The History of Western Washington University

Thursday, March 10th, 2011, 7:30 p.m.

Whatcom Museum Rotunda Room • 121 Prospect St. • Free

Steve Inge, retired WWU employee, will present a lively illustrated history of the early years of Western Washington University that will focus on the individuals who helped grow the little Normal School on the hill into a highly ranked, nationally-known liberal arts university.

According to Inge, Western transitioned through four distinct institutions, each of which were influenced by certain key players, including one particularly well-known board of trustee member. As the school changed, so did its name:

1893-1901 State Normal School at New Whatcom

1901-1904 State Normal School at Whatcom

1904-1937 Washington State Normal School at Bellingham

1937-1961 Western Washington College of Education

1961-1977 Western Washington State College

1977- Western Washington University

Rapid growth resulted in the Main Building receiving three annexes – southwest, 1902; science, 1909; Training School, 1914 – within less than 20 years.

Early faculty member

Ida Baker was one of the first faculty members at the State Normal School, teaching grammar and music from 1899 until her untimely death in 1921.

Join us.


One thought on “The History of Western Washington University

  1. There is much more to Ida Agnes Baker’s story than that she taught grammar and music. My name is Cindy Carroll (Western ’96) and I have been researching Ida’s life since 1995. I even spoke as her at my Huxley graduation. If you ever want to know more of Ida’s story, Steve, email me at

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