Honoring Willi Unsoeld’s Legacy

Willi Unsoeld leads a tour

Pictured above leading early Evergreen students on a special campus tour, Willi Unsoeld was a pioneering mountaineer whose first ascent of Everest’s West Ridge made him a legend.

After his passing, donors established The Willi Unsoeld Seminar Series to honor his work and memory.

This year’s event ties to Willi’s guiding philosophy that “the ultimate goal of all education is to help people treat each other better.”  Dr. Deepa Kumar will present on the topic “In Search of Monsters to Destroy”: Islamophobia, the War on Terror and US Imperialism. The event is set for Thursday, February 25 at 6:30 p.m.in the Evergreen Longhouse.

Learn more and make your plan to attend. 

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    A Special Throwback Thursday from Tim Girvin ’75



    The Handmade Journey | Calligraphy

    caligraphy photo 1

    Sometimes you go back to go forward

    There’s a noun that is oftentimes used in contemporary parlance: “creatives,” as a description for those that work in creative and maker space. It’s an interesting idea, using an adjective as a noun, but it works. I was sitting at a “excellence dinner” at the creatives table.

    I looked around and wondered — “these are creatives. So in what manner and how?” I talked to each of them to learn more — a scientist, a professor, a leader and a theorist. I suppose that works, to each creative, their own pathway of


    But it made me wonder about creative journey and curiosity. In the storytelling of our lives, we look back to the points of inspiration and magical points of inception — collisions of ideas, people, good fortune and open-minded exploration and expansion, when things began to click in a way that sparks the ignition of a new universe. As a child, as a budding draftsman, I practiced along with another stellar TESC graduate, Jim Cox. He and I used to draw in my basement in Spokane, on the floor — inspired science fictional visions — each scribbled drawing accompanied by sound effects in

    its making.

    That set a course of the hand for me, the hand-made, and that which the mind can dream and the wrist can bring forth to a state of personal aliveness. I kept at it. And even later, I continued drawing — my assignments and reports in school mixed with text and illustrations, shining stories and ideas. That idea of linking text — words in storytelling with pictures in visual narration continued to evolve. Curiosity lent direction — I’d keep moving out, to new stories, new


    and historical re-imaginings.

    These became books.

    From the books came other studies.

    Like — “what is the history of how these were made?” As I walked back down those pathways — my heart opened.

    That was one opening.

    And there were others.

    And that’s the point — there are moments in your life when your heart flowers, it opens up to a learning, an idea, an

    inspiration and it lies — opened — and forever altered.

    That link for me — words and drawings, combined, led me all the way to high school and college. At New College [Sarasota, FLA,] before Evergreen I studied marine biology and comparative physiology. I made science project journals

    — drawings and lettering.

    writing 2

    With a sidebar in medieval History.
    If you study the history of the book, then you examine the paleography of the evolution of the scripted word, then you reach further. With that, knowing more, I made another flowering point in meeting Lloyd Reynolds, a kind of maestro of the calligraphic arts at Reed College; I’d drive down there in Ruby, my 1959 Red Dodge Pickup — hang out at Reed, Lloyd’s house, Portland, browse his fabulous library.

    Steve Jobs for one, credits him with being his typographical mentor in embodying the design of font systems at Apple. And that is how, too, I met and worked with Mr. Jobs —

    through that flowering. 

    But this is slightly before my time at Evergreen — I was focused on one fluid craft — the calligraphy of the Italian Renaissance, a kind of exemplar of classical intention, flowing and lively — the epitome of muscular movement of the hand, in a tradition and transition of nearly 2,000 years of evolution, the 16th century to be exact. And that arrival came at the transformation of hundreds of hands — calligraphic handwritings — that coursed from pre-Christian Greece, through Imperial Rome, through the Carolingian Renaissance, the dark ages of Medieval Europe, the age of the Italian Humanists — and finally, the Italian Renaissance of the 14th-16th centuries. I drew them all on great rolls of butcher paper from the Graphics Lab at TESC.

    But I wasn’t looking for duplication of paleo-scripts — I was looking to illustrate language, to make it shine. I went to Japan, Oxford and Cambridge, to NYC, to Moscow, looking, exploring, learning and sharing — at the feet of masters of design, lettering arts, calligraphy, book design and signage.

