Washington

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Posted by pompos 02/27/2009 @ 12:38

Tags : washington, states, us

News headlines
New York Yankees fall to Washington Nationals, 3-2 - The Star-Ledger - NJ.com
by Colin Stephenson/The Star-Ledger Noah K. Murray/The Star-LedgerOne night after making a brilliant, diving catch against the Washington Nationals, Melky Cabrera can't repeat the feat on this Nick Johnson line drive. It became a two-run triple....
Michigan Rep. Conyers Helps Slain Holocaust Museum Guard's ... - FOXNews
John Conyers has arranged for nine airline tickets and hotel rooms for Stephen Johns' relatives after they lamented to a local FOX News station that they did not have the money or reliable transportation to travel from Detroit to Washington to pay...
Jeter held out of lineup against Nats - MLB.com
Jeter tried to talk manager Joe Girardi into playing him, but Girardi said that he would give Jeter another day as a precaution and check with the captain before Thursday's afternoon game against Washington. "It worries me a little bit, but he told me...
Former football star Ryan Leaf arrested on Texas charges at US ... - San Jose Mercury News
(AP Photo/Kevin Higley, File) DALLAS — Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf was in custody today in Washington on drug and burglary charges out of Texas after being arrested by customs agents as he returned to the United States from Canada....
Man missing on Mt. Washington for a week - Boston Globe
MOUNT WASHINGTON, NH—Dozens of searchers have fanned out in rugged terrain on New Hampshire's Mount Washington, looking for an elderly Canadian hiker last seen nine days ago. Officials say 70-year-old Peter Shintani planned to hike the highest mountain...
JAMES P. PINKERTON: The Washington Post Wants YOU to Bail Out ... - FOXNews
The Washington Post sure seems to think so. Here's the way its front-page story this morning begins: “The Obama administration has turned back pleas for emergency aid from one of the biggest remaining threats to the economy — the state of California....
Clinton to Meet Israeli FM in Washington - Voice of America
By VOA News US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Washington Wednesday to discuss how to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Lieberman, considered a hard-liner in Israeli Prime...
Washington Watch: I'm glad Ahmadinejad won - Jerusalem Post
According to Mehdi Khalaji, an Iran expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Khameini's message in declaring Ahmadinejad the winner was to tell the West, "Iran is digging in on its nuclear program" and its backing of Hizbullah and Hamas...
Cornyn: Lower the cost of health care without sacrificing control ... - Austin American-Statesman
Health care reform is on the fast track in Washington. The elites have promised to pass a bill quickly, even though their specific proposals and how to pay for them have been very slow in coming. So legislation is speeding down the track without all...

University of Washington

University of Washington Seal.png

University of Washington, founded in 1861, is a public research university in Seattle, Washington, United States. Also known as Washington and locally as UW (usually pronounced "U Dub") or the U, it is the largest university in the northwestern United States and the oldest public university on the west coast. UW maintains three locations, with its flagship campus in Seattle's University District and branch campuses in Tacoma and Bothell. Its operating budget for fiscal year 2005 was $3.1 billion. The university is also considered a Public Ivy.

In 2008, the school placed 16th in the world's top universities, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

The city of Seattle was one of several settlements in the mid to late 19th century vying for primacy in the newly formed Washington Territory. In 1854, territorial governor Isaac Stevens recommended the establishment of a university in Washington. Several prominent Seattle-area residents, chief among them Methodist preacher Daniel Bagley, saw the siting of this University as a chance to add to the city's prestige. They were able to convince early founder of Seattle and member of the territorial legislature Arthur A. Denny of the importance of Seattle winning the school. The legislature initially chartered two universities, one in Seattle and one in Lewis County, but later repealed its decision in favor of a single university in Lewis County, provided locally donated land could be found. When no site emerged, the legislature, encouraged by Denny, relocated the university to Seattle in 1858.

In 1861, scouting began for an appropriate 10 acre (40,000 m²) site in Seattle to serve as the campus for a new university. Denny, along with fellow pioneers Edward Lander and Charlie Terry, donated a site on "Denny's Knoll" in downtown Seattle. This tract was bounded by 4th and 6th Avenues on the west and east and Union and Seneca Streets on the north and south.

UW opened officially on November 4, 1861, as the Territorial University of Washington. The following year, the legislature passed articles formally incorporating the University and establishing a Board of Regents. The school struggled initially, closing three times: in 1863 for lack of students, and again in 1867 and 1876 due to shortage of funds. However, Clara Antoinette McCarty Wilt became the first graduate of UW in 1876 when she graduated from UW with a bachelor's degree in science. By the time Washington entered the Union in 1889, both Seattle and the University had grown substantially. Enrollment had increased from an initial 30 students to nearly 300, and the relative isolation of the campus had given way to encroaching development. A special legislative committee headed by UW graduate Edmond Meany was created for the purpose of finding a new campus better able to serve the growing student population. The committee selected a site on Union Bay northeast of downtown, and the legislature appropriated funds for its purchase and subsequent construction.

The University relocated from downtown to the new campus in 1895, moving into the newly built Denny Hall. The regents tried and failed to sell the old campus, and eventually settled on leasing the area. The University still owns what is now called the Metropolitan Tract. In the heart of the city, it is among the most valuable pieces of real estate in Seattle and generates millions of dollars in revenue annually.

The original Territorial University building was torn down in 1908 and its former site currently houses the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. The sole surviving remnants of UW's first building are four 24-foot (7.3 m), white, hand-fluted cedar, Ionic columns. They were salvaged by Edmond S. Meany--one of the University's first graduates and the former head of the history department. Meany and his colleague, Dean Herbert T. Condon, dubbed each of the columns "Loyalty," "Industry," "Faith" and "Efficiency," or "LIFE." The columns now stand in the Sylvan Grove Theater.

Organizers of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition eyed the still largely undeveloped campus as a prime setting for their world's fair. They came to an agreement with the Board of Regents that allowed them to use the campus grounds for the exposition. In exchange, the University would be able to take advantage of the development of the campus for the fair after its conclusion. This included a detailed site plan and several buildings. The plan for the A-Y-P Exposition prepared by John Charles Olmsted was later incorporated into the overall campus master plan and permanently affected the layout of the campus.

Both World Wars brought the military to the campus, with certain facilities temporarily loaned to the federal government. The subsequent post-war periods were times of dramatic growth for the University. The period between the wars saw significant expansion on the upper campus. Construction of the liberal arts quadrangle, known to students as "The Quad," began in 1916 and continued in stages until 1939. The first two wings of Suzzallo Library, considered the architectural centerpiece of the University, were built in 1926 and 1935, respectively. Further growth came with the end of World War II and passage of the G.I. Bill. Among the most important developments of this period was the opening of the medical school in 1946. It would eventually grow into the University of Washington Medical Center, now ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the top ten hospitals in the United States. It was during this era in University of Washington history in which many Japanese Americans were sent away from the university to internment camps along the West-coast of the United States as part of Executive Order 9066 following the attacks on Pearl Harbor. As a result, many Japanese American "soon-to-be" graduates were unable to receive their diplomas and be recognized for their accomplishment at the university until the University of Washington's commemoration ceremony for the Japanese Americans entitled The Long Journey Home held on May 18th, 2008 at the main campus.

In the early 1950s, the University of Washington Police Department was established. It currently has jurisdiction over the University of Washington campus and University-owned housing, except for the Radford Court apartments in Sand Point.

The 1960s and 1970s are known as the "golden age" of the university due to the tremendous growth in students, facilities, operating budget and prestige under the leadership of Charles Odegaard from 1958 to 1973. Enrollment at UW more than doubled--from around 16,000 to 34,000--as the baby boom generation came of age. As was the case at many American universities, this era was marked by high levels of student activism, with much of the unrest focused around opposition to the Vietnam War. Odegaard instituted a vision of building a "community of scholars" and convinced the state of Washington legislatures to increase their investments towards the university. Additionally, Washington senators, Henry M. Jackson and Warren G. Magnuson used their political clout to funnel federal research monies to the University of Washington and to this day, UW is among the top recipients of federal research funds in the United States. The results included an operating budget increase of $37 million in 1958, to over $400 million in 1973, and 35 new buildings that doubled the floor space of the university.

The University opened branch campuses in Bothell and Tacoma in 1990. Initially, these campuses offered curricula for students seeking bachelor's degrees who have already completed two years of higher education, but both schools have transitioned to four year universities, accepting the first freshman class in the fall of 2006. Both campuses offer master's degree programs as well.

