Blog Down to Washington UW Alumni Association Blog Down to Washington UW Woof!

Category Archives: Meet

Brewster Denny to Ring Denny Bell for Homecoming 2012

Brewster Denny in 2012

Brewster Denny ringing the Denny Bell in 2011

He’s done it every year for 51 years, and tomorrow he’ll do it again. To celebrate Homecoming, Professor Emeritus Brewster Denny, ’45, will ring the bell at Denny Hall at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.

The bell, one of the sole surviving remnants of the UW’s downtown campus, was cast in 1859 and is rung only once a year, for Homecoming. Brewster Denny gets around in a wheelchair now, so a rope is run down the narrow stairs from the belfry to where he and his family can reach it.

Read all about the Denny Bell in the Columns Magazine online archive.

Comments Off

Celebrating Norm Dicks, ’63, ’68

Congressman Norm Dicks, ’63, ’68

Congressman Norm Dicks, ’63, ’68, is being honored for his 44 years of public service at the Prosperity Partnership’s annual Fall Luncheon on November 5 at the Westin Seattle. Business, government and community leaders will join Boeing Commercial Airplane’s new President and CEO Ray Connor to honor Rep. Dicks, highly regarded as a champion of economic development in our local communities as well as an influential Member of Congress on defense and national security issues.

Comments Off

Crocodile Cafe Collection spotlights a slice of Seattle music history

John Vallier, head of distributed media, UW Libraries

John Vallier, head of distributed media, UW Libraries

There’s a computer tucked away in the UW’s media center on the third floor of Suzzallo. It doesn’t look like much, but the computer serves as a digital Rosetta Stone for one segment of Seattle’s storied music scene. On the computer is the UW’s Crocodile Café Collection, which contains five years’ worth of recordings – more than 4,000 tracks in all – made at the iconic Seattle venue. The list is daunting to scroll through – it totals more than 120 continuous days of live music – but there’s a good chance you’ll find a show from your favorite band – maybe even before they were your favorite band.

It’s hard to know where to begin. Do you start with performances by Seattle legends like Mudhoney or the Presidents of the United States of America? Do you seek out popular regional acts, like Death Cab for Cutie and Built to Spill? Do you jump straight to the buzz bands caught on the road to stardom, like Neko Case and Franz Ferdinand? Maybe you track down a hilarious karaoke performance that you gave as a junior in 2003.

No matter where you start, you have plenty of choice in sifting through the recordings, which have been archived at the UW since August 2009. Making your decisions more difficult, the Crocodile Café Collection has expanded over the past year to include more than 200 live videos shot during some of the club’s halcyon days.

The project got its start in 2002, when audio engineer Jim Anderson began recording the vast majority of the shows at the iconic venue, which closed for about 15 months in December 2007. Less than a year after the club’s closure, Anderson donated his collection – five years of high-quality soundboard recordings – to the UW.

It was unlike any donation John Vallier, the head of distributed media at the UW, had ever received. Unsure how to best share this piece of Seattle history, he remembers thinking, “There’s gotta be a way to make this work.” Copyright laws prevented UW from putting the entire collection online, but Vallier, along with Laurel Sercombe of the UW Ethnomusicology Archives, was determined to find a home on the UW campus for the recordings.

The expansive collection was donated to the UW Ethnomusicology Archives in spring 2009 and unveiled in the Suzzallo that summer. Available only on one computer in the media center, it showcases the range of talent, from an early band’s raw energy to the seasoned sounds of a maturing band. “You can tell when a band’s playing their first show and when they’re on the 100th show of the tour,” Vallier said.

Learn more about the project, view a complete roster of artist performances, and sample recordings by Harvey Danger – made up of UW alumni – at the Crocodile Café Collection website.

Are there any shows you’d like to relive? Let’s hear it in the comments!

Comments Off

The HUB gets more than just a face-lift

Hub Exterior

The HUB’s west facade remains, but big changes await within

Food court, bowling alley, ballrooms, meditation room, bank, bicycle repair shop—the UW’s Husky Union Building has always boasted amenities for students, and that hasn’t changed with the remodel, which has kept the HUB closed to students since the summer of 2010. Financed through a bond passed by a vote of the student body, and paid for through each student’s activity fee, the HUB remodel represents UW students coming together to make something beneficial to decades of future Dawgs.

HUB Atrium

The HUB’s new four-story atrium

The HUB’s lobby has been opened up, with the floors above being cut out to make an enormous, window-lined atrium, filled with natural light. There are plenty of nooks, tables and meeting rooms for students to use for study sessions, organizing meetings, or just to hang out. However, while a lot has changed in the new HUB, there are still many connections to the building’s past. The bowling alley remains, and a games room, featuring rows of pristine pool tables, has been expanded. The massive 1949 mural has been relocated, and now enjoys pride of place near the entrance.

