Celebrating our legacy, shaping a more equitable future

Over the past 60 years, the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy & Governance has built a reputation as one of the top public policy and management schools in the nation. One of the first public universities in the United States to offer a degree in public administration, our serving the public is a critical part of the Evans School’s history, our identity, and our philosophy. It is also the foundation for our future.

Guided by our shared values of equity, courage, and service, the Evans School is educating leaders, generating knowledge, and hosting communities to co-create a more inclusive society. We are doing this because we believe everyone benefits from a democratic system that includes everyone and serves everyone.

As we look to the future, we are transforming our approach to public policy and management education, scholarship, and engagement by bridging our public service legacy with our bold new vision: inclusively built societies powered by collective wisdom, brave leadership, and rigorous action.

We are energized by this new direction, and we hope you will join us in shaping a more equitable future.

Jodi Sandfort

As we look ahead to our 60th anniversary year, we also pause to look back on 2021 and take stock on where the Evans School is today. Check out our new Evans School Annual Snapshot, with milestones and metrics showcasing a transformative year.

Our History

  • 1902:  Built as ‘Science Hall,’ Parrington Hall is one of the first buildings on the University of Washington Seattle campus.  
  • 1930:  Parrington Hall is renamed for Vernon Louis Parrington, an English professor at UW from 1908 to 1929. 
  • 1947: Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program originates in the UW political science department. 
  • 1958: UW President, Charles Odegaard, appoints a committee to determine how the University could improve public policy and management education. Following the committee’s recommendations, Odegaard asks Brewster Denny to develop a model for an independent school of public policy and governance. 
  • 1960: MPA program and Institute of Political Affairs transfers to the UW Graduate School. 
  • 1961: School of Public Administration is created. 
  • 1962: The UW Board of Regents accepts proposal for the creation of the UW Graduate School of Public Affairsone of the nation’s first schools of public policy at a public university. 
  • 1962: Brewster Denny becomes dean. 
  • 1980: Brewster Denny passes away; Jared Hazelton becomes dean. 
  • 1982: Hubert Locke becomes dean. 
  • 1988: Margaret Gordon becomes dean. 
  • 1988: The UW Graduate School of Public Affairs moves from Smith Hall to Parrington Hall. 
  • 1998: Marc Lindenberg becomes dean. 
  • 1998: The UW Graduate School of Public Affairs officializes mission statement. 
  • 1999: The UW Graduate School of Public Affairs becomes the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs to honor one of Washington state’s most revered politicians, a U.S. senator and three-term governor. 
  • 2001: The Evans School launches Peace Corps Masters International MPA. 
  • 2002: Marc Lindenberg passes away; Paul Hill becomes interim dean. 
  • 2003: Sandra Archibald becomes dean.  
  • 2003: The Evans School welcomes first cohort of Executive MPA program students. 
  • 2006: The Evans School is accredited by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration. 
  • 2006-2007: The Evans School enrolls its first four Ph.D. students. 
  • 2009: The Evans Diversity Committee (EDC) formally becomes an ad-hoc committee reporting directly to the dean.  
  • 2010: The Evans School graduates its first Ph.D. students. 
  • 2013: The Evans School mission statement is revised after two years of conversation with faculty and extensive deliberation and consultation with the school’s community of students, alumni, Advisory Board members, employers, and University administrators.  
  • 2015: The University’s largest graduate degree program is the MPA at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. 
  • 2016: Dean Sandra Archibald reconstitutes the EDC to have equal representation from students, faculty, and staff. 
  • 2016: The Evans School kicks off campaign for full renovation of Parrington Hall. 
  • 2017: The Evans Diversity Committee drafts its Blueprint for Diversity (2017-2021) based on the 2009 Evans School Diversity Strategic Plan and the UW Diversity Blueprint 2017-2021. 
  • 2018: The Curriculum Advocacy Team (CAT) is established “to create a community of practice between students, faculty, and staff where we can meaningfully, inclusively, and consistently collaborate on issues regarding race, equity and inclusion in curriculum”. 
  • 2019: Parrington Hall renovations begin following a $24M campaign to modernize the historic facility. 
  • 2019: The Evans School launches Global MPA for international public service leaders offered jointly with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Victoria University of Wellington, and Tsinghua University.  
  • March 2020: The Evans School closes its Parrington Hall doors for the first time to operate virtually in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. 
  • June 2020: Undergraduate Minor in Public Policy is approved.  
  • September 2020: Parrington Hall construction is completed; the building is renovated with new classrooms outfitted with technology and spaces to support engaged learning and community discussions. 
  • October 2020: The first entirely virtual school year begins due to the coronavirus pandemic. 
  • January 2021: Jodi Sandfort becomes dean. 
  • March 2021: The Evans School embarks on a bold journey with a new vision for public service including new mission, vision, purpose, and values. 
  • September 2021: The Evans School reopens Parrington Hall to in-person classes 
  • January 2022: The Evans School publishes its new five-year Equity & Inclusion Blueprint.

