This year, The Evergreen State College turned 50 years young. A member institution of the Council of Presidents, and Washington’s only public liberal arts college, Evergreen is widely recognized as a thought leader, pushing access to student-centered, interdisciplinary education and fostering generations of leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovation experimenters.
In 1971, Evergreen’s first entering class was viewed as a grand experiment both in the state, and across the country. The creation of a four-year public college without grades or majors signaled that people were ready to explore new possibilities with their institutions of higher education. The goal was to see what would happen if people were provided more freedom to formally pursue what they were most passionate about. Decades later, this investment continues to pay off.
With accomplishments ranging from groundbreaking research, to producing industry leaders, successful entrepreneurs, and more, Evergreen has made countless imprints on both underground and mainstream culture. Ever evolving to meet the needs of students, the college has bolstered access to a quality, dynamic learning model especially for populations who have historically been excluded from higher education. Evergreen opens doors to students, with the offer of an affordable education that will launch them into the future they envision for themselves.
What began 50 years ago on a small, wooded campus in Olympia, has spread decades later to influence the delivery of not only higher education, but also K-12 education. A hope to create something new has resulted in all that and more for students, families, employers, and institutions, as Washington’s public baccalaureates continue to develop more places dedicated to empowerment, collaboration, and creative problem solving.