The vignettes in Showcase, like those in the earlier Pathbreakers, illustrate a dynamic interplay between the UW's educational and research missions. Across the campuses of the University of Washington, faculty are actively engaged in pushing back the frontiers of knowledge. They continually renew the curriculum by bringing new knowledge and the excitement of discovery to their classrooms, studios, labs, and personal interactions with students. Teaching, in turn, refreshes and revitalizes faculty members' creative energies, which is eloquently expressed in this volume by Native American artist Marvin Oliver and architecture professor Marietta Millet.
Scholarship and invention by UW faculty members in the arts, humanities, and professional schools also invigorate the life of the community. Cities and towns throughout the region are beneficiaries of work by acclaimed UW artists, architects, landscape architects, and planners. For example, the popular Gas Works Park on Lake Union in Seattle was designed by UW landscape architecture professor Richard Haag. Works of painting and sculpture grace public spaces and private institutions throughout the Northwest, the nation, and, indeed, the world.
The Washington State legislative internship program was initiated by UW professor Hugh Bone in the 1950s as a way to teach University students about the practical side of political science. Today, forty years later, the program is thriving. Students from colleges and universities across the state experience the political process first-hand. Serving as staff assistants to legislators in Olympia, they provide a valuable public service while enriching their education.
The successes described in these volumes are the work of tenacious and dedicated faculty members supported by wise leaders. I would particularly like to acknowledge the contributions made by George Beckmann, who served as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (1968-1977) and Provost (1978-1987) during periods of great fiscal challenge. In 1970, a budget reduction of 10% was imposed on the University when the severe recession eroded state revenues; again in the early 1980's, the UW was faced with deep cuts in the state budget. In both instances, Dr. Beckmann exercised remarkable judgment in reallocating budgets so as to preserve the essential character of the University and to avoid a collapse of institutional morale. Under his leadership, the strength and quality of key programs continued to grow, and the contributions to the life of scholarship expanded. He created the momentum for the expansion of the Library which resulted in construction of the Allen Wing, and he championed the idea that the UW must increasingly expand linkages and exchanges with academic institutions around the world.
A goal of UW Showcase, along with its companion volume, Pathbreakers, is to share with the community some of the benefits of investing in higher education. We hope readers will enjoy this sampler of UW showcase achievements of the 20th century.
Lee L. Huntsman