    That journey was a cumulative gathering that spoke to rekindling and teaching small workshops at The Evergreen State College, as a way to help with my student expenses.

    writing 3

    How that journey might be extended lies in the notion of what, and which, opens the heart of the flowers of discovering.

    Now, decades later, I teach other students, designers at Girvin,  the brand strategy and design firm.

    writing 4

    writing 5

    This year, for Girvin, that’s 40 years of work.

    And The Evergreen State College, for me, it was, and is, about discovering — and recovering — those flowers of


    the foliation of ideas, the instances of opening.

    Life changes — forever.

    writing 6

    What happens is that once

    that cultivation starts, it continues,

    if you’re listening.

    I go back,

    I go forward.

    Looking for the patterning of flowers

    that have opened my heart.

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      Throwback Thursday

      Fun at the Formal

      An Evergreen formal in 1975

      The minimal accompanying caption for this image left me wondering, what formal happened at Evergreen in 1972? Did you attend this dance or do you know the fancy folks in this photo? I would love to hear from you!

      2/1/2016 Update: We had a great response from our Facebook community and a comment from the man pictured! Hap Freund wrote, “Yes, of course that is me and my lovely wife of 36+ years, Claudia Chotzen. I think this was taken in 1975. I came to Evergreen in the fall of 1973, met Claudia in 1974. The other person is Claudia’s life-long friend Diane Berger (was Diane Hucks). The ‘occasion’ was an Evergreen prom. Probably the only time I wore a suit during my time at Evergreen!”

      Next month you can don your best threads and join us at The Art of Living on February 20th from 5:30pm-9:00pm at The Hotel Murano in Downtown Tacoma. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Annual Scholarship Fund to support Evergreen students in pursuing their dreams and create opportunities for those without means.

      Click here to register today!


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        Evergreen Gallery Features New Exhibit “Prison Obscura”


        The Evergreen Gallery presents Prison Obscura which features pieces from Evergreen faculty member Steve Davis, Josh Begley, Paul Rucker, Alyse Emdur, and Robert Gumpert. Prison Obscura runs from January 14th 2016- March 2nd 2016 For more information please feel free to click the links below for more information.

        Prison Obscura


        “Prison Obscura considers this fundamental distortion that characterizes vision and viewing, how we see and don’t see the people we incarcerate, the people we put in boxes. Guiding the viewer through the visual culture of America’s prisons, the exhibit traces the contours of that box, to attempt to make sense of the dominant narratives and stereotypes that somehow justify a U.S. system now locking up people at an unprecedented rate. What do we know of our prisons? Do photographs help us know? Are the images of prisons we see reliable? Are they even useful? How do images relate to the political, social, and economic realities that exist within our prison industrial complex? Do prisons, as closed sites, present any challenges to the claims photography makes as a medium of communication?  – Pete Brook”

        Guests mingling during opening night of Prison Obscura



        One of the exhibits featured in Prison Obscura







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          Lecture Hall renovation update from Project Manager, Tim Byrne

          I want to thank Tim Byrne for generously writing this article about the Lecture Hall renovation project . I hope you all enjoy!


          Original Construction of Lecture Hall, 1971

          Many of you know the Lecture Hall, and most other building on campus, were built in  the 70’s during a time when many public buildings were built in the architectural style of Brutalism. The Lecture Hall itself is what I would consider an extreme version of brutalism. There have been various “trends” in styles of architecture over recent time. There was the Craftsman Style (which I’m very fond of), Post Modernism, Modernism, Deconstructionism, and Brutalism to name a few. Deconstructionism was mostly developed as a philosophy movement. But some architects got into it in thinking it as a way to move on from Modernism and Post Modernism. I was taught that Brutalism was formed on a new-found respect for its socialist principals and was also a celebration of raw concrete. There are good and bad design examples of Brutalism, as well as other architectural styles. Yet Brutalism became very popular from the mid-50’s to the mid-70’s and now is considered to be one of the most vilified architectural styles of last century.

