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Category Archives: Columns


10 things you didn’t know about UW history (Part 1)

Next month, the UW Alumni Association will debut an interactive timeline that puts your story next to 149 years of UW history. Disposable diapers, Baskin-Robbins and MySpace were all created by UW grads, but your piece of the story is just as important as theirs.

After all, what’s a world-class university without its alumni and friends.

That said, let’s take a trip down memory lane. From the Sept. 2004 issue of Columns, here are five things you probably didn’t know about UW history. We’ll recap the other five next week.

10) Down and dirty
Unofficially dubbed the “World’s First Trash-In,” Feb. 26, 1970 was a memorable day on the UW campus. Students were invited to bring trash from home as well as from the surrounding U District to special bins in front of the HUB. The items were to be separated into different categories (paper, plastic, glass and metal) and returned to the original producers with the request that they be reprocessed. The ”trash-in” emphasized the excess of American life and helped boost Seattle’s recycling revolution.

9) UW Vikings
Washington’s athletic teams were nicknamed the Vikings for a short time in 1922. That came about when students wanted to dump the unpopular moniker Sun Dodgers but couldn’t come up with anything else. So, during semester break in December 1921, officials decided to go with Vikings. When the students returned to campus, however, they immediately protested the name change and the UW became the Huskies a few months later.

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Columns Extra: Jake Locker interview

In June, I interviewed Washington quarterback Jake Locker for Columns magazine. Being the cover story, I wanted to do something different as many of the stories written about Jake this summer have been similar—he passed on the NFL Draft and is back at the UW for his senior season.

I felt Columns, as the University of Washington’s alumni magazine, should do a story that in five years is still a good read. So I wrote about Jake’s charity work. His enthusiasm for working with hospitalized children is inspiring, and it was clear during our interview that he was happy to talk about the work he does off the field.

Don’t miss the full story when Columns drops the first week of September. In the meantime, here are a few extras exclusive to Blog Down to Washington:

When did you first get involved in helping sick children?
Growing up in the family and the community I did in Ferndale, you looked out for other people. It was very community-based. When families needed help, you helped them. I think that was instilled in us from a very young age.

Are the children you get to know a big influence on you?
I’ve always said that I learn more from them than they learn from me. The way they look at it, the way they approach it, they’re always so strong. It’s not going to beat them, and they don’t feel sorry for themselves. To me, that’s amazing. Even if it’s a 6-year-old kid it’s like, hey, this is what I’m dealing with and I’m going to make the most of it and enjoy my life. It’s helped to shape who I am and how I live my life. If they can do it, why can’t I? What’s holding me back from really truly enjoying life every day if they’re able to do it in the situations they’re in? That’s the satisfaction I get out of it.

Has your outlook on football changed because of these experiences?
I’m as competitive a person as you can find. I love playing football and I’ll do it as long as I can. But I do understand there’s a lot more important things in life. At the end of the day, it’s just a game and that’s how you should treat it. You should have fun with it, you should enjoy it, do everything you can to win the game. But also understand that if you lose it’s not the end of the world. Life goes on. There’s other things you need to deal with and will be faced with. Those are the times when the lessons they have taught me really come back.

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We’re giving away free UW license plates to new grads

When I was a UW senior, I was ready to go. But that doesn’t mean I wanted to cut my ties to the University. On the contrary, I was looking for ways to stay connected. That’s why I joined the UW Alumni Association straight out of school. I spent three years down South, and I couldn’t even watch the Huskies being in SEC country and all. But my UWAA connection helped me stay close to campus.

Well, the UWAA is taking it to a new level this year. Special for the Class of 2010 is an offer for free UW license plates. That’s nearly a $50 value and will put more of those stylin’ UW plates on the road. Pictured here with his UW plates is Eddie Pasatiempo, UWAA President and proud graduate from the Class of 1977.

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Columns – Hot off the presses!

The June 2010 issue of Columns magazine is on its way, and we are proud to announce Bruce Nordstrom as the Alumnus Summa Laude Dignatus, the highest honor bestowed on any graduate by the University of Washington. Keep reading for an except from Bruce’s excellent profile.

Also in this issue, meet the UW’s Distinguished Teaching Award winners, hang on every word as I recount the story of future Afghan lawyers who survive a suicide bomber, and be amazed by the UW team that’s bringing smart phone technology to the health-care crises of developing countries.

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Alumni Vote: Your favorite HUB memories

From the March issue of Columns magazine comes the latest Alumni Vote. Here are some highlights from your wonderful responses. Above is a rendering of the new HUB, scheduled to open in 2012.

The Husky Union Building (HUB) will close its doors July 1 to begin a two-year renovation. What’s your favorite HUB memory?

“I saw a sneak preview of American Pie with hundreds of other students in a sold-out show at the HUB movie theater. I must have missed half the lines in the movie because everyone was laughing so hard. It remains one of my best moviegoing experiences ever.”

“Coffee dates at the HUB—one of them became by husband!”

“The year was 1963—November. I had just stepped into the quad from a class when a man shouted ‘President Kennedy’s been shot.’ I immediately turned around to head for the HUB. Not many had heard the news so I hurried in and went downstairs to get a good place in front of the TV. I got there just in time to hear Walter Cronkite announce President Kennedy’s death. Of course, we students were very upset and classes were cancelled the next day.”

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