The University of Washington is one of the largest and most prestigious higher education institutions on the west coast of the US.
Founded in 1861 as the Territorial University of Washington, the institution expanded with the city of Seattle during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, moving to its current site in 1895.
The 700-acre park-like campus, which borders two lakes in Seattle, is now home to 16 schools and colleges offering courses ranging from undergraduate to doctoral level. The university also has campuses in Bothell and Tacoma which offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
It has a highly respected medical school, offering training in dentistry, medicine and public health, serving medical centres across the Pacific North West and Alaska.
It has traditionally educated students for public service in the region, offering courses in topics such as education, engineering, public affairs and social work.
With an emphasis on outreach and widening opportunities, the university also offers courses through distance learning, and evening classes.
The university is known informally as U-Dub, and its students, sports teams and alumni are often called “Huskies”.
Washington has produced several Nobel laureates, counting four among its alumni and another seven among its faculty. The most recent recipient is alumna Linda Buck, also an affiliate professor at Washington, who won the 2004 medicine prize.
There are eight Pulitzer Prize winners among its alumni, most notably the novelist Marilynne Robinson.
Other notable Washington alumni include MySpace founder Chris DeWolfe, actor Jim Caviezel and martial artist Bruce Lee.
Seattle itself is a city of more than 650,000 people about 100 miles south of the Canadian border, located between Puget Sound and Lake Washington. It is a major centre for technology companies, with headquarters of firms such as Amazon and Microsoft located in the region.