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A history of UW logos – Which is your favorite?

University of Washington logos

For Huskies, the University of Washington means many things. To the majority of people outside the UW community, the school is an image—a purple block W.  

When people look at the logo, no matter where they are, they don’t just see the logo. They see their personal experiences with the university, and their impressions are based on media and other sources. They see the UW’s reputation.  

With its logo, mascot and color scheme, the UW has always tried to represent the students, the school and the ideals held here. The brand’s evolution has taken some unusual twists and turns but has endlessly inspired students and alumni alike. Let’s open the history books and look back at nearly a century of UW logos.  

First, some interesting notes:  

  • Until 1919, the UW did not have a mascot and used only the block W. But as other schools adopted mascots across the nation, Columns reported, student leaders realized that Washington needed an icon.
  • The nickname “Sun Dodgers” was used until the UW switched to Huskies in 1922. Wanting to move away from Sun Dodgers, university officials decided to go with Vikings but students immediately protested and the school settled on Huskies a few months later.
  • It wasn’t until 1984 that the UW agreed it needed a clear identity and moved to adopt a consistent logo and color scheme. Before that, more than 550 licensees were authorized to use either the block W or Husky logos, and the result was a mishmash of UW imagery.

    University of Washington logo 1919

    Sunny Boy statue at Husky Hall of Fame.

Our story begins with a drawing in the Sept. 1919 issue of the on-campus magazine, Sun Dodger, in which a staff artist depicted a fictional UW student named “Sunny Boy,” a smiling freshman wearing a huge bow tie and carrying an umbrella (right). Despite the initial protests of magazine staff, the name “Sun Dodgers” stuck with the local press and Sunny Boy grew in popularity. Eventually, students commissioned a 3-foot-tall wooden statue in his likeness and carried it to the away football games. See the video from the Husky Hall of Fame.

An article in the Washington Alumnus, which later became Columns magazine, noted the Husky is “a symbol of willingness, courage, endurance, strength and fight.” After settling on the new name, university officials were most excited to use a live dog as an on-the-field mascot, and felt the name Huskies “suggests the idea that Washington is the most northern American university on the Pacific Coast.” A nod to our neighbors to the north, eh?

Read more…

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The Homecoming vibe is part of our fabric as Huskies

Homecoming at the University of Washington is a wonderful time of year. Alumni of all ages return to campus—some for the first time in decades—to share a few stories and celebrate their connection to the UW.

The Class of 1960 celebrated its 50-year reunion on Friday, Oct. 15 and dedicated this iconic ‘W’ which greets people as they enter campus on Memorial Way. Here’s more about the Class of 1960 gift and you can check out the photo album from the 50-year reunion.

I’ve got awhile until my 1994 50-year reunion, but I had a memorable Homecoming weekend just as well. Prior to kickoff of the Huskies’ 35-34 double overtime victory over Oregon State, I conducted the Husky Marching Band to “Bow Down to Washington.” Then, UW Interim President Phyllis Wise and I presented a scholarship check to the Homecoming King and Queen.

And I finally met Dubs!

The band spelled out “UWAA” on the field (so cool!) and several past presidents of the UWAA returned to campus to be recognized on the field. It really was a fantastic weekend and another reminder of what the UW means to alumni. I hope you, too, had a great Homecoming. Go Huskies!

Colleen Fukui-Sketchley, ’94
President, UW Alumni Association

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Harry the Husky gets a stylin’ new makeover

Meet the new Harry. Same as the old Harry.

Well, not exactly.

Did you know there is a new Harry the Husky on campus? The UW’s most visible mascot (sorry Dubs) has retired and in his place steps a brand new Harry. The new guy is sleeker and far more ferocious. I just had to say that.

The torch has been passed and the transition is complete. Say hello to the University of Washington’s new Harry the Husky. I wonder what Dubs thinks…

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Dubs makes his television debut

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This has been online for a few weeks now but it’s so good you just have to see it. Dubs is the UW’s live mascot and he’s all grown up. Catch his stellar television debut in this commercial promoting Husky football Saturdays. I think it’s great that Dubs is out there like this. He’s one of the most popular figures on campus, after all.

For more Dubs, check out this behind-the-scenes video.

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Dubs is the 2010 NCAA Mascot Champion

Dubs, the UW’s live Husky mascot, is one of the University of Washington’s most popular figures. Need proof? The 1-year-old Alaskan Malamute won the 2010 NCAA Mascot Tournament, beating out Blitz II of the Wofford Terriers. Dubs was crowned champion after four rounds of fan voting.

Hosted by Petside.com, the NCAA Mascot Tournament paired 16 of the country’s best pet mascots. For more on Dubs, see his Facebook page or follow his very own blog, which is pretty cool and has tons of photos.

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