Campus Tour: Let Your Mind Breathe in the Pacific Northwest
By Jenny Blackman, ApplyWise
March 12, 2009
Take this campus tour and let your mind breathe in the Pacific northwest.
After visiting the above colleges, venture into the city. If you’re looking to conserve gas, take TriMet to Portland’s “living room,” officially called Pioneer Courthouse Square, which is constantly host to festivals and marches. Still, if public frivolity isn’t your style, curl up with a book at Powell’s City of Books or chow down at Southpark Seafood Grill and Wine Bar.
As you continue north on I-5, you might notice to the east the Cascade Range, one reason why the Pacific Northwest gets so much precipitation. You can visit Mt. Hood in Portland and catch a great view of the infamous Mt. St. Helens as you drive into Seattle. On a clear day, you might even be lucky enough to glimpse Mt. Rainier. At 14,410 feet, it’s the tallest mountain in the Cascades.
Before you arrive in Seattle, take a quick pit stop at two more noteworthy liberal arts colleges. Olympia is not only Washington’s state capital—it is home to Evergreen State College, one of the few public colleges without a grading system, specific majors or school departments. It’s certainly no cakewalk though. Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and an Evergreen alumnus, can attest to the college’s unique ability to foster a sense of intellectual creativity. Just thirty minutes north, you’ll find the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. While the students are known to build very close relationships with their professors, the university also produces an enormous number of future Peace Corps participants (ranked 4th among small colleges in 2007) and is newly recognized for its efforts in sustainable living.
Although Seattle prides itself on coffee, great seafood and a wide array of tourist attractions (Pike’s Place, the Space Needle, and the Experience Museum Project), a visit to this gateway city is not complete without having toured the University of Washington. Considered a “Public Ivy,” this university, founded in 1861, is the oldest on the west coast. It’s also one of the most beautiful campuses in the country, so take an extended stroll beneath the cherry trees that line the Quad and Suzzallo Library. With a clear picture of Union Bay from Husky Stadium, sports fans can also boast one of the best views in college football. After your lingering stroll, wander the Washington Park Arboretum’s 230 acres or study the Henry Art Gallery’s collection of over 18,000 pieces (the photography collection is to die for). UDub’s research facilities are very impressive, too. And it’s no wonder; since 1974 the University has been the top public university in receiving federal support for research and training.
So amidst the mountains and rainy days, you’ll find that visiting the Pacific Northwest will not only open your eyes, but your mind. And with a newly refined perspective, you might just find a college to suit your specific needs.
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