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VIDEO: Watch Bob Rondeau’s home radio call of Isaiah Thomas’ buzzer-beater

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First things first, how about those Huskies?!

Washington’s dramatic 77-75 win over Arizona in the Pac-10 Tournament title game sent the UW to the Big Dance. Star point guard Isaiah Thomas drained a game-winner at the buzzer that instantly goes down as one of the biggest shots in Husky history. Listen to legendary play-by-play man Bob Rondeau make the call in the video above.

On Friday, March 18, the Huskies will tip off against Georgia in the NCAA Tournament’s East Regional. We’re a No. 7 seed. Georgia’s a No. 10 seed. Both schools go by the nickname “Dawgs” … it’s going to be a, well, you know what kind of fight it will be.

If you’re not in Seattle, visit our viewing party page to see if there’s a gathering in your area. There’s nothing better than watching Husky hoops with friends wearing purple and gold. Go Dawgs!

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Remembering the first game at Husky Stadium in 1920

Cars surround Husky Stadium on the day of its opening in 1920.

As a six-year-old boy, Burr Odell cheered on the Husky football team in its first-ever game at Husky Stadium—a 28-7 loss to Dartmouth in 1920. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, as Odell went on to cheer for the Huskies for another 90 years until his passing in December 2010.

Odell’s family believes he could have been the last living person to attend the Dartmouth game in 1920. He followed the UW all his life and talked about that game right up to the end, they said. All told, Odell attended roughly 330 Husky football games, including six Rose Bowls in Pasadena.

Above, cars surround Husky Stadium on the day of its opening in 1920.

Odell and his father went to the Dartmouth game in support of the visitors, not the Huskies. Together, they walked across the temporary “pontoon” bridge that was later replaced by the Montlake Bridge, to the brand new Husky football stadium. It was familiar territory for Odell’s father, whose construction company had poured the concrete on the sides of the Montlake Cut a few years earlier.

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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?

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The Great Rose Bowl Hoax of 1961 – Fifty years later

Cal-Tech's Great Rose Bowl Hoax of 1961Fifty years ago, a group of pesky Cal-Tech students hijacked the University of Washington’s halftime “flip-card” stunt in a Rose Bowl prank for the ages.

The Los Angeles Times tells the story of Lyn Hardy, the ringleader behind one of the greatest college football stunts of all time. UW fans on one side of the stadium were given flip cards that were supposed to spell out “WASHINGTON” but instead read “CALTECH.” It’s a marvelous tale, and you can read the full story here.

Hardy, now 69, says he learned how the stunt worked from UW cheerleaders. Upon learning the Husky Marching Band and Cheer Squad were staying at Long Beach State dormitories, Hardy—a Cal-Tech junior at the time—posed as a reporter for the Dorsey High student newspaper and walked right in. When everyone left for dinner, Hardy and another of Cal-Tech’s legendary “Fiendish 14″ swiped a card-stunt instruction book and headed back to Pasadena, where they made some 2,400 copies.

Jack Briggs
, Washington’s 1961 student body president, said at the time that the prank was “not in the best of taste.” Fifty years later, though, it’s still a classic.

Of course, Washington beat top-ranked Minnesota that day 17-7.

Enjoy this week’s Dawg Treats:

  • UW alum Nick Handy is departing his post as Washington’s state elections director after leading widely praised reform efforts that have boosted voter turnout.
  • A study by UW researcher Daryl Haggard explores the future of the Milky Way’s central black hole.
  • UW students win $40,000 to help make water safe to drink.
  • Former UW President Mark Emmert, now the head of the NCAA, is profiled in this piece by the New York Times. The story focuses on overseeing integrity and the threat of income in college sports.

    Read more…

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Teen Feed provides for homeless youth in U District

As the holidays approach, charities are receiving considerable attention. But many of these organizations need year-round assistance. One such organization is Teen Feed, which provides dinner, medical, housing and job assistance, as well as counseling and a place to hang out, for the homeless youth of the University District.

Teen Feed began in 1986 when nurses at UW Medical Center noticed that many of the youth who came in were malnourished. From then on, Teen Feed has been in the U District working to help homeless youth. In 2009, volunteers served more than 11,000 meals and case managers assisted 60 homeless youth enter into stable housing.

