About Us

Meet the UW Alumni Association

Your relationship with the UW doesn’t end when you leave campus — once you’re a Husky, you’re a Husky for life. That’s one of the guiding principles of the UW Alumni Association (UWAA), an organization with a history almost as long and storied as the UW itself.

Founded in 1889 by members like Edmond Meany, the UWAA played a role in moving the University’s home away from Seattle’s downtown commercial district and bringing the World’s Fair to campus. Today the organization serves a simple but powerful mission: supporting the UW and higher education in Washington state.

Now, more than 125 years after its inception, the UWAA is as strong as ever, reaching over 400,000 alumni and stewarding 55,000 dues-paying members. Although the UWAA is a member-based organization, its focus is broad-based engagement and services for all UW alumni. For many alumni, the UWAA is their first link to the UW after graduation — the first rung on the ladder of an ongoing and deep relationship with their alma mater.

What we do

The UWAA’s mission of supporting the UW and higher education translates into a range of activities and programs:

  • Events that capture the Husky spirit, from football rallies to reunions to fun runs
  • A membership program that nurtures our core group of engaged alumni and friends
  • Resources that foster a community of lifelong learners including our alumni magazine Columns, public lectures and our travel program
  • Services supporting current UW students with scholarships, career exploration activities and programs connecting students with alumni
  • UW Impact, our advocacy program that enables alumni to speak out in support of higher education in the halls of the State Legislature

The UWAA is also honored to recognize outstanding examples of alumni accomplishment and service through the Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus, Distinguished Alumni Veteran and Distinguished Service Awards.

UWAA Administration and Board of Trustees

Headshot: UWAA Executive Director Paul Rucker

UWAA Executive Director Paul Rucker

Paul Rucker, the Executive Director of the UWAA, manages a staff of 46 who carry out the UWAA’s programs and services. The UWAA’s office is located at Washington Commons in UW Tower (4333 Brooklyn Ave. NE), just blocks from UW’s Seattle campus. To get to Washington Commons, enter the courtyard behind the main Tower lobby. You will see the entrance to the Commons on your left, to the right of the big “W” on the south wall.

The UWAA Board of Trustees is responsible for managing UWAA affairs, setting the tone and direction for the association. A minimum of 15 voting Trustees serve on a volunteer basis and are elected for a designated term. Board Officers serve on the executive committee, which is the policy-making body for the association. There are currently 25 trustees and five non-voting ex-officio members. Aggie Clark, ’86, ’99, currently serves as Board President, for a term running from August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020. Learn more about the UWAA Board of Trustees.

What our members have to say

Every month, we conduct a survey of UWAA members. When asked “In your own words, why are you a member?” here is what a few people had to say.

  • I’m a teacher, so not really able to give back to the UW in a big way financially. I like to think that my membership does help current students in a way that I would not be able to do on my own. My membership, with access to information about UW and library access, also helps me better prepare the next generation of Huskies.
  • Because it makes me feel part of a time and place in my life, and part of a today that includes that space and time. Like when today, someone recognized the W on my shirt and said, “University of Washington!” An immediate recognition and sharing of past and where we had gone. There is an immediate bond.
  • Because you never forget your first real love. I spent my first two college years at UW. I lettered in swimming and was initiated into the Big W club, was affiliated with a fraternity, and was really caught up with all things UW. I left to get married and finally earned a BS from OSU and an MS from Portland State U. I can walk on those campuses and remember some good times, but I really feel more “at home” strolling around UW. It’s more like home to me.
  • I am thankful for having had the opportunity to attend college on one of the most beautiful campuses anywhere, with a diverse faculty and student body in a great city.
  • I received an incredible education at the UW. I view being an alumni as a continuing part of lifelong learning. I also hope that I can give back to the UW through the UWAA.
  • Proud to bleed purple and gold for life! UW has given me so much.