Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University
Washington State University Cougar Head


125 years, and counting.

For 125 years and counting, Washington State University has been inspiring discovery, achievement, innovation, and courage. Let’s take a moment to look back and celebrate WSU’s history.

Explore some of the most memorable moments at WSU, from presidents to Apple Cups to wine grapes, through this interactive timeline. And we invite you to share your story, too. WSU is a community of inspired and inspiring Cougs like you with rich stories and experiences to share.

Join us as we celebrate 125 years and the people who made it all possible. Go Cougs!

– 1890
– 1900
– 1910
– 1920
– 1930
– 1940
– 1950
– 1960
– 1970
– 1980
– 1990
– 2000
– 2010
AKA: “The Mauve Decade,” so called because the color dominates fashion of the time. Notable: Panhard et Levassor in France begins commercial production of automobiles. Wilhelm Rontgen discovers X-rays. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle publishes the first Sherlock Holmes story (A Scandal in Bohemia). Crimson and Gray: The initial footprint of the Pullman campus begins to appear. By the end of the decade, the growing college includes resident halls, playfields, and a student newspaper.

The state legislature establishes the Washington Agricultural College, Experiment Station, and School of Science

28 March 1890

The new institution, Washington’s land-grant college, is a product of the 1862 Morrill Act signed by President Abraham Lincoln. The act gives the state 90,000 acres of federal land to support its agricultural college and 100,000 acres to support its school of science.

The Board of Regents holds its first meeting on April 22, 1890.


Artesian wells in Pullman attract residents

24 May 1890

Thanks to the discovery of artesian water, every home in Pullman has clean running water by 1891, according to the Pullman Herald. Well-digging has become a town spectacle. Pamphlets touting Pullman’s “ever-flowing springs of pure-abundant cold water” are distributed to lure potential residents to the area.


The legislature picks Pullman as the college’s location

25 April 1891

The decision follows a lengthy and controversial site selection process lasting more than a year. Pullman’s selection is hardly based on its merits alone. Local citizens enthusiastically promote the town’s advantages and warm politicians to the idea after vigorous politicking, including gifts of cash and land.

Excerpt from May 2, 1891 Pullman Herald
Excerpt from May 2, 1891 Pullman Herald

George Washington Lilley named first president

1 May 1891

President Lilley is appointed to a one-year term. His previous experience includes serving as president of the Dakota Agricultural College from 1884 to 1886. Soon after his appointment, he launches construction of the first classroom building, named the “Crib”—the cradle of an infant college. The modest brick building costs $1,500 to construct.

Construction of the first building, “The Crib,” begins

23 May 1891

The one story brick structure (located where the Terrell Library now sits) houses agricultural and biology laboratories and a museum. The facility is absorbed as part of a new gymnasium, later known as the Temporary Union Building, or TUB, in 1901.


Washington Agricultural College and School of Science opens its doors

13 January 1892

The institution welcomes 13 collegiate and 46 preparatory students who study agriculture, mechanic arts and engineering, and sciences and arts. President Lilley teaches mathematics and elementary physics.  The Morrill Act specifies that one of the major subjects to be taught is, “veterinary art” and Charles E. Munn, a veterinarian, is among the first six faculty members.  Tuition is not charged the first year.

Ferry Hall Construction ca. 1892 on Cabbage Patch
Ferry Hall Construction ca. 1892 on Cabbage Patch

The first student newspaper, The College Record, hits newsstands

29 February 1892

The monthly publication lasts just more than a year, to be succeeded in 1895 by The Daily Evergreen. The Record’s editor, William D. Barkhuff, is an engineering student.


First intercollegiate athletics competition ends in victory

10 March 1892

The State College students defeat Pullman’s Military College at baseball, in a game called after six innings due to the lopsidedness of the 26-0 score.

College Record 1892-03 pg 7

The college opens its first residence hall

19 October 1892

The institution awards a bid for the construction of Ferry Hall on February 19, 1892. The college confirms plans to construct a second classroom building, the original College Hall, on May 15. The buildings are ready when school begins that fall.



C.V. Piper and the unique fauna and flora of the PNW

16 November 1892

Charles Vancouver Piper believed he needed to classify the flora and fauna of the PNW so other scientists could better understand the uniqueness of area. He published Flora of the Palouse Region (1901), Flora of the State of Washington (1906), Insect Pests of the Garden, Farm, and Orchard (1895), and many other books, including works on hay, soybeans, and other crops.

Piper standing left, President Bryan standing right.
Piper standing left, President Bryan standing right.

President Heston’s arrival spurs student protest

Frozen cabbages!

21 December 1892

Students pelt Heston with rotten cabbages, plucked from icy fields nearby, as well as eggs and snowballs, marring the day he is introduced as president. The president of the Board of Regents, Andrew Smith, is also pelted as he walks with Heston across campus. The new president spends more time in Olympia and Seattle than tending to campus matters, fueling accusations around the state about unruliness in Pullman.

From the first issue of The College Record, the predecessor to The Daily Evergreen, absolving former president Liley for any involvement in the attack on Heston
From the first issue of The College Record, the predecessor to The Daily Evergreen, absolving former-President Liley for any involvement in the attack on Heston

President Heston leaves office

31 August 1893

The Board of Regents ends the tenure of the president after just eight and a half months on the job.  Charles Munn, one of the first six faculty members, also leaves in the wake of political turmoil. The position of Chair of Veterinary Science is abolished.

The first experiment station begins in Puyallup

29 June 1894

After an infestation of hops lice destroys crops in the Puyallup River region in 1891, the legislature decides to locate the state’s first experiment station in Puyallup instead of Pullman. The station is constructed on 40 acres of land donated by the Ross family, giving the facility its first name, Ross’s Station. Now called the Puyallup Research & Extension Center, the center continues to provide valuable services and information to the local community.



Winners in first varsity football game

17 November 1894

The college inaugurates the sport by defeating the University of Idaho, 10-0. The team doesn’t employ a paid coach until 1900, but advisers in the first couple years include newspaperman William Goodyear, agriculturalist William J. Spillman, and young athlete Fred Waite.

1894 team, reproduced in a 1934 40th Reunion Banquet brochure.  Item held at WSU MASC, Collection WSU 31
1894 team, reproduced in a 1934 40th Reunion Banquet brochure. Item held at WSU’s MASC, Collection WSU 31
Pullman Herald, November 1894.
Pullman Herald, November 1894.

