The HUB is a department within the Division of Student Life, is funded in part by the Services and Activities Fee (SAF), and relies on its professional and student staff to carry out its mission to enrich student engagement.


The HUB supports the Husky Experience by enhancing UW community, providing a dynamic event center, and fostering student engagement.


Every UW community member feels they belong. They are welcome, cared about, and inspired to grow.


  • Discovery – We foster engagement through exploration that inspires passion, creating connections and making lasting memories.
  • Empowerment – We create intentional opportunities for learning and growth, leveraging experiences through challenge, support, and reflection.
  • Equity – We cultivate equity through introspection, brave conversations, and collective action.
  • Integrity – We prioritize honesty and transparency, taking responsibility for our actions, and acknowledging when we fall short.
  • Service – We demonstrate care through listening and empathy, collaborating to achieve mutually beneficial goals.

Impact Report


The Original Student Union

Discussions to build a union building at the University of Washington began in 1919, with plans being developed throughout the 1920’s and 1930’s. However, it was not until just before the start of the Second World War that the project made it off the drawing board. With the University of Washington Regents providing half of the financing plus the land the project started construction in 1948. On October 25, 1949 the students, faculty and staff of the University opened the building to an enthusiastic reception.

The original building was a little over 71,000 square feet. It was built on the site of the Alaskan-Pacific-Yukon Exhibition’s Forestry Building which is pictured in the upper right hand corner of the Ernest Norling mural in the second floor lounge. This mural depicts events in the history of the University from 1861 to 1925. The term “HUB” was coined in the early 1950’s by the student newspaper, The Washington Daily, the predecessor of The Daily. The building was viewed as the “hub of campus life” and this name was soon adopted by almost everyone. Later, the acronym became today’s Husky Union Building.

The 1952 addition more than doubled the size of the building. The most important areas were a ballroom and the games room. This addition also added another deck to the building, expanded food service and a barbershop. In 1959 and 1962 small additions where made to the HUB, adding two meeting rooms, expanding seating in the dining area, and the Auditorium. The last major expansion of the HUB, 1975-77, saw the addition of a second ballroom, more dining seating, as well as meeting rooms and more lounge space. This brought the building to its present 262,000 square feet. Just prior to this expansion the student organization space in the sub-basement was opened.

The Role of the College Union

Adopted by the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) in 2018.

The college union advances a sense of community, unifying the institution by embracing the diversity of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests. We bolster the educational mission of the institution and the development of students as lifelong learners by delivering an array of cultural, educational, social, and recreational programs, services, and facilities.

By any form or name, we serve as the heart of the campus community and
create a welcoming environment by:

  • Operating as a student-centered organization that engages in shared decision making and holistic development through employment
    and involvement.
  • Advocating for inclusivity and equity, fostering respect, and affirming the identities of all individuals.
  • Educating students in leadership and social responsibility and offering firsthand experiences in global citizenship.
  • Providing gathering spaces to encourage formal and informal community interactions that build meaningful relationships.

Traditionally considered the living room, the college union enhances the student experience and cultivates an enduring connection to the institution.