The University of Washington, Seattle campus is situated on the shores of Union and Portage Bays, with views of the Cascade Range to the east and the Olympic Mountains to the west. Its most popular views are from Suzzallo Library, which has a vista of Mount Rainier to the southeast, the Quad and its Yoshino cherry trees that bloom spectacularly each spring to the north, and Red Square spreading out in front of it to the west.

The main campus is bounded on the west by 15th Avenue N.E., on the north by N.E. 45th Street, on the east by Montlake Boulevard N.E., and on the south by N.E. Pacific Street. East Campus stretches east of Montlake Boulevard to Laurelhurst and is largely taken up by wetlands and sports fields. South Campus occupies the land between Pacific Street and the Lake Washington Ship Canal which used to be a golf course and is given over to the health sciences, oceanography, fisheries, and the University of Washington Medical Center. West Campus is less of a separate entity than the others, many of its facilities being on city streets, and stretches between 15th Avenue and Interstate 5 from the Ship Canal to N.E. 41st Street. University Way, known locally as "The Ave", lies nearby and is a focus for much student life at the university.

The oldest building on campus is Denny Hall. Built in 1895 in the French Renaissance style, it was named in honor of Seattle pioneers Arthur A. and Mary Denny. It served as the core of the University for many years. The Theodore Jacobsen Observatory, the on campus observatory situated just north of Denny Hall, was built from the left over material used in the construction of Denny Hall. Although it is rarely used today, the observatory is the second oldest building on campus. After other structures were erected near Denny Hall with apparently little overall planning, the Board of Regents determined that a master plan was needed. Early plans, including a preliminary proposal by John Charles Olmsted, stepson of renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, had little impact.

Instead, it was the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition that defined much of the campus' future layout. The exposition plan, also designed by John C. Olmsted, defined the University's major axis on the lower campus. Oriented to the southeast, it provides the University with its primary vista of Mount Rainier on clear days. Most of the University's science and engineering buildings line this axis.

After the exposition, the Board of Regents sought a master plan that would unite the newly developed lower campus with the original buildings of the upper campus including Denny Hall. Rejecting a further proposal from Olmsted, the regents instead turned to local architects Carl F. Gould and Charles H. Bebb. Their proposal was accepted, and came to be called the Regents' Plan. It specified a northeast-southwest axis on upper campus around which would be centered the University's liberal arts departments. This axis joins the lower campus axis laid down during the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition at an open space left behind after a large temporary structure built for the fair was torn down. This space was later paved with a distinctive red brick and has come to be known as Red Square. Some of the buildings from the exposition were kept by the university and have been retrofitted over the years since. One of these is Architecture Hall.

Bebb and Gould's plan also called for all future construction to adhere to a Collegiate Gothic style. This style is best exemplified on the University campus by the early wings of Suzzallo Library, the University's central library.

New construction in the 1960s saw a deviation from the Collegiate Gothic style as specified in the Regents' Plan. Business facilities on the upper campus, science and engineering structures on lower campus, and a new wing of Suzzallo Library, were all built in a modernist style, as was a unique, glass-walled building housing an experimental nuclear reactor. The reactor opened in 1961; a small radiation leak in 1972 resulted only in a temporary shutdown, but security concerns eventually led to it being decommissioned. It was deactivated in 1988, dismantled in 2006, and as of 2008 the building is being considered for demolition.

An apparent attempt to harmonize future development with the Regents' Plan can be seen in the University's most recent construction, including the 1990 Kenneth Allen wing of the central library and a new generation of medical, science and engineering buildings. Significant funding came from Microsoft co-founders Paul Allen and Bill Gates, who have strong family connections to the university but did not attend UW. Mary Gates Hall opened in May 2000, and in September 2003, the UW law school relocated to the $74 million William H. Gates Hall on the northwest corner of campus, and the $90 million UW Medical Center surgery pavilion opened for operation. The $72 million Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science & Engineering opened in October 2003. In March 2006, the $150 million William H. Foege bioengineering and genome sciences building was dedicated by Bill Gates and former U.S. president Jimmy Carter.

In September 2006, President Emmert announced that the University had finalized the purchase of the neighboring 22-story Safeco Plaza (a University District landmark) as well as several adjacent buildings for the sum of $130 million. At present, plans are being finalized to relocate UW administration and support services to the complex, leaving the main campus (one block away) for teaching and research.

Most of the streets and major walkways on campus are named after the state's counties. Major exceptions are Memorial Way and George Washington Lane. Memorial Way is named in honor of members of the UW community who died in World War I and also features a flagpole engraved at its base with the members of the UW community who died in World War II.

Other attractions on campus include the Henry Art Gallery and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. The Washington Park Arboretum, south of main campus across Union Bay, is run by the university, though owned by the city of Seattle. The Warren G. Magnuson Health Sciences Center is also an interesting attraction. The building, at 5,740,200 square feet (533,280 m2), is the second largest office building in the United States.

President Emmert recently signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. To help follow through on this promise, the UW has created a Climate Action Team. . He has also created an Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee (ESAC), which recently created an inventory of UW's greenhouse gas emissions , an environmental stewardship coordinator position, and has formalized a policy on environmental stewardship to give full institutional support to the cause of campus sustainability.

As of February 2006, the UW joined a partnership with Seattle City Light as part of their Green Up Program. All of Seattle campus' electricity is purchased from renewable sources. Housing and Food Services (HFS) spends several million dollars annually on locally produced, organic, and natural foods. HFS does not use styrofoam containers for any of its facilities on campus, instead using compostable cups, plates, utensils, and packaging whenever possible. Students Expressing Environmental Concern (SEED) is funded by HFs and is responsible for most of the sustainable changes made to HFS. Several new residence halls are planned for 2020, all of which are expected to meet silver or gold LEED standards.. All new state-funded buildings and major renovations must meet a LEED standard of at least Silver. The University of Washington was one of only six universities to receive the highest grade on the Sustainable Endowments Institute's College Sustainability Report Card 2008, an "A-". The report card identified the UW as one of 15 Overall College Sustainability Leaders among the 300 institutions surveyed.

The current president of the University of Washington is Dr. Mark Emmert, the former chancellor of Louisiana State University. Emmert, a 1975 graduate, took office as the University's 30th president on June 14, 2004.

The University is governed by ten regents, one of whom is a student. Its most notable current regent is likely William H. Gates, Sr., father of Bill Gates. The undergraduate student government is the Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) and the graduate student government is the Graduate & Professional Student Senate (GPSS).

In 2006, the University of Washington research budget passed the $1 billion milestone. Virtually all of the funding came from peer-reviewed research proposals. UW research budget consistently ranks among the top 5 in both public and private universities in the United States. UW is also the largest recipient of federal research funding among public universities and second among all public and private universities in the country, a position that the university has held each year since 1974. The university is an elected member of the Association of American Universities.

As of the 2006-07 autumn term, the university has 40,216 students. In 2007, the average high school GPA of incoming freshmen was 3.75, and the average SAT (math and critical reading) score was 1,251. About 33% of all undergraduates are members of ethnic minority groups.

Among the faculty, there are five winners of Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards, one winner of the Fields Medal, eight winners of Gairdner International Awards, twelve MacArthur Fellows, two winners of the National Book Award, one winner of the National Medal of Arts, five winners of the National Medal of Science, six Nobel Prize laureates, nineteen winners of the Presidential Early Career Awards in Science and Engineering, and two Pulitzer Prize winners. Additionally, among UW faculty are fifty-eight members of the American Academy for Arts and Sciences, four members of the American Philosophical Society, thirteen Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators, forty-eight members of the the Institute of Medicine, fifteen members of the National Academy of Engineering, and sixty members of the National Academy of Sciences.

The University of Washington library system is among the largest academic libraries in the United States, with holdings of more than 6.5 million volumes and 7.5 million microforms. The Association of Research Libraries ranked the UW library system between the top fifth and fifteenth in various categories.

UW is also the host university of ResearchChannel program, the only TV channel in the United States dedicated solely for the dissemination of research from academic institutions and research organizations. Current participation of ResearchChannel includes 36 universities, 15 research organizations, two corporate research centers and many other affiliates. UW also disseminates knowledge through its proprietary UWTV channel and online.

UW's undergraduate program was ranked 41st among "national universities" and tied for 11th among public doctoral universities by U.S. News and World Report.