The Evergreen publishes its first paper

25 March 1895


The Administration Building opens

26 June 1895

The dedication of the Administration Building, known today as Thompson Hall, serves as a tangible sign of the college’s growth under President Bryan’s leadership. The regents describe the building as ”an excellent piece of work and one that in point of convenience, strength, and architectural beauty compares with any state building.” Built with granite quarried from Spokane and brick from clay deposits near Stevens Hall, the building’s two large contrasting towers make it one of the campus’s most distinctive landmarks.


The School of Veterinary Science opens

24 September 1895

The Washington Legislature creates the office of State Veterinarian specifying that they also be the Professor of Veterinary Science at the college and a member of the State Board of Health. Sofus Bertelson Nelson, a native of Denmark, an Iowa State College graduate, and Spokane practitioner, is appointed to the post by the Board of Regents.  Nelson later serves as Dean of the College of Veterinary Science and in 1919 he resigns  to assume the post of Director of Agricultural Extension. In 18 years of service, records show he personally examined 149,182 animals. Cost of the services rendered is $45,000 total.  The initial curriculum consists of a series of courses intended to supplement agriculture classes and to provide initial training to students who intend to transfer to another school. The veterinary labs are housed in (old) College Hall and a shed is constructed for $60 on the south end of campus to house the operating rooms.

MASC negative # 83-052
College Hall

WSC student competes in the first intercollegiate oratoricals

22 May 1897

Jessie Hungate takes second place at a regional intercollegiate oratorical contest in Walla Walla, the first such appearance by a State College student in what becomes an annual competition.  These involve speeches and singing rather than debating.

The first class graduates

24 June 1897

Of the seven graduates, Orin Hector Stratton and Carl Estby become the first WSU Civil Engineering graduates.

Graduation invitation


Old Ferry Hall burns down

23 November 1897

The facility, a five-story brick-and-wood building vilified by President Bryan for its lack of looks and efficiency, burns after a kitchen fire spreads out of control.


In 1900, the new Ferry residence hall opens. A four-story brick structure topped with a four-sided cupola, it houses between 100 and 180 students. Ferry serves as the only men’s residence hall on campus for three decades. The hall also houses the first campus fraternity, which starts as a club before moving off campus.


Despite an effort by alumni, students, and staff to preserve it, Ferry is demolished in the late-1960s—but not before the cupola was saved. In 1975 it’s relocated to the Glenn Terrell Friendship Mall, near Murrow Hall. Construction in the Murrow Yard in 2008 sparks the cupola’s relocation to its present site in the new arboretum near the Lewis Alumni Center.

MASC - 100103515
MASC – 100103515

The Alumni Association begins

23 June 1898

Edward Kimmel, class of 1897, is named the first president.

Edward Kimmel second from left

WSC students begin intercollegiate debates

19 May 1899

State College students participate in the first official intercollegiate debates, losing to UW in Seattle by a score of 874-878.  In their second debate, on June 9, they defeat Whitman.  Two 1898 intercollegiate club debates preceded these school debates.

Rules for Debate
Rules for Debate, 1900

Mabel Lambert Taylor is the first female engineering graduate in mechanical engineering.

22 June 1899

The “School of Veterinary Science” is born

28 September 1899

This major division of the college admits its first class of three students into a three-year curriculum, and this year is considered to be the official birth of today’s College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University.  In 1902 two of the three original class, Drs. Charles S. Philips and John W. Woods, graduate.

AKA: “The Confident Years,” so called because the beginning of the 20th century marks an era in which Americans feel they can accomplish anything. Peace, prosperity, and progress all seem possible. Notable: Marie Curie wins the Nobel Prize for her role in the discovery of radiation. The Wright brothers test their Wright Glider at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Pablo Picasso co-founds the Cubist art movement and paints Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, considered by some to be the birth of modern art. Crimson and Gray: Enrollment grows steadily throughout the decade, reaching 1,371 students by 1906. Among the new facilities built to accommodate the growth: Bryan Hall, College Hall, and Van Doren Hall.

Committee approves changing school colors from pink and blue to crimson and gray

13 November 1900
Adoption of new colors, from Nov. 14, 1900 Evergreen, page 2.
Adoption of new colors, from Nov. 14, 1900 Evergreen, page 2.

Football team wins the Northwest Championship

28 November 1901

The squad defeats Whitman College, 5-2, in the title-deciding game, a contest played in Walla Walla that attracts 1,200 to 1,400 enthusiastic fans.

William Hurford Lawrence earns the first master’s degree

19 June 1902

Lawrence earns a master of science in botany.


The college offers first courses in home economics and pharmacy

22 September 1904

Legislature okays name change to State College of Washington

2 March 1905

The state legislature approves changing the name of Washington Agricultural College and School of Science to State College of Washington in recognition of the college’s expanding mission. President Bryan has worked tirelessly to fend off political forces that were trying to limit the college’s offering to just agriculture and science. The president believes students need to study liberal arts and science as well as professional fields to be more effective leaders. 

Ellen and Olaf Abelson enroll

21 September 1905

The Abelsons enroll after building a house where Fulmer Hall now stands. Olaf graduates with a degree in civil engineering in 1909. The Abelsons’ son Phillip later attends WSU and becomes an internationally recognized chemical engineer. Among his accomplishments: he devises a method for large-scale enrichment of uranium for use as power source in submarines, leading to construction of the world’s first atomic submarine.


The First Vet-Pharmic Annual Football Game kicks off a fifty year tradition

8 December 1906

The first annual Vet-Pharmic football game is played. The event becomes a major campus attraction until 1957 when concerns for student safety saw the contest end. The Pharmics are said to have won only three to four games over the years. For a time basketball games take the place of the football game but lack of interest causes them to disappear in the 1960s. The annual football game is followed each year by the Hobo Dance. For the dance, male students and faculty grow their beards out in honor of the vagrant namesake of the dance. Dancing, drink, and merriment often flow into the following morning. It too, is done away with in 1957 after a particularly raucous occasion also raises concerns for student safety.

Veterinary Practice Act furthers the profession in Washington State

11 March 1907

March 11, the first state Veterinary Practice Act is signed into law granting the governor the power to appoint an examining board composed of three graduate veterinarians, one to be the state veterinarian. All graduate veterinarians in the state are required to show proof of graduation by July 1. Non-graduate veterinarians who’ve practiced in the state for not less than two years are grandfathered in. Interestingly, graduates of human medical schools can become licensed veterinarians in Washington simply by showing proof of graduation.