What did we miss? Help us build out our timeline by sending a note to evansadv@uw.edu.

Alumni Stories

The Evans School’s true impact over the last 60 years is our alumni’s work for the public good—you are our greatest legacy. We are happy to amplify your story and your tremendous contributions to the public good. You all have made the Evans School what it is today.

Deans of the Evans School

Dean 1962-1980 

Dean 1980-1982

Dean 1982-1988

Dean 1988-1998

Dean 1998-2002

Dean 2003-2019

Dean 2021 – present

Evans School Impact

Your impact inspires us. We’d like to learn more about you and your tremendous contributions to the public good, so we can share your story as we connect, learn and reflect.

The Honorable Daniel J. Evans & Nancy B. Evans

Formerly known as the UW Graduate School of Public Affairs, the Evans School was renamed in 1999 to honor Daniel J. Evans, who ranks as one of the most distinguished leaders in the history of the State of Washington. Perhaps best known as governor from 1965–1977, he has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to public service. He has longstanding ties to the University of Washington (UW) and exemplary experience in the fields of governance, education, and the environment.

Dan Evans was a civil engineer before he entered politics in 1956 as a member of the Washington State House of Representatives.

He became governor of the State of Washington in 1965, ultimately serving an unprecedented three consecutive terms. He was recognized as “One of the Ten Outstanding Governors in the 20th Century” (University of Michigan study, 1981). After the death of Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson in 1983, Evans was appointed and then elected to the U.S. Senate. In 1989, he chose not to run for reelection.

Evans is actively involved in many community and nonprofit organizations. From 1989–1994, Evans also served as a political analyst for KIRO radio and TV. He taught as a part-time lecturer at the Evans School from March 1989–1990, and currently heads his own consulting firm, Daniel J. Evans Associates

Continue reading here.

Daniel J. Evans

Governor, State of Washington (1965-1977)
Senator, State of Washington (1983-1989)

Nancy B. Evans

First Lady to Governor, State of Washington (1965-1977)

First Lady Nancy Bell Evans works tirelessly as a civic volunteer to bring energy, grace, and passion to public and nonprofit service. A leader and innovator, she has been a founder and chair of the Friends of Cancer Lifeline, national chair of the First Ladies’ Mental Health Month, founding trustee of Planned Parenthood of Olympia, and founder of the Governor’s Mansion Foundation.  

Her passion for music is reflected in her lifelong commitment to the arts. Evans was a co-founder and board member of the Governor’s Festival of the Arts and has been a trustee of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra for nearly 30 years. 

Evans is actively engaged in the community and currently serves on the boards of the Benaroya Hall Music Center, Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation, and KCTS Public Television.  

Her commitment to higher education and the University of Washington is also noteworthy. She is a former member of the visiting committee for the School of Public Health and Community Medicine, a current member of the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance Advisory Board, and an honorary co-chair of the Evans School’s Campaign. 

Continue reading here. 

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