Brewster Denny

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Brewster Denny
Born Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Died Seattle, Washington, U.S.
Citizenship United States
Education Ph.D., Tufts University (1959)
M.A., Harvard University (1948)
B.A., University of Washington (1945)
Occupation Professor
Relatives Arthur A. Denny (great-great grandfather)

Brewster Castberg Denny (1924 - June 22, 2013) was an American academic from Seattle, Washington known for his long association with the University of Washington.

Early life and education[edit]

The great-great grandson of Seattle founder Arthur A. Denny, Brewster Denny graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1942 and the University of Washington in 1945, before joining the U.S. Navy. In the Navy, he was posted to Pearl Harbor, serving as an intelligence analyst in a unit preparing for the land invasion of Japan.[1]

Denny left naval service at the end of the war and went on to earn a master's degree from Harvard University, and Ph.D. from Tufts University.[2][3]


From 1952 to 1960, Denny was an intelligence analyst in the United States Department of Defense, and, in 1960 worked as a national security adviser on the presidential transition team of John Kennedy. He then served a year as a staff member with the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on National Policy Machinery and, in 1962, became the first director of the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington, a post he held until 1980. In 1992 Denny was named dean emeritus, but continued teaching courses in American foreign policy.[2][3][1]

Varsity Bell[edit]

From 1961 until his death in 2013, Brewster Denny was responsible for the annual ringing of the Varsity Bell, a 400-pound (180 kg), 1861 bell installed at Denny Hall on the University of Washington campus which is rang once per year, on Homecoming, to ceremonially summon the university's alumni to campus.[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

Denny married Patrica Virginia Sollitt in 1950 and, with her, had a daughter.[1][2]

Denny served as a trustee of The Century Foundation, a member of the board of directors of the Seattle Historical Society, and as a vice-president of the Seattle Opera Association.[6]


  • Seeing American Foreign Policy Whole (1985)[7]


  1. ^ a b c Rosenthal, Brian (June 24, 2013). "Civic leader Brewster Denny, descendant of Seattle's founders, dies". Seattle Times. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "Brewster C. Denny papers, 1961-1990". Archives West. Orbis Cascade Alliance. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Roseth, Bob (June 25, 2013). "Brewster Denny, founding dean and civic leader, dies at 88". UW Today. University of Washington. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  4. ^ Kelley, Peter (December 23, 2016). "Brewster Denny: Five decades ringing in UW Homecoming". UW Today. University of Washington. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
  5. ^ Long, Katherine (October 28, 2011). "Denny descendant rings UW's historic bell". Seattle Times. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  6. ^ "Remembering Former TCF Trustee Brewster Denny". The Century Foundation. Retrieved December 23, 2016.
  7. ^ "Seeing American foreign policy whole". WorldCat. OCLC. Retrieved December 23, 2016.