33 Interesting Facts about Evergreen State College

Evergreen State College, often referred to as Evergreen, is a unique and innovative institution of higher education located in Olympia, Washington. Established in 1967, it is renowned for its unconventional approach to learning and teaching. Evergreen offers a distinctive interdisciplinary curriculum that focuses on fostering critical thinking, creativity, and social responsibility.

One of Evergreen’s defining features is its absence of traditional academic departments and majors. Instead, students engage in a collaborative and self-directed learning process, working closely with faculty members to design their own academic pathways. This learner-centered approach encourages students to explore a wide range of subjects and perspectives, emphasizing hands-on, experiential learning.

The campus itself is nestled in a beautiful natural setting, featuring lush forests and picturesque landscapes. Evergreen’s commitment to environmental sustainability and social justice is reflected in its practices and programs. The college has a rich tradition of activism and community involvement, often serving as a hub for discussions on issues such as diversity, equity, and inclusivity.

Despite its unconventional approach, Evergreen has produced successful graduates who have gone on to make significant contributions in various fields. The college continues to attract students seeking an alternative and engaging educational experience that values intellectual curiosity and civic engagement.

Evergreen State College

Evergreen State College (Wikimedia)

Let’s take a look at these 33 interesting facts about Evergreen State College to know more about it.

  1. Evergreen State College was founded in 1967 in Olympia, Washington.
  2. It was established as an experimental college with an emphasis on interdisciplinary learning and student autonomy.
  3. The college’s motto is “Omnia Extares,” which translates to “Let it all hang out.”
  4. Evergreen has no traditional academic departments, and students create their own academic programs.
  5. Instead of grades, students receive narrative evaluations from faculty members.
  6. The campus covers over 1,000 acres and includes a forest, wetlands, and hiking trails.
  7. The college’s mascot is the Geoduck, a large clam found in the Pacific Northwest.
  8. Evergreen is known for its liberal and progressive values and has a history of social activism.
  9. In 1970, Evergreen was the site of a significant Native American protest called the “Fish Wars,” which focused on fishing rights.
  10. The college’s Longhouse Education and Cultural Center is a hub for Native American and indigenous studies.
  11. Evergreen’s Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) is a cutting-edge facility for creative and technological experimentation.
  12. The college hosts an annual event called “Day of Absence/Day of Presence,” inspired by a play by alumnus Douglas Turner Ward.
  13. Evergreen offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs, including an MPA in Tribal Governance.
  14. Students often take part in independent learning contracts, allowing them to pursue unique research projects.
  15. The campus has a strong focus on sustainability and features sustainable agriculture and renewable energy initiatives.
  16. Evergreen’s campus was designed to blend in with its natural surroundings, minimizing its impact on the environment.
  17. The college’s library, the Daniel J. Evans Library, offers extensive resources for research and study.
  18. Evergreen’s art program is well-regarded, and the college has a gallery for student and faculty exhibitions.
  19. The college has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusivity and offers resources like the Trans & Queer Center and First Peoples Advising.
  20. Evergreen is part of the Washington Consortium for the Liberal Arts (WaCLA), allowing students to take courses at other participating institutions.
  21. The college is home to the Cooper Point Journal, an independent student-run newspaper.
  22. Notable alumni include filmmaker Matt Groening, musician Macklemore, and actress Olympia Dukakis.
  23. The college’s on-campus housing options include apartments and traditional dorms.
  24. Evergreen hosts various events throughout the year, including lectures, performances, and workshops.
  25. The college offers a unique program called “Academic and Career Advising” to help students connect their academic pursuits with future career goals.
  26. Evergreen’s academic calendar is divided into six-week programs, with most students taking one program at a time.
  27. The campus has a vibrant organic farm that provides fresh produce to the dining services.
  28. Evergreen is known for its scenic Red Square, a central gathering place on campus.
  29. The college’s academic model is often described as a “liberal arts college without walls.”
  30. Evergreen has a strong commitment to social justice and equity and offers programs like the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
  31. The college’s archives house historical materials related to its founding and development.
  32. Evergreen’s unique approach to education has led to the development of similar programs at other institutions.
  33. The college has a strong focus on community engagement, with students often participating in internships and community-based projects.

Evergreen State College stands as a testament to the power of innovation and experimentation in higher education. With its student-driven, interdisciplinary approach to learning, a commitment to environmental sustainability, and a history of social activism, Evergreen continues to challenge the conventional norms of academia. Its vibrant campus, diverse and engaged community, and dedication to nurturing critical thinking and creative exploration make it a truly unique institution. Evergreen State College remains an enduring symbol of the transformative potential of education when approached with an open mind and a commitment to fostering intellectual curiosity and civic responsibility.

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