Executive Director: Paul Rucker
The University of Washington Alumni Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation founded in 1889. Throughout its history, the UWAA has existed to support the UW and higher education in the state of Washington.
UWAA in the 21st Century
UWAA is the public face of Advancement’s Alumni and Constituent Relations. Under the brand of the UWAA, ACR provides broadbased engagement opportunities for alumni and friends. The UWAA is also a membership organization: through the UWAA membership program, UW has access to a community of 50,000 of the most engaged alumni and friends—in the words of our president, “those who have made the conscious choice to stand with the University and make a difference.”
Through UW Impact, UWAA leverages its status as an independent non-profit. Using non-state resources, UW Impact helps alumni and friends of UW engage in legislative advocacy efforts at the state level.
From its start in 1889, when UW had 60 living alumni, UWAA’s membership has grown to more than 50,000, making it one of the largest alumni associations in the nation. Other highlights in the history of UWAA include:
- 1908: the first issue of The Washington Alumnus is published
- 1936: long-serving R. Bronsdon “Curly” Harris begins his leadership of UWAA, launching many new initiatives and going off salary every year in order to lobby in Olympia
- 1966: the UW Alumni Fund is started, launching UW’s first private philanthropic efforts
- 1975: UW Alumni Tours program begins
- 1989: The Washington Alumnus is relaunched as Columns Magazine
- 2011: UWAA moves into its new home in UW Tower: the Washington Commons