The Evergreen State College, is an accredited public liberal arts college and is a member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges that is located in Olympia, Washington. Founded in 1967, Evergreen was formed to be an experimental and non-traditional college. Faculty issue narrative evaluations of students' work rather than grades, and Evergreen organizes most studies into largely interdisciplinary classes that generally constitute a full-time course load. The current Evergreen Provost is Thomas L. (Les) Purce and its Board Chair is Christopher Hedrick.
In late 2006, Evergreen's level of academic challenge among freshman and seniors was marked in the top ten percent of all baccalaureate colleges in the nation by the National Survey of Student Engagement, a study by Indiana University and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Author and former New York Times education editor Loren Pope cites Evergreen as one of two public colleges in the United States in his book Colleges That Change Lives.
Evergreen offers a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Bachelor of Science, Master of Environmental Studies, Master of Public Administration, Master of Education, and Master in Teaching. As of 2005 there were approximately 4,500 students taught by approximately 225 faculty members. The Evergreen State College has a large influence on the culture and economy of the growing city of Olympia.
Identity and athletics
Evergreen's motto is Omnia Extares
, which is a latinization of "let it all hang out" as well as an allusion to the school mascot, the geoduck
. School colors are green and white. The Geoduck Fight Song
is the college's official fight song
. It was written in 1971 by Malcolm Stilson, a staff librarian at the college from 1970 into the 1980s. He was well known at the college for writing satirical musicals about Evergreen and Olympia (such as "Das Kapital Mall") which were performed by faculty and staff members. In proper performances of the fight song, arm motions accompany the third and fourth lines of each verse. The lyrics are as follows:
- Go, Geoducks, go!
- Through the mud and the sand let's go!
- Siphon high, squirt it out, swivel all about.
- Let it all hang out!
- Go, Geoducks, go!
- Stretch your necks when the tide is low!
- Siphon high, squirt it out, swivel all about.
- Let it all hang out!
Lyrics to the college's alma mater are as follows:
- Omnia Extares, Omnia Extares
- Alma Mater, Evergreen
- Omnia Extares
The basketball and soccer programs are noted for recent national rankings in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
The school had no athletics programs until the 1980s, when their establishment was imposed by fiat from the board of trustees over the objections of faculty and students.
In 1964, a report was issued by the Council of Presidents of Washington State baccalaureate institutions stating that another college was needed in the state to balance the geographical distribution of the existing state institutions. This report spurred the 1965 Washington legislature to create the Temporary Advisory Council on Public Higher Education to study the need and possible location for a new state college.
In 1965-66, the Temporary Advisory Council on Public Higher Education (assisted by Nelson Associates of New York) concluded "at the earliest possible time a new college should be authorized", to be located at a suburban site in Thurston County within a radius of approximately from Olympia.
Evergreen's enabling legislation - HB 596 (Chapter 47, Laws of 1967) - stated that the campus should be no smaller than 600 acres (2.4 km²), making it then the largest campus in the state as well as the first public four-year college created in Washington in the 20th century.
On January 24, 1968, The Evergreen State College was selected from 31 choices as the name of the new institution. On November 1, 1968, Charles J. McCann assumed the first presidency of the college. McCann and the founding faculty held the first day of classes October 4, 1971 with 1178 students. McCann served from 1968 until his retirement June 6, 1977 when former Governor Daniel J. Evans, who signed the legislation creating Evergreen, assumed the presidency. Evans left the president's office abruptly in 1983 when he was appointed to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy created by the death of Senator Henry M. Jackson. The largest building on campus is named in honor of Evans, the Daniel J. Evans Library Building. The entrance to the campus bears McCann's name, the Charles J. McCann plaza. In 2004, the college completed the Seminar II building, and significant work is now underway at the Daniel J. Evans Library. The current president is Thomas L. Purce.
The campus contains a large tract of undeveloped land along the Puget Sound waterfront, much of it being second growth evergreen forest, which is of use to the students and faculty of the campus as a research and natural area. The entire campus comprises almost 1000 acres, much of it forested land. In addition to the main campus, there is also an organic farm as well as an urban campus located in Tacoma, Washington.
