College Search

Report Abuse

University of Puget Sound

The University of Puget Sound is a private liberal arts college located in the North End of Tacoma, Washington, in the United States. It is the only national, independent undergraduate liberal arts college in Western Washington.



1500 N Warner St
Zip/Post Code

Contact Information

Financial Aid Website


Total Undergrad enrollment
Total Graduate enrollment
In State Tuition Fees
Out State Tuition Fees
ACT Score
SAT Score
Male Female Ratio
Acceptance Rate
Student Faculty Ratio

Additional Information

College Type
Religious Affiliation
Campus Housing
Mission Statement
The Logger
White Maroon

College History


The University of Puget Sound was founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1888 in downtown Tacoma. Charles Henry Fowler, who had previously been the president of Northwestern University, dreamed up the idea for the college while in Tacoma for a Methodist conference. He spoke at the conference with his vision of a Christian institution of learning. The conference released a report: We commit ourselves...heartily to the building up within the bounds of the conference of an institution of learning which shall by its ample facilities...command the respect and patronage of Methodist people within the bounds of the territory...and so by united and prayerful efforts advance to the establishment of a school of learning which shall be a praise in all the land. Two cities vied for the location of the school: Port Townsend and Tacoma. The committee eventually decided on Tacoma. A charter was drawn up and filed in Olympia on March 17, 1888. This date marks the legal beginning of the school. At this time, the school's legal title was "The Puget Sound University".[8] In September 1890, UPS opened its doors, taking in 88 students. The beginnings of the school were marked by moral conviction: students were warned against intoxicating liquors, visits to saloons, gambling, tobacco use, and obscene drawings or writings on the college grounds. The university also had a financially tumultuous beginning. There was no endowment and the school often struggled for funds to pay the professors. It moved locations three times in 13 years and, at one time, the school was merged with Portland University (former campus is now the University of Portland). It opened up a year later (1899) back in Tacoma on the 9th and G Street.[9] In 1903, the school was "reborn" and re-incorporated as a different entity, different trustees, and a different name: the "University of Puget Sound". Warner Gym, one of the original 1924 buildings The character of the school changed dramatically during the presidency of Edward H. Todd (1913�1942), who worked tirelessly to bring financial and academic stability. During his tenure, the "Million Dollar Campaign" was started, raising $1,022,723 for buildings, equipment, and endowment. With this money, the campus moved in 1924[10] to its current location in the residential North End of Tacoma, with five buildings, setting a stylistic tone for the institution. In 1914 the university was renamed the "College of Puget Sound". President R. Franklin Thompson (1942�1973) led a massive physical and institutional expansion: During this era almost all of the university's buildings were constructed. In 1960, the university's name changed from the "College of Puget Sound" back to the "University of Puget Sound", as it is known today. Phillip M. Phibbs presided from 1973 to 1992 and endeavored to change the tone of Puget Sound. In 1980, the university divested its attachment with the Methodist Church, and an independent board of trustees assumed full fiscal responsibility of the university. Also during this time, the university began to focus on undergraduate education excellence, phasing out all off-campus programs except the law school and most graduate programs. During this time the library collections were broadened and the faculty greatly expanded. With the advent of President Susan Resneck Pierce (1992�2003), the law school was promptly sold to Seattle University, in a move that was calculated to focus the university's resources on its undergraduate campus. During her tenure, the University completed almost $100 million of new construction and renovation. Collins Memorial Library and four academic buildings were renovated, and Wyatt Hall was constructed to house the growing class and office space needs of the Humanities Department. Trimble Residence Hall was constructed, bringing on-campus student residency to 65%. SAT scores rose from 1067 to 1253 and the endowment more than tripled. Puget Sound's newest President is Ronald R. Thomas, affectionately called "Ron Thom" by many students, a scholar of Victorian literature, and the former vice-President of Trinity College. Harned and Thompson Halls, along Union Avenue. Harned Hall is at center, with wings of Thompson Hall on either side. Thompson Hall, home of the sciences at the university, underwent a major renovation, including the construction of a new wing (Harned Hall, completed 2006) on the building's western side against Union Avenue and extensive renovations to the current wings and courtyard to allow for upgraded labs and facilities. The entire project was completed in mid 2008. The entire complex is now known locally as "The Science Center at Puget Sound." The now completely enclosed courtyard contains a striking Plexiglas structure where a coffee shop, Oppenheimer Cafe, is located.[11] In fall 2013 Puget Sound opened Commencement Hall, a residence hall for upper-division students featuring 11 "houses" organized around five academic-residential programs: the Humanities Program, environmental outdoor leadership, international experiential learning, entrepreneurship, and the Honors Program. The hall is home for 135 students, and includes a seminar room, four studies, and an event/meeting space for approximately 150 people, accommodating special events, guest lectures, performances and more.

