Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
University of Washington
The University of Washington, founded in 1861, is a major public research university in the Seattle metropolitan area. Its primary campus is in Seattle's University District, and it has two branch campuses in Tacoma and Bothell. Locally known as "U Dub," it is the largest university in the Pacific Northwest and one of the oldest public institutions of higher education on the west coast of the United States.
The city of Seattle, Washington, founded in 1851, was one of several settlements in the mid to late 19th century vying for primacy in the newly formed Washington Territory. In 1854, territorial governor Isaac Stevens recommended the establishment of a university in Washington; several prominent Seattle-area residents, chief among them Methodist preacher Daniel Bagley , saw the siting of this University as a chance to add to the city's prestige. They were able to convince early founder of Seattle and a member of the territorial legislature Arthur A. Denny of the importance of Seattle winning the school. The legislature initially chartered two universities, one in Seattle and one in Lewis County, but later repealed its decision in favor of a single university in Lewis County, provided locally donated land could be found. When no site emerged, the legislature, encouraged by Denny, relocated the university to Seattle in 1858.
In 1861, scouting began for an appropriate 10 acre (40,000 m²) site in Seattle to serve as the campus for a new university. Denny, along with fellow pioneers Edward Lander and Charlie Terry , donated a site on "Denny's Knoll" in what is today downtown Seattle. This tract was bounded by what are now 4th and 6th Avenues on the east and west and Union and Seneca Streets on the north and south.
The UW opened officially on November 4, 1861, as the Territorial University of Washington. The following year, the legislature passed articles formally incorporating the University and establishing a Board of Regents. The school struggled initially, closing three times: in 1863 for lack of students, and again in 1867 and 1876 due to shortage of funds. But by the time Washington entered the Union in 1889, both Seattle and the University had grown substantially. Enrollment had increased from an initial 30 students to near 300, and the relative isolation of the campus had given way to encroaching development. A special legislative committee headed by UW graduate Edmond Meany was created for the purpose of finding a new campus better able to serve the growing student population. The committee selected a site on Union Bay northeast of downtown, and the legislature appropriated funds for its purchase and subsequent construction.
The University relocated from downtown to the new campus in 1895, moving into the newly built Denny Hall. The regents tried and failed to sell the old campus, and eventually settled on leasing the area. The University still owns what is now called the Metropolitan Tract . In the heart of the city, it is among the most valuable pieces of real estate in Seattle and generates millions of dollars in revenue annually.
Organizers of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition eyed the still largely undeveloped campus as a prime setting for their world's fair. They came to an agreement with the Board of Regents that allowed them to use the campus grounds for the exposition. In exchange, the University would be able to take advantage of the development of the campus for the fair after its conclusion. This included a detailed site plan and several buildings. The plan for the A-Y-P Exposition prepared by John C. Olmsted was later incorporated into the overall campus master plan and permanently affected the layout of the campus.
Both World Wars brought the military to the campus, with certain facilities temporarily loaned to the federal government. The subsequent post-war periods were times of dramatic growth for the University. The period between the wars saw significant expansion on the upper campus. Construction of the liberal arts quadrangle, known to students as "The Quad," began in 1916 and continued in stages until 1939. The first two wings of Suzzallo Library, considered the architectural centerpiece of the University, were built in 1926 and 1935, respectively. Further growth came with the end of World War II and passage of the G.I. Bill. Among the most important developments of this period was the opening of the medical school in 1946. It would eventually grow into the University of Washington Medical Center, now ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the top ten hospitals in the United States.
In the early 1950s, the University of Washington Police Department was established. It has jurisdiction over the University of Washington campus and University-owned housing, except for the Radford Court apartments in Sand Point.
In the 1960s and 1970s, enrollment at the UW more than doubled--from around 16,000 to 34,000--as the baby boom generation came of age. As was the case at many American universities, this era was marked by high levels of student activism, with much of the unrest focused around opposition to the Vietnam War.
The University opened branch campuses in Bothell and Tacoma in 1990. These campuses offer curricula for students seeking bachelor's degrees who have already completed two years of higher education. They operate master's degree programs as well.
Campus setting and architecture
The University of Washington is situated on the shores of Union and Portage Bays, with views of the Cascade Range to the east and the Olympic Mountains to the west. Its most popular views are from Suzzallo Library, which has a vista of Mount Rainier to the southeast, the Quad and its Yoshino cherry trees that bloom spectacularly each spring to the north, and Red Square spreading out in front of it to the west.
The main campus is bounded on the west by 15th Avenue N.E., on the north by N.E. 45th Street, on the east by Montlake Boulevard N.E., and on the south by N.E. Pacific Street. East Campus stretches east of Montlake Boulevard to Laurelhurst and is largely taken up by wetlands and sports fields. South Campus occupies the land between Pacific Street and the Lake Washington Ship Canal which used to be a golf course and is given over to the health sciences, oceanography, fisheries, and the University of Washington Medical Center. West Campus is less of a separate entity than the others, many of its facilities being on city streets, and stretches between 15th Avenue and Interstate 5 from the Ship Canal to N.E. 41st Street.
The oldest building on campus is Denny Hall. Built in 1895 in the French Renaissance style, it was named in honor of Seattle pioneers Arthur A. and Mary Denny . It served as the core of the University for many years. After other structures were erected near Denny Hall with apparently little overall planning, the Board of Regents determined that a master plan was needed. Early plans, including a preliminary proposal by John C. Olmsted , stepson of renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, had little impact.
Instead, it was the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition that defined much of the campus' future layout. The exposition plan, also designed by John C. Olmsted, defined the University's major axis on the lower campus. Oriented to the southeast, it provides the University with its primary vista of Mount Rainier on clear days. Most of the University's science and engineering buildings line this axis.
After the exposition, the Board of Regents sought a master plan that would unite the newly developed lower campus with the original buildings of the upper campus including Denny Hall. Rejecting a further proposal from Olmsted, the regents instead turned to local architects Carl F. Gould and Charles H. Bebb . Their proposal was accepted, and came to be called the Regents' Plan. It specified a northeast-southwest axis on upper campus around which would be centered the University's liberal arts departments. This axis joins the lower campus axis laid down during the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition at an open space left behind after a large temporary structure built for the fair was torn down. This space was later paved with a distinctive red brick and has come to be known as Red Square.
Bebb and Gould's plan also called for all future construction to adhere to a Collegiate Gothic style. This style is best exemplified on the University campus by the early wings of Suzzallo Library, the University's central library.
New construction in the 1960s saw a deviation from the Collegiate Gothic style as specified in the Regents' Plan. Business facilities on the upper campus, science and engineering structures on lower campus, and a new wing of Suzzallo Library, were all built in a modernist style, as was a unique, glass-walled building housing an experimental nuclear reactor. The reactor opened in 1961; a small radiation leak in 1972 resulted only in a temporary shutdown, but security concerns eventually led to it being decommissioned. As of 2005 it is in the process of being dismantled. 
An apparent attempt to harmonize future development with the Regents' Plan can be seen in the University's most recent construction, including the final wing of the library and a new generation of science and engineering buildings.
Most of the streets and major walkways on campus are named after the state's counties. Major exceptions are Memorial Way, named in honor of members of the UW community who died in World War I, and George Washington Lane.
Academics and organization
The current president of the University of Washington is Dr. Mark A. Emmert . The former chancellor of Louisiana State University, Emmert took office as the University's 30th president on June 14, 2004.
- College of Architecture and Urban Planning
- College of Arts and Sciences
- Business School
- School of Dentistry
- College of Education
- College of Engineering
- College of Forest Resources
- The Graduate School
- Information School
- School of Law
- School of Medicine
- School of Nursing
- College of Ocean and Fishery Sciences
- School of Pharmacy
- Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs
- School of Public Health and Community Medicine
- School of Social Work
Athletics and traditions
UW students, sports teams, and alumni are called Huskies. The husky was selected as the school mascot by student committee in 1922. It replaced the "Sun Dodger," an abstract reference to the local weather that was quickly dropped in favor of something more tangible. The costumed "Harry the Husky" performs at sporting and special events, and a live Alaskan Malamute has traditionally led the UW football team onto the field at the start of games. The school colors of purple and gold were adopted in 1892 by student vote. The choice was purportedly inspired by the first stanza of Lord Byron's The Destruction of Sennacherib:
The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold;
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea,
And the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee.
The sports teams participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I-A and in the Pacific Ten Conference. Among their facilities are Husky Stadium (football) and the Bank of America Arena at Hec Ed Pavilion (basketball).
The University football team is traditionally competitive, having won eight Rose Bowl and one Orange Bowl title as of 2003. Washington also split the National Championship with Miami(FL) in the 1991 season. The Apple Cup against cross-state rivals Washington State University is perhaps the most important football game of the year to the UW community.
The student newspaper is The Daily of the University of Washington, usually referred to as simply The Daily.
Notable UW students and alumni
- Brock Adams
- The Brothers Four
- Linda B. Buck (2004 winner of the Nobel Prize)
- Dyan Cannon
- Dale Chihuly
- Beverly Cleary
- Chuck Close
- Imogen Cunningham
- Patrick Duffy
- David Eddings
- Tom Foley
- Kenny G
- William H. Gates, Sr.
- Dick Gordon
- Leslie Groves
- Ed Guthman
- Frank Herbert
- Gordon Hirabayashi
- George Hitchings
- David Horsey
- Henry M. Jackson
- Safeer Jiwan
- Richard Karn
- Kitty Kelley
- Hank Ketcham (creator of the US comic strip Dennis the Menace)
- Gary Kildall
- Bruce Lee
- Mike Luckovich
- Kyle MacLachlan
- Warren G. Magnuson
- Warren Moon
- Martin Rodbell
- Ann Rule
- Mohammad Sarhan
- Detlef Schrempf
- Waldo Semon
- Jean Smart
- Julia Sweeney
- Kim Thayil of Soundgarden
- Robb Weller of Entertainment Tonight
- Dawn Wells of Gilligan's Island
- Minoru Yamasaki
Notable current and former faculty
- Jon Bridgman
- Linda B. Buck
- Hans Georg Dehmelt
- John Gottman
- Charles R. Johnson
- Walter Johnson
- Abraham Kaplan
- Jacob Lawrence
- Michael Lerner
- Elizabeth Loftus
- Fred Lukoff
- Frederick Newmeyer
- Vernon Parrington
- Theodore Roethke
- Belding Scribner
- University of Washington Official Website
- Columns: Alumni magazine on line
- UW Library Digital Image Collections
- Official UW Athletics Website
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