The UW School of Medicine (primary care) and nursing school. are both ranked first and its medical research was ranked sixth in 2008. The UW School of Nursing has been ranked #1 in the nation since 1984, when the first survey of nursing schools was conducted. The U.S News & World Report only began ranking the primary medical school in 1993, ever since which UW has also always been #1. The School of Public Health and Community Medicine is as well ranked third by US News.

The graduate program in social work is ranked third, the pharmacy school fifth, the Library and Information School fourth, the graduate school of education seventh, the school of engineering 21st, the UW School of Law 27th, and the undergraduate and graduate business schools ranked 18th and 29th, respectively.

The University of Washington was ranked 16th internationally by the Academic Ranking of World Universities in 2008.

The Performance Ranking of Scientific Research Papers of World Universities ranked UW 4th internationally in terms of overall research productivity.

The Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index created by Academic Analytics ranks University of Washington overall at #19. UW has a total of 7 number 1 rankings for disciplines and only three universities have as many or more #1 rankings.

A private review by the National Opinion Research Center, and published in the Washington Monthly, ranked the university 14th in the United States. In its last published survey in 1995, the The National Research Council ranked UW ninth in the United States in a study that spanned 41 graduate disciplines.

The Top American Research Universities report from the Center at Arizona State ranked UW eleventh overall and third among public institutions.

Global Language Monitor, produced at Austin that ranks college based on media presence, placed University of Washington at #16 in the nation.

University of Washington ranks #1 in Peace Corps volunteers in 2007 and #3 throughout the years.

Kiplinger ranked the University of Washington #9 of the top 100 colleges in early 2008 as one of the Best values in Public Colleges.

The student newspaper is The Daily of the University of Washington, usually referred to as simply The Daily.

The sports teams participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I-A and in the Pacific Ten Conference. Among its facilities on campus are Husky Stadium (football and track & field), the Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion (basketball and volleyball), Husky ballpark (baseball), Husky Softball Stadium, The Bill Quillian Tennis Stadium, The Nordstrom Tennis Center, Dempsey Indoor (Indoor track & field, football) and the Conibear Shellhouse (rowing). The golf team plays at the Washington National Golf Club and the swimming team calls the Weyerhaeuser Aquatic Center and the Husky pool home.

The University football team is traditionally competitive, having won a title in 1960 and a share of the national championship in the 1991 season, to go along with eight Rose Bowl victories and an Orange Bowl title. From 1907 to 1917, Washington football teams were unbeaten in 63 consecutive games, an NCAA record. Tailgating by boat has been a Husky Stadium tradition since 1920 when the stadium was first built on the shores of Lake Washington. The Apple Cup game is an annual game against cross-state rival Washington State University that was first contested in 1900 with UW leading the all-time series, 64 wins to 29 losses and 6 ties. Steve Sarkisian is the current head football coach.

The men's basketball team has been moderately successful, though recently the team has enjoyed a resurgence under coach Lorenzo Romar. With Romar as head coach, the team went to three straight NCAA tournaments (2004-2006), consecutive top 16 (sweet sixteen) appearances, and secured a #1 seed in 2005. On December 23, 2005, the men's basketball team notched their 800th victory in Hec Edmundson Pavilion, the most wins for any NCAA team in its current arena. In 2007, the basketball team, playing in an extremely strong Pac-10 Conference, failed to make the postseason after finishing 7th.

Rowing is a longstanding tradition at the University of Washington dating back to 1901. The Washington men's crew gained international prominence by winning the gold medal at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, defeating the German and Italian crews much to the chagrin of Adolf Hitler who was in attendance. In 1958, the men's crew furthered their lore with a shocking win over Leningrad Trud's world champion rowers in Moscow, resulting in the first American sporting victory on Soviet soil, and certainly the first time a Russian crowd gave any American team a standing ovation during the Cold War. The Washington men's crew was the collegiate national champion for 2007. In all, the men's crew have won 13 national titles, 15 Olympic gold medals, two silver and five bronze. The women have 10 national titles and two Olympic gold medals.

Other recent national champions include the 2008 NCAA Division I women's Cross Country team and the 2005 women's volleyball team. Individually, James Lepp was the 2005 NCAA men's golf champion. Ryan Brown (men's 800 meters) and Amy Lia (women's 1500 meters) won individual titles at the 2006 NCAA Track & Field Championships. Ryan Brown also won the 800 meter title at the 2007 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Husky Stadium is one of several places that may have been the birthplace of the crowd phenomenon known as "The Wave." It is claimed that the wave was invented in October of 1981 by Husky graduate Robb Weller and UW band director Bill Bissel. Their opponent that night was Stanford.

The University of Washington Husky Marching Band performs at many Husky sporting events including all football games. The band was founded in 1929, and today it is a cornerstone of Husky spirit. The band marches using a traditional high step, and it is one of only a few marching bands left in the United States to do so. Like many college bands, the Husky band has several traditional songs that it has played for decades, including the official fight song "Bow Down to Washington" and "Tequila", as well as fan-favorite "Africano". In addition to athletic events, the band also plays at various other events such as commencement and convocation.

The University of Washington has hosted a long line of Alaskan Malamutes as mascots. The 13 dogs thus far have been: Frosty I (1922-29), Frosty II (1930-36), Wasky (1946), Wasky II (1947-53), Ski (1954-57), Denali (1958), King Chinook (1959-68), Regent Denali (1969-80), Sundodger (1981-91), King Redoubt (1992-97), Prince Redoubt (1998). Spirit (1999-2008) and Dubs (2009-). Originally the dogs were cared for by the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, followed by a 50 year tradition (1959-2008) of care by the Cross family (a UW professor followed by his son).

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Washington

Flag of Washington

Washington ( /ˈwɒʃɪŋtən/ (help·info)) is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Washington was carved out of the western part of Washington Territory which had been ceded by Britain in 1846 by the Oregon Treaty as settlement of the Oregon Boundary Dispute. It was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. In 2008, the Census Bureau estimated the state's population at 6,549,224 people.

Washington is the northwestern-most state of the contiguous United States. Its northern border lies mostly along the 49th parallel, and then via marine boundaries through the Strait of Georgia, Haro Strait and Strait of Juan de Fuca, with the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north. Washington borders Oregon to the south, with the Columbia River forming most of the boundary and the 46th parallel forming the eastern part of the southern boundary. To the east Washington borders Idaho, bounded mostly by the meridian running north from the confluence of the Snake River and Clearwater River (about 116°57' west), except for the southernmost section where the border follows the Snake River. To the west of Washington lies the Pacific Ocean.

Washington is part of a region known as the Pacific Northwest, a term which always includes at least Washington and Oregon but may or may not include Idaho, western Montana, northern California, and part or all of British Columbia, Alaska, and the Yukon Territory, depending on the speaker or writer's intent.

The high mountains of the Cascade Range run north-south, bisecting the state. Western Washington, west of the Cascades, has a mostly marine west coast climate with relatively mild temperatures, wet winters, and dry summers. Western Washington also supports dense forests of conifers and areas of temperate rain forest. In contrast, Eastern Washington, east of the Cascades, has a relatively dry climate with large areas of semiarid steppe and a few truly arid deserts lying in the rainshadow of the Cascades; the Hanford reservation receives an average annual precipitation of between six and seven inches (178 mm). Farther east, the climate becomes less arid. The Palouse region of southeast Washington was grassland that has been mostly converted into farmland. Other parts of eastern Washington are forested and mountainous.

The Cascade Range contains several volcanoes, which reach altitudes significantly higher than the rest of the mountains. From the north to the south these volcanoes are Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams. Mount St. Helens is currently the only Washington volcano that is actively erupting; however, all of them are considered active volcanoes.

Washington's position on the Pacific Ocean and the harbors of Puget Sound give the state a leading role in maritime trade with Alaska, Canada, and the Pacific Rim. Puget Sound's many islands are served by the largest ferry fleet in the United States.

Washington is a land of contrasts. The deep forests of the Olympic Peninsula, such as the Hoh Rain Forest, are among the only temperate rainforests in the continental United States, but the semi-desert east of the Cascade Range has few trees. Mount Rainier, the highest mountain in the state, is covered with more glacial ice than any other peak in the lower 48 states.

