Everyone has a Husky story. While serving on the UW Alumni Association board for the past seven years, I have heard many stories from students, alumni and community members. Some common themes include: hardships overcome during the journey to and through the University; loved ones saved against all odds by our breakthrough research and technologies; life trajectories altered by an instructor offering encouragement at a critical moment.
While the themes may be similar, the specific circumstances and context of each story are unique.
Today, an incoming UW student might be the traditional 18-year-old who just graduated high school (which was my own experience), or a junior entering after earning an associate degree from the Running Start program.
A new student might be a veteran re-entering civilian life after multiple tours overseas, or a transfer from one of our 34 community and technical colleges statewide (like my mom did from Bellevue Community College in the 1970s.) As a university community, we benefit from the breadth of experiences of both our current students and ever-increasing base of alumni and friends.
As I begin my one-year term as UWAA president, I am constantly amazed by the life-changing impact this institution has on so many people and families across our state, and beyond. It truly is the University FOR Washington!
As a humble, but tangible, reminder of this, I have committed to wear at least one purple item every single day of my term. (This was made easier after several trips to our wonderful UW Book Store, where I recently scored a new cap, polo and several pairs of socks!)
I invite you to join me at one, or many, of the wide-ranging events the UWAA will support this year. Last year we hosted over 100 events and programs, serving over 30,000 alumni and friends. Mentor a current student through our Huskies@Work program. Come back to campus and join us for a lecture or performance. Get hyped for a big game at one of our Washington Warm Ups or run in the Alaska Airlines Dawg Dash. Learn how to advocate for higher education with your elected officials through UW Impact, our groundbreaking legislative advocacy program. There is no shortage of opportunities to engage and deepen your connection to UW.
I hope to meet you soon and hear your Husky story. Go Dawgs!
Daniel Heu-Weller, ’02, ’08, ’08
UWAA President, 2018-2019