The University of Washington Tacoma was recognized Monday by both Gov. Jay Inslee and the state Senate with proclamations acknowledging the 25th anniversary of five of the state’s newest public university campuses.
In 1989, the state Legislature established five new branch campuses of the state’s largest universities, allowing UWT, UW Bothell, WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities and WSU Vancouver to open their doors to students in 1990. The new campuses were established with the mission of expanding access to higher education in Washington’s urban centers, making bachelor’s and graduate degree programs more widely available, particularly for place-bound and low-income students.
In 2005, legislation passed to allow the campuses to become full four-year campuses, allowing enrollment of first- and second-year students, in addition to continuing to serve transfer students from the state’s community and technical college system.
Since that time, UWT has played a major role in revitalizing downtown Tacoma, with a 40-acre campus located largely in restored 19th century warehouses retrofitted into educational space.
Almost 5,000 students and more than 16,000 alumni reflect the university’s urban-serving focus. An estimated 68 percent of first-year students have parents without college degrees, and the student body overall is UW’s most diverse.
UWT is UW’s official liaison to the U.S. military at Joint Base Lewis McChord and is designated a “military-friendly” campus by GI Jobs. Twelve percent of students receive Veterans Administration educational benefits.
UWT will celebrate its 25th anniversary with two community-focused events, in July and August of 2015.