Washington's climate varies greatly from west to east. An oceanic climate (also called "marine west coast climate") predominates in western Washington, and a much drier semi-arid climate prevails east of the Cascade Range. Major factors determining Washington's climate include the large semi-permanent high pressure and low pressure systems of the north Pacific Ocean, the continental air masses of North America, and the Olympic and Cascade mountains. In the spring and summer, a high pressure anticyclone system dominates the north Pacific Ocean, causing air to spiral out in a clockwise fashion. For Washington this means prevailing winds from the northwest bringing relatively cool air and a predictably dry season. In the autumn and winter, a low pressure cyclone system takes over in the north Pacific Ocean, with air spiraling inward in a counter-clockwise fashion. This causes Washington's prevailing winds to come from the southwest, bringing relatively warm and moist air masses and a predictably wet season. The term Pineapple Express is used to describe the extreme form of this wet season pattern.

Despite Western Washington having a marine climate similar to those of the coastal cities of Europe, there are exceptions, such as the "Big Snow" events of 1880, 1881, 1893 and 1916. The "deep freeze" winters of 1883/84, 1915/16, 1949/50 and 1955/56 among others. In these events Western Washington has experienced anything from six feet (1.8 m) of snow, sub-zero (−18°C) temperatures, three months of snow on the ground, and lakes and rivers frozen over for weeks on end. Seattle's lowest temperature recorded officially is 0°F (−18°C) set on January 31, 1950, but it has been known that areas away from Seattle have experienced record lows from −10°F to −20°F (−23°C to −29°C).

In 2006, the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington published The Impacts of Climate change in Washington’s Economy, a preliminary assessment on the risks and opportunities presented given the possibility of a rise in global temperatures and their effects on Washington state.

The coastal mountains and Cascades compound this climatic pattern by causing orographic lift of the air masses blown inland from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in the windward side of the mountains receiving high levels of precipitation and the leeward side receiving low levels. This occurs most dramatically around the Olympic Mountains and the Cascade Range. In both cases the windward slopes facing southwest receive high precipitation and mild, cool temperatures. While the Puget Sound lowlands are known for clouds and rain in the winter, the western slopes of the Cascades receive larger amounts of precipitation, often falling as snow at higher elevations. (Mount Baker, near the state's northern border, is one of the snowiest places in the world: in 1999, it set the world record for snowfall in a single season (1,140 in, 95 ft or 28.96 m). East of the Cascades, a large region experiences strong rain shadow effects. Semi-arid conditions occur in much of eastern Washington with the strongest rain shadow effects at the relatively low elevations of the central Columbia River Plateau — especially the region just east of the Columbia River from about the Snake River to the Okanagan Highland. Thus instead of rain forests much of eastern Washington is covered with grassland and shrub-steppe.

The average annual temperature ranges from 51 °F (10.6 °C) on the Pacific coast to 40 °F (4.4 °C) in the northeast. The lowest recorded temperature in the state was -48 °F (-44.4 °C) in Winthrop and Mazama. The highest recorded temperature in the state was 118 °F (47.8 °C) at Ice Harbor Dam. Both records were set east of the Cascades. Western Washington is known for its mild climate, considerable fog, frequent cloud cover and long-lasting drizzles in the winter, and sunny and dry summers. The western region occasionally experiences extreme climate. Arctic cold fronts in the winter and heat waves in the summer are not uncommon. In the Western region, temperatures have reached as high as 112 °F (44 °C) in Marietta and as low as −20 °F (−28.9 °C) in Longview. The western side of the Olympic Peninsula receives as much as 160 inches (4,064 mm) of precipitation annually, making it the wettest area of the 48 conterminous states. Weeks or even months may pass without a clear day. The western slopes of the Cascade Range receive some of the heaviest annual snowfall (in some places more than 200 in or 5,080 mm) in the country. In the rain shadow area east of the Cascades, the annual precipitation is only 6 inches (152 mm). Precipitation increases eastward toward the Rocky Mountains.

The center of population of Washington in the year 2000 was located in an unpopulated part of rural eastern King County, southeast of North Bend and northeast of Enumclaw.

According to the U.S. Census, as of 2006, Washington has an estimated population of 6,395,798, which is an increase of 501,658, or 8.5%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase of 221,958 people (that is, 503,819 births minus 281,861 deaths) and an increase from net migration of 287,759 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 157,950 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 129,809 people.

As of the Census 2000, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metropolitan Area's population was 3,043,878, about half the state's total population.

As of 2004, Washington's population included 631,500 foreign-born (10.3% of the state population), and an estimated 100,000 illegal aliens (1.6% of state population).

The largest cities in Washington according to 2008 state census estimates.

The six largest reported ancestries in Washington are: German (18.7%), English (12%), Irish (11.4%), Norwegian (6.2%), Mexican (5.6%) and Filipino (3.7%).

There are many migrant Mexican farm workers living in the southeast-central part of the state, though the population is also increasing as laborers in Western Washington.

Washington has the fourth largest Asian population of any state. The Filipino community is the largest Asian American subgroup in the state. Gary Locke was elected as the first Asian American governor (and so far, the only Chinese American governor of any US state) at the end of the 20th century.

African Americans are less numerous than Asians or Hispanics in many communities, but have been elected as mayor of Seattle, Spokane and Lakewood and as King County Executive. In Seattle, minorities are moving into the southern part of the city as well as many suburban areas such as South King County. Seattle's Black population is largely concentrated on Rainier Valley and the Central District which remains the only majority-black neighborhood in the Pacific Northwest. Tacoma also has a rising African-American population.

Washington is the location of many Native American reservations, with some placing prominent casinos next to major interstate highways. Residents have adopted many of the artwork themes of the northwest coast Indians who were noted for totem poles, longhouses, dugout canoes and pictures of animals. Many cities have traditional names created by Native Americans such as Yakima, Seattle, Spokane, Puyallup, and Walla Walla.

6.7% of Washington's population was reported as under 5, 25.7% under 18, and 11.2% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.2% of the population.

The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Roman Catholic Church with 716,133; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 178,000; and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with 127,854.

As with many other Western states, the percentage of Washington's population identifying themselves as "non-religious" is higher than the national average. The percentage of non-religious people in Washington is the highest of any state.

The 2005 total gross state product for Washington was $268.5 billion, placing it 14th in the nation. The per capita income was $42,702, 17th in the nation. Significant business within the state include the design and manufacture of jet aircraft (Boeing), computer software development (Microsoft, Amazon.com, Nintendo of America, Valve Corporation), electronics, biotechnology, aluminum production, lumber and wood products (Weyerhaeuser), mining, and tourism. The state has significant amounts of hydroelectric power generation.

Significant amounts of trade with Asia pass through the ports of the Puget Sound. See list of United States companies by state. Fortune magazine survey of the top 20 Most Admired Companies in the US has 4 Washington based companies in it, Starbucks, Microsoft, Costco and Nordstrom.

The state of Washington has the least progressive tax structure in the U.S. It is one of only seven states that does not levy a personal income tax. The wealthiest one percent of Washington taxpayers pay 3.2% of their income in taxes. The poorest fifth of Washington taxpayers pay 17.6% of their income in taxes. The state also does not collect a corporate income tax or franchise tax. However, Washington businesses are responsible for various other state levies. One tax Washington charges on most businesses is the business and occupation tax (B & O), a gross receipts tax which charges varying rates for different types of businesses.

Washington's state sales tax is 6.5 percent, and it applies to services as well as products. Most foods are exempt from sales tax; however, prepared foods, dietary supplements and soft drinks remain taxable. The combined state and local retail sales tax rates increase the taxes paid by consumers, depending on the variable local sales tax rates, generally between 8 and 9 percent. An excise tax applies to certain select products such as gasoline, cigarettes, and alcoholic beverages. Property tax was the first tax levied in the state of Washington and its collection accounts for about 30 percent of Washington's total state and local revenue. It continues to be the most important revenue source for public schools, fire protection, libraries, parks and recreation, and other special purpose districts.

All real property and personal property is subject to tax unless specifically exempted by law. Personal property also is taxed, although most personal property owned by individuals is exempt. Personal property tax applies to personal property used when conducting business or to other personal property not exempt by law. All property taxes are paid to the county treasurer's office where the property is located. Washington does not impose a tax on intangible assets such as bank accounts, stocks or bonds. Neither does the state assess any tax on retirement income earned and received from another state. Washington does not collect inheritance taxes; however, the estate tax is decoupled from the federal estate tax laws, and therefore the state imposes its own estate tax.