          I found an interesting article in The Seattle Times regarding the old Nuclear Reactor building at the University of Washington, which is an example of Brutalism. Some people consider it to be a truly, truly ugly structure. Within this article I discovered that a local architecture critic, Larry Cheek, advocates for keeping the structure saying, “We need to save a handful of Brutalist-style buildings to remind us how bad they were and we don’t do that ever again. They are cold, ugly, inhumane.” He should come on down to Evergreen to see that we are doing our share of keeping the Brutalist-style alive. I have not seen the building at UW that he referred to, but I assume it is a bad example of Brutalism. I think the original buildings we have on the Evergreen campus are better examples of Brutalism.

          Greeners enjoying the sun outside Lecture Hall A

          With our Lecture Hall building we are doing a combination of things. We are retaining some of the exterior walls, yet adding a more modern addition to it that will be much more welcoming and properly addressing Red Square. The plan is to clean up the remaining “fluted” concrete walls so they are not so weathered looking. The addition will be more modern in presence being clad in metal wall panels that will in an abstract way replicate the vertical fluted pattern of those original walls.

          Concept drawings for the new Lecture Halls



          Tim Byrne – Project Manager – Facilities Services

           P.S. Here’s a little Haiku for our Winter Months


          It beckons our Winter soon

          And creates much mud


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            Under Construction – Throwback Thursday #tbt

            Red Square Construction

            This week I bring you a photo of construction on Red Square taken from where the library building stands today. In the distance you can see where the bus loop would go, with the soon-to-be built lecture hall in the right of the frame. On Monday we will bring you an update from Project Manager, Tim Byrne, about the exciting changes happening to the lecture hall in 2016!

            It’s hard to imagine Evergreen without the iconic Red Square. Share your memories from activities, demonstrations or graduation in the comments below!

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              Join us April 22nd for the Inaugural Celebration

              We hope our alumni and friends community will save the date and join us for the celebration and installment of George Bridges, PH.D. as the President of the College on Friday, April 22, 2016. More details will follow.

              Last month President George Bridges met with the Olympian Editorial Board to share his long-term goals for Evergreen’s educational future and for the Greener and Olympia communities at large. From the article,

              “What he’s seen so far, Bridges says, is a good faculty, a great campus and a college culture that he’d like to see get more interactive with the Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater communities it serves… Bridges also says he wants the university to be more effective in the way it guides new students into Evergreen’s unique program.”

              You can read more here.

              Dome Lights

              President Bridges spearheaded brightening campus with lights on the Sycamore trees this winter



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                Throwback Thursday – Hitting the Gym #tbt

                Students in the gym. 1974.

                Students in the gym 1974

                Did you make a fitness related New Year’s Resolution for 2016? Have you been thinking, “Running outdoors in February sounds fun!”? Join me for the Geoduck Gallop on Saturday, February 6th! Choose between the half marathon or 10K race, and enjoy a jog through the Evergreen campus and picturesque surrounding rural areas.

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                  Throwback Thursday – Snow Day! #tbt

                  Skiers on Red Square

                  Winter quarter began with a slushy start on Monday morning after a dusting of snow fell over the weekend. We love this throwback picture from January 1989 with skiers on Red Square enjoying a major snow storm.

                  Do you have memories of snow days at Evergreen? We would love to hear from you!

                  A great way to reconnect with past faculty and classmates, or to stay in touch with events at the college is to join The Associated Alumni and Friends of Evergreen. Learn more here!

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                    Meet New Evergreen President George Bridges at Return to Evergreen!


                    Register today for Return to Evergreen and meet President George Bridges on October 24. Plus:

                    • Connect with your Evergreen community
                    • Share how you’re changing the world
                    • Seminar on cutting-edge trends and ideas in more than a dozen explorative sessions
                    • Chart new paths for networking with other Evergreen Explorers, including accomplished alumni and
                      faculty presenters, and keynote speaker: Bre Pettis ’95, 3-D printing entrepreneur and inventor
                    • Hear from talented Evergreen students at the President’s Scholarship Reception

                    $40 Ticket includes a full day of sessions, lunch, refreshments, and happy hour reception

                    REGISTER TODAY!

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