UW Traditions

The University of Washington has a long history of traditions that make us who we are. 

Apple Cup

The Apple Cup is the rival football matchup between the University of Washington and Washington State University that began in 1900 and continues today. Traditionally, it is the last game of the regular season and is often played on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The winning team is presented with the Apple Cup trophy by the current state governor.

ASUW elections

The Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) serves as the undergraduate student government. ASUW, founded in 1906, is funded and supported by student fees, and provides services that directly and indirectly benefit the student body. Every year, students participate in elections to vote for the ASUW Board of Directors who represent and advocate for the student body. Elections are held in the spring and all students are encouraged to vote.

Cherry blossoms

Visiting the famous UW cherry blossoms (Yoshino cherry varietal from Japan) in the Quad is a must-do spring tradition for both local and global communities alike. However, the exact time these beauties bloom fluctuates depending on the weather. Originally from the Washington Park Arboretum, these trees were replanted in the Quad resembling a large W from above. When visiting during their peak bloom, expect large crowds of students, tourists, and people taking wedding photos.

Commencement and Convocation

New Student Convocation is the official UW welcome ceremony for new Huskies and their families. New Student Convocation is one of only two occasions where the University president, the Board of Regents, the deans of the UW schools and colleges and the faculty gather in a formal academic setting focused on students. The other, of course, is the graduation ceremony, Commencement. These two events are the seminal “bookend” events of a college career.

Dawg Daze

Dawg Daze is the UW welcome for new and returning students. Dawg Daze begins before the start of the school year and runs through the first few days of the autumn quarter. It's full of fun and community focused events ranging from concerts to academic workshops. Dawg Daze officially started in 2004. 

Winter Dawg Daze is a small size version offered to new winter quarter admit Huskies and returning students in January. 

Dubs and Harry

Husky spirit can’t be reduced to only one mascot...we have two! After establishing Huskies as the official mascot of the University in 1922, the tradition of appointing a live dog to the position was started. Currently, the 14th live mascot’s name is Dubs II and he can be seen during many athletic and campus events. Harry the Husky is the official mascot in costume and made his first appearance in 1995.

Drumheller Fountain and Rainier Vista

Drumheller Fountain, traditionally known as Frosh Pond, sits at the center of campus on Rainier Vista. While this fountain is now home to many local ducks and geese, it gets its nickname from early occupants...unsuspecting freshmen! As an unsanctioned early tradition, older students would throw first year students into the fountain.

Though it was originally ignored in the planning of the University, Rainier Vista is arguably the best view on campus on a clear day. As a protected airspace, no one can build anything that may obstruct the view of Mount Rainier from Red Square.

Parent & Family Weekend

Parent & Family Weekend is an annual tradition when the University invites all families to come to campus and spend the weekend with their Huskies. UW families can can enjoy on-campus events, tours and the opportunity to join the UW Family Tailgate Party. 

Purple Fridays

Huskies show their pride every week by celebrating Purple Friday! This tradition is easy to participate in: simply wear purple, every Friday of the year.

The Sylvan Grove columns

The columns are part of the UW’s first building constructed in 1861 in downtown Seattle. When the UW moved to its current location, only the cedar columns survived demolition. After a few relocations around campus, in 1921 they were moved to their final destination, Sylvan Grove Theater. The columns stand for four university values: loyalty, industry, faith and efficiency or “LIFE”. 

Students touch the column that represents a value they resonate with when they arrive on campus for the first time while reflecting on their future at the UW. Students touch the columns one more time at their graduation, representing the end of their undergraduate academic journey at the UW. 

The wave

The famous wave which can be seen around the world was founded in Husky Stadium in 1981 during a UW football game against Stanford. The UW made the wave famous, and the wave can still be seen in Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium.

UW Homecoming, W Day and Dawg Dash

UW’s Homecoming is a week long celebration which typically ends with a Homecoming football game and the announcement of the UW Alumni Association Homecoming Scholars. Alumni, students and friends come from near and far to celebrate. The week also includes the annual Dawg Dash, a run through campus, and W Day, which is the celebration of the UW’s founding in 1861.

UW cheers

During a lull at a UW athletic event, you may hear the "Go Huskies" cheer. One side of the stadium or arena will yell, "GO!" and the other side will yell, "Huskies!" This will continue back and forth between the two sides until it dies out. There are several other cheers and songs including the official fight song written by Lester Wilson in 1915 as part of a contest. The fight song has had five iterations of its lyrics. The most recent lyrics are available on the sidebar. 

Windermere Cup

Now the symbol of Seattle's Opening Day of boating season, the historical Windermere Cup brought the global sport of rowing to Seattle’s Montlake Cut. In efforts to heal relationships between the Soviet Union and the U.S. after the Cold War, Windermere Real Estate founder John Jacobi, in partnership with the UW hosted the first Windermere Cup in 1987. After this first successful competition, an international tradition was born. Now the large event consists of the Windermere Cup Regatta, followed by the Seattle Yacht Clubs’s Opening Day Boat Parade and ends in the men’s and women’s Windermere Cup races.

W photo at Husky Kickoff

W photo is the annual photo of the incoming students taken at Husky Kickoff during Dawg Daze. The photo is held in Husky Stadium field or a nearby location and invites all new Huskies and the First-year Interest Group (FIG) leaders to join in games and activities.

 

 

Apple Cup

The Apple Cup is the rival football matchup between the University of Washington and Washington State University that began in 1900 and continues today. Traditionally, it is the last game of the regular season and is often played on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The winning team is presented with the Apple Cup trophy by the current state governor.

