Public affairs school named for Gov. Dan Evans

Daniel J. Evans, ’48, ’49, became the second alumnus to have a UW school named after him when, on March 19, the University named its Graduate School of Public Affairs after the former governor, senator, college president and current UW regent. The new name is the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs.

Evans earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering at the UW. He was a member of the Washington State House of Representatives from 1956 to 1965 and governor from 1965 to 1977. A 1981 study by the University of Michigan identified him as one of the 10 outstanding governors of the 20th century.

In 1977, Evans became president of Evergreen State College. He served as U.S. senator from 1983 to 1989. He was appointed to the Board of Regents by Gov. Mike Lowry in 1993.

Only once before has the UW named a school after an alumnus with a distinguished career in public service. In 1983 the regents changed the name of the international studies school to the Henry M. Jackson School for International Studies. Sen. Jackson was a 1935 law school graduate.

“The University of Washington is proud to be able to link the name of this school with one of our state’s most distinguished citizens,” says UW President Richard L. McCormick. “Dan Evans’ career of public service is a model which we will use to inspire generations of future students at the University.”

“We decided to name the school to help convey its role and mission,” says Evans School Dean Marc Lindenberg. “In his entire career as governor, U.S. senator, college president and UW regent, Dan Evans has provided a model for the school’s highest aspirations: integrity, respect and excellence.”

“I am deeply honored by the wish of the University to add my name to the Graduate School of Public Affairs,” Evans says. “When I met with the dean and faculty, I was impressed by their talent and enthusiasm. They are determined to make this school an innovator and a leader in restoring confidence in public service. I plan to be an active participant in helping reach these goals.”

The naming of the school is linked to the creation of the Daniel J. Evans Endowment for Excellence in Public Service. The school intends to raise $12 million-$6 million from the private sector and $6 million from public sources. The endowment will support:

  • Daniel and Nancy Evans Scholars—promising students who are pursuing careers in public service or who are “practitioners in residence” at the school;
  • Daniel J. Evans Professorship—for an outstanding academic in the field of public affairs;
  • Partnerships for Community Problem Solving—a fund that will encourage experiments in public, private and non-profit problem-solving partnerships;
  • Public Forum—a series of public dialogues that will help civil society to become more healthy and vital;
  • “Ideas that Work” Research—to encourage research on critical areas of fiscal policy, non-profit management or technology.