The college adds education programs

26 September 1907

The coursework is introduced with the arrival of Alfred A. Cleveland, assistant professor of psychology. The 1909-1911 course catalog describes the purpose of the education program as training physical science teachers who will further the application of science to industrial pursuits.

President Bryan travels to Europe to recover from typhoid fever

31 October 1907 7 January 1908

The Board of Regents grants the president 3 months of sick leave to recover. He returns to campus feeling refreshed from his first extended vacation since arriving in Pullman in 1893. The incident forces Bryan to realize he needs to share major administrative responsibilities, so he appoints faculty member O.L. Waller as his first vice president.

President Bryan Typhoid

Hall name honors first female faculty member

17 June 1908

Van Doren Hall is built to house the domestic economy department. The building name honors Nancy Van Doren, an English instructor and the campus librarian.

Dedicating Van doren Hall

Veterinary Hospital

1 July 1908

​Owing to the importance of Veterinary Science a new three story, brick veterinary science building is erected on the Pullman campus. Later known as the Administrative Annex, the structure, which sat on the western edge of the historic campus core, was torn down in 2009.

In 1909, a two-story brick building is constructed at 225 Indiana Avenue in Spokane and established as a satellite teaching hospital.  This teaching hospital closes in 1923 and all teaching is transferred back to Pullman.

In 1911, Dean Nelson recommends a schedule of fees to the Board of Regents for the Veterinary Hospital: “For the hospital at Pullman, 60 cents per day for feed and care. For floating horses teeth, 50 cents. All other treatment in the hospital, free.” The first dog ambulance is purchased for $300.


Campus dedicates Entrance Arch

9 June 1909

The arch, located over the Opal Street entrance to campus, is a gift from the class of 1905. The arch is razed in 1955 and some of the rock is included in the Stadium Way entrance sign.  The rock is maintained through various reworkings of that sign and entrance until 2015, when it is removed entirely.


AKA: “The Idealistic Years,” nicknamed in part due to President Woodrow Wilson’s dream of waging peace instead of war. Notable: Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary is assassinated, leading to the outbreak of World War I. The Titanic strikes an iceberg in the North Atlantic, killing 1,517 people. Charles Strite invents the first pop-up toaster. The first jazz music is recorded. Crimson and Gray: Administrators create separate schools to better manage the college’s academic offerings. Students vote to select the cougar as the new college mascot after the football team defeats the heavily favored California Bears in Berkeley and a Bay Area sportswriter says the victors “played like cougars!”

Campus celebrates first Founder’s Day with downtown parade and dinner

28 March 1911


Rhoda White serves as first dean of women

1 September 1911
Rhoda M. White, from 1920 Chinook
Rhoda M. White, from 1920 Chinook

Rudolph Weaver becomes first architecture professor and first university architect

1 September 1911

Weaver designed Carpenter, Wilson, Community, McCroskey, and Stimson halls, as well as the president’s residence. He also designed what is now the Lewis Alumni Center.

Carpenter Hall
Carpenter Hall
Community Hall
Community Hall
McCroskey Hall
McCroskey Hall
Stimson Hall
Stimson Hall
Presidents Home
Presidents Home
Beef Cattle Barn, later remodeled as the Lewis Alumni Center
Beef Cattle Barn, later remodeled as the Lewis Alumni Center


Training west coast architects

19 September 1911

The college establishes an architecture program, one of the first on the West Coast, after the University of California at Berkeley.

The Crimson Circle, a social organization for WSU senior men, begins

5 March 1912

The group inaugurates an annual song, yell, and skit competition in 1914. J. DeForest Cline writes “Washington, My Washington” for the initial contest. The piece is chosen as the WSC alma mater in 1919.


The president’s house opens

1 May 1913

The house is built for a total cost of $25,000.


Campus celebrates first homecoming

8 November 1913

The football team vanquishes the Whitman College Fighting Missionaries, 23–0.


Alumnus Harry T. Graves named Acting Commissioner of Agriculture for the State of Washington

16 March 1914

The Associated Students create “The Bookie”

22 April 1914

The Associated Students vote to invest $2,000 in a co-op bookstore on campus which will sell books, supplies, and, as an Evergreen ad from that year notes, “hot chocolate, milk shakes, ice cream, soft drinks, and sandwiches.” The Students’ Book Corporation (SBC) becomes an instant hit for students who save 10 percent on all supplies.

The original Bookie operates in a small wood-frame building on the present site of Wilmer Hall until 1923, when a new brick building is constructed next to the music conservatory. A larger two-level red brick bookstore rises in the same location in 1954. The Bookie remains there until 2008, when it moves into its present location in the remodeled Compton Union Building.

The Students Book Corporation (Bookie) ca. 1926.
The Students Book Corporation (Bookie) ca. 1926.

Students Book Corporation

Smith-Lever Act establishes national university extension program

8 May 1914

The act links cooperative extension services to land-grant universities. The program is designed to keep citizens informed about developments in agriculture, home economics, public policy, economic development, and other subjects.

Growing Alfalfa Without Irrigation

Veterinarians stop potential Foot-and-Mouth disease outbreak in Spokane

16 November 1914 21 November 1914

Two cars of cattle en route from Wisconsin to Roy, Wash. arrive in Spokane. Animal health officials were previously warned that the animals were exposed to foot-and-mouth disease in a St. Paul, Minn. stockyard. Quick action on the part of veterinarians, state agricultural officials, and a cooperative owner, stopped a potential outbreak before it could happen. The positive diagnosis was made on Nov. 16 and by Nov. 21 all the cattle were destroyed and cremated and all temporary holding pens, litter, etc.were burned.

WSC beats Brown, 14-0, in Rose Bowl

1 January 1916

A crowd of 10,000 in Pasadena watches as undefeated Washington State shuts out Brown in the second Rose Bowl game ever played. Coach William “Lone Star” Dietz and his Cougar squad serve as extras in the football film “Tom Brown of Harvard” each morning and then hit the practice field in the afternoon during the two weeks leading up to the bowl game. Each player receives $100 for the 14 mornings of movie work.

First continuing education program for veterinarians begins in Pullman

1 January 1917

The program is sponsored by the college and assisted by the fledgling state association and northwest veterinarians.

