A look back at 40 years of Evergreen
1967: Washington Legislature passes a bill to create a new, public four-year college in Olympia.
1968: Charles McCann, dean of faculty at Central Washington University, is selected as Evergreen’s first president.
1969: Gov. Dan Evans breaks ground with a bulldozer for the library building, the first educational structure on campus, during the summer. The college hires 18 “founding faculty” members in the fall.
1970: The college hires its first female faculty member, Mary Ellen Hillaire, of the Lummi tribe, in March.
1971: College opens for registration on Sept. 27. Classes begin on Oct. 4 for Evergreen’s first academic year. Students and faculty meet off-site at locations from Seattle to Ephrata because the college’s construction projects are still weeks from completion. There are 59 faculty members and 1,178 students.
1972: Evergreen’s first graduating class, made up of 11 men and 10 women, receive their diplomas on June 2. Evergreen’s first student newspaper “The Weakly Drag” is published in November. After a few issues, it was renamed “The Paper.” Eventually it becomes “The Cooper Point Journal.”
1973: Evergreen’s radio station, KAOS-FM, hits the airwaves.
1974: Evergreen is granted full accreditation by the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools, a year ahead of schedule.
1975: About 400 students participate in commencement on June 8, including 118 “pioneers” who were at the college the entire four years that it had been open.
1977: Former Gov. Evans becomes the college’s second president.
1978: Eleanor Lee, class of 1973, becomes the first Evergreen graduate to be seated in the Washington Legislature.
1979: Evergreen founding faculty member Willi Unsoeld, a philosopher, theologian and mountaineer, and Evergreen student Janie Diepenbrock die in an avalanche on Mount Rainier in March.
1980: The new farmhouse at the Organic Farm is dedicated in February, and Evergreen’s first graduate offering the Master of Public Administration admits its first students in the fall.
1981: Gov. Dixy Lee Ray calls for the closing of Evergreen and Central Washington University, as a cost-saving measure during a talk before the Kent Chamber of Commerce in October. A month later, Rep. Dick Bond, R-Spokane, introduces a bill that would close Evergreen, but the proposal dies in the Legislature.
1984: Joseph Olander is selected as Evergreen’s third president, replacing Evans, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Sen. Henry “Scoop” Jackson.
1985: C Dorm burns, and Jesse Jackson comes to town.
1989: Styrofoam is banned on campus.
1995: The Evergreen State Longhouse opens with more than 1,000 people in attendance.
1999: Inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal delivers the keynote address by audiotape from Pennsylvania death row for Evergreen’s graduation. Maureen Faulkner, widow of the police officer Abu-Jamal was convicted of killing, attends the commencement ceremony as a form of protest.
2000: Dr. Thomas “Les” Purce takes the helm at Evergreen, becoming the college’s first black president.
2001: The 6.8 Nisqually earthquake knocks more than 100,000 books off library shelves.
2003: Evergreen senior and Olympia peace activist Rachel Corrie is killed in the Gaza Strip by an Israeli military bulldozer.
2004: Evergreen men’s soccer team wins NAIA Region 1 championship and reaches the quarterfinals of the NAIA national championships.
2008: Violence breaks out on the Evergreen campus after a hip-hop concert, and rioters flip a Thurston County Sheriff’s Office patrol car and damage three other police vehicles.
2011: The Evergreen State College makes the list of U.S. Media Group’s Best Colleges. Sierra magazine also listed it as one of the country’s top 20 “coolest” schools for the third consecutive year.
Sources: Archived news releases and other documents published atwww.evergreen.edu