Washington is one of eighteen states which has a government monopoly on sales of alcoholic beverages, although beer and wine with less than 20 percent alcohol by volume can be purchased in convenience stores and supermarkets. Liqueurs (even if under 20 percent alcohol by volume) and spirits can only be purchased in state-run or privately-owned-state-contracted liquor stores.

Bill Gates (worth $59.2 billion), the second wealthiest man in the world, is the best known billionaire from the state. Other Washington state billionaires include Paul Allen (Microsoft), Steve Ballmer (Microsoft), Jeffrey Bezos (Amazon), Craig McCaw (McCaw Cellular), James Jannard (Oakley), Howard Schultz (Starbucks), and Charles Simonyi (Microsoft).

For 2003, the total value of Washington's agricultural products was $5.79 billion, the 11th highest in the country. The total value of its crops was $3.8 billion, the 7th highest. The total value of its livestock and specialty products was $1.5 billion, the 26th highest.

In 2004, Washington ranked first in the nation in production of red raspberries (90.0% of total U.S. production), wrinkled seed peas (80.6%), hops (75.0%), spearmint oil (73.6%), apples (58.1%), sweet cherries (47.3%), pears (42.6%), peppermint oil (40.3%), Concord grapes (39.3%), carrots for processing (36.8%), and Niagara grapes (31.6%). Washington also ranked second in the nation in production of lentils, fall potatoes, dry edible peas, apricots, grapes (all varieties taken together), asparagus (over a third of the nation's production), sweet corn for processing, and green peas for processing; third in tart cherries, prunes and plums, and dry summer onions; fourth in barley and trout; and fifth in wheat, cranberries, and strawberries.

The apple industry is of particular importance to Washington. Because of the favorable climate of dry, warm summers and cold winters of central Washington, the state has led the U.S. in apple production since the 1920s. Two areas account for the vast majority of the state's apple crop: the Wenatchee–Okanogan region (comprising Chelan, Okanogan, Douglas, and Grant counties), and the Yakima region (Yakima, Benton and Kittitas counties).

Washington has a system of state highways, called State Routes, as well as an extensive ferry system which is the largest in the nation as well as the third largest in the world. There are 140 public airfields in Washington, including 16 state airports owned by the Washington State Department of Transportation. Boeing Field in Seattle is one of the busiest primary non-hub airports in the US. The unique geography of Washington presents exceptional transportation needs.

There are extensive waterways in the midst of Washington's largest cites, including Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma and Olympia. The state highways incorporate an extensive network of bridges and the largest ferry system in the United States to serve transportation needs in the Puget Sound area. Washington's marine highway constitutes a fleet of twenty-eight ferries that navigate Puget Sound and its inland waterways to 20 different ports of call. Washington is home to four of the five longest floating bridges in the world: the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge and Homer M. Hadley Bridge over Lake Washington, and the Hood Canal Bridge which connects the Olympic Peninsula and Kitsap Peninsula.

The Cascade Mountain Range also provides unique transportation challenges. Washington operates and maintains roads over seven major mountain passes and eight minor passes. During winter months some of these passes are plowed, sanded, and kept safe with avalanche control. Not all are able to stay open through the winter. The North Cascades Highway on State Route 20 closes every year. This is because of the extraordinary amount of snowfall and frequency of avalanches, leading to it not being safe in the winter months.

It is recorded that in Washington that transportation, including automobiles, planes, trains and ships is the cause of 45 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2007, Washington became the first state in the nation to target all forms of highly toxic brominated flame retardants known as PBDEs for elimination from the many common household products in which they are used. A 2004 study of 40 mothers from Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Montana found PBDEs in the breast milk of every woman tested.

Three recent studies by the Washington Department of Ecology showed that toxic chemicals banned decades ago continue to linger in the environment and concentrate in the food chain. In one of the studies, state government scientists found unacceptable levels of toxic substances in 93 samples of freshwater fish collected from 45 sites. The toxic substances included PCBs; dioxins, two chlorinated pesticides, DDE and dieldrin, and PBDEs. As a result of the study, the department will investigate the sources of PCBs in the Wenatchee River, where unhealthy levels of PCBs were found in mountain whitefish. Based on the 2007 information and a previous 2004 Ecology study, the Washington Department of Health is advising the public not to eat mountain whitefish from the Wenatchee River from Leavenworth downstream to where the river joins the Columbia, due to unhealthy levels of PCBs. Study results also indicated high levels of contaminants in fish tissue that scientists collected from Lake Washington and the Spokane River, where fish consumption advisories are already in effect.

On March 27, 2006 Governor Christine Gregoire signed into law the recently approved House Bill 2322. This bill would limit phosphorus content in dishwashing detergents statewide to 0.5% over the next six years. Though the ban would be effective statewide in 2010, it would take place in Whatcom County, Spokane County, and Clark County, Washington, in 2008. A recent discovery had linked high contents of phosphorus in water to a boom in algae population. An invasive amount of algae in bodies of water would eventually lead to a variety of excess ecological and technological issues.

The bicameral Washington State Legislature is the state's legislative branch. The state legislature is composed of a lower House of Representatives and an upper State Senate. The state is divided into 49 legislative districts of equal population, each of which elects two representatives and one senator. Representatives serve two-year terms, whilst senators serve for four years. There are no term limits. Currently, the Democratic Party holds majorities in both chambers.

Washington's executive branch is headed by a governor elected for a four-year term. The current governor is Christine Gregoire, a Democrat who has been in office since 2005.

The Washington Supreme Court is the highest court in the state. Nine justices serve on the bench and are elected statewide.

The two U.S. Senators from Washington are Patty Murray (D) and Maria Cantwell (D).

Washington representatives in the United States House of Representatives (see map of districts) are Jay Inslee (D-1), Richard Ray (Rick) Larsen (D-2), Brian Baird (D-3), Doc Hastings (R-4), Cathy McMorris (R-5), Norm Dicks (D-6), Jim McDermott (D-7), David Reichert (R-8), and Adam Smith (D-9).

The state has been thought of as politically divided by the Cascade Mountains, with Western Washington being liberal (particularly the I-5 Corridor) and Eastern Washington being conservative. Lately however, Washington has voted for the Democratic presidential nominee in every election since 1988. Spokane, the state's second largest city located in Eastern Washington, has been leaning more liberal, with one example being Democrat Maria Cantwell winning by a wide margin in the 2006 senate race against Republican Mike McGavick. Since the population is larger in the west, the Democrats usually fare better statewide. More specifically, the Seattle metro area (especially King County) generally delivers strong Democratic margins, while the outlying areas of Western Washington were nearly tied in both 2000 and 2004. It was considered a key swing state in 1968, and it was the only Western state to give its electoral votes to Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey over his Republican opponent Richard Nixon. However, Washington was considered a part of the 1994 Republican Revolution, and had the biggest pickup in the house for Republicans, making 7 of the 9 house members Republicans for the state of Washington. However, this dominance did not last for long as Democrats picked up one seat in the 1996 election and two more in 1998, giving the Democrats a 5-4 majority.

The two current United States Senators from Washington are Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, both of whom are members of the Democratic Party. The office of Governor is held by Christine Gregoire, who was re-elected to her second term in the 2008 gubernatorial election. Washington is the first and only state in the country to have elected women to both of its United States Senate seats, and the office of Governor. Both houses of the Washington State Legislature (the Washington Senate and the Washington House of Representatives) are currently controlled by the Democratic Party.

Three ships of the United States Navy, including two battleships, have been named USS Washington in honor of the state. Previous ships had held that name in honor of George Washington.

The State song is "Washington My Home", the State bird is the American Goldfinch, the State fruit is the Apple, and the State vegetable is the Walla Walla Sweet Onion The State dance, adopted in 1979, is the Square Dance. The State Tree is the Western Hemlock. The State flower is the Coast Rhododendron. The State Fish is the Steelhead Trout. The State folk song is "Roll On, Columbia, Roll On" by Woody Guthrie. The State Grass is Bluebunch wheatgrass. The State Insect is the Green Darner Dragonfly. The State Gem is Petrified wood. The State Fossil is the Columbian Mammoth. The State Marine Mammal is the Orca Whale. The State Seal (featured in the state flag as well) was inspired by the unfinished portrait by Gilbert Stuart.

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Washington University in St Louis

2008 Vice Presidential Debate at the Washington University Field House

Washington University in St. Louis is a nonsectarian, private research university located in Greater St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1853 and named for George Washington, the university has students and faculty from all fifty U.S. states and more than one hundred and twenty five nations. Twenty-two Nobel laureates have been associated with Washington University, nine doing the major part of their pioneering research at the university.