World War I overshadows the college

6 April 1917 11 November 1918

Two-thirds of the student body has disappeared from campus following the country’s entry into World War I in April 1917. More than 700 students and alumni are in the military or naval service or working to produce food and war materials for American military forces, allies, and the home front.

The federal government and the college sign a contract in May which converts considerable portions of the campus and educational facilities to military instruction. The Army begins sending units of 300 recruits to the campus  for training every 2 months, beginning June 15. Shortly after the Armistice ending the war is signed on November 11, the Army cancels the contract.

Pull-Men was the newspaper of the student military during WWI.
Pull-Men was the newspaper of the student military during WW I.

WSC creates the Graduate School

1 June 1917

C.C. Todd, professor of chemistry, serves as the founding dean. Although authorized in 1917, the school doesn’t get under way until 1922, after a few of the best researchers voluntarily organize themselves into a research council.

Class project delivers Cougar fight song

20 February 1919

Zella Melcher writes the lyrics and Phyllis Sayles pens the music to the well-loved song, which receives a ringing endorsement from the Evergreen when it’s sung for the first time February 20 at a school assembly.

Fight, fight, fight for Washington State! Win the victory!
Win the day for Crimson and Gray! Best in the West, we know you’ll all do your
best, so
On, on, on, on! Fight to the end! Honor and Glory you must win! So
Fight, fight, fight for Washington State and victory!


The song appears in the 1985 film Volunteers, sung by John Candy’s character Tommy Tuttle.

New fight song coverage as seen in the Evergreen, Feb. 26, 1919, page 1.

The February 26 issue of the Evergreen gives front page coverage to the first performance of the new fight song.

New fight song, first printed in the Evergreen, Feb. 26, 1919, page 8.
New fight song, first printed in the Evergreen, Feb. 26, 1919, page 8.

State passes law requiring students to take at least 90 minutes per week of physical education

11 March 1919

The 1920s bring the enactment of legislation that requires compulsory physical education in the high schools of many states. This leads to the development of a degree program at WSC to train students as physical and recreation directors, playground supervisors, and athletic coaches.

Alumni Association names Harry Chambers first secretary

1 May 1919

Chambers is a 1913 graduate and WSC instructor in economics. One of the first priorities of his new job: formation of a council tasked with bringing the college and alumni “into a closer union, that each might serve the other and with the two working in harmony might give more efficient service to the state,” according to the Evergreen.

Chambers later serves as registrar, graduate manager, and faculty adviser for the interfraternity council during his WSC career.


WSC reorganizes into 5 colleges and 4 schools

22 September 1919

In June 1917, President Holland announces that the institution will reorganize into 5 colleges (Agriculture, Mechanical Arts and Engineering, Science and Arts, Veterinary Science, and Home Economics) and 4 schools (Mines, Education, Pharmacy, and Music and Applied Design), with deans as administrative heads. The College of Home Economics is to be one of the first of its kind in the nation. However, World War I interrupts these plans, delaying implementation of the new structure to the 1919-1920 school year.

The cougar becomes the official mascot of WSC

28 October 1919

On October 25, an underdog WSC football team travels to Berkeley and defeats the heavily favored California Bears, 14-0. After the game, a Bay Area sportswriter says the visitors “played like cougars!” Back in Pullman, a jubilant student body picks up on the idea, and three days later votes to select the name “Cougars” for its athletic teams.

WSC receives its first live cougar mascot in 1927, which is named “Butch” to honor star football player Herbert “Butch” Meeker.

Butch 1 ca. 1932
Butch 1 ca. 1932
AKA: The “Roaring Twenties,” which feature unprecedented economic prosperity and a period of rapid cultural change. Notable: Charles Lindbergh completes the first solo flight across the Atlantic. Women's voting rights expand. Dance clubs become enormously popular. Baseball player Babe Ruth lays the foundation of future New York Yankees dynasties. Crimson and Gray: Herbert "Butch" Meeker stars for the Cougar football team, and the college awards its first doctorate.

President Taft visits campus

Presents student awards, delivers speech

21 May 1920

Former United States President William Howard Taft speaks briefly and presents a few student awards at Rogers Field in the afternoon, then delivers a speech titled “Capital, Labor, and the Soviet” that evening in Bryan Auditorium.

The president had previously traveled to Pullman on October 7, 1911 while still in office, but he didn’t make it to campus, as he spoke from his train car at the Northern Pacific depot downtown. The visit appears to be the only time a sitting president has visited Pullman.

WSC President Holland, Doc Bohler, former U.S. President Taft.
WSC President Holland, Doc Bohler, former U.S. President Taft.

Winfred A. Jordan, first African-American Student, graduates with a degree in Veterinary Science

10 June 1920

Jordan was a transfer student from the then soon-to-close San Francisco Veterinary College.

WSU celebrates its first Women’s Day

28 May 1921

The new “Women’s Day” incorporates female athletics into what previously had been known as the “May Fete,” an event typically centered on artistic presentations including theater, oratory, and dance, plus a May Queen pageant. The first May Fete took place in 1910.

Cover of the four-page program.
Cover of the four-page program

Emerson Anton Ehmer establishes the first small animal hospital in Seattle

1 July 1921

Ehmer, a 1918 WSC graduate, goes on to a distinguished career in the development and advancement of veterinary orthopedics. Today his original Seattle Dog and Cat Hospital is known as the Seattle Emergency Hospital.

WSC receives a Mortar Board charter, the first organization to honor senior college women

3 February 1923

Mortar Board, a national women’s honorary, grants a charter to WSC’s Gamma Tau organization. Gamma Tau  is founded in May 1913 as a WSC women’s senior honorary.

Early Mortar Board pledges
Early Mortar Board pledges

Henry Heald graduates

14 June 1923

Henry Heald, the namesake of Heald Hall on the Pullman campus, graduates with a degree in civil engineering. He later becomes president of Illinois Tech, New York University, and the Ford Foundation.


Stanley Albert Smith becomes professor and head of the department of architecture

11 September 1923 16 September 1955

Smith replaced Weaver as Campus Architect, and as such worked as professor, architect, and construction manager for many projects on and off-campus.  These included Commons, completion of Troy Hall (begun by architect Julius Zittel), rebuilding the barn now called Lewis Alumni Center, (following destruction by fire), Duncan Dunn Hall, Bohler Gym, Memorial Hospital, White Hall, Hollingberry Field House, Stock Judging Pavilion, Waller Hall, Steam Plant, Pine Manor, Wilmer-Davis Hall, and Smith Gym.  Smith also prepared preliminary architectural work for several buildings on which the main architectural work was done by commissioned architectural firms.

