UW News

September 1, 2011

Sesquicentennial celebration of UW begins

News and Information

The banners are in place, the cake is in the oven. Let the celebration of the UWs 150th anniversary begin!

This year marks a century and a half since the UW opened its doors in downtown Seattle as the Territorial University of Washington. A media event will be held Sept. 13 at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, site of the first campus.

That event will feature dignitaries, including Gov. Chris Gregoire and Seattle Mayor Michael McGinn, along with community leaders and friends of the university.

The UWs history and accomplishments will be celebrated on a new website, www.uw.edu/150, which is intended not just to commemorate significant events in the universitys history, but also as a place for individuals to record important events in their life that involved their connection to the UW.

The 2011-12 school year also marks the 150th anniversary of the College of Arts and Sciences, as well as the 100th anniversary of the Information School, which are planning their own special activities.

Although additional events are still being discussed, the current schedule for the year includes:

W Day, Nov. 4

  • Huskies all around the world will be encouraged to drape themselves in purple and raise a toast to celebrate the actual day that the UW opened its doors in 1861. As part of the celebration, some Seattle-area businesses will offer discounts to anyone wearing purple. KJR 950 AM will broadcast live from campus, Husky athletes will pass out purple T-shirts on campus, and various Seattle icons will turn purple for the day. The UWs Facebook page will be awash in purple with UW faculty, staff and alums posting memories and good wishes.

Husky Fest, April 19-21, 2012

  • A three-day campus-wide festival will showcase some of the amazing things going on at the UW. At the core of Husky Fest will be a large tented pavilion on Red Square with daytime and evening programs.  Weekday activities include: live & recorded music, live radio broadcasts, performances, 150th themed exhibits, academic showcases and sponsor displays.  Open houses, athletic and academic displays and activities, guided tours and information centers will be located throughout campus.  Wednesday through Friday evenings will feature free campus concerts, as well as individual events sponsored by various campus units. Husky Fest culminates on Saturday with a full campus-wide festival.

College of Arts and Sciences Timeless Awards, May 4, 2012

  • An awards dinner at the Four Seasons Hotel will honor the accomplishments of distinguished living alumni as well as graduating seniors from the college.

    Corporate sponsors of the 150th anniversary celebration include Microsoft and T-Mobile. The Fairmont Olympic is a sponsor of the Sept. 13 event.