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Budget woes all the talk in UW community right now

Cherry blossoms on the UW campus
The state legislative session is in full swing and there has been lots of coverage recently about the University of Washington’s budget woes.

On April 3, the Seattle Times reported budget cuts have forced UW officials to admit more out-of-state students this year, thus decreasing the number of in-state applicants who were accepted. The story, titled “Straight-A’s may not get you into the UW this year,” has generated an astonishing 700-plus comments on the Times website.

UW gives us what we asked for is today’s headline from columnist Danny Westneat, who argues the budget situation at UW is exactly what the state asked for when it demanded the UW do “more with less.” Westneat says declining state support strong-arms the UW into operating more like a business.

It’s clearly a critical time for all of us who love the UW. More information can be found on the new UW In Your Community map, and alumni can read UW Alumni Association President Colleen Fukui-Sketchley’s letter to members in the March issue of Columns.

Now, the happy return of Dawg Treats:

  • UW Lecturer Ali Tarhouni was named finance minister of the shadow government in Libya. In a March 16 interview with Voice of America, the former Foster School of Business senior lecturer said, “There’s no fear of Gadhafi and his forces. We know he’s gone. … The question is how many innocent lives he’s going to take with him.” Read more about Tarhouni from the Seattle Times.
  • Sadly, a 20-year-old UW sophomore was killed during an avalanche while snowboarding near Stevens Pass. A candlelight vigil was held for Riley McCarthy on the UW campus March 31.
  • Former Husky quarterback Jake Locker impressed NFL scouts at Washington’s Pro Day at Dempsey Indoor.
  • UWTV recently debuted two new shows that feature independent film making and contemporary performances from the UW’s Chamber Dance Company. UWTV also won three prestigious Telly Awards!
  • UW alum Joe Sutter, the famed chief engineer of the original Boeing 747, had his initials carved into the 747-8 that made its maiden flight March 20.

    Read more…

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Husky football in the Heart of Dixie

Jake Locker at the Senior Bowl.
Jake Locker and Mason Foster are in Mobile, Ala., this week for the Senior Bowl, a prestigious college football all-star game held in the Heart of Dixie (that’s Alabama) since 1951.

I used to live in Mobile and covered high school and college sports for the newspaper there, the Press-Register. I took the job straight out of college and spent three years living on the Gulf of Mexico in the Deep South, where football is king by a mile. I covered three Senior Bowls and met lots of future stars, including Seahawks quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, who was just out of Clemson at the time.

With our players in Mobile for the week, it reminded me of my favorite Husky football moment from down South. Here is a column I wrote for the paper in 2006 about the best day I ever wore purple:

In three years as a Baldwin County sports reporter, there’s only one story I regret not putting on paper. 

It’s the story of a Washington Husky all alone in the Heart of Dixie. It’s the tale of two heated rivals sharing Jell-O shots in a foreign land, all the while talking enough trash to fill a Rocky Top-sized garbage can.

Auburn-Washington State. Yes, the Cougars were coming to town.

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Husky Holiday Bowl Blog – Dawgs win 19-7!


Live from sunny San Diego, it’s the Husky Holiday Bowl show!

Well, at least it feels that way. Washington just scored a 19-7 victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers and I have to admit… this is awesome! There’s nothing better if you’re a Husky football fan than winning a bowl game, and this was a stellar performance for our squad. Congratulations to coach Steve Sarkisian and his team. We love you guys and we are proud of you.

So proud to be a UW alum. Go Dawgs!

Game Day – Thursday, Dec. 30

Holiday Bowl, 10:14 p.m.
This game is in the book and the Washington Huskies have won the 2010 Holiday Bowl 19-7. One of the most impressive defensive performances in
Husky history, the Dawgs dominated Nebraska from start to finish and held one of the nation’s best offenses to just 7 points and 184 yards of total offense. This was some 1990-ish Husky defense. Big hits. Hard knocks. Everything you could ask for in a defensive effort. It was so exciting to be in the stadium for the game, and watching the team celebrate its victory afterwards was priceless. Steve Sarkisian truly has done wonders with this program, and that had to have been the best Gatorade bath he’s ever had. During the trophy presentation, he called us the “best fans in America.” I have to agree. Thanks to all of you for a great season. Go Dawgs, and let’s enjoy this victory!

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The Huskies road back to a bowl game video

This video was released today by the UW Athletic Department and all I’ve got to say is, wow. The Husky football team (and its fans) have been through so much these last few years. It feels good to be back in a bowl game and this video sums that up beautifully. Proud to be a Husky!

We’ll be launching registration for our Husky Holiday Bowl Warm Up shortly. That’s the official pre-game party of Husky fans in San Deigo, and you’ll want to keep checking UWalum.com/cheer for details. Hint: it’s going to be awesome.

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Huskies to play Nebraska in Holiday Bowl Dec. 30

Four weeks ago, the Husky football team was 3-6 and heading in the wrong direction. But the Dawgs beat UCLA, California and Washington State to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2002. Congratulations to Steve Sarkisian, Jake Locker and all the Husky fans who are celebrating today.

Washington (6-6) has been selected to play Nebraska (10-3) in the 2010 Holiday Bowl. The game is Dec. 30 in San Diego, and the UW Alumni Association will be there hosting its biggest Washington Warm Up in years. Stay tuned for more info and keep checking UWalum.com/cheer for the latest details.

The Huskies won the 103rd Apple Cup in dramatic fashion, scoring a 35-28 victory in Pullman on Jake Locker’s 27-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse with 44 seconds remaining. It was an amazing moment for Husky fans and a statement game for a UW program that has been through so much in recent years. The bowl berth is a huge step forward and we can’t wait to see you in San Diego.

