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

Category Archives: On Campus


Throwback Thursday–College Inn

Dark, cozy, and allegedly haunted, the College Inn has been providing reasonably-priced food, drinks and housing since the 1970s. The Tudor Revival-style hotel that houses the pub was built in anticipation of the crowds of sightseers descending on Seattle for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exhibition in 1909, and has seen an array of restaurants, confectioners and cafes occupy its ground floors.

Here’s the College Inn in 1928:

CollegeInnOld

And here it is today:

CollegeInnNew

It’s nice to see some things don’t change very much.

 

 

FacebookTwitterShare
Comments Off

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)

FacebookTwitterShare
Comments Off

On campus: UW students find their “Voice”

Two student groups hosted the Voice of UW, a talent competition, earlier this year.

Two student groups hosted the Voice of UW, a talent competition, earlier this year.

When the “The Voice of China” – a Chinese off-shoot of the popular NBC reality talent show “The Voice” – debuted in 2012, some UW students saw the chance to showcase the talent on campus. That led members of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association and Taiwanese Overseas Student Association to create the Voice of UW, a month-long singing competition that culminated in a final competition in Kane Hall earlier this year. It  was one of several student-run events the UWAA is sponsoring this year. “We’re proud of our sponsorship,” said UWAA Executive Director Paul Rucker, ’95, ’02. “It’s part of our ongoing commitment to enhancing the student experience.”

Sixty students initially signed up for the Voice of UW competition; following the format of the TV show, they performed Chinese pop songs before four judges whose backs were turned. Sixteen students were invited to take part in the second round, which consisted of duets. The top eight finishers then competed in the final competition, which took place on Feb. 16 before 600 students in Kane Hall.

Vera Tao, a member of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association and one of the event organizers, said the Voice of UW created a sense of camaraderie between the audience and singers. “It’s not just a singing competition,” she said. “It’s more like a performance.”

All eight participants received $50; other prizes included coupons to EnKore Karaoke and iPod Shuffles. The winner, Jingyi Fan, also won a set of headphones. More than the prizes, though, the Voice of UW gave students a chance to have fun and share their talent in front of peers, Tao said. “Some of them, it’s the first time in their life singing in front of a lot of people.”

FacebookTwitterShare
Comments Off

On campus: Nursing students take pulse of employment opportunities

About 80 nursing students attended the Nursing Career Fair to get the inside track on careers earlier this year.

About 80 nursing students attended the Nursing Career Fair to get the inside track on careers earlier this year.

For roughly 80 nursing students, January’s Nursing Career Fair wasn’t just about finding a job in tough economic times; it was a key step on the path to a post-college career.

The annual event, which took place on Jan. 26, 2013 at UW Seattle’s South Campus Center, brought together nearly a dozen regional recruiters and employers, including Kindred Hospital, the UW Medical Center, and Harborview Medical Center. The UWAA sponsored the career fair. “We were proud to be part of such an exciting event,” said UWAA Executive Director Paul Rucker, ’95, ’02. “It’s great to see so many students getting a jumpstart on their careers.”

Those 10 employers offered advice for those seeking positions or residencies, responded to concerns about the job search process, and gave insight on the day-to-day workings of a hospital. “They were very open to questions and to give advice, and that brought down the barriers,” said Alina Palanchuk, president of the UW Professional Organization of Nursing Students and one of the event organizers.

Palanchuk, who will graduate in June with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, came to the event with some trepidation. “I wasn’t sure how to start looking for jobs,” she admitted.

So she found it refreshing to talk with employers about finding a job in pediatrics. They explained what skills and attributes are important for pediatric nurses, and encouraged her to talk to a manager about her aspirations. The one-on-one connections gave Palanchuk confidence and hope for the post-college career search. “That’s what the focus is on, and that’s the biggest concern for nursing students,” she said.

FacebookTwitterShare
Comments Off

Capturing Grays Harbor history

This man, thought to be radio DJ Stan Spiegle, appears in the the newsreel footage that sheds a light on Grays Harbor County history.

This man, thought to be radio DJ Stan Spiegle, appears in the the newsreel footage that sheds a light on Grays Harbor County history.

We ran an article in the latest issue of Columns about a UW-produced documentary centering around newsreel footage that peeled back the curtain on life in 1920s Grays Harbor County.

“Grays Harbor Happenings” looks at life before the Great Depression in this bustling coastal town. The 45-minutes of film that inspired the documentary keeps the past alive on the Libraries Special Collections website, offering short clips of events big and small. Browse the collection for a few minutes, and you’ll see footage of a shipwreck, log-rolling contests, baseball games, an ice cream social, picnics and more.