Washington University is made up of seven graduate and undergraduate schools that encompass a broad range of academic fields. Officially incorporated as "The Washington University", popular nicknames for the university include "Wash. U." and "WUSTL", all derived from the initials of the university's name. To prevent confusion over its location, the Board of Trustees added the phrase "in St. Louis" in 1976. The university has an endowment of $4.05 billion. The current chancellor is Mark S. Wrighton, who has led the university since 1995. He is among the highest paid university heads in the United States.

Washington University was conceived by seventeen St. Louis business, political, and religious leaders concerned by the lack of institutions of higher learning in the Midwest. Missouri State Senator Wayman Crow and Unitarian minster William Greenleaf Eliot, grandfather of the Nobel Prize laureate poet T. S. Eliot, led the effort.

The university's first chancellor was Joseph Gibson Hoyt. Crow secured the university charter from the Missouri State Legislature in 1853 and handled further political maneuvering. While Eliot was in charge of raising funds for the university, he accepted the position as President of the Board of Trustees. Early on Eliot was able to solicit some support from the local business community, including John O'Fallon, one of the wealthiest people in St. Louis. He briefly considering naming the university the O'Fallon Institute, but Eliot failed to secure a permanent endowment. In fact Wash U is unique among American universities in not having had a prior financial endowment to begin with. The institution had no backing of a religious organization, single wealthy patron, or earmarked government support. Financial problems plagued the university for several decades after its founding.

The name of the university was still unclear; in the three years following its inspection, the university bore three different names. The board first approved Eliot Seminary, but this title was replaced by the Washington Institute, because of William Eliot's stiff opposition to the name. Not only was Eliot uncomfortable with naming a university after himself, but he objected to the establishment of a seminary, which would implicitly be charged with teaching a religious faith. He favored a non-sectarian university. Under pressure from Eliot, the Board of Trustees created a task force charged with naming the university, headed by Samuel Treat.

Several months later Treat's committee proposed naming the University the Washington Institute, after the nation's first president George Washington. However in the midst of finance problems the Board of Trustees, voted to name the university the O'Fallon Institute to secure funds from John O'Fallon, the wealthiest individual in St. Louis. Treat believed the name was unsuitable and persuaded the board to drop the name in favor of the Washington Institute. Naming the University after the nation's first president, only six years before the American Civil War and during a time of bitter national division, was no coincidence. George Washington was universally admired by Americans and hailed as the father of America and the country's greatest president. Treat believed that the university should be a force of unity in a strongly divided Missouri.

In 1856 the University amended its name to Washington University. The university amended its name once more in 1976 when the Board of Trustees voted to add the suffix "in St. Louis" to distinguish the university from the nearly two dozen universities bearing Washington's name.

Although sanctioned as a university, for years Washington University functioned primarily as a night school located on 17th Street and Washington Avenue, in the heart of the bustling St. Louis Downtown. Plagued by the lack of resources, the university was forced to use public buildings. Classes began on October 22, 1854 at the Benton School building. At first the university paid for the evening classes, but as their popularity grew, the bill was transferred to the St. Louis public schools. Eventually the board was able to secure funds for the construction of Academic Hall and a half dozen other buildings. Later the university divided into three departments; the Manual Training School, Smith Academy, and the Mary Institute. In 1867 the university opened the first private non-sectarian law school west of the Mississippi River. By 1882 the university had expanded to numerous departments, housed in buildings spread across downtown St. Louis. However by the 1890s, the university was on the brink of financial collapse, until Robert Sommers Brookings, president of the Board of Trustees, undertook the task of rebuilding the universities finances, and acquiring land for a new campus. Brookings was instrumental in raising money for the university, since Eliot, the primary fundraiser for the university, had died.

Washington University spent its first half century in downtown St. Louis bound by Washington Ave., Lucas Place, and Locust Street. By the 1890s, due to the dramatic expansion of the Manual School, and a new benefactor in Robert Brookings, the University began to move west. The university Board of Directors began a process to find suitable ground, and hired the architecture firm Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot of Boston. A committee of Robert S. Brookings, Henry Ware Eliot, and William Huse found a site of 103 acres (0.42 km2) just beyond Forest Park, located west of the city limits in St. Louis County. The elevation of the land was thought to resemble the Acropolis and inspired the nickname of "Hilltop" campus, renamed the Danforth campus in 2006 to honor former chancellor William "Bill" H. Danforth. In 1899 the university opened a design contest for the new campus. A plan for a row of quadrangles, submitted by Cope & Stewardson Philadelphia, won unanimously. The cornerstone of the first building, Busch Hall, was laid on October 20, 1900. The school delayed occupying Busch Hall until 1905 to accommodate the 1904 World's Fair and Olympics. The delay allowed the university to construct ten buildings instead of the seven originally planned.

Fitting for its national prominence gained since World War II, Washington University has been known to be a progressive campus, frequently inviting speakers such as NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, who received an honorary doctorate in 2000. Washington University admitted its first women law students in 1869. Washington University School of Medicine later admitted its first women medical students in 1918. Washington University integrated St. Louis Jewish Hospital, a local pioneering institution, as a major affiliate in 1963.

The process of desegregation at Washington University began after World War II in 1947 with the School of Medicine and the School of Social Work. The university ended racial segregation in its undergraduate divisions in 1952, making it the last local institution of higher education to do so. During the mid- and late 1940s, the University was the target of critical editorials in the local African American press, letter-writing campaigns by churches and the local Urban League, and legal briefs by the NAACP intended to strip its tax-exempt status. In spring 1949, a Washington University student group, the Student Committee for the Admission of Negroes (SCAN), began campaigning for full racial integration. The administration continued to hold that full desegregation "would place the University outside of the community," as Vice-Chancellor Leslie Buchan claimed in 1951, and could spark "incidents on campus." However, under mounting internal and external pressure, the Board of Trustees in May 1952 passed a resolution desegregating the school's undergraduate divisions.

Washington University has been selected by the Commission on Presidential Debates to host more Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates than any other institution in history. The University has been selected to host a Presidential or Vice Presidential debate in every United States Presidential election since 1992. United States presidential election debates were held at the Washington University Field House in 1992, 2000, and 2004. A Presidential debate was planned to occur in 1996, but scheduling difficulties between the candidates canceled the debate. The university hosted the only 2008 Vice Presidential debate, between Governor Sarah Palin, R-AK, and Senator Joe Biden, D-DE, on October 2, 2008, also at the Washington University Field House.

Although Chancellor Wrighton has previously noted after the 2004 debate that it would be "improbable" that the University will host another debate and was not eager to commit to the possibility, he subsequently changed his view and the University submitted a bid for the 2008 debates. "These one-of-a-kind events are great experiences for our students, they contribute to a national understanding of important issues, and they allow us to help bring national and international attention to the St. Louis region as one of America's great metropolitan areas," said Wrighton.

In 2007, Washington University received 22,428 applications for 1,338 spots. The acceptance rate for the Class of 2011 was 19%. More than 90% of incoming freshmen were ranked in the top 10% of their high school class. Also in 2006, the University ranked fourth overall and second amongst private universities in the number of enrolled National Merit Scholar freshmen, according to the National Merit Scholar Corp.'s annual report. Washington University in St. Louis was ranked number one for quality of life in 2008 according to the Princeton Review, among other top rankings.

Currently, the undergraduate program is ranked 12th overall, tied with Northwestern University, and 11th in admissions selectivity, in the 2009 U.S. News & World Report National Universities ranking. Additionally, 19 undergraduate disciplines are ranked among the top 10 programs in the country. Global rankings include 28th in a ranking of world universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2006 that assesses quality of scientific research leading toward a Nobel Prize. Britain's Times Higher Education Supplement ranked Washington University 48th in the world in 2006. Washington University was ranked 45th nationally in The Washington Monthly's 2006 ranking of universities' contributions to research, community service, and social mobility. In addition, the Olin Business School's undergraduate program is among the top 12 in the country. The Olin Business School's undergraduate program is also considered amongst the country's most competitive, admitting only 14% of applicants in 2007.

Graduate schools include the School of Medicine, currently ranked 3rd in the nation, and the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, currently ranked 1st. The Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University currently occupies the top spot for the US News and World Report rankings (tied for #1). In 2008-2009, the School of Law was ranked 19th while the Olin Business School was ranked 25th. Additionally, the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design was ranked 5th in the nation by Design Intelligence.

