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150th Anniversary Celebration of UW at Seattle

By Eric Miller
On November 8, 2011

The University of Washington celebrated its 150th anniversary in Red Square at the Seattle campus on November 4th, 2011. Students attending waited in line for free cupcakes from Cupcake Royale, and free shirts which paid tribute to the anniversary event. Also attending were the radio hosts from KJR 950 AM, who broadcasted their show from campus, interviewing student athletes and coaches from the football and basketball teams. The majority of the festivities took place entirely under one large tent, with half of the space occupied by those serving the cupcakes, and the shirts, and by the radio hosts and guests, and two enormous celebratory cakes. As a result, lines for the free goods stretched out far beyond the confines of the tent, entangling a large portion of the neighboring campus. This supports a popular notion that college students will do practically anything for free food.

KJR was a heavy presence under the tent, with radio hosts' voices audibly booming from every corner of Red Square. The hosts discussed sports tactics with current and former student athletes, including the legendary linebacker, Dave Hoffman, who reminisced about his years playing football for the Huskies. "Physically and mentally you've got the dial cranked up to ten," Hoffman said, "I miss it." KJR also interviewed Steve Sarkasian, the current coach of the Huskies football team. The most prominent topic of discussion was the game against the University of Oregon's Ducks. Sarkasian was quite enthusiastic and from the fans he asserts that "we need a lot of barking."

UW President Michael Young also spoke at length to honor the 150th birthday of the university. He was introduced by UW's basketball head coach, Lorenzo Romar, who announced that the university's birthday was also shared by President Young. The marching band just outside the canopy played happy birthday, joined by a chorus of singing students. After the song was finished, Young began to speak. "150 years, this is extraordinary." Young discussed UW's vibrant and influential past and the ways in which alumni have innovated and changed the world. He then posed a challenge to the current students of the UW, saying that "what we're doing today takes us into the next 150 years." He finished his speech by paying tribute to "W day," and said "this is a great day for the university and it always will be. Go Huskies!"

Students have reason to celebrate this event; the UW has a rich and powerful history. Since its establishment, the UW's students and faculty have accomplished feats that have helped to shape the world of the present. UW alumni have invented things that we take for granted today, such as bubble gum and color television. Former students have made great strides in the fields of health and science and are internationally recognized and respected. Those who founded the university in 1861 could not have imagined the impact that their decision would have on the world 150 years in the future. On this day, students in Seattle reflect on the past events that shaped this campus, which in turn helped shape the world.

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