The newsreel footage, originally shown before full-length feature films, depicts a sense of time and place that resonates nearly a century later, said Hannah Palin, film archives specialist with Libraries Special Collections. “You capture people, behavior, customs, and the environment, and it’s actually moving,” she said. “It helps our current experience if we can see how we were in the past.”

Each of the roughly 50 clips contains its own back story, and some of those stories are still being uncovered today.

Here are a few of the clips with unusual histories or notable stars, along with some background information, courtesy of Palin.

This unidentified man is thought to be local radio DJ Stan Spiegle

Palin believes that the stoic man on-screen from :24-:35 is Stan Spiegle, a  DJ with KXRO Radio in Grays Harbor County.

The radio station was owned at the time by Roy Olmstead, a famous Seattle-based bootlegger during Prohibition. Olmstead would play certain songs with the station’s radio broadcasts to signal boats that it was safe to smuggle bootlegged booze into Grays Harbor. “I don’t know how much Stan knew about this,” Palin admits. “There’s this funny tie with this little 20-second clip to a whole history of Prohibition.”

James M. Phillips, mayor of Aberdeen, address a crowd at what appears to be Grays Harbor County Fairgrounds

American Indian James M. Phillips moved from Pennsylvania to Aberdeen after college, where he launched an improbably successful political career. He began practicing law in 1907, was later elected mayor of Aberdeen, and went onto serve as a Superior Court Judge from 1929 to 1950. Phillips is thought to be the first American Indian to serve as a judge in the Washington state court system. “It obviously didn’t hinder his politics at all,” Palin said.

Mel Ingram and the Aberdeen Black Cats win the Timber League Pennant

Mel Ingram was a baseball player in the late 1920s with the Aberdeen Black Cats, part of the semi-professional Timber League. The team took its logo from a good luck charm posted at logging camps throughout the region, a nod to the town’s labor-friendly policies under Mayor James M. Phillips. Palin said that Ingram might have once shared the field with Babe Ruth when the legendary slugger played an exhibition game in Tacoma.

FacebookTwitterShare
Comments Off

Soulful singing transcends language barriers: Arts Dawg date night recap

Ana Moura dazzled the audience on Saturday. (Photo courtesy Isabel Pinto)

Ana Moura dazzled the audience on Saturday. (Photo courtesy Isabel Pinto)

One of my tasks as part of this series was to write honestly about the Arts Dawg experience as a date night idea. We in the UWAA naturally felt it would make a great date – Appetizers! Wine! The arts! – but my first two dates admitted that they wouldn’t have thought to attend dance productions or symphony performances on their own.

Thankfully, Ella Mae, my date on Saturday, couldn’t have been more excited to see Ana Moura.

We talked briefly about the Portuguese fado singer over coffee while escaping the Seattle rain and waiting for the pre-show reception. Ella Mae, also an occasional singer, had brushed up on Moura’s work beforehand and found herself entranced by Moura’s voice. “Smooth” became the descriptor of the night.

We shifted topics after a few minutes and spent much of the hour-long coffee date talking about travel. We shared our travel philosophies– “get lost” and “get off the beaten path” – talked about places we’d been – like the Philippines, New York, and New Orleans – and destinations we’d like to visit – basically “everywhere on Earth.”

We couldn’t go to Portugal on this night, so Moura brought a taste of the country to Seattle.

Moura is a young star in the storied fado scene, which started nearly 200 years ago as a genre similar to American blues music; it sprung out of poor and disenfranchised communities, and most song topics touched on loss, yearning, and heartbreak.

Those themes were evident on Saturday, as Moura performed one tear-jerking tune after another. She sung all but two songs in Portuguese, leaning heavily on her latest release “Desfado,” for the set’s material. Maybe Ella Mae and I were actually better off for not understanding Moura’s devastating lyrics; how awkward is it, after all, to spend a blind date listening to songs of failed romance, sorrow, and sadness?

Whether performing a folk-inspired number or traditional fado tune, Moura enchanted throughout her two-hour set. The Portuguese might have been lost on Ella Mae and I, but Moura’s voice – which could soar just as easily as it could crawl from note to melancholy note – kept us engaged throughout the night. Some feelings and emotions transcend language.

Two hours and one encore later, no one in the crowd was ready to call it a night. Nearly everyone stood and clapped along when Moura ditched the sorrowful tunes for more upbeat, fast-paced numbers. As Moura and her band took a bow and waved to the crowd, Ella Mae turned to me and shouted over the applause. “I loved that,” she said. “So smooth.”

FacebookTwitterShare
Comments Off

A night at the symphony: Arts Dawg date night recap

Ludovic Morlot will guest conduct the UW Symphony on Feb. 28 at Meany Hall.

Ludovic Morlot guest conducted the UW Symphony on Feb. 28 at Meany Hall.