Also in 1923 Fred G. Rounds joined the architecture department, serving as assistant professor and assistant designer to Smith in the campus architects office.  Rounds joined Smith in the architectural firm Smith & Rounds, and the partnership designed many residences on Pullman’s College Hill, including the present-day Casa Latina and Native American Cultural House, and several other houses in the College Hill Historic District (on the National Register of Historic Places) and on the Pullman Register of Historic Places.

Commons Hall, also known as Brick Commons
Commons Hall, also known as Brick Commons
Duncan Dunn Hall
Duncan Dunn Hall
Bohler Gym
Bohler Gym
Washington Building (Formerly Finch Memorial Hospital) in 1933.
Washington Building (Formerly Finch Memorial Hospital) in 1933.
White Hall
White Hall
Hollingbery Field House
Hollingbery Field House
Waller Hall
Waller Hall
Pine Manor
Pine Manor
Wilmer-Davis Hall
Wilmer-Davis Hall
Smith Gym
Smith Gym

Earl Foster: the man who built WSU’s athletic plant and hired some of its most famous coaches

1 April 1925 1 July 1946

Foster begins a 21-year tenure at the college as graduate manager and later, athletic director. He plays a pivotal role in the construction of almost every major sports facility on campus, including Bohler Gymnasium, Hollingbery Fieldhouse, and the original university golf course, and oversees enlargement of the football stadium.

Known as “Froggy” because of his drooping upper eyelids, Foster also hires (with Doc Bohler) the famous coaches who make up WSC’s “Golden Age” of athletics: Babe Hollingbery, Buck Bailey, Jack Friel, and others. He also helps pioneer sports broadcasting on KWSU, and introduces Dads’ Day to the WSU calendar of annual activities.


The College of Veterinary Science becomes the College of Veterinary Medicine

21 September 1925

Herbert “Butch” Meeker stars on the gridiron

28 November 1925

Five-foot-five, 150-pound quarterback Herbert “Butch” Meeker becomes an instant Cougar legend after leading his 1-3-1 team to a stunning 17-12 win over a good USC team in Los Angeles—Washington State’s first-ever win over the Trojans. The team returns to Pullman and is treated to a hero’s welcome, with students let out of class to go to the Union Pacific depot to greet the players’ train.

Meeker repeats his football magic multiple times from 1925 to 1927, earning him the title of “the fightingest little football player ever to don a Cougar uniform.”

After Washington Governor Roland Hartley presents the college with its first live cougar mascot at halftime of a game in 1927, it is quickly named Butch in Meeker’s honor.

Meeker (left) beside 77-inch center Gene Dils.
Meeker (right) beside 77-inch center Gene Dils.
Butch I in 1932.
Butch I in 1932.

WSC closes its “elementary education” program

17 June 1926

The decision ends a program implemented not long after WSC’s founding to offer high school-level coursework to teenagers in the era before high schools became commonplace in Washington. The primary non-college program began as the Preparatory School, was retitled the Elementary School in 1905, and later became the Department of Elementary Science. Several other programs offering pre-college level coursework existed side-by-side with their college-level counterparts, including ones in agriculture, artisanship, and business.

Program enrollment slowly decreased as the number of high schools in the state grew (when WSC opened the only high schools that existed were in Seattle, Tacoma, and Spokane). Following a brief increase in enrollment following WW I, enrollment decreased steadily until the program was discontinued after the 1925-26 academic year.

Legendary coach Babe Hollingbery kicks off his Cougar career

2 October 1926

Orin Ercel “Babe” Hollingbery begins a 17-year stint as head coach of the Cougar football team and earns legendary status in the process. He compiles a career win-loss record of 93–53–14, the most wins by any coach in Cougar football history. Under Hollingbery, Washington State goes undefeated at home from 1926 to 1935. He guides the team to the 1931 Rose Bowl against Alabama.

Hollingbery coaches some of the greatest names in Washington State history, including Turk Edwards, Mel Hein, Mel Dressel, Dale Gentry, Ed Goddard, Harold Ahlskog, Elmer Schwartz, Bob Kennedy, Nick Suseoff, Bill Sewell, John Bley, and Herbert “Butch” Meeker.

Hollingbery remains at WSC until World War II, when WSC temporarily ceases playing football.

Hollingbery Fieldhouse, built in 1929, and is renamed for the coach in 1963. In 1979, the College Football Hall of Fame selects him for membership.

Hollingberry shows a high kick during practice.
Hollingberry shows a high kick during practice.


WSC launches its first career placement services

1 January 1927

N.J. Aiken, head of the WSC vocational school and professor of business administration, launches the placement service. During the Great Depression, N.J. is commonly known as “No Job” Aiken.

N.J. Aiken, from 1944 Chinook
N.J. Aiken, pictured in 1944 Chinook

WSC receive a Phi Beta Kappa charter

12 September 1928

Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honors organization, grants a charter to WSC. The chapter is one of the first founded at a land-grant university.

Only about 15 percent of the institutions of higher education in the United States have programs sufficiently strong in the sciences and liberal arts to warrant Phi Beta Kappa chapters.

Home Ec building opens

29 October 1928

The building opens with “all the latest in equipment.” Later it’s renamed White Hall in honor of Mary Elmina White, who served  33 years as a WSC cooperative extension leader. In 2000, White Hall is remodeled to include a 117-student, 67-room dormitory area for Honors Program students. White Hall is renamed Honors Hall in fall semester 2001.

The building covers a part of one of the university’s most significant open spaces, the original walk to Thompson Hall (former Old Administration Building) from Reaney Park. The brick building mass is symmetrically balanced, making a cross formation with the central section protruding on the east/west axis. The overall style of the building is Georgian Revival, which creates an elegant architectural statement.


Mabel Adams is the first woman to graduate in Civil Engineering

3 June 1929

President Holland establishes a faculty and graduate student journal

28 June 1929

Research Studies of the State College of Washington provides an avenue to publication for faculty and graduate students. The journal publishes a few issues before funding is cut due to the Great Depression. It is revived in 1935 and eventually becomes the WSU Press.

