU, and are primarily funded through non-SPU dollars.

  • Non-SPU-related events are given priority during both the Summer Sessions and quarter breaks.
  • All non-SPU-related events are scheduled, contracted, and coordinated through the Conference Services office.

Contact Conference Services for more information.

Placing holds on a date
  • You may place up to three holds for a single event.
  • Holds expire 90 days from the date they are placed or 30 days before the proposed event date, whichever comes first.
  • If you place a hold within 30 days of your event, your hold will expire three days from the date it is placed.

Please confirm your event date and release your holds as soon as possible so we can maximize usage of Upper Gwinn.

Changing event dates
  • You may change your confirmed event date at any time, up to one week before your event, without penalty, as long as your new date is also available.
Event cancellation
  • You may cancel a confirmed event in Upper Gwinn up to 30 days before the event without penalty. Any event cancelled within 30 days will be charged a $100 cancellation fee.


Gwinn Commons exterior

Seating layouts

Talk to Conference Services about the kinds of seating arrangements you’ll need for your event in Upper Gwinn at SPU. Here are a few suggestions.

Note: All capacities listed below are maximums, with minimal extra setup. The addition of a stage, tables for exhibits, catering tables, etc. will impact seating capacities.

Queen Anne Room

Banquet-style seating 160
Theatre-style seating 240
Square footage 2,875

Cascade Room

Banquet-style seating 64
Theatre-style seating 120
Square footage 1,765

Queen Anne and Cascade Room

Banquet-style seating 320
Theatre-style seating 500*
Square footage 4,640


Banquet-style seating 40
Theatre-style seating n/a
Square footage 1,430

*Upper Gwinn contains 400 matching chairs. Any additional seating will need to be ordered through Facilities.


Banquet seating chart: 5 rows of four circular tables, with 8 seats around each one, for 160 seats total


Theatre seating chart: 2 sections of 8 rows, with each row having 11 chairs (176 seats in total)


U-shaped seating chart, with 12 seats on each branch of the U and six seats in the middle, for 30 seats in total


Board room seating chart: 12 seats on each side, and 6 seats on each end, for 36 seats in total


Crescent seating chart: 3 rows of 8 tables, with each table having four seats facing the front of the room (96 seats total)


Contact Conference Services for more details about how to configure seating for your next event.

virtual campus

ADA access?

You’ll find ADA-approved handicapped parking in the Demaray parking lot. Access Gwinn Commons through the Ames Library back entrance, through the Library to Martin Square, and then up the Gwinn Commons elevator to the third floor.

Campus accessibility map