Remembering Debra Friedman, UW Tacoma Chancellor and early advocate for DXARTS

February 02 2014

From the UW Tacoma website:

Chancellor Debra Friedman died on January 26, 2014 of lung cancer. She brought into sharp focus an identity for UW Tacoma as an urban-serving campus, building on the substantial investment the region has always made in its university. That identity and investment is rooted in her unyielding passion: the transformational impact of education — that changes the lives of individuals and the communities of which they are a part. In those two-and-a-half years, she became a key leader in the South Sound region.

DXARTS is deeply saddened by the recent news of UW Tacoma Chancellor Debra Friedman's passing. Among the countless positive impacts she made at the University of Washington over the years, one contribution in particular speaks directly to our own history.  To put it quite simply, DXARTS wouldn't exist if it weren't for Debra Friedman.

In 1999, she inspired and supported an application for a UW $500,000 Tools of Transformation grant, which enabled CARTAH (Center for Advanced Research Technology in the Arts and Humanities, the precursor to DXARTS) to expand, adding critical faculty and equipment. Later, in 2001, she again played a key role in the center's growth, this time with her guidance and support for our successful bid for the University Initiatives Fund grant, which created DXARTS.

We are extremely grateful to Chancellor Friedman and impact she has had here and across the University of Washington. She will be dearly missed.

Friedman’s passion was the impact of education on individuals and entire communities. She focused on expanding UW Tacoma’s reach into the community, partnering with local schools as well as Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Full coverage and updates can be found on the UW Chancellor webpage.

For those who would like to contribute to Debra Friedman’s vision of the transformational impact of higher education, donations may be made to support student scholarships at UW Tacoma.  A public memorial service will be held on the UW Tacoma campus on Saturday, February 15 at 1:00 p.m. For more information, visit