AKA: The "Lean Years," as symbolized by the Great Depression, which brings widespread poverty, hunger, and unemployment. Notable: Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner, and Fritz Strassman discover nuclear fission in Berlin. Disney releases Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in theaters. An endless series of severe dust storms causes major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands. Crimson and Gray: The football team remains undefeated at home. Faculty and staff take a 25 percent salary cut in the face of the Great Depression.

Cougars reach Rose Bowl a second time

1 January 1931

The previously undefeated Cougars fall to Alabama, 24-0, a game attended by an estimated 60,000 fans on a drizzly New Year’s Day in Pasadena.

Pacific Coast Conference champions thanks to a dominating defense, the WSC defensive line is anchored by All-American Mel Hein and Glenn “Turk” Edwards, considered two of the greatest Cougars ever.

As a psychological ploy, Washington State dresses for the game in red helmets, jerseys, pants, socks, and shoes.

College of Veterinary Medicine maintains unbroken accreditation

1 January 1932

The American Veterinary Medical Association begins accreditation of veterinary colleges.  WSC’s College of Veterinary Medicine is immediately accredited and has maintained uninterrupted accreditation ever since.

WSC introduces hospitality program

23 September 1932

The program begins with the goal of “training men in hotel operations and women in dietetics.” As the program grows and expands during the next 83 years, it evolves into one of the top hospitality programs in the nation, preparing students for leadership roles in the hospitality industry around the world.

“Possibly no single action involving curricular expansion ever brought [WSC President] Holland more praise from the College’s constituency than did this one, as compliments continued to reach him from year to year,” according to the book E.O. Holland and the State College of Washington.

The Great Depression hammers WSC

1 February 1933

As the Great Depression deepens, the college is forced to reduce the salaries of faculty and staff by an average of 25 percent in order to meet reduced state appropriations. The budget granted to WSC for 1933-1935 through the legislature’s “barefoot schoolboy” measures represents a cut of 36.5 percent over previous budgets.

Due to widespread unemployment, enrollment falls, allowing President Holland to close Ferry and Stevens residence halls in the spring of 1933 and keep them closed until September 1934, saving as much as $6,000. The library budget suffers a cut of 33% in the 1933-34 college budget.

For students, dropping out of school for a semester or two to earn money was a common practice throughout the ’30s. Typical part-time jobs for women often involved cleaning and babysitting in private homes, while male students worked on farms surrounding the college.

Catherine Elizabeth Roberts is the first female veterinarian graduate from WSC

5 June 1933

Roberts goes on to be the first licensed female veterinarian in California and is among only 12 in the nation at the time.

T. C. Jones graduates; in 1957 the distinguished veterinary pathologist will co-author the first edition of the landmark text Veterinary Pathology

11 June 1934

Walter Clore, WSU horticulturalist, kick starts Washington wine industry

7 July 1934 1 July 1976

clore-walter-b-wAfter coming to WSC in 1934 on a horticulture fellowship, Walter Clore joined the WSU Irrigation Branch Experiment Station in 1937. He started out working with tree fruits and small fruits, but eventually became transfixed by Washington’s potential for wine grape production. Clore went on to encourage Washington farmers to grow vinifera grapes and worked as a winery consultant after his retirement in 1976. Clore passed away in January of 2003.

Clarence Zener, inventor of Zener diode, establishes the first degree program in physical metallurgy, the forerunner to materials science and engineering

1 January 1935 1 January 1937

The first degree program in physical metallurgy, forerunner for today’s materials science and engineering program, is established by Clarence Zener, inventor of the Zener diode.

On the air, the West Coast radio broadcast highlights the 45th Founder’s Day

28 March 1935

On the air, the West Coast radio broadcast highlights the 45th Founder’s Day. The Alumni Association sponsored the occasion.


Tragedy ends proposed national debate

19 August 1935

A famous national debate almost happens between Claudius O. Johnson, chair of the WSC Political Science Department and humorist / actor Will Rogers.  Johnson gives a speech for the Pullman PTA in December of 1932, and in the course of the evening cautions people against accepting Rogers’ expertise on foreign policy issues. Some of his comments are soon reprinted in the Pullman Herald, and several people forward copies of the article to Rogers.  The comedian sends a telegram back to the Pullman Herald, threatening to come up and debate Johnson.  The offer is gleefully accepted, and for many months thereafter the proposed debate is both bandied about in the press and discussed in telegrams between Johnson and Rogers.  Will Rogers describes the debate as “Ignorance vs. Knowledge – and I’m going to be Ignorance.”

The two correspond for a few months thereafter, but their final exchange comes in March of 1933.  Though the proposed debate gains a public life of its own, it never comes about. The death of Rogers and Wiley Post in a 1935 Alaskan plane crash forever ends the possibility, though the passage of time would turn this almost into an urban legend, reframing it with Rogers fatally canceling the debate at the last moment in favor of the Alaska trip.

Rogers telegram to Johnson, dated 1-16-1933.  From Professor Johnson's papers.
Rogers telegram to Johnson, dated 1-16-1933. From Professor Johnson’s papers.

WSC adds Women’s Gym and two more residence halls

1 January 1936

Construction begins on the Women’s Gym, now known as Smith Gym, and on Davis and Wilmer residence halls.

Wilmer-Davis Hall
Wilmer-Davis Hall
Smith Gym
Smith Gym

The football stadium at Rogers Field gets a complete renovation

1 September 1936

The football stadium at Rogers Field gets a complete renovation. The new horseshoe-shaped structure is named for former Washington State Governor, John R. Rogers. The wood bleachers supported by concrete pilings seat 23,500 fans.

During spring break of 1970, a fire destroyed the wood stands. The Cougars were forced to play off-campus for two years while the university built Martin Stadium.


WSC boxing team goes to the championships

3 April 1937

The men’s boxing team are national champions.  WSC sent four boxers to the championship and all four reached the finals.  Ed McKinnen and Roy “Pooch” Petragallo won national titles to give the Cougars the national championship.  Longtime boxing coach Issac “Ike” Deeter coached the 1937 team.


Marshall Allen Neill, future Washington State Supreme Court justice, graduates with a B.A. in political science.

14 June 1937

Marshall Allen Neill, future Justice of the Washington State Supreme Court, graduates with a B.A. in Political Science. In 1938, Neill received his law degree from the University of Idaho. He engaged in private practice in Pullman from 1938 to 1967, and during this time he also served as Pullman City attorney, assistant attorney general for Washington State University, part-time assistant professor at WSU, state representative (1949-1956) and state senator (1956-1967). In 1967 Neill was appointed to Associate Justice in the Supreme Court of Washington, and in 1972, President Nixon appointed him to the prestigious U.S. District Court in Spokane, a post he held until his death on October 6, 1979.