Although the school includes St. Louis in its name – and its official mailing address is in the City of St. Louis – the school's main Danforth Campus (including Brookings Hall and its most famous landmark pertrusions) is mostly in an unincorporated section of St. Louis County. The city's border pass though the east end of the campus, bisecting Whitaker Hall (Biomedical Engineering) and Givens Hall (Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts). The eastern border of the campus is Skinker Boulevard, across from Forest Park (St. Louis). It is bordered to the north and west by the city of University City, Missouri, and to the south by Clayton, Missouri.

The school's Medical Campus is in the city of St. Louis on the east end of Forest Park. Some administrative offices are in the city of St. Louis in what is called the North Campus. The 560 Music Center and the Lewis Center are in University City.

The school has also two smaller campuses (South and West) as well as the Tyson Research Center in St. Louis County.

Distinguished by its collegiate gothic architecture, the 169-acre (0.7 km2) Danforth Campus lies at the western boundary of Forest Park, partially in the City of St. Louis. Most of the campus sits in unincorporated St. Louis County, while the southern part of the campus sits in suburban Clayton.

Formerly known as the Hilltop Campus, Danforth Campus was officially dedicated with a formal university ceremony on September 17, 2006, in honor of William H. Danforth, the 13th Chancellor of the University, the Danforth family, and the Danforth Foundation.

The construction of Danforth Campus was accelerated through a profitable lease of several buildings to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. Through the efforts and influence of David R. Francis, an alumnus and former mayor of St. Louis, Missouri governor and U.S. Interior Secretary, newly-constructed campus buildings on the edge of Forest Park began use for classes when the World's Fair was over. This included facilities used by the 1904 Summer Olympics (the first Olympics played in the Western Hemisphere), such as Francis Field and Francis Gymnasium.

The Danforth Campus is accessible by the University City-Big Bend and Skinker stations on the MetroLink's recently-opened cross-county extension, which provides easy access to the Washington University Medical Campus, the North Campus, and the West Campus.

Washington University Medical Center comprises 135 acres (0.5 km2) spread over approximately 12 city blocks, located along the eastern edge of Forest Park within the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis. The campus is home to the School of Medicine and its associated teaching hospitals, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital. Many of the buildings are connected via a series of sky bridges and corridors.

The School's 2,100 employed and volunteer faculty physicians also serve as the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children's hospitals, which are part of BJC HealthCare. Washington University and BJC have taken on many joint venture projects, such as the Center for Advanced Medicine, completed in December 2001.

Olin Residence Hall, named for Spencer T. Olin, provides residential services for 200 medical and graduate students.

The Medical Campus is accessible via the Central West End MetroLink station, which provides a quick link to the Danforth, North, and West Campuses.

Washington University's North Campus and West Campus principally house administrative functions that are not student-focused. North Campus lies in St. Louis City, near the Delmar Loop. The University acquired the building and adjacent property in 2004, formerly home to the Angelica Uniform Factory. Several University administrative departments are located at the North Campus location, including offices for Quadrangle Housing, Accounting and Treasury Services, Parking and Transportation Services, Army ROTC, and Network Technology Services. The North Campus location also provides off-site storage space for the Performing Arts Department. Renovations are still ongoing; the most recent addition to the North Campus space was a small eatery operated by Bon Appétit Management Company, the University's on-campus food provider, completed during spring semester 2007.

The West Campus is located about a mile to the west of the Danforth Campus in Clayton, Missouri, and primarily consists of a three-story former department store building housing mostly administrative space. The West Campus building was home to the Clayton branch of the Famous-Barr department store until 1990, when the University acquired the property and adjacent parking and began a series of renovations. Today, the basement level houses the Library archives and a conference center. The ground level still remains a retail space. The upper floors consolidated capital gifts, portions of alumni and development, and information systems offices from across the Danforth and Medical School campuses. There is a music rehearsal room on the second floor where the WUSTL Symphony Orchestra currently practices. The West Campus is also home to the Center for the Application of Information Technologies (CAIT), which provides IT training services.

Both the North and West Campuses are accessible by the St. Louis MetroLink, with the Delmar Loop and Forsyth MetroLink Stations directly adjacent to these campuses, which provides easy access around the St. Louis metropolitan area, including all of Washington University's campuses.

Tyson Research Center is a 2,000-acre (8 km2) field station located west of St. Louis on the Meramec River. Washington University obtained Tyson as surplus property from the federal government in 1963. It is used by the University as a biological field station and research/education center.

Arts & Sciences at Washington University comprises three divisions: the College of Arts & Sciences, the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, and University College in Arts & Sciences. Edward S. Macias is Executive Vice Chancellor and Dean of Arts & Sciences. James E. McLeod is the Vice Chancellor for Students and Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. Robert E. Thach is Dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

Founded as the School of Commerce and Finance in 1917, the Olin Business School was named after entrepreneur John M. Olin in 1988. The school provides degree programs including BSBA, MBA, MS in Finance, Master's in Accounting, part-time Professional MBA, Executive MBA and PhD, as well as non-degree executive education. In 2002, an Executive MBA program was established in Shanghai, in cooperation with Fudan University.

Olin has a network of about 15,000 alumni worldwide. Over the last several years, the school’s endowment has increased to $213 million (2004) and annual gifts average $12 million per year. Simon Hall was opened in 1986 after a donation from John E. Simon.

Undergraduate BSBA students take 40–60% of their courses at Olin and are able to formally declare majors in eight areas: accounting, entrepreneurship, finance, healthcare management, marketing, managerial economics and strategy, organization and human resources, international business, or operations and supply chain management. Graduate students are able to pursue the MBA degree either full-time or part-time. Students may also take elective courses from other areas in Washington University including law and many other fields. Mahendra R. Gupta is the Dean of the Olin Business School.

Olin graduates are well represented in leadership positions at companies across various industries, including: Wachovia, Anheuser-Busch, Bank of America, Bear Stearns, Deloitte Consulting, Edward Jones Investments, Exxon-Mobil, General Mills, IBM, International Paper, Marriott, Monsanto, JPMorgan Chase, Samsung, and UBS.

Architecture offers BS and BA degrees as well as M. Arch and MUD. There is a combined six-year BS and M. Arch degree program as well as joint M. Arch programs with most of the other schools in the University. In 2008, the Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design was ranked 5th in the nation by Design Intelligence.

Art offers the BFA and MFA in Art in the context of a full university environment. Students take courses in the College of Arts & Sciences as well as courses in the College of Art to provide a well rounded background. One third of students in the school pursue a combined study degree program, second major, and/or minors in other undergraduate divisions at Washington University. U.S. News & World Report ranked the MFA program 15th in the nation in 2008.

In October 2006 the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum moved into new facilities designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect, and former faculty member, Fumihiko Maki.

Carmon Colangelo is the Dean of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. Bruce Lindsey is Dean of the College of Architecture and the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design. Ron Leax is the interim Dean of the College and Graduate School of Art.

The Washington University School of Engineering was ranked 43 in the 2007–2008 U.S. News undergraduate engineering program ratings. Graduate programs are also offered through the School of Engineering and part-time programs through the Sever Institute of Continuing Studies. Former-interim Dean of Engineering Salvatore P. Sutera took office 1 July 2008, preceded by Dean Mary J. Sansalone.

The Washington University School of Law offers eight joint-degree programs, including JD/MSW, JD/East Asian Studies, and JD/MBA programs. It also offers two graduate degrees in law, the LLM and the MJS (Master of Juridical Studies). The law school offers 3 semesters of courses in the Spring, Summer, and Fall, and requires at least 85 hours of coursework for the JD.

Kent D. Syverud is the Dean of the School of Law.

The Washington University School of Medicine is highly regarded as one of the world's leading centers for medical research and training. Among its many recent initiatives, the School's Genome Sequencing Center (directed by Dr. Richard K. Wilson, Ph.D.) played a leadership role in the Human Genome Project, having contributed 25% of the finished sequence. The School pioneered bedside teaching and led in the transformation of empirical knowledge into scientific medicine. The medical school partners with St. Louis Children's Hospital and Barnes-Jewish Hospital (part of BJC HealthCare), where all physicians are members of the school's faculty.