ASUW elections

The Associated Students of the University of Washington (ASUW) serves as the undergraduate student government. ASUW, founded in 1906, is funded and supported by student fees, and provides services that directly and indirectly benefit the student body. Every year, students participate in elections to vote for the ASUW Board of Directors who represent and advocate for the student body. Elections are held in the spring and all students are encouraged to vote.

Cherry blossoms

Visiting the famous UW cherry blossoms (Yoshino cherry varietal from Japan) in the Quad is a must-do spring tradition for both local and global communities alike. However, the exact time these beauties bloom fluctuates depending on the weather. Originally from the Washington Park Arboretum, these trees were replanted in the Quad resembling a large W from above. When visiting during their peak bloom, expect large crowds of students, tourists, and people taking wedding photos.

Commencement and Convocation

New Student Convocation is the official UW welcome ceremony for new Huskies and their families. New Student Convocation is one of only two occasions where the University president, the Board of Regents, the deans of the UW schools and colleges and the faculty gather in a formal academic setting focused on students. The other, of course, is the graduation ceremony, Commencement. These two events are the seminal “bookend” events of a college career.

Dawg Daze

Dawg Daze is the UW welcome for new and returning students. Dawg Daze begins before the start of the school year and runs through the first few days of the autumn quarter. It's full of fun and community focused events ranging from concerts to academic workshops. Dawg Daze officially started in 2004. 

Winter Dawg Daze is a small size version offered to new winter quarter admit Huskies and returning students in January. 

Dubs and Harry

Husky spirit can’t be reduced to only one mascot...we have two! After establishing Huskies as the official mascot of the University in 1922, the tradition of appointing a live dog to the position was started. Currently, the 14th live mascot’s name is Dubs II and he can be seen during many athletic and campus events. Harry the Husky is the official mascot in costume and made his first appearance in 1995.

Drumheller Fountain and Rainier Vista

Drumheller Fountain, traditionally known as Frosh Pond, sits at the center of campus on Rainier Vista. While this fountain is now home to many local ducks and geese, it gets its nickname from early occupants...unsuspecting freshmen! As an unsanctioned early tradition, older students would throw first year students into the fountain.

Though it was originally ignored in the planning of the University, Rainier Vista is arguably the best view on campus on a clear day. As a protected airspace, no one can build anything that may obstruct the view of Mount Rainier from Red Square.

Parent & Family Weekend

Parent & Family Weekend is an annual tradition when the University invites all families to come to campus and spend the weekend with their Huskies. UW families can can enjoy on-campus events, tours and the opportunity to join the UW Family Tailgate Party. 

Purple Fridays

Huskies show their pride every week by celebrating Purple Friday! This tradition is easy to participate in: simply wear purple, every Friday of the year.

The Sylvan Grove columns

The columns are part of the UW’s first building constructed in 1861 in downtown Seattle. When the UW moved to its current location, only the cedar columns survived demolition. After a few relocations around campus, in 1921 they were moved to their final destination, Sylvan Grove Theater. The columns stand for four university values: loyalty, industry, faith and efficiency or “LIFE”. 

Students touch the column that represents a value they resonate with when they arrive on campus for the first time while reflecting on their future at the UW. Students touch the columns one more time at their graduation, representing the end of their undergraduate academic journey at the UW. 

The wave

The famous wave which can be seen around the world was founded in Husky Stadium in 1981 during a UW football game against Stanford. The UW made the wave famous, and the wave can still be seen in Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium.

UW Homecoming, W Day and Dawg Dash

UW’s Homecoming is a week long celebration which typically ends with a Homecoming football game and the announcement of the UW Alumni Association Homecoming Scholars. Alumni, students and friends come from near and far to celebrate. The week also includes the annual Dawg Dash, a run through campus, and W Day, which is the celebration of the UW’s founding in 1861.

UW cheers

During a lull at a UW athletic event, you may hear the "Go Huskies" cheer. One side of the stadium or arena will yell, "GO!" and the other side will yell, "Huskies!" This will continue back and forth between the two sides until it dies out. There are several other cheers and songs including the official fight song written by Lester Wilson in 1915 as part of a contest. The fight song has had five iterations of its lyrics. The most recent lyrics are available on the sidebar. 

Windermere Cup

Now the symbol of Seattle's Opening Day of boating season, the historical Windermere Cup brought the global sport of rowing to Seattle’s Montlake Cut. In efforts to heal relationships between the Soviet Union and the U.S. after the Cold War, Windermere Real Estate founder John Jacobi, in partnership with the UW hosted the first Windermere Cup in 1987. After this first successful competition, an international tradition was born. Now the large event consists of the Windermere Cup Regatta, followed by the Seattle Yacht Clubs’s Opening Day Boat Parade and ends in the men’s and women’s Windermere Cup races.

W photo at Husky Kickoff

W photo is the annual photo of the incoming students taken at Husky Kickoff during Dawg Daze. The photo is held in Husky Stadium field or a nearby location and invites all new Huskies and the First-year Interest Group (FIG) leaders to join in games and activities.

UW Fight Song

Bow down to Washington
Bow down to Washington
Mighty are the ones who wear the purple and the gold
Joyfully we welcome them within the victor’s fold
We will carve their names in the hall of fame
to preserve the memory of our devotion.

So heaven help the foes of Washington
They’re trembling at the feet of mighty Washington
Our teams are there with bells
Their fighting blood excels
It’s harder to push them over the line than pass the Dardanelles.

So, “VICTORY’S” the cry of Washington
Our leather lungs together with a RAH! RAH! RAH!
And o’er the land the loyal band will sing the glory of Washington forever!

Learn about Becoming a UW Tradition

Becoming a tradition

In order for an event to REACH the level of a first-year tradition, the event must meet the following criteria: 

View traditions at UW Bothell and UW Tacoma campuses.