By Christina Harper HBJ Freelance Writer
BOTHELL — It has been 23 years since the University of Washington’s Bothell campus was founded and much has evolved throughout that time.
The first class in 1990 had 126 students. Three students graduated in 1991.
The campus now buzzes with approximately 4,000 students enrolled in more than 30 graduate and undergraduate degree programs.
“We are still sending out admittances and accepting people for fall,” said Laura Mansfield, director of communication for UW-Bothell. “We expect that number to rise.”
Several new degrees are in the works for the fall semester, including interactive media design and a bachelor’s degree in health studies that will emphasize community and global health rather than clinical studies. A mathematics degree will be available for the first time, too.
“There is a lot going on,” Mansfield said. “But in 2014 we will open our new science and academic building.”
The 74,000-square-foot building will accommodate 1,000 full-time students in 11 science laboratories, 430 classroom seats and a 200-seat lecture hall. The construction cost will reach almost $63 million. With that price tag, the building will be equipped with solar-heated hot water and recycled materials.
Some classes held in the science and academic building will cater to those who are looking for a future in STEM-related jobs: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
On the student services front, “We just got approval for a student activity center,” Mansfield said.
This building project has yet to break ground, but it will provide, among other things, a fitness center and lots of space for students to gather and members of organizations to meet.
But new students enrolling for fall classes will not be the only ones beginning a new venture at the university.
Bjong Wolf Yeigh was recently selected as chancellor for the UW-Bothell and will begin his appointment Sept. 1.
Yeigh has been professor and president of SUNYIT, the State University of New York Institute of Technology at Utica/Rome since 2008.
Yeigh holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering science from Dartmouth University, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and a master’s and doctorate in civil engineering and operations research from Princeton.
Students of all ages will greet Yeigh as he begins his work as chancellor. At the last UW-Bothell graduation ceremony, the oldest student was 64 years old and the youngest 16.
While most students attending UW-Bothell live in surrounding areas, 92 percent of the student body is from Washington. The rest hail from around the rest of the U.S. and the world.
While at SUNYIT, Yeigh secured $15.5 million capital grants for cyber security and nanotechnology programs.
And now students can study for a master’s degree in cyber security at UW-Bothell.
“Industry tells us that they need people,” Mansfield said. “It’s a direct response to industry demand.”