UW Tacoma celebrates 20th anniversary

After decades of hoping and planning, untold hours of pushing, the work of hundreds of people building a nest, the usual labor pains and the joy and noise of a new arrival, the University of Washington Tacoma was born in 1990.

Twenty years ago this fall, the doors were opened, and the first students — transfers from community colleges or people whose college careers had been interrupted — were welcomed in to finish their bachelor’s degrees. The following spring, four people claimed the right to be called UW Tacoma’s first graduates.

During the two decades that followed, the university grew up. Got a place of its own — a fixer-upper that needed extensive reconstruction. Gradually added programs, faculty and staff. Increased awareness within the region. Got to know the neighbors. Steadily increased in student numbers. Helped the region grow and develop. Expanded its curriculum to include freshmen and sophomores. Grew student involvement from scratch. Suffered growing pains. Increased in confidence and scope.

And now, with 10,000 graduates and more on the way, UW Tacoma is preparing to celebrate its 20th birthday.

As it looks at where it came from and where it’s going, UW Tacoma invites everyone who worked to create it, who was there at its birth and who welcomed it into the family to share in the celebration of its first two decades.

The 20th Anniversary Celebration is planned for Weds., Oct. 6, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., in William W. Philip Hall, 1918 Pacific Ave. Tickets are $30 per person/$15 for students. For tickets, visit http://www.tacoma.uw.edu/events/20years . For questions, call (253) 692-5753, or email eventuwt@uw.edu .