Along with beautifying the HUB, the remodel will also unify the plumbing and HVAC systems of the three main sections of the building—previously only imperfectly coordinated—making the HUB more efficient and eco-friendly. The new climate control system piggybacks on the nearby power plant’s cooling system, drawing heat from the plant’s outgoing hot water, and cooling the air using the plant’s incoming chilled water. This helps reduce the building’s carbon emissions by 90 percent, saves money on heating and cooling costs, and has helped score the building a gold rating from LEED, the green energy certification organization.

HUB Mural

The historic HUB mural has been relocated, but remains a center of attention.

As well as a place for students to eat, play, study and hang out, the HUB also hosts the many registered student organizations (RSOs) that make campus life so vibrant, and the essential services students rely on. In the basement, a warren of offices provide space for the largest RSOs to organize (College Republicans and Student Democrats share an office, the Muslim and Buddhist student associations share another), and on the first floor there’s a resource center with everything RSOs need to make the signs, banners and newsletters that are a constant addition to campus decor.

The building is open to the public, though the finishing touches are still being put on many of the amenities. The HUB will host an opening bash for students on Sept. 22, and an Open House on Sept. 25 with games, giveaways, and all kinds of hoopla. All members of the UW community—students, faculty, staff, neighbors and friends—are invited to that, so why not drop by?


Comments Off

Members Thanked by UW President, Coach, Professor

Coach Sark at the Member Celebration

Coach Sark thanking members

President Michael Young, UW Football Coach Steve Sarkisian and popular UW Professor David Domke took the stage at the UW Alumni Association Member Celebration to thank UWAA members for their century-plus support of the University and higher ed.

Held in an enormous pavilion on Red Square, stuffed with art by UW students, three stages, a jazz combo, and buffet tables groaning under piles of delicious food, the UWAA Member Celebration hosted over 300 alumni and friends for an evening of music, conversation and fun.

Taking a break from the music (provided by a trio from the UW School of Music) President Young briefly traced the evolution of the UWAA from its earliest days in 1889—when there were 60 living UW alumni—to today’s 55,000-member community, united by a love of the University. He shared that the UW deans’ consensus that the mission of the UW was to “optimize human potential,” and his opinion that a strong University relies on a strong alumni association.

Coach Sarkisian took the stage next and shared his thoughts on the upcoming season at Century Link Field.

Read more…

1 Comment

Robots Dance, Restore Faith in Humanty

Who knew robots had hearts? That’s what we found out last Friday, Feb. 10, when hundreds of people, including some dressed as our metallic friends/future overlords descended on Red Square to brighten the day of a child.

11-year-old Alex told the Make-a-Wish Foundation he’d like to see robots in action helping humanity and even bringing about world peace, so the UW community leapt into action. Students choreographed a dance routine and spread the word on YouTube. Show up dressed like a robot, they said, and dance. And so this happened:

YouTube Preview Image

Read more…

1 Comment

Public Art at the UW: Department of Forensic Morphology Annex, by Cris Bruch

Department of Morphology Annex by Cris Bruch

Planted near the shrubbery at the north end of Parrington lawn, the Department of Forensic Morphology Annex presents the most basic of questions to the viewer: what the heck is that? The Annex resembles a cross between some alien creature dredged up from the squiddy depths and the silver-skinned antagonist from “Terminator 2.” Curvy like a root vegetable, but silver plated like a B-29, the Annex resembles nothing natural on this earth.

Read more…


The UW Celebrates its 150th

Cupcake Royale owner Jodi Hall

Cupcake Royale owner Jodi Hall shows off some of her W Day cupcakes

The UW Celebrated its 150th Anniversary with W Day last Friday, November 4th, commemorating the day that the UW opened its doors in 1861. On W Day, Huskies from around the world came together decked out in purple to celebrate the UW and all of its accomplishments. Here on campus alumni, students, faculty & staff celebrated on Red Square with 150th celebratory t-shirts, W Day cupcakes created by Cupcake Royale, a performance by the Husky Band, face painting and appearances by President Young, Coach Steve Sarkisian, Coach Lorenzo Romar and even Harry the Husky!

Take a look at the W Day slideshow which captured some fun photos from the day.

Blog Down to Washington is full of stories & conversations about the University of Washington community, curated by your friends at the UW Alumni Association.

Featured Posts:

  • No featured posts

What We're Talking About:

Weds on UWTV:

Follow UWAA:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS Feed