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The University of Washington is a public research university and is the flagship institution of the state of Washington. UW is located in an urban setting in Seattle, Washington on the eastern banks of Lake Washington and above the Montlake Cut. Founded in 1861, the university is one of the largest public institutions of higher learning in the country with over 46,000 students enrolled in 140 departments. Offering a variety of bachelors, masters, and doctoral programs, UW is highly regarded worldwide as a leader in research-based academics. The school's academic accomplishments are highlighted by numerous Pulitzer Prize winners, Rhoades Scholars, and Nobel Prize laureates. UW is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU) and ranks third overall in the country in research funding. The school is best known for its competitive medicine, computer science, and engineering programs.
Utah is a member of the Pacific Coast Conference (Pac-12). The other universities competing in the Pac-12 are Arizona State University, The University of Arizona, Cal-Berkely, The University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), The University of Southern California (USC), The University of Colorado, Oregon State University, The University of Oregon, Stanford University, The University of Utah, and Washington State University. UW fields teams in ten men's sports and twelve women's sports. The school boasts four national championships in football and women's rowing and one national title each in women's golf, women's volleyball, women's cross country, and softball. The men's rowing team has the most prestigious tradition at the school with 15 national titles and a gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics.
The mascot for UW is the Husky, which replaced the "Sun Dodger" in 1923. The official school colors are purple and gold. Fans are treated to performances by the costumed "Harry the Husky" at many live sporting events. A live Alaskan Malamute named Dubs traditionally leads the football team onto the field at home games. The football team competes at the historic but newly renovated Husky Stadium, which sits on the banks of Lake Washington with Mount Rainier towering over in the distance. Hec Edmundson Pavillion is right next door to Husky Stadium and hosts basketball games, volleyball matches, and gymnastics meets.