Notable alumni and students
- Kathleen Hanna, musician in band Bikini Kill and Le Tigre
- Lynda Barry, cartoonist and author
- Craig Bartlett, cartoonist and animator
- Josh Blue, stand-up comedian, winner of Last Comic Standing, member of U.S. Men's Paralympic Soccer Team
- Carrie Brownstein, musician in band Sleater-Kinney
- Charles Burns, cartoonist
- Brian Campbell, musician
- William Clocksin, Artificial Intelligence pioneer
- Rachel Corrie (1979-2003), activist
- Kimya Dawson, musician
- Heather Duby, musician
- Timo Ellis, musician
- Phil Elverum, musician
- Steve Fisk, musician, audio engineer, and producer
- John Bellamy Foster, co-editor, Monthly Review
- Jason Frost, musician, publisher A Frosty J Productions (ASCAP)
- Elizabeth Furse, former U.S. Congresswoman
- Tim Girvin, calligrapher and designer
- Joey Gjertsen, soccer player with Montreal Impact of the USL First Division
- Matt Groening, cartoonist, creator of Life in Hell, The Simpsons, and Futurama; quoted in an interview with The A.V. Club as saying "I went to college in Olympia, Washington, a fine little progressive school called Evergreen State College, state-funded, no grades, no hard courses. I highly recommend it to all self-disciplined creative weirdoes."
- Frank Gunderson, ethnomusicologist
- Thorn Kief Hillsbery, author
- Benjamin Hoff, writer, The Tao of Pooh
- Steve House, Piolet d’Or Award Recipient
- Calvin Johnson, composer, musician, audio producer and founder of K Records
- Douglas Kahn, historian of sound and media arts, author of Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts
- Conrad Keely, vocalist/guitarist of indie rock band …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
- Megan Kelso, cartoonist
- Burke Kenny, winner of the Full Beard with Styled Moustache category at the 2007 World Beard and Moustache Championships. Also believed to be the youngest ever World Facial Hair Champion at age 22.
- Orin Kirshner, political scientist, Soka University of America; former executive director, Global Environment and Trade Study and senior fellow, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
- Stan Klyne, president of Klyne Audio Arts
- Bill Kozlowski (1971-2003), musician, co-founder of Juneau Information Service Technology, and medicinal marijuana advocate.
- Nomy Lamm, singer, songwriter, activist, accordianist
- Sarah Larson, Season 5 Fear Factor winner, ex-girlfriend of George Clooney
- Scott Leers, activist
- Saab Lofton, author, activist
- Lois Maffeo, musician
- Audrey Marrs, film producer and Sundance Film Festival award winner
- Robert W. McChesney, co-editor, Monthly Review
- Judith Moore, author of the novel Fat Girl: A True Story
- Inga Muscio, author of book Cunt: A Declaration of Independence, feminist
- Jared Pappas-Kelley, artist
- Bruce Pavitt, founder of Sub Pop Records
- Russell Potter, writer and college professor
- Joshua Pilzer, ethnomusicologist
- David Price, anthropologist
- Jeff Traugott, luthier
- Don Price, Deputy Head of Darfur for the United Nations
- Judge Christine Quinn-Brintnall, Washington State Court of Appeals Judge
- Heather Rae, filmmaker
- Michael Richards, actor, most famous for portraying the popular character Cosmo Kramer on the TV show Seinfeld.
- Don Roff, writer and filmmaker.
- Greg and Jeff Sherman, members of Glass
- Ken Silverstein, investigative journalist
- D.C. Simpson, cartoonist
- Justin Solondz, fugitive from justice
- Steve Thomas, host of the PBS show This Old House
- Sharon Tomiko Santos, Washington State Representative, 37th District
- Cappy Thompson, artist
- Corin Tucker, musician in band Sleater-Kinney
- Tobi Vail, musician in band Bikini Kill
- Briana Waters, prisoner, environmental activist
- Ryan Wise, writer, director, editor and co-founder of Big Fantastic
- John Wozniak, musician in band Marcy Playground, record producer
- Mirah Zeitlyn, recording artist
- Tay Zonday, musician, internet video star, became internet-famous for "Chocolate Rain" on YouTube
Notable student groups