Evergreen State College

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Evergreen State College
City: Olympia, Washington
Type: Public
Students: 4,089[1]
Faculty: 229[1]
Sports: Basketball, Volleyball, Track and Field, and Soccer[2]
Colors: Green and White
Mascot: Speedy, a Geoduck
Endowment: $8,582,189[3]
Website: www.evergreen.edu

Evergreen State College is a public liberal arts college located near Olympia, Washington.


The Council of Presidents of Washington State baccalaureate institutions wrote a report in 1964 stating that another college was needed in the state to balance the geographical distribution of the existing state institutions. Following further feasibility studies, the state legislature passed a law creating a new state college stipulating that the campus should be no smaller than 600 acres, 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. Classes started in 1971 with 1128 students. Charles J. McCann was the founding President of Evergreen until June 1977. Daniel J. Evans, who as Governor signed the legislation creating Evergreen, became President. 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.

2017 protests

Campus Clock Tower

In some past years, students staged a "Day of Absence" event where African-American students held events off campus to make the other students realize how much they contribute overall to the college. In 2017, students proposed that the white students refrain from conducting classes or events on campus as the "Day of Absence."[4] Biology Professor Bret Weinstein publicly objected to the change[4] and wrote a piece for The Wall Street Journal. The Administration told him he would not be safe on campus, so he held his class off-campus in a park. In response, African-American students demanded that Prof. Weinstein be fired. Because local law enforcement received credible threats of terrorism, the campus was completely closed on June 1 and 2.[5] Additional threats were received over the weekend, and police closed the campus on June 5 until 3 p.m.[6] Students also occupied the President's office for two hours.[7]

In response to student protests, the President promised to hire senior administrators who are minorities and to provide great latitudes for Native Americans who wish to "cook and eat Native foods in freedom."[8]

On June 2, 2017, 15 members of the Washington State House introduced a bill to convert Evergreen State into a private college.[9] The same bill was reintroduced in the 2018 legislative session.[9] On June 6, the school announced the relocation of its graduation out of concern for possible demonstrations or disruptions.[10] On June 15, an off-campus group called "Patriot Prayer" together with conservative Evergreen students marched on campus and got into a violent confrontation with a group of counter-demonstrators that was broken up by State Police.[7][11] The June 16, 2017 graduation ceremony was moved to a minor league baseball stadium in Tacoma Washington, where all participants passed through metal detectors. The rental of the stadium together with security and bus transportation cost the school $100,000.[7] The ceremony proceeded without disruption. The theme was “In a time of destruction, create something.” a quote by Maxine Hong Kingston, and the graduating class charity was Stand with Standing Rock, a grassroots movement that began in early 2016 in reaction to the approved Dakota Access Pipeline.[12]

In July 2017, Weinstein and his wife, Anthropology Professor Heather Heying, filed a $3.85 million tort claim against the college. In September, Weinstein, Heying and the college reached a settlement for $500,000 with Weinstein and Heying resigning from the faculty.[13]

Concurrently, student Resident Advisors living in the dorms form an informal organization called RAFT (which was not a union) which presented demands in May regarding working conditions, racism, and pay. When RAFT's demands were not met, they went on strike. Over the summer, the striking RAFT members were mostly terminated for failure to perform their jobs and their meal plans were canceled and they were ordered to vacate their dorm rooms.[14]

Student body

The college has a 98% acceptance rate, making it one of the least selective colleges in the nation.[15] The average GPA for freshmen admitted in 2015 was 3.15. The average SAT composite (critical reading and math) score was 1084 and the average ACT composite test score was 24. The SAT writing test and subject tests are not required.[16] Twenty-six percent of the students are students of color, and 60% of students hold down a job while going to school.[17]

Famous alumni


  1. 1.0 1.1 http://www.evergreen.edu/institutionalresearch/factpage
  2. http://gogeoducks.com/
  3. The Evergreen State College Foundation audited financials for fiscal 2013-2014
  4. 4.0 4.1 Jaschik , Scott. (May 30, 2017). "Who Defines What Is Racist?", Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  5. "Threat closes Evergreen State College after protests over race", June 1, 2017. Retrieved on June 2, 2017. 
  6. Olympia Campus Reopens Monday, June 5. evergreen.edu (June 5, 2017). Retrieved on June 6. 2017.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "A Campus Argument Goes Viral. Now the College Is Under Siege.", New York Times, June 16, 2017. Retrieved on June 18, 2017. 
  8. "Response to Student Issues", May 26, 2017. Retrieved on June 3, 2017. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 HB 2221 - 2017-18: Transitioning The Evergreen State College to a private four-year institution of higher education.. Retrieved on June 18, 2017.
  10. "Classes resume at Evergreen State as graduation is moved", KOMO News, June 6, 2017. Retrieved on June 17, 2017. 
  11. "Protest and Counterprotest at Evergreen State", Inside Higher Ed, June 16, 2017. Retrieved on June 18, 2017. 
  12. "Graduation Commencement Ceremony". Retrieved on June 18, 2017. 
  13. "School Settles", September 26, 2017. Retrieved on January 22, 2018. 
  14. "Resident Assistants on Strike", September 26, 2017. Retrieved on January 22, 2018. 
  15. US News Report
  16. http://www.evergreen.edu/admissions/requirements/freshman
  17. http://www.evergreen.edu/about/facts