King County Council celebrates University of Washington’s 150th anniversary
November 1, 2011
By Warren Kagarise
NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 1, 2011
King County leaders, including many University of Washington alumni, celebrated the institution’s 150th anniversary Monday.
UW alumni County Executive Dow Constantine and Prosecutor Dan Satterberg joined County Council members to present a special recognition to UW President Michael Young. The elected leaders touted the UW as a top research institution in the United States and reminisced about the university.
“Over the past 150 years, the University of Washington and Washington state have worked together to create one of the most livable, innovative and vibrant areas of the nation,” Young said in a statement. “The UW has provided access to world-class education for generations of leaders, thinkers and doers, who have contributed to the state in countless ways.”
The recognition marks the 150th anniversary of the initial classes conducted at the nascent university on Nov. 4, 1861. The university opened on donated property at modern-day Fourth Avenue and University Street in downtown Seattle.
“The University of Washington is the center of higher education, academic research, and arts and culture for our region and our state,” Constantine said in a statement. “Check into any major local success story in business, in science and technology, or in the public sector, and you’re bound to find at least one Husky in the mix. As a three-time UW grad, I’m happy to join the celebration of 150 years of the University of Washington.”
Council President Larry Gossett, a UW alumnus, and Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, a UW alumna and Issaquah’s representative, highlighted the UW School of Law and the UW School of Medicine and Medical Center. The medical facilities rank among the top 17 in the country.
The nine-member council includes seven UW alumni:
- Reagan Dunn, law degree
- Bob Ferguson, former student body president
- Larry Gossett, Black Student Union founder
- Kathy Lambert, teaching certification and business education degree
- Joe McDermott, public administration degree
- Julia Patterson, English degree
- Larry Phillips, political science degree
The university serves more than 92,000 students each year. In addition the main campus in Seattle’s University District, the UW operates campuses in Bothell and Tacoma.
“In its 150 years of service, the University of Washington has played a pivotal role in the lives people throughout the region and throughout the world,” Gossett, recognized among the Wondrous 100 most influential UW graduates, said in a statement. “World-renowned for its leadership in the sciences, medicine, forestry and the arts, the UW also should be recognized for the opportunities it has provided for communities of color. I’m proud to have been the first head of the school’s Black Student Union and to be part of the creation of the university’s Office of Minority Affairs.”
Lambert, a former teacher, said the university adds to quality of life in King County and throughout the region.
“The longevity and prestige of the University of Washington are prime indicators of the importance of education to our citizens here in the Northwest,” she said in a statement. “Through research and innovation, the UW has built an unmatched reputation that attracts the best and brightest staff and students from all over the world. There are so many remarkable contributions of this institution to our economy, our culture, our quality of life and to the lives of the UW alumni.”