Washington Commons

Washington Commons is the University of Washington Alumni Association’s gift in thanks for the many years of support from alumni and friends of the university, and in anticipation of many more years to come. It is located in the UW Tower.

Washington Commons has a theme

Besides being a comfortable, beautiful space with top-notch presentation and entertainment facilities, the Commons offers a symbolic overview of the University of Washington and its mission. Celebrating the university’s motto, “Lux Sit,”—”Let there be Light”—the Commons is intended to celebrate the transformations the university makes possible, encompassing not only the institution’s rich history but also its future.

Design Features

The entry to the Washington Commons is reminiscent of the Rainier Vista on the UW campus. The dome light overhead represents the Drumheller fountain; scrollwork on the walls suggests the distinctive façade of the Suzzalo library. The vista culminates with a relief of Mount Rainier at the end of the hall.

In the lounge area, the theme of “Lux Sit” comes to life through contrasting light and dark woodwork and illuminated composite panels that glow with a soft golden light. The limestone flooring, imported from Tunisia, sets off the darkness of the walls and serves to brighten the space.


The décor of the Washington Commons was carefully selected to celebrate the university and its role in transforming those who interact with it. The table in the conference room was constructed from lumber salvaged from a red elm tree on campus that blew down in a windstorm. The timeline in the conference room is less a chronological history of the university than a celebration of the impact and importance of the university throughout its 150 years and beyond.


The Washington Commons is equipped with the latest presentation technology, including an 85″ plasma television with 7.1 digital surround sound and a computer-integrated lighting system, perfect for sports viewing events or formal presentations.