Marshall Neill in 1955, while serving as a special assistant AG for WSC
Marshall Neill in 1955, while serving as a special assistant AG for WSC

WSC and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service team up to study diseases in fur bearing animals

1 January 1938

Following a series of discussions between J. E. Schillinger, superintendent of disease control for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Dean E. E. Wegner of the College of Veterinary Medicine at WSC, a cooperative agreement was signed whereby the U.S. Bureau of Biological Survey and the college embark on research work into the diseases of fur bearing animals. Frank McKenney is the first veterinarian employed to start the work. The relationship now under the administration of the USDA continues today.

WSC gets a ski jump

WSC gets its own on-campus ski jump

1 February 1938

WSC builds a ski jump on campus near the east end of what’s now the CUB. It runs down the hill towards what’s now the Football Operations Building and was reportedly one of only two ski jumps on college campuses in the United States. During World War II, the jump became part of the obstacle course for the fittest of the soldiers; it was even displayed in Life Magazine (Oct. 12, 1942, pg. 142).

The ski jump was repaired and reworked in 1947, but by 1950 it was permanently removed to make way for the construction of the CUB.

Weldon B. “Hoot” Gibson graduates with a B.A. in economics

6 June 1938

Weldon B. “Hoot” Gibson graduates with a B.A. in Economics. Gibson attended WSC with the help of his Uncle, Arthur “Buck” Bailey, and was a member of the football team and the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. After graduating from WSC, Gibson studied at the Stanford Graduate School of Business receiving an MBA in 1940 and a Ph.D. in 1950. Gibson was a long-time executive at the Stanford Research Institute from 1947 until 1988. He earned the Legion of Merit in 1946, Commander of the British Empire in 1947, and the Washington State University Distinguished Alumni Award for his role in creating the Washington State University Foundation.


School of Social Work opens at WSC

19 September 1938

President Holland creates Friends of the Library program to support library programs

3 November 1938

In 1938, President Holland created the Friends of the Library, a fundraising program that directly supports the purchase of collection pieces and equipment for the WSU libraries. This program was the first such organization in the west. With the help of this program, Holland purchased facsimiles of a portrait of Lincoln and his Gettysburg Address and sent them to 204 banks in Washington as well as purchased all 28 volumes of Frederick Hill Meserve’s Historical Portraits. 

It was the era of World War II. Washington State College trained enlisted men for the service and educated many upon their return home. Innovations in science brought the world everything from atomic technology and radar to Tupperware and the microwave oven. At WSC, research led to development of Cougar Gold Cheese.

Allen I. White fights to increase pharmacy enrollment

1 September 1940 1 May 1979

Allen I. White served as a professor of pharmacy at WSU from 1940 to 1979. In 1960, he was appointed dean of the College of Pharmacy, a position which he held until retirement nineteen years later. White was best known for his devotion to working with students, faculty, colleagues, and the health care profession.

After becoming dean, White led the transition in pharmacy education at WSU to a more balanced one, emphasizing the clinical role of a pharmacist. He also personally went out to discuss career opportunities with high school and community college students and counselors, increasing pharmacy enrollment to 250-255 students. He also fought to keep the College of Pharmacy at WSU when the Council of Higher Education recommended there only be one college in the state and pushed to have it at the University of Washington.

White passed away on December 23, 2002 in Fountain Hills, Arizona.


The School of Business Administration opens at WSC

23 September 1940

The School of Business Administration is created, separating it from the College of Science and Arts.

The Cougar basketball team finishes as the runner-up for the NCAA title

29 March 1941

Coach Jack Friel’s men’s basketball team finishes as the runner-up for the NCAA title, losing in the championship game to Wisconsin, 39-34.


The Board of Regents establishes WSC’s first retirement system

18 April 1941

After several years of trying to get state funding, the Board of Regents establishes WSC’s first retirement system, to begin on October 1st of 1941.

Both President Emeritus Bryan and Dean Emeritus H.V. Carpenter die this month

6 November 1941 15 November 1941

Bryan, Enoch Albert, 1855-1941 at desk, 1937

Bryan, Enoch Albert, 1855-1941 at desk, 1937

Dean H.V. Carpenter writing at his desk, 1935.
Dean H.V. Carpenter writing at his desk, 1935.

WSC trains soldiers to meet the challenges of World War II

7 December 1941

Soon after Pearl Harbor is attacked, the college began training soldiers to meet the challenges of World War II. Aviation, Japanese language, signal corps, radio, and gunnery are taught under government contract.


Cougar football suspended for the duration of WWII

23 September 1943

Well-respected professor Charles M. Drake inspires students for 36 years

16 September 1944 15 September 1980

Charles H. Drake was a popular, well-respected professor at Washington State University for 36 years. His introductory class in bacteriology attracted many non-science majors as well as students preparing for careers in health care. In his lectures, he displayed an acute sense of humor and love of puns. In 1989, the Drakes created a trust to provide assistance for WSU graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in microbial ecology. He was 86 when he died on May 20, 2002 in Pullman.


Liberty ship named after WSC president explodes at naval base

Disastrous end to a ship honoring E.A. Bryan has significant social impact.

17 October 1944

The 7,212 ton liberty ship E.A. Bryan, named after the former WSC president and funded by Washington State 4-H Club members, explodes while workers load it with explosives. The ship had been dedicated to former 4-H Club members who were then serving in the War.

On July 17, 1944, the E.A. Bryan and the Quinalt Victory were moored across from each other at the Port Chicago Naval Base, in the San Francisco Bay. They were being loaded with explosives when something exploded; pieces of the Quinalt Victory were recovered but the E.A. Bryan was effectively vaporized. There had been an estimated 4,600 tons of explosives and ammunition on the E.A. Bryan when it detonated.

The E.A. Bryan

Arthur Drucker, Dean of the School of Mines and Geology, donates the Minnie Barstow Drucker Oriental Art Collection to WSC

25 November 1944

Arthur Drucker, Dean of the School of Mines and Geology, donates the Minnie Barstow Drucker Oriental Art Collection, valued then at $50,000. The gift is presented in the memory of his late wife. Eight years earlier, the Druckers donated a collection of over two hundred rare books on Asia to the WSC library. Arthur Drucker came to Pullman in 1926 and was heavily involved in mining research during his tenure at WSC, retiring in 1945.

