Central Washington University

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Central Washington University
Former names
Washington State Normal School
Central Washington College of Education
Central Washington State College
Motto Docendo Discimus
Motto in English
By teaching we learn
Established 1891
Type Public
Endowment US $13.3 million[1]
President Dr. James L. Gaudino
Provost Dr. Marilyn Levine
Administrative staff
Students 11,000
Undergraduates 10,300[2]
Postgraduates 498
Location Ellensburg, WA, U.S.
47°00′07″N 120°32′24″W / 47.002°N 120.540°W / 47.002; -120.540Coordinates: 47°00′07″N 120°32′24″W / 47.002°N 120.540°W / 47.002; -120.540
Campus Rural College Town
380 acres (150 ha)
Colors Crimson & Black         
Athletics NCAA Division II
Sports 13 Varsity Teams
Nickname Wildcats
Mascot Wellington P. Wildcat
Website cwu.edu
Barge Hall, Central Washington University

Central Washington University, or CWU, is a publicly assisted university in Ellensburg, Washington in the United States. The university's three chief divisions include the Office of the President, Business and Financial Affairs, and Academic and Student Life (ASL). Within ASL are four colleges: the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Business (Ellensburg campus and centers in the Puget Sound and central regions),[3] the College of Education and Professional Studies, and College of the Sciences.

CWU is located about 110 miles (180 km) east of Seattle, Washington on Interstate 90 in the Kittitas Valley.


In 1890, the state Legislature established the Washington State Normal School (WSNS) in Ellensburg for “the training and education of teachers in the art of instructing and governing in the public schools of this state.” [4] WSNS originally opened on September 6, 1891, with classes held at the Washington Public School in Ellensburg.[5] In 1893, the school's first building was constructed and named Barge Hall, in honor of the first WSNS principal, Benjamin Franklin Barge. Barge Hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

The school became Central Washington College of Education in 1937, Central Washington State College in 1961, and, finally, Central Washington University in 1977. It continues to be one of the fastest growing universities in the State of Washington.[citation needed]


  • The Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array (PANGA) uses real-time GPS measurements to research and measure crustal deformation and mitigate natural hazards throughout the Pacific Northwest. These hazards arise from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and coastal sea-level encroachment. In addition, PANGA GPS measurements are used to monitor man-made structures such as Seattle's sagging Alaska Way Viaduct, 520 and I-90 floating bridges and power-generation / drinking-supply dams throughout the Cascadia subduction zone, including the megadams along the Columbia River. GPS data are telemetered in real-time back to CWU, where they are processed in real-time using both JPL's RTG software as well as Trimble's RTKNet Integrity Manager software to provide relative positioning of several mm resolution.
  • Wine Quality Research Initiative has identified the nature of wine faults in some wines and how to prevent them. Currently the initiative is directed at detecting and preventing wine fraud, a lucrative and growing crime in the wine import/export business.
  • The Science Honors Research Program offers undergraduate students an opportunity to conduct high level research on projects that they design, develop, and implement. The Science Honors Research experience provides CWU undergraduate students an unparalleled opportunity to prepare for graduate school and successful scientific careers.


CWU students, alumni, and varsity athletes are known as the "Wildcats" and their colors are crimson and black.[6] CWU is part of NCAA Division II and is part of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.[6]

Seasonal order of Wildcats sports
Fall Winter Spring
Men's Football, Cross Country, Rugby, Soccer Basketball Baseball, Rugby, Track & Field
Women's Soccer, Cross Country, Rugby, Volleyball Basketball Softball, Rugby, Track & Field

Notable alumni[edit]

The following are some notable former Wildcats:


Government or Military[edit]



  • W. Hudson Kensel, historian of the American West.
  • David L Boushey American Stuntman and the founder of the United Stuntmen's Association, the International Stunt School, the Society of American Fight Directors, and is a member of The Hollywood Stuntmen's Hall Of Fame.
  • Daniel D. McCracken a prominent computer scientist.[16] He was a Professor of Computer Sciences at the City College of New York, and the author of over two dozen textbooks on computer programming.
  • Actor Craig T. Nelson — star of sitcom Coach[17]
  • Actor Brian Thompson – known for his work in action films and television series
  • Allan Byron Swift an Emmy award–winning broadcaster, served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1979 to 1995. He represented the Second Congressional District of Washington as a Democrat.
  • Singer Wanz - featured singer on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis hit song "Thrift Shop (song)"
360° panorama of a portion of the Central Washington University campus as seen on an August afternoon. Taken at the southwest corner of campus, buildings, from left to right: Mitchell Hall, current location of most of the school's registrar and general admissions staff; McConnell Hall and auditorium, home of the Theatre Arts department; Barge Hall, financial and administrative center of campus; and Shaw-Smyser Hall, the primary building for the College of Business.

Student Union and Recreation Center[edit]

On April 26, 2006, the school opened a $58-million Student Union and Recreation Center. The Student Union and Recreation Center is home to a full-sized rock-climbing wall, fully equipped gymnasium, and an outdoor recreation office, which rents everything from rafts, to snowshoes and ice axes.


  1. ^ "Best Colleges 2010 - Central Washington University". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved April 11, 2010. 
  2. ^ "State-Funded Student Enrollments by Site". Central Washington University. October 19, 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  3. ^ Supply Chain Management - BS & Certificate Programs
  4. ^ Mohler, Samuel M (1967). The First 75 Years: A History of Central Washington State College. Spokane, WA: Central Washington State College. pp. 5–6. 
  5. ^ Mohler 1967, pp. 12
  6. ^ a b "Central Washington University". NCAA. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Central Washington University". US News & World Report. 
  8. ^ "Player Bio: Keith Gilbertson". Gohuskies.cstv.com. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 
  9. ^ "Miesha Tate UFC Bio". Retrieved 2014. 
  10. ^ "Bryan Caraway UFC Bio". Retrieved 2014. 
  11. ^ "Matt Hume MMA Bio". Retrieved 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c d Morrison, Sid (September 8, 2012). "Op-ed: State has gone from passing to failing on higher education in past 50 years". The Seattle Times. 
  13. ^ "Astronaut Bio: Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger (06/2010)". Jsc.nasa.gov. 1975-05-02. Retrieved 2012-08-20. 
  14. ^ "LCDR Craig R. "Merlin" Olson - #5 Lead Solo". Retrieved 12 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "Bowflex founder Sandy Wheeler to be CWU Des Moines commencement speaker". Highline Times. 2011-05-30. 
  16. ^ Lohr, Steve (August 12, 2011). "Daniel D. McCracken, Expert on Computers, Dies at 81". New York Times. 
  17. ^ "TV.com - Craig T. Nelson Biography". Tvguide.com. Retrieved 2010-01-18. 

External links[edit]