Celebrating community

UWAA gives back to members

The UW Alumni Association is a membership organization with more than 60,000 dedicated alumni and friends representing the purple and gold heart of the UW community. Member dues support UWAA original programming and events – from supporting students, to advocating for higher education, to keeping Huskies connected all over the world.

After a challenging year, the UWAA membership team wanted to demonstrate their gratitude for member loyalty, and the concept of a pandemic-friendly Membership Appreciation Week took root. Held Feb. 15-21, 2021, this week-long celebration included a mix of limited online offers, exclusive giveaways and curbside pop-ups designed to create a sense of community.

Member poses in front of UWAA pop-up, holding 2 give-away items.

UWAA member, Jeff, ’20, receives two give-aways at the Off the Rez pop-up.

Local Pop Ups

With our GOLD (Graduates of the Last Decade) members in mind, the team curated a diverse roster of local eateries to host two hour pop-ups in line with current COVID-19 precautions. The UWAA picked up the tab, set up a tent outside venues to distribute member gifts and worked with the restaurants to promote their businesses — all of them small, many of them alumni owned, and each uniquely situated in neighborhoods our members call home. (A full list of participating venues is included in the slide show below.)

The response from both members and venders was positive. As Chera Amlag, ’02, owner of Hood Famous Café & Bar confided, “what a thoughtful way to appreciate UW alumni, while supporting local small businesses as well.” That sentiment was echoed by UWAA life member Auriza Ugalino, ’14: “My lifetime membership got me some goodies in the [Chinatown-International District] today! … Glad y’all partnered with one of my favorite business!!!”

Fun size Airy inflatable

Fun size Airy inflatable

Fun with Airy

Following his debut in 2017, the Alumni Association’s larger-than-life inflatable mascot Airy soon became a fixture at campus events providing the perfect selfie backdrop. With in-person events on pause, we wanted our members to have a little of Airy’s steadfast good cheer in their own homes.

Members were encouraged to opt-in to receive their own fun-size inflatable Airy — perfect for the home office, deck or Dawg den. Folded flat for easy shipping, Airy inflates to a generous 18-inch replica of the real deal. To date, nearly 900 members have signed up.

Local GOLD alumni who joined us at pop-up locations were able to claim a table-top bobblehead for their own. Both items were enthusiastically received, and we can’t wait to see them make their appearances in Zoom screen backgrounds nationwide.

Interested in learning more? Contact Yolanda Eng, Associate Director of Membership at ypeng07@uw.edu.

Hello, cupcake

Members enjoyed a tasty treat from this Tacoma bakery.

Good Brewing Co.

UWAA members stopped by for a brew at this Bothell-area taproom.

Hood Famous Café and Bar

Purple ube mini-cheesecakes delighted members in Seattle's Chinatown-International District


Putting Airy the Husky on a macaron makes it taste better. It's a fact!

Off the Rez

Free sweet frybreads greeted members at the Burke Museum location of Seattle's first Native food truck.

Puget Sound Pop-ups

Many thanks to our Member Appreciation Week partners!