Every night, Teed Feed serves between 40 and 70 homeless youth under the age of 25. On the first Friday of each month, a group of passionate volunteers from the UW forms a Meal Team and, together, they provide the menu and materials for dinner. They cook and serve it to the attendees, then clean up and send any leftover food to the Rising Out of the Shadows (ROOTS) Youth Shelter located in the basement of the nearby University Temple United Methodist Church.

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Columns archives: Honoring our veterans

A very special thank you to all of the men and women who have served our country with honors. Today is Veterans Day, and I am reminded of the poem “Freedom is not Free” by Ashley Persyn:

There is a price we pay for freedom
For it is not truly free
But rather paid for by the contributions of veterans
To buy our liberty.

The photo above is of Blake Miller. It is one of the most famous pictures from the Iraq War and was taken by 1982 UW alum Luis Sinco. Watch this video from the Los Angeles Times on what came to be known as the “The Marlboro Marine.”

I ran a quick search of UWalum.com for “veterans” and am excited to share a few stories from our Columns archives. Thank you, veterans.

  • Healing wounds, March 2008: A UW alum tells his tale from the Vietnam War. He served as a dentist with a mobile construction battalion attached to the 3rd Marine Division. He says, “My dental training did not necessarily prepare me for treating the wounded in a helicopter; but you did what you could and quickly learned.”
  • Pappy Boyington—Our Black Sheep Hero, Dec. 1998: There aren’t many UW alums who win the Medal of Honor, write a best-selling book and have Robert Conrad portray them in a TV series. But that’s World War II Fighter Pilot Gregory “Pappy” Boyington, a 1934 engineering graduate who shot down 28 enemy planes as a Marine pilot.
  • The Caretaker, Dec. 2009: Days after 24-year-old Army Lt. Robert Leisy wrote a letter home to his parents, he used his body to shield his fellow soldiers from a North Vietnamese grenade. They survived. Leisy did not. A look at the UW alum who made the ultimate sacrifice—in his own words.

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A morning in Hec Ed with President Obama

President Obama and Senator Murray. (Photo by Ron Wurzer)

It’s been nearly 50 years since a current U.S president has been to the University of Washington. Not since JFK visited in November of 1961 and delivered a centennial address for the University has a sitting president come to campus. No wonder, then, that President Barack Obama’s visit on a golden October morning drew such a crowd of, and a roar from, Seattleites and UW students. A whopping 10,000 people packed Hec Ed this morning, with another 3,000 spilling over into Husky Stadium next door.

And that was after he stopped at Top Pot Doughnuts, was handed a cup of coffee (according to Gov. Christine Gregoire), attended a small backyard discussion in northeast Seattle, met with the UW women’s volleyball and cross country teams, and ran out of the tunnel and into Husky Stadium cheering “Go Huskies!”

Truth is, as we all know, the President was in town to stump for Senator Patty Murray. And, he did it well. There were funny anecdotes—including one that had an imaginary Murray and the President pushing a car out of a mud-filled ditch (“It was a really deep ditch,” he said, “and it was really reckless driving”)—and the expected calls to vote. Of course, there also was the President’s signature ability to lead the crowd into chanting “Yes We Can” at every turn. Yes, he was stumping, playing the politician, attempting to drive votes for his team.

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Ours is the longest running street fair in the U.S.

U District StreetFair 2008

As we near the end of summer, here is an interesting piece of trivia about an event that marks the beginning.

For one weekend in May, the Ave fills with crafts booths, musicians, artists and lots of people. Just another street fair, you might think. But did you know the University District StreetFair is the longest running street festival in the nation?

The brainchild of Andy Shiga, a local merchant who owned Shiga’s Imports (still located right on the Ave just south of the University Book Store), the first StreetFair took place in 1970. It was intended as a celebratory olive branch between the merchants of the Ave and student activists. This was in the middle of the Vietnam War when campus demonstrations often spilled onto the Ave and police responded in force. Shiga, a business owner but also a committed peace activist, conceived of a festival of music and arts that would also help local businesses.

The Ave continued to change during the early 1970s, but the StreetFair continued to grow, now attracting more than 40,000 people each year.

Check out the collection of StreetFair posters over the years and get a feel for the variety of design. You can read a bit more about Andy Shiga on the Shiga Imports site or his obituary in The Seattle Times.

What are your memories of the U District StreetFair? Were you there for the first edition? We’d love to hear your stories.

Photo by IsJo. Used under Creative Commons license.

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