In my latest story for HistoryLink, I explore how the University of Washington, in response to the coronavirus, transitioned more than 52,000 students on three campuses to all-remote learning — in just a matter of days.
It’s an amazing story not only for the scale of the undertaking but also because the university is generally believed to be the first major institution of higher education in the nation to move to online instruction. Within two days after the UW made the switch on March 9, 2020, more than 100 universities and colleges around the country followed suit.
The story begins February 4, 2020, when the university first restricts official travel to China, and ends with the live, interactive, virtual graduation and conferral of 18,000 degrees on June 13 — the first virtual graduation in the UW’s 159-year history, with participants in 40 countries and proceedings available in nine languages. Read the full story.