Henry T. Buechel Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching

Books line the shelves at Suzzallo library. Photo: Katherine B. Turner

The Henry T. Buechel Memorial Endowment was established to provide an award for an outstanding instructor in the Department of Economics at the University of Washington. It is presented annually at the department graduation celebration as the Henry T. Buechel Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching. This award was established in 1972 by Henry Buechel’s friends and family to honor and encourage other outstanding teachers. Professor Buechel joined the UW faculty in 1942 and was widely considered one of the most inspiring educators on campus. 

Professor Buechel was born in Washington state in 1908, received most of his early education in Newport, and graduated from high school in 1925. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Education with honors from Washington State College (WSC, now Washington State University) in 1929 and his Master’s degree in Economics from WSC in 1936. He went on to a special session Advance Study in Economics at the University of Washington, and earned his Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Wisconsin in 1949.

Professor Buechel taught for a time at the junior high and junior college level and then taught at WSC in 1940. From 1941-1970 he taught Economics at UW. In February 1970, he won national acclaim for not allowing disrupters to take over his class. After national news attention, he received a letter from President Nixon, praising him for defending his right to teach in his own classroom. He met his wife Aurelia Chiara in 1936 while working on his Master’s degree in Pullman, where she was an elementary teacher, and they married in 1939. Professor Buechel was a severe mid-life-onset diabetic, and died of vascular complications in 1972.

Past winners of the Buechel Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching:

2020 Dong-Jae Eun
2019 Phil Brock
2018 Xu Tan
2017 Melissa Knox
2016 Dennis O'Dea
2015 Yu-chin Chen
2014 Haideh Salehi-Esfahani
2013 Greg Ellis
2012 Oksana Leukhina
2011 Neil Bruce
2010 Michael Hadjimichalakis
2009 Michelle Turnovsky
2008 Larina Davis
2007 Jacques Lawarree
2006 Philip Brock
2005 Yu-chin Chen
2004 Greg Ellis
2003 Robert Halvorsen
2002 Haideh Salehi-Esfahani
2001 Richard Hartman
2000 Eric Zivot
1999 Eugene Silberberg
1998 Theo Eicher
1997 Neil Bruce
1996 Elaina Rose
1995 Michael Hadjimichalakis
1994 Fahad Khalil
1993 Judith Thornton
1992 Hart Hodges
1991 David Rich
1990 Darlene Chisholm
1989 Paul Fishman
1988 Frank Rusco
1987 Caroline Anderson
1986 Mark Thompson