GoHuskies.com has all the info on tickets and more. Of course, there will be plenty of Husky Football Viewing Parties all across the country.

Friday Night’s Husky Happy Hour in Spokane started our Apple Cup fun off right. We packed C.I. Shenanigans and sang Bow Down to Washington with the band as loud as we could. On game day, we rolled down to Pullman in style, with a host of lucky fans taking the Husky Express Bus to Martin Stadium and back. The pre-game Warm Up was awesome (as usual), with an estimated 300 fans enjoying good food, great spirits and all the purple and gold passion they could handle.

The Apple Cup was incredible. This Husky team is resilient. And now we are off to a bowl game. So proud to be a Husky. Go Dawgs!

Photo by Dean Rutz, Seattle Times.

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Apple Cup takes center stage – viewing party, anyone?

The Apple Cup. It’s the time of year when Huskies and Cougars just don’t mix. It’s the week for trash talk—when couples choose sides and office rivalries are born. It’s Washington vs. Washington State in the 103rd playing of the state’s premier rivalry.

Did we mention Martin Stadium in Pullman is named after a Husky?

If you’re not going to the game (it’s going to be cold over the there!) consider joining fellow Huskies for a viewing party near you. Hosted by UW Alumni Association volunteers nationwide, viewing parties are a great way to enjoy the game with those who share your passion for the purple and gold. In Phoenix, we’re meeting at the Firehouse Bar & Grill. In Atlanta, we’re at Central City Tavern. And in Cougar country (Spokane), we’re taking over C.I. Shenanigan’s.

See the complete list of viewing parties.

Believe it or not, we actually have a Cougar among us at the UW Alumni Association. I know! Names shall remain anonymous, but said individual once told me that he roots for the Huskies every day of the year except for one. And, honestly, I can respect that. Should be a fun game with a bowl game on the line for Washington.

Let me know if you need help promoting a viewing party in your area. I’ll post it on the UWAA’s social networking sites. Go Dawgs!

Photo by Rod Mar.

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What Husky football means to Jake Locker

Five years ago, Jake Locker set foot on the UW campus and energized the fan base with his lightning-quick speed and million-dollar smile. On Thursday, Nov. 18, Locker and 16 other Washington seniors will play their final game at Husky Stadium. It is the first Thursday night game at home for the UW since 1939.

It’s been a rough go for this group, but they are helping to right the ship and Locker, in particular, has given us reason to hope. His work ethic, passion for Husky football and all-around character epitomize what this university is all about. In recognition of Jake’s last game at home, here are a few quotes left over from my pre-season interview with the UW quarterback.

Read the full story in the December issue of Columns.

What were your thoughts upon signing with the UW in 2005?
This program was comfortable being at the top of the Pac-10. If you weren’t winning it you were second and playing for it at the end of the season. Year in and year out you were competing for a Pac-10 title, and then you have your really good teams that are competing for national titles. Everybody who’s signed their letter of intent in the last five years has had that belief. This is a program that can be in the top of the Pac-10 and in the top of the country. That’s where I wanted to end up when I got done, and that’s where I thought this program realistically could go.

Can you compare the program now to where it was when you first arrived?
We’ve taken a big step forward. It was obviously tough the first couple of years. We didn’t do what we wanted to. We’ve always had the talent to win, but some guys were going different ways and buying into different things. Some were with the program and some weren’t. I think for the first time since I’ve been here, everybody believes in the same thing, believes in the same idea, the same goals, and is working together to achieve them. To me, that’s what’s going to make us successful. That’s why this year and going forward feels a lot different than it has in the past.

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A digital Homecoming rally for Huskies

Friday, Oct. 15 is Purple and Gold Day in the state of Washington. It’s the fourth straight year Governor Christine Gregoire (a 1969 and 1971 UW alumna) has officially proclaimed the day before the Huskies’ big Homecoming football game to be Purple and Gold Day in our state.

If this is the kickoff to the University of Washington’s annual Homecoming celebration, what else is on tap? Here’s a quick rundown of the festivities:

  • UW Interactive Timeline—Trust me, the UW Alumni Association’s timeline is a neat tool. I showed my wife and she had no idea a few of these people had UW connections. A lot of the information is out there but has never been gathered in one space…until now. Just a few minutes with the timeline and you’ll learn something new. Plus, you can plot yourself in the timeline and join the UW’s history alongside Ann Rule, Dale Chihuly and the NASA spacesuit. I added my favorite story from covering the football team for The Daily.
  • Football vs. Oregon State—This is what it’s all about, right Husky fans? Jake Locker and the Dawgs suffered a setback last weekend against Arizona State but will be looking to even their overall record Saturday, Oct. 16 against the Oregon State Beavers. Find everything you need to know about the game on The Seattle Times’ Husky Football Blog. And pick up a “Beaver Unbeliever” button at any University Book Store location.
  • Great Parties—There are plenty of events and celebrations happening this weekend, including the Class of 1960 50-year reunion, MAP Breakfast honoring diversity at the UW, and the popular Purple & Gold Luncheon on Sunday, Oct. 17. See the complete schedule here.
  • Dawg Dash—Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Dawg Dash is the UW Alumni Association’s 10K run and 5K walk/run through the beautiful UW campus. It’s on every local runner’s itinerary and is one of the only races around that allows dogs on the course. I ran with a pup a few years ago and it was too much fun. Help raise money for student scholarships and take part in the Dawg Dash on Sunday, Oct. 24. Rally your friends (and pups!) and register here.

We hope to see you on campus. Go Huskies!

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