Within the medical school, the Program in Physical Therapy is also highly reputable. It is ranked 2nd in the nation for "Best Physical Therapy Schools" according to U.S. News & World Report. In 1999, the Program was granted approval by Washington University to offer a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) at both the professional and post-professional levels. The two new clinical doctorate programs replaced the Master of Science in Physical Therapy and the Master of Health Science (MHS). With the transition to the DPT, the program would best equip students to manage the changing needs of the health-care environment and the growing responsibilities of the profession. In its 60-year history, more than 1,500 students, most of whom are still actively involved in the physical therapy profession, have graduated from the Program.

The Program in Occupational Therapy is currently tied for 1st in the nation for "Best Occupational Therapy Schools" according to U.S. News & World Report. The Program offers a Master of Science degree as well as the Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) at the professional and post-professional levels. M. Carolyn Baum, Ph.D., serves as the program director and was the most recent president of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

Larry Shapiro, MD, is Executive Vice Chancellor for Medical Affairs and Dean of the School of Medicine.

The George Warren Brown School of Social Work (commonly called the Brown School or Brown) is currently ranked first among Master of Social Work (MSW) programs in the United States. Brown also offers a Ph.D. in Social Work, in cooperation with the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. The school was endowed by Bettie Bofinger Brown and named for her husband — George Warren Brown — a St. Louis philanthropist and co-founder of the Brown Shoe Company. The school is housed within Brown and Goldfarb halls. It has a center for Native American research, as well as acclaimed scholars in social security, health, individual development accounts, etc.

The school's current dean is Edward F. Lawlor.

The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, established in 1881, is one of the oldest teaching museums in the country and the first art museum established west of the Mississippi River. The collection includes works from 19th, 20th, and 21st century American and European artists, including George Caleb Bingham, Thomas Cole, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Alexander Calder, Jackson Pollock, Rembrandt, Robert Rauschenberg, Barbara Kruger, and Christian Boltanski. Also in the complex is the 3,000 sq ft (300 m2) Newman Money Museum. In October 2006, the Kemper Art Museum moved from its previous location, Steinberg Hall, into a new facility designed by Fumihiko Maki. Interestingly, Maki's very first commission was in fact that very same Steinberg Hall on Washington University's campus in 1959, which is directly in front of his newest building, the Kemper Art Museum complex, nearly 40 years after Steinberg.

Virtually all faculty members at Washington University engage in academic research, offering opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students across the University's 7 schools. Known for its interdisciplinarity and departmental collaboration, most research centers and institutes at Washington University are collaborative efforts between many areas on campus. More than 60% of undergraduates are involved in faculty research across all areas; it is an institutional priority for undergraduates to be allowed to participate in advanced research, which is rather unique among leading private research universities. According to the Center for Measuring University Performance, it is considered to be one of the top 10 private research universities in the nation. A dedicated Office of Undergraduate Research is located on the Danforth Campus and serves as a resource to post research opportunities, advise students in finding appropriate positions matching their interests, publish undergraduate research journals, and award research grants to make it financially possible to perform research.

During fiscal 2007, $537.5 million was received in total research support, including $444 million in federal obligations. The University has over 150 National Institutes of Health funded inventions, with many of them licensed to private companies. Governmental agencies and non-profit foundations such as the NIH, United States Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, and NASA provide the majority of research grant funding, with Washington University being one of the top recipients in NIH grants from year-to-year. Nearly 80% of NIH grants to institutions in the state of Missouri went to Washington University alone in 2007. Washington University and its Medical School play a large part in the Human Genome Project, where it contributes approximately 25% of the finished sequence. The Genome Sequencing Center has decoded the genome of many animals, plants, and cellular organisms, including the platypus, chimpanzee, cat, and corn.

NASA hosts its Planetary Data System Geosciences Node on the campus of Washington University. Professors, students, and researchers have been very involved with many unmanned missions to Mars. Professor Ray Arvidson has been co-investigator of the Phoenix Rover robotic arm and chair of the Mars Exploration Rover landing site group.

Washington University professor Joseph Lowenstein, with the assistance of several undergraduate students, has been involved in editing, annotating, making a digital archive of the first publication of poet Edmund Spencer's collective works in 100 years. A large grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities has been given to support this ambitious project centralized at Washington University with support from other colleges in the United States.

Washington University has over 200 undergraduate student organizations on campus. Most are funded by the Washington University Student Union, which has a $2 million plus annual budget that is completely student controlled and is one of the largest student government budgets in the country. Known as SU for short, it sponsors large-scale campus programs including WILD (a semesterly concert in the quad), free copies of the New York Times, USA Today, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch through The Collegiate Readership Program; the Assembly Series, a weekly lecture series; and the campus television station, WUTV and the radio station, KWUR. KWUR was named best radio station in St. Louis of 2003 by the Riverfront Times despite the fact that its signal reaches only a few blocks beyond the boundaries of the campus. Washington University is also home to the National Prestigious Society of Collegiate Jugglers, one of the largest and most talented juggling clubs in the Midwest. There are 12 fraternities and 7 sororities. The Congress of the South 40 (CS40 for short) is a Residential Life and Events Programming Board, which operates outside of the SU sphere. CS40's funding comes from the Housing Activities Fee of each student living on the South 40.

Washington University in St. Louis has twelve fraternities and seven sororities on-campus.

Many of these organizations and other campus life amenities are housed in the new $43 million Danforth University Center on the Danforth Campus, also dedicated in honor of the Danforth family. The building opened on August 11, 2008 and is expected to earn a LEED rating of Gold for environmentally friendly design.

75% of undergraduate students live on campus. Most of the residence halls on campus are located on the South 40, named because of its adjacent location on the south side of the Danforth Campus and its size of 40 acres. It is the location of all the freshman dorms as well as several upperclassman dorms. All of the dorms are co-ed. The South 40 is organized as a pedestrian-friendly environment where residences surround a central recreational lawn known as the Swamp. Wohl Student Center, the Habif Health and Wellness Center (Student Health Services), the Residential Life Office, University Police Headquarters, various student-owned businesses (e.g. the laundry service, Wash U Wash), and the baseball, softball, and intramural fields are also located on the South 40.

Another group of residences, known as the North Side, is located in the northwest corner of Danforth Campus. Only open to upperclassmen and January Scholars, the North Side consists of Millbrook Apartments, The Village, Village East on-campus apartments, and all fraternity houses except the Zeta Beta Tau house, which is off campus and located just northwest of the South 40. Sororities at Washington University do not have houses by their own accord. The Village is a group of residences where students who have similar interests or academic goals apply as small groups of 4 to 24, known as BLOCs, to live together in clustered suites along with non-BLOCs. Like the South 40, the residences around the Village also surround a recreational lawn.

Washington University supports four major student-run media outlets. The university's student newspaper, Student Life, is available for students. KWUR (90.3 FM) serves as the students' official radio station; the station also attracts an audience in the immediately surrounding community due to its eclectic and free-form musical programming. Though KWUR offers streaming content through the Internet, the station only broadcasts at 10 watts, and its frequent applications to the FCC to increase its power have been unsuccessful. WUTV is the university's closed-circuit television channel. The university's main student-run political publication is the Washington University Political Review (nicknamed "WUPR"), a self-described "multipartisan" triweekly magazine. Washington University undergraduates publish two literary and art journals, The Eliot Review and Spires Intercollegiate Arts and Literary Magazine. A variety of other publications also serve the university community, ranging from in-house academic journals to glossy alumni magazines to Wunderground, campus' student-run satirical newspaper.

WUSTL's sports teams are called the Bears. They participate in the University Athletic Association and the NCAA Division III. The Bears have won 15 NCAA Division III Championships, one each in men's tennis (2008) and basketball (2008), four in women's basketball (1998-2001), nine in women's volleyball (1989, 1991-1996, 2003, 2007), and 122 UAA titles in 14 different sports. The Athletic Department is headed by John Schael who has served as director of athletics since 1978. The 2000 Division III Central Region winner of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics/Continental Airlines Athletics Director of the Year award, Schael has helped orchestrate the Bears athletics transformation into one of the top departments in Division III. Washington University in St. Louis is home of Francis Field, site of the 1904 Summer Olympics. Francis Field is also home of the Washington University in St. Louis Football, Soccer, and Track and Field teams.

Since its founding, Washington University has been led by 14 Chancellors, beginning with Joseph Gibson Hoyt in 1858. Mark Stephen Wrighton serves as the current Chancellor of the University.

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Source : Wikipedia