College Specialty


The University of Puget Sound is an independent predominantly residential undergraduate liberal arts college with selected graduate programs building effectively on a liberal arts foundation. The University, as a community of learning, maintains a strong commitment to teaching excellence, scholarly engagement, and fruitful student-faculty interaction. The mission of the University is to develop in its students capacities for critical analysis, aesthetic appreciation, sound judgment, and apt expression that will sustain a lifetime of intellectual curiosity, active inquiry, and reasoned independence. A Puget Sound education, both academic and co-curricular, encourages a rich knowledge of self and others, an appreciation of commonality and difference, the full, open, and civil discussion of ideas, thoughtful moral discourse, and the integration of learning, preparing the University's graduates to meet the highest tests of democratic citizenship. Such an education seeks to liberate each person's fullest intellectual and human potential to assist in the unfolding of



Bill Baarsma (1964), mayor of Tacoma, 2002�2009[56] Terry Bain (1989), novelist and short-story writer[57] Scott Bateman(1986), nationally syndicated cartoonist[58] Ted Bundy (non-degree alumnus), serial killer. Transferred to UW Jose Calugas (1961), Medal of Honor recipient Terry Castle (1975), Professor of English, Stanford University[59] Dale Chihuly (non-degreed alumnus), glass artist Jori Chisholm (1997), Champion bagpiper[60] Greg Craven, climate change activist who produced a viral video on YouTube[61] Gretchen Fraser (1941), gold medalist, slalom, 1948 Winter Olympics[62] Scott Griffin (MBA 1982), CIO of Boeing[63][64] Marion Higgins (1897), supercentenarian who died at age 112 and was briefly the oldest California resident[65] Justin Jaschke (1984), founder and former CEO of Verio[66] Edward LaChapelle (1949), avalanche researcher and glaciologist[67] Rachel Martin (1996), Host, NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday[68] Charlie Lowery, NBA player George Obiozor (1969), Nigerian Ambassador to the U.S.[69] Mike Oliphant (1988), professional (NFL) football player[70] Sean Parnell (JD 1987), Governor of Alaska Chris Pirih (1987), creator of SkiFree, one of the seminal computer games in the early days of Microsoft Windows[71] Mike Price (1969), head football coach at the University of Texas-El Paso[72] Christine Quinn-Brintnall (JD 1980), Washington state Court of Appeals judge[73] Ross Shafer (1975) comedian and motivational speaker[74] Darby Stanchfield(1993), Television Actress (MAD MEN and Scandal) Rick Steves (non-degree alum), producer of the popular Rick Steves' tour guidebook series as well as "Rick Steve's Europe" on PBS. Attended Puget Sound for only one semester, citing cost and a desire to spend free time traveling as reasons to transfer to UW. Jeff Smith (1967), TV Chef, "The Frugal Gourmet"[75] Brian Sonntag (non-degreed alumnus), Washington State Auditor Hari Sreenivasan (1995), correspondent for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer[76] Rebecca Welles, daughter of director Orson Welles and actress Rita Hayworth Adam West (non-degree alumnus), Actor most notably portraying Batman. Transferred to Whitman College Milt Woodard (1933), sports executive, co-founder of American Football League



Suburban, 97 Acres (39�Ha)