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On March 21, 1974, Black engineering students Bill Butler, Jeff Williams and Raymond Lawrence met with Dr. Frank Marshall, the only Black engineering faculty member, and Dr. Liz A. Thomas, the Assistant Director at the Placement Center, to address the issue of the underrepresentation of Black students in engineering and the sciences at the University of Washington. This spearheaded the creation of the Association of Minority Engineering Students (AMES.)  The initial goal of AMES was to support Black students at the UW and other local colleges  to fulfill their dreams of obtaining degrees in engineering and the sciences.

In 1975, AMES became a chapter member of NSBE, changing our name to the National Society of Black Engineers, University of Washington Chapter (NSBEUW).  As NSBEUW, we aligned our chapter goals with the mission of NSBE, which is to “Increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers, who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community".  


Throughout the years, our chapter has been the leading organizations on the UW campus supporting the retention and graduation of Black STEM students for the last 50 years. Serving as the catalyst for the creation of the UW chapters of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), we foster unity within the engineering community through on-going collaborations with these organizations. We empowered our members to succeed by offering them programs to enhance their academic acumen and develop leadership and life skills while serving as positive role models for the next generation of Black engineers. 


We are the National Society of Black Engineers, University of Washington Chapter. Our history is vast and our potential is limitless!

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Original NSBE UW Chapter, 1974.

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