Central Washington University

Central Washington University, or CWU, is a publicly assisted university in Ellensburg, Washington in the United States. 

The university's three chief divisions include the Office of the President, Business and Financial Affairs, and Academic and Student Life (ASL). Within ASL are four colleges: the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Business (Ellensburg campus and centers in the Puget Sound and central regions), the College of Education and Professional Studies, and College of the Sciences.

CWU is located about 110 miles (180 km) east of Seattle, Washington on Interstate 90 in the Kittitas Valley.

History

In 1890, the state Legislature established the Washington State Normal School (WSNS) in Ellensburg for “the training and education of teachers in the art of instructing and governing in the public schools of this state.” WSNS originally opened on September 6, 1891, with classes held at the Washington Public School in Ellensburg. In 1893, the school's first building was constructed and named Barge Hall, in honor of the first WSNS principal, Benjamin Franklin Barge. Barge Hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

The school became Central Washington College of Education in 1937, Central Washington State College in 1961, and, finally, Central Washington University in 1977. It continues to be one of the fastest growing universities in the State of Washington.

Some of the Campus buildings are:

  • Mitchell Hall, and the current location of most of the school's registrar and general admissions staff;
  • McConnell Hall and auditorium, home of the Theatre Arts department;
  • Barge Hall, financial and administrative center of campus;
  • and Shaw-Smyser Hall, the primary building for the College of Business.