Dear Huxley Alums, Friends, and Supporters,

You are invited!

Spring 2020 officially marks 50 years since the Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University was created as the world’s first interdisciplinary environmental college. For five decades, Huxley has been preparing the next generation of environmental leaders and problem solvers. The Huxley 50th Anniversary is an important opportunity to look back on our history, celebrate our achievements and take a bold step into the next 50 years. The celebration corresponds with the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.

Within this page you’ll find a year-long program of commemorative activities and events, culminating with a main celebration weekend, slated for April 24-26, 2020, the weekend after Earth Day. Through all of the year’s events, we will honor and celebrate with the alumni, students, emeritus faculty, staff, retirees, partner organizations, and community members who have helped make Huxley what it is today and all that it will be in the future.

The celebration begins in September 2019 with kickoff events in Seattle and Bellingham and carries forward through Spring Graduation in June 2020. In the months between we will commemorate the unique role Huxley plays in the environmental well-being, social equity, and economic sustainability of the communities we serve.

Throughout the year, we will also raise funds for a new Huxley 50th Anniversary Scholarship fund, aimed at providing opportunity for all deserving students to attend Western, study the environment at Huxley College, and continue the legacy.

Huxley is much more than curriculum and classrooms.  The College is the embodiment of the individuals dedicated to creating a better environmental future for all. That’s Huxley’s legacy. Thank you for celebrating with us!

Sincerely,Redwood branch


Steve Hollenhorst

Professor and Dean



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Help us celebrate!

Scenic Puget Sound Photo

Celebrating 50 years...

  1. Of Huxley as the first interdisciplinary college of the environment.
  2. Of the accomplishments of Huxley alums, students, faculty, and staff, and their collective impact on society.
  3. Of building relationships with communities, alumni, students, donors, faculty and staff, and retirees.
  4. To raise money for scholarships for incoming Huxley students.
  5. To build excitement for Huxley’s next 50 years.


Alumni, Students, Community, Donors, Future Donors, Faculty, Staff, Future Students, Partner Organizations, Retirees

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Timeline of Events

Elwah River Research Group

September 2019 - Kickoff Events

Kickoff events will be held on campus and in Seattle. The main objectives will be to introduce the upcoming year of Huxley’s 50th Anniversary and announce our plans to raise $50,000 for the Huxley 50th Anniversary Scholarship and $50,000 for our Climate Innovation Fund.
Huxley has an endowment of $1.3 million and each year awards over $45,000 in scholarships and awards to students. These new scholarships will increase access to Huxley programs for all students and their families, which is key to our success over the next 50 years. The Climate Innovation Fund was established to help the college better address the climate crisis in our teaching, research, and outreach programs.


Donors, alumni, students, faculty, staff, friends and partners

Events and Activities

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Fall Quarter 2019 & Winter Quarter 2020

In the greenhousePhoto of Jim Helfield standing in 3 feet of snow holding the tracker he finally found

A series of activities and events will go on all fall and winter, including history projects, special issue of The Planet magazine, volunteer activities, and more.


Students, faculty, staff, donors, friends and partners

Events and Activities

  • Huxley history video project
  • Greenfire Huxley history update
  • Huxley history crowdsourced interactive timeline
  • Huxley Career and Internship Fair
  • Huxley on the Peninsulas 25th Anniversary event
  • Learning Environment Action Discovery (LEAD) program – 50 Acts of Environmental Volunteerism and Advocacy
  • Special issue of The Planet Magazine with 50 Year Theme
  • Huxley Welcome Back BBQ –alums and friends
  • Huxley Graduate Student Welcome Mixer – alums and friends invited
  • SEAFEAST, September 20-21, 2019. This is move-in weekend at Western. Come visit the WWU/Huxley booth, featuring Salish Sea maps, marine critter touch tanks, kids’ activities, and more.

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Spring Quarter 2020

Photo of classroom settingPhoto of student in Chemistry Lab

The number of activities and events will accelerate Spring Quarter.


Community members, alums, donors, students, faculty, staff, friends and partners

Events and Activities

  • Huxley Speaker Series with 50YES! theme, nine speakers series events, culminating with a major address on Earth Day
  • Huxley Classes – Faculty will be invited to utilize the 50 Years theme in their classes.
  • LEAD program – 50 Acts events
  • Roll out of special issue of The Planet, Greenfire update, and interactive history timeline

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Earth Day Week

Photo of OrcasPhoto of hiker in the sunshine walking off into the distance

April 20-26, 2020

A series of activities and events will go on all spring, including the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference, history projects, special issue of The Planet magazine, volunteer opportunities, and more.


Donors, students, faculty, staff, friends and partners, larger university and Bellingham Communities.

Events and Activities

  • Salish Sea Conference – April 19-22, Vancouver BC, Canada.
  • Partner with WWU Sustainability Office and City of Bellingham on Earth Day events
  • Huxley Speaker major address, Thursday evening, April 23, 2020.

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Huxley 50th Anniversary Weekend

aerial photo of the environmental sciences building under constructionPhoto of Huxley Students and Staff

April 24-26, 2020

An event-filled weekend culminating in the Saturday Evening Gala.


Huxley alumni, students, faculty, staff, friends and partners, larger university and community

Events and Activities

Friday Evening, April 24, 2020

  • Alumni gathering at a local Brew Pub

Saturday, April 25, 2020

  • All class reunion 10am – 2pm
  • BBQ picnic lunch and ice cream
  • Networking event – chance for alumni, student, and faculty to connect 2pm – 3:30pm
  • Gala Evening 5pm – 9:30pm​

Sunday, April 26, 2020

  • Hike and tours – Theme: 50 years of Environmental Progress in Bellingham and Whatcom County

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50th Huxley Graduation Celebration

Graduating Class of Huxley StudentsPhoto of Huxley students

Saturday June 13, 2020

Celebration event for the 2019-2020 graduates marking 50 years of Huxley alumni


Donors, students, faculty, staff, friends and partners

Events and Activities

  • Commencement – 8:45am, Huxley alum commencement speaker
  • Luncheon for Huxley on the Peninsula graduates and their families
  • Huxley Graduation Celebration – 2pm, continuing the 50 year legacy of making a difference.

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