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, other local colleges, and high schools realize their dream of obtaining a degree in engineering and the sciences.
In 1975, AMES became a charter member of NSBE and we changed our name to the National Society of Black Engineers, University of Washington Chapter (NSBE-UW.) As NSBE-UW, 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 made a significant impact in increasing the retention and graduation of Black students, other underrepresented students, and women with degrees in engineering and sciences at the University of Washington. We’ve empowered our members to succeed by offering them programs to enhance their academic acumen and develop leadership and life skills. We’ve helped other students of color and women create engineering student organizations. In addition, we serve as positive and inspirational role models to the next generation of Black engineers and scientist.
We are the National Society of Black Engineers, University of Washington Chapter. Our history is vast and our potential is limitless!
Original NSBE UW Chapter, 1974.