I’m a relative newcomer to Seattle, having moved here seven months ago from a suburban outpost of Portland, Oregon. My earlier memories of the city consisted of little more than Seattle Mariners games, the fish throwers at Pike Place Market, and beignets at Toulouse Petit, so the city still feels like the world’s largest playground as I explore its diverse neighborhoods.

Luckily, Stacey, a lifelong Seattle resident and my date for the most recent Arts Dawg event, was a good sport about my infatuation. Our date started over coffee at Café Solstice on the Ave. I spent much of the hour peppering her with questions and observations about Seattle – so much so, I later asked if I was boring her with my nonstop chatter about the low-key nature of Eastlake and the fun bars in Ballard. “Not at all,” she said. “It’s fun to hear a fresh perspective from an outsider.”

After an hour of Seattle observations and get-to-know you conversation, we walked to Meany Hall for the University Symphony’s recital.

Going into the performance, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Stacey and I agreed that we respect the arts but admitted that we wouldn’t think to attend a symphony performance. My exposure to classical music has been mostly limited to old Looney Tunes cartoons, and Stacey had enough of symphonies after spending much of her childhood as a flautist. “It wouldn’t be at the top of my list,” she said.

The University Symphony led off with Un Sourire by Olivier Messiaen. The piece alternated between soft, string-driven sections that sounded like they could soundtrack a sunset and skittish sections keyed by fast-paced xylophones. It was a shrewd decision to open the set with such a gripping number; it grabbed our attention and kept us on edge throughout the piece. I liked the uneasy feeling that I didn’t know where it was going, but Stacey was more measured in her enthusiasm. “That was so jarring,” she said almost as soon as the final note finished.

The first piece following intermission – and my personal highlight of the evening – was Maurice Ravel’s Concerto for the Left Hand Alone, starring soloist Ching-Yueh Chen. The soloist dazzled as he played the piano with – you guessed it – only his left hand. I couldn’t stop staring as I wondered how he made such beautiful, intoxicating music … one-handed, no less. Going into the performance, I don’t know what I expected, but seeing a soloist earn a scattered standing ovation with only his left hand certainly wasn’t on the list.

A lesser writer would say that we, ahem, changed our tune afterward or that the performance struck a chord. But the truth is that I was transfixed. It’s one thing to hear classical music in the background of a big-budget action movie or an NFL highlight reel. But it’s another experience entirely to see more than 70 musicians working together, telling stories with the notes, and creating something positively grand. Even Stacey couldn’t help but agree once the performance concluded. “This was a lot of fun,” she said as we walked out of Meany Hall and into the rainy Seattle night.

FacebookTwitterShare
Comments Off

Teaching the art of storytelling, online and off

Florangela Davila (photo credit Conrado Tapado)

Florangela Davila (photo credit Conrado Tapado)

Part-time lecturer Florangela Davila spent nearly 20 years in journalism before coming to the UW, but she knows that most of her students won’t wind up as newspaper reporters. Instead, Davila’s students are more likely to express an interest in public relations, event planning, and nonprofit work.

But Davila argues that the art of storytelling knows no professional boundaries, and the importance of telling a good tale is at the heart of her courses, which have covered multimedia storytelling, diversity in reporting, writing for mass communication, and interviewing.

Davila, who teaches in the Department of Communication, brings storytelling experience in a variety of media to every class. She earned her Masters in Science in Journalism from Columbia University in 1992, covered a variety of beats for The Seattle Times between 1994 and 2008, and has freelanced for KPLU, KCTS, and NPR. “What I always stress is how the skills journalists practice – and have practiced – are very applicable to other industries,” she said. “You need to be able to write. You need to be able to fact-check and be credible. You need to know which sources to trust.”

Davila, mindful of the changing times, shows students how to use the latest technologies and trends to tell powerful stories. She encourages her multimedia storytelling students to shoot video, record audio, and take notes with their iPhones, for example. She also works with students to make new technologies like Twitter less overwhelming and more accessible. “I’ve been there, and I’ve done that,” she said. “I think I’m able to sympathize and empathize with my students.”

Davila hopes that her lessons transcend new technologies, though. She preaches the fundamentals of telling a good story – “What is a story? Whose story are you going to tell? What are the facts?” she asks her students – and trains them to keep an open mind as new tools become available. “There’s always technology,” she said. “There are other ways to tell stories.”

But that storytelling acumen won’t come without experience, she said. Wanna-be writers should start a blog, and amateur filmmakers should make videos whenever possible, Davila recommends. Even flyers for campus events or club newsletters demonstrate experience and skill to would-be employers. “There’s nothing stopping you,” she tells students. “You should be creating.”

FacebookTwitterShare
Comments Off
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