UWAA History

1889: UW Alumni Association is founded


Edmond Meany, back row, with Latin students.

Amid the bustle of Washington’s impending statehood, a small group of UW alumni united to support the UW and stay connected to campus and each other. While the University was on fairly stable footing by this point, its tenuous early days—when it had to close multiple times for lack of funds, or lack of students—were well remembered. Making sure the UW’s interests were well represented, whether in the Legislature, on the Board of Regents, or in the wider community, was part of the UWAA mission from the beginning. It would not be long before alumni began to make their presence felt.

Founding UWAA member Edmond Meany was one of the first—and one of the most effective—advocates for the UW. Whether it was shepherding the University’s move away from the temptations of Seattle’s burgeoning commercial district to its permanent home or leading the charge to bring a World’s Fair to campus, Meany’s influence would be pivotal in securing the UW’s future.