Dean Drucker

The football program resumes under Coach Phil Sarboe, a 1932 WSC graduate

25 May 1945

Sarboe with football queen Donna Jacobson, 1949

Sarboe with football queen Donna Jacobson, 1949

Kemble Stout joins the WSU music department

16 September 1945 31 January 1979

Kemble Stout moved to Pullman in 1945, beginning his 34-year association with the WSU music department. After briefly returning to the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York to finish his Ph.D. in 1951, he was elected the department chair at WSU and served in the role for 16 years. Stout wrote 50 musical compositions and arrangements, performed in two piano duos and other faculty ensembles, and for two decades directed the Greystone Presbyterian Church choir.

Stout also wrote scripts and recorded half-hour radio shows for a series titled The Legendary Pianists. The 242 programs, distributed for broadcast use by WSU’s Radio Tape Network, aired weekly over KWSU and more than 200 educational and commercial stations nationally during the 1960s and 1970s.

In 1996, the Stouts joined a small group of Pullmanites dedicated to reclaiming the old Pullman High School. The three-story brick structure, known now as the Gladish Community and Cultural Center, was the site of an August 21, 2004, celebration of his life.

Stout took early retirement after a mild heart attack in 1979 and passed away July 4, 2004.


Don Adams leads pioneering air pollution research

15 October 1945 30 November 1978

Don Adams, founder of the Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, developed and patented an analyzer that measures atmospheric gases.  Adams led pioneering research in the measurements of air pollution and its effects from lumber mills and smelters after being asked to put aside his research in extracting alumina from clay to investigate complaints about lumber mill odor. In the 1960’s, he was able to demonstrate for the first time that sulfur emissions were causing downwind die-offs of pine trees.

Adams was born in Spokane and grew up in the Pacific Northwest, attending then-WSC and earning a bachelors in analytical chemistry in 1941 and a masters in chemistry in 1942.  Don Adams passed away in August, 2006.


WSC establishes the Institute of Technology

23 November 1945

The Regents approve the establishment of Washington State College’s Institute of Technology. In a 1986 oral history, Eugene Greenfield, who directed the Institute’s Division of Industrial Research starting in 1958, explained that the purpose of the institute was to “find technological means for inducing a larger industrial output in the State of Washington.’’

“At the end of [World War II], industry was flopped right straight on its back,’’ said Greenfield. “There was nothing doing, and it looked as though it would be many years before industry would be picking up.’’

The legislature would provide $500,000 a year to fund a division “whose sole purpose would be to improve the industrial character of the state through engineering innovations and research.’’

Eugene Greenfield
Eugene Greenfield

Enrollment at WSC exceeds 5,000 students

23 September 1946

As World War II comes to an end, enrollment at WSC passes 5,000, signifying the return of G.I.s and a drop in war-related employment.

Timothy Leary, troubled psychologist and counterculture figure of the 1960s, graduates from WSC

16 June 1947

Timothy Leary, a troubled psychologist and popular counterculture figure of the 1960s, who coined the phrase “think for yourself and question authority” and was once called “the most dangerous man in America” by Richard Nixon, graduates with a master’s of science in psychology from WSC.  Leary only attends WSC for about a year, moving to Pullman in early 1946, gaining admittance in March of that year, and graduating in June of 1947.  He and his wife Marianne lived in a house at the corner of C Street and Alpha Road, enjoying what one biographer would later call “the only uneventful period of their life together.”

Helen Compton renovates Priest Lake “resort” for WSC faculty and staff

2 January 1948

President Wilson Compton and his wife Helen use their own money to purchase a 52 acre mostly-undeveloped “resort” on Priest Lake’s Beaver Creek, for the use of WSC faculty and staff.  Over the next few years Helen, with aid from her housekeeper Mary Warner, puts a significant amount of time and effort into renovating it.  Individual lots are sold to WSC faculty and staff, and the resort is organized as the Beaver Creek Camp Association.  As generations pass the BCCA’s ties to WSU have faded, but the Beaver Creek Camp Association still exists today on upper Priest Lake.


College of Veterinary Medicine awards its first graduate degree

30 May 1948

John Gorham, a 1946 graduate, earns his Masters of Science Degree in pathology under D. R. Cordy. Later the pair go on to discover a rickettsia that is the cause of salmon disease in dogs and foxes.

Bill Tomaras revamps high school wrestling programs in Washington

1 September 1948 1 May 1959

In 1948, Bill Tomaras was hired as the wrestling coach at Washington State College. At the time only ten high schools offered wrestling and he soon realized the need for a feeder program if wrestling was to succeed at WSC. With that in mind, he organized the first state high school wrestling tournament in 1953 using funds donated by Cougr wrestlers and free room and board from fraternities. Tomaras would also load his own wrestlers into cars during spring break and drive across the state to put on exhibitions and talk up the benefits of wrestling programs at high schools.

Eventually, more schools added the sport and the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association agreed to underwrite the state meet. In 1972, Tomaras was recognized as “The Father of Washington State High School Wresting” at his induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Bill Tomaras (center) with Vaughan Hitchcock (left) and Del McGhee (right).
Bill Tomaras (center) with Vaughan Hitchcock (left) and Del McGhee (right).

The Board of Regents approves a new athletic code, separating student activities and intercollegiate athletics

28 December 1948

The first Junior Review is presented to the veterinary faculty and students.

1 January 1949

It is a lighthearted series of skits and musical presentations which lampoon the authority figures connected with veterinary education in Washington.

Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory, WMEL, is founded

1 January 1949

The WMEL was an integral part of WSU’s materials science and engineering program and an early contributor to sustainable resource use from forests.  WMEL researchers developed nondestructive testing methods that revolutionized production of high quality engineered wood composites. Ultrasonic veneer grading technology was key in the development of the I-joist material that now claims about 30% of the market for floor supports in single-family homes.

“The Reader” sculpture debuts on campus

18 August 1949 31 August 1949

Washington State University’s sculpture “The Reader” made its first appearance on campus in 1949. Located on one corner of the Holland Library, the 30-foot limestone figure was almost instantly dubbed “Nature Boy” by the students. Some thought the sculpture was beautiful, while others didn’t like it.

Dudