Mission & History


The NorthWest Academic Computing Consortium comprises colleges, universities, and other education-related non-profit organizations in the Pacific Northwest and nearby areas. NWACC’s mission is to foster communication and collaboration among its member institutions, cultivate technology leaders, share professional expertise, and enhance the use of technology for instruction, research, and operations.


The NorthWest Academic Computing Consortium was founded in 1987 by ten institutions: the Universities of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington; Oregon State and Washington State; the North Dakota University System, the Oregon Graduate Institute, the Boeing Corporation, and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Its mission was to promote education, research, and economic development in the Pacific Northwest. It began by creating a high-speed network to link the Northwest to the rapidly emerging national Internet.

NWACC operations were initially housed at Boeing Computing Services and later moved to the University of Washington. NWACC’s network clientele quickly grew to more than 170 colleges, universities, libraries, hospitals, museums, professional associations, and private corporations such as Microsoft, Nike, and Intel. In 1995, the network services component of NWACC, NorthWestNet, was spun off as a for-profit subsidiary and in 1997 it was sold to Verio, Inc.

The membership of NWACC currently includes colleges and universities, statewide university systems, and related higher education organizations. Chartered as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, in 2001 NWACC was further designated as a 509(a)(3) supporting organization. Admittance of new members is by Board invitation.