Thursday, January 27, 2011

Walking Around the UW Campus

It has been awhile since I graduated from the University of Washington -- June 1987.  That is more than 23 years ago.  Every once in a while, I will visit the U-District and  walk around the campus.  The campus is well laid out and picturesque.  There are a several viewpoints, including a scenic view of Mt. Rainier looking out towards Drumheller Fountain.  When the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, a walk thru the Quad is stunning.  But my long lasting memories of UW are the times that I am walking across the campus during a cold, wet day.

And so it is, on a cold, wet day this past December that I treaded across the campus of UW.  The sun peeked out every so often, but for the most part, it was gray and overcast, with light sprinkle now and then, during my 2+ hours walking around campus.  I have noticed all the gradual changes in the campus-- the renovated and expanded Electrical and Computer Engineering building, the new Physics building,  the renovated Allen Wing of Suzzallo Library, the new Gates Hall Law Building, the new Paccar Hall, and the renovated Sieg Hall.  I am sure there are a lot more changes that I have not noticed.  There is ongoing construction in the Husky Union Building (HUB), new business school facilities in place of the old Ballmer Hall, a new underground rail station near the Husky Stadium and University Hospital areas, and an upcoming Husky Stadium renovation.  So there have been quite a few changes since I left, and few more changes in the near future.

But even with these changes, it has the feel of the UW campus I remember.  Red Square, surrounded by the Suzzallo Libray, Kane Hall, Odegaard Undergraduate Library, Meany Hall, and the Administration Building, is still as wide open as before.  The broken obelisk, the high rising pair of garage ventilation towers, and the red brick landscape still dominate the area where students would congregate as soon as any semblance of sunlight appears.  The Quad has not changed -- the cherry blossom trees may be 23 years older but they still dot the area along the criss-crossing pathways.  The outdoor Sylvan Grove Theater, tucked and hidden away, with its four prominent ionic columns still provides a tranquil location to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday college life.  The Husky Stadium is as imposing as ever.  The Mechanical Engineering Building has not changed a bit since I was a regular occupant eons ago.  Unfortunately, the ME department has not found a big time donor such as Gates, Allen, Ballmer, or a host of local corporate giants as the other departments have, to renovate the building.

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