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Throwback Thursday: The Quad

We here in the UW Alumni Association are hopping aboard the “Throwback Thursday” bandwagon by sharing photos from the University of Washington’s storied history. We could think of no better way to launch this series on our blog than with photos of the Quad and those beautiful cherry blossoms.

The Yoshino cherry trees, which blossom for a week or two every March, symbolize the end of winter, the onset of spring, and countless photo opportunities in the Quad. But it wasn’t always that way.

Here, for example, was the Quad in 1942. Notice anything missing?

The Quad (circa 1942)

The Quad (circa 1942)

Until the early 1960s, the Quad was an open, treeless yard that bore little resemblance to the iconic gathering space of today. The brick paths were almost replaced with asphalt in 1963, but the plan was abandoned in the wake of pressure from student groups.

The Quad as we know it today first took shape in 1964, when UW President Charles Odegaard arranged for the 31 cherry trees to be transplanted from the arboretum to keep them from being bulldozed as part of the State Route 520 construction project. They found a home in the Quad because there was nowhere else to put them, but the trees quickly became a cherished part of campus lore.

Yoshino cherry trees live for 60-100 years; as they grow old and die, the trees are replaced with younger trees grown at a nursery near Mount Vernon.

Walk through the Quad this week or next — when the blossoms are near full bloom — and you’ll see a stunning display of pink clouds delicate petals. But don’t take our word for it; see for yourself in this photo, which was taken in 2013 near the location of the photo above:

The Quad in 2013 (Photo by Greg Flanders)

The Quad in 2013 (Photo by Greg Flanders)

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Turkey travelers delight in trip with UW Alumni Tours

After every one of our UW Alumni Tours, we survey travelers and include a final question asking them “why” they travel with us. On occasion, the perfect quote reaffirms our own answers as to why we think UW alumni and friends choose our program over the multitude of travel options available today. 

I’d like to share with you a quote that came in today from a traveler just returning from our Turkey trip: 

Why Do You Travel with UW Alumni Tours?

It is simple: UW continues to attract us with affordable, interesting tours with extremely competent travel guides.  In fact, we rarely feel like we are “on a tour,” but being shown a country by a friend. We can ask anything, learn while doing, and feel like the guide really likes us too! What a combination! Travel with a personal touch, and all the difficulties of logistics taken care of….it’s a no brainer. 

And, here’s what she had to say about the travel group:

We were blessed with a wonderful diverse group of companions, any of which we would be happy to see on future trips!

This comes in from Connie Kinyon and Steve Torgesen, both graduates of the UW and regulars of our travel program. Connie has been on four trips and Steve three. Happy Halloween!


Pauline Ranieri
Director, UW Alumni Tours

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Travel: How to get a good airline seat

From the UW Alumni Tours Blog:

Have you ever found yourself uncomfortable, tired and to make matters worse, stuck in the middle seat on an airplane?

Did you think, “How can I avoid this the next time I fly?” There is that magical 24-hour window before your flight departs, where many seats open up if you check in online. With a click of your mouse, you can change your original seat to one that was not available when you booked your trip.

I found a great article in the Seattle Times that gives us ‘coach’ travelers tips to secure the ‘best’ seat. Happy hunting!

Just another helpful tip from UW Alumni Tours. We know how to travel. Check out our full list of upcoming tours.

Photo by Getty Images.

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