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Prexy's Pasture

Prexy's Pasture

References to this name appear in the early 20th century, but according to most sources, it was formally applied during the administration of UW president Arthur Crane in the 1920s. Legend has it that the first UW president, John Hoyt, watched Aven Nelson, a distinguished professor of Botany at the time, shoot rabbits in the pasture. The name supposedly refers to a hard-to-find university regulation that, along with a salary, the university president, or "prexy", be given exclusive use of the pasture to tether his horse. "Prexy's"; has been the center mall of the campus from the beginning of the 20th century and the site of numerous memorable University incidents.  On the southwestern corner, the first UW football field was set up when players used leather helmets and little padding. During the 1930s and 1940s, temporary fencing was installed on occasion in order for the area to accommodate a few days of rodeo events.  The rest of the area was part of a sale of land to the Union Pacific Railroad

In September, 1965, the Board of Trustees voted to construct the Science Center on th western half of Prexy's. After substantial opposition to the plan emerged, the board decided to locate the facility in the parking lot east of the Student Union and only later agreed  to build on the current location. In the course of the controversy, a law was passed by the legislature ensuring that no structure would be built with out legislative approval. This law is still on the books.

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