Happy New Year to our alumni and friends! Winter quarter is underway and it is a great time to share another edition of OMA&D eNews with you. We celebrated some significant milestones in the fall and have some exciting events to look forward to in 2014.
In his annual address to the university community on October 17, UW President Michael K. Young spoke about the four foundations, or columns, upon which the university should stand. The first column he addressed was accessibility. “We don’t have the luxury to leave anyone out,” he said. “We must continue to increase accessibility to all students, regardless of their type, their background, their circumstances, their ability to pay, their location, or any other barriers they face.”
This column of accessibility is a significant driving force behind the work that we do in OMA&D, and we continue to collaborate with units across campus, as well as several community-based organizations, to create college pathways for students from all backgrounds. These efforts continue to pay dividends. For example, over 40 percent of this year’s UW Seattle freshman class is comprised of students of color which is an all-time high. We are proud of the strides that we are making, but know there is still more to be done.
Not long after President Young’s address, we celebrated a momentous occasion with the groundbreaking ceremony for wǝɫǝbʔaltxʷ, a Native American longhouse-style facility that will be built on campus. Several hundred people, including leaders and elders representing over 50 tribes, joined us to commemorate this milestone. The first phase of the project, that includes the Community Gathering Building and the outdoor space, is expected to be complete in 2015. The UW is currently accepting donations for project’s second phase, a Teaching and Learning space. For more information on how you can help, visit the UW Foundation web site.
The UW Minority Community Advisory Committee, which advises President Young on diversity-related matters, released its 2013 Annual Report. Also now available online is the latest edition of the OMA&D Fact Sheet. I invite you to take a look these publications which are hyperlinked above.
Coming up on Jan. 20 is the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Each year, OMA&D staff, students and alumni join both the campus and nation-wide efforts to honor the legacy of Dr. King by engaging in a day of community service. This year’s kick-off event will be held at the Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center at 8 a.m. From there, participants will depart as a group to attend Seattle’s MLK Day March from Garfield High School to Westlake Park. We hope you will join us for this event.
Be sure to save the date for May 22, when OMA&D and the Friends of the Educational Opportunity Program host the 44nd annual Celebration, Féte and Honors at the Husky Union Building. At Celebration we honor the excellence of EOP students and the recipient of the Charles E. Odegaard Award, and raise funds for student scholarships. We look forward to seeing many of you there.
This past fall we mourned the passing of former OMA&D colleagues Bill Baker, ’60, ’73, and Roy Pleasant, ’71. Bill and Roy were among the department’s first pioneers and great champions of diversity at the UW. Bill served in various leadership roles within OMA&D for over 30 years. He was known as having a strong ability to help students find resources to complete their degrees and played an integral role in Celebration. Roy’s time with OMA&D was just two years, but his impact on the students he served was long-lasting. He went on to have a successful 20-year career with the Washington State Employment Security Department and touched many lives through his advocacy work. In December we also lost Fred Cordova, former UW public information officer who was a great advocate for economic justice and racial equality in Seattle’s Filipino community. We continue to hold Bill, Roy and Fred in our thoughts.
I invite you to visit OMA&D eNews to learn more about the highlights occurring here on campus and in the community. We continue to be grateful for the generosity of you, our alumni and friends, who make it possible for OMA&D to provide educational opportunity and access for students. We always enjoy hearing from you so be sure to fill out the OMA&D Alumni Connect Form to share what is happening in your world.
Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2014.
Sheila Edwards Lange
Vice President for Minority Affairs
Vice Provost for Diversity