V. Student Life

"Of the University boys who have gone to the gold fields, those best known in athletics are "Old Horse" Calhoun, who played fullback last year, Bert Durham, Fred Bechdolt, '96, and Norman Abrams. THE WAVE wishes every kind of success to them and hopes that Calhoun will bring back as big a "sack" as those holes he used to make in the lines of the S.A.C."

-- Pacific Wave, 1897

UW Students
University of Washington students. The third woman from the right in the first row (arrow) is believed to be Imogen Cunningham, who later obtained fame as a photographer. The photograph is undated, but Cunningham entered the University in 1903 and graduated in 1907.

Student Activities

The move to the new campus marked a period of increased student activities, with new organizations and the rise of sororities and fraternities. The Associated Students of the University of Washington incorporated on April 18, 1906. The purposes enumerated in the Articles of Incorporation reflect the diversity of student activities. The purposes included promoting and encouraging "all kinds of field and athletic sports", "literary efforts of every kind, name, nature, and description", "scientific study and investigation in all the sciences", "musical education and entertainments", "debating and oratory", and "to promote, manage, and encourage any and all forms of student activities of the University of Washington . . . " Student publications included the Pacific Wave, which began in 1893 and was renamed in 1909 the University of Washington Daily. The yearbook, The Tyee, began publication in 1900. Many student activities were informal and are reflected in some of the photographs in this case.

Rules for Freshmen, 1908

  1. Freshmen shall wear a small olive-colored cap with a large pearl button on it.
  2. Freshmen shall not wear derbies on the campus.
  3. Freshmen shall not sit on the Administration Building steps.
  4. Freshmen shall not wear dress suits to college functions.
  5. Freshmen shall enter the Auditorium by the rear doors.
  6. High school caps, numerals and sweaters shall not be worn on the campus.
  7. Freshmen shall not smoke on the campus.
  8. Freshmen shall not take co-eds to college functions held during the day.

-- Washington Alumnus, October 1908

Executive Commitee
Executive Committee, Associated Students of the University of Washington, 1901-1902 (UW 2229)

ASUW Boathouse
The ASUW Boathouse, 1907.

YMCA Thanksgiving 1907
Y.M.C.A., Thanksgiving, 1907. The music on the piano includes a piece called Dill Pickles and one called Spring Chicken.(UW 3975)

Picnic on Lower Campus
Picnic on Lower Campus about 1906.

Tennis Club
Men's Tennis Club, undated"(UW 6630)


In 1891 the student body organized an Athletic Association and adopted purple and gold as the college colors and a college yell. In 1895 The Athletic Association was organized for the encouragement of "all healthful and legitimate sports", Charles Vander Veer was appointed Professor of Physical Education, and the gymnasium and drill hall was constructed. The College Idea for September 17, 1895, reported that "the year 1895-96 opens very auspiciously for athletics in the University of Washington. We have the best gymnasium and instructor in the Northwest. Our apparatus is of the latest and best."

Washington's first intercollegiate crew race was with the University of California on June 3, 1903. With the appointment of Hiram B. Conibear, "the father of Washington rowing", a golden era of rowing began. Football also began a golden era with the appointment of Gil Dobie as coach. Dobie coached UW teams from 1908-1916, and the University won fifty-eight games, tied three, and lost none. Both women and men participated in basketball.

U. OF W., Siah! Siah!
U. of W., Hiah! Hiah!
Skookum, skookum, Washington!

Girl's Basketball Team
Girl's Basket Ball Team, 1899 & 1900 (UW 6084)

Pacific Wave's report on an 1896 game between the Women's Athletic Association and Ellensburg Normal.

Campus Day

Campus Day was instituted by Edmond Meany in April 1904 and continued until 1934. Initially Campus Day was a practical way to accomplish some of the necessary physical work that needed to be done on the new "wilderness" campus. As the years went by it lost some of its practicality but became a cherished campus tradition. In the early days, the mid-day lunch featured baked beans cooked in faculty ovens. Campus Day was an all-University occasion with faculty members working alongside the students with axes, rakes, and shovels. On Campus Day 1911 the columns from the old University building were raised on a path leading to Denny Hall. On April 24, 1934, the Faculty unanimously passed a motion by Edmond Meany "to abandon campus day."

Campus Day 1906
Campus Day, 1906 (UW 935)

Campus Day 1909
Campus Day, 1909

More Campus Day 1909
Campus Day, 1909

W Table
"W Table" (undated)

Motion to Abandon Campus Day

"In 1904 I had the privilege of instituting Campus Day and have participated in its annual functions for the thirty years since. It is therefore with a feeling of sadness that I offer this motion.
"Colleagues whom I hold in highest respect and esteem have requested me to do this, pointing out that the work by the University gardeners and recently by large crews of Civil Works Administration men has made it unnecessary and inappropriate to continue Campus Day as a students' workday.
"I therefore move: That from and after Wednesday, April 25, 1934, Campus Day be stricken from the University Calendar."

Edmond S. Meany
Unanimously passed by Faculty on April 24, 1934.

Campus Day 1910
Campus Day 1910 (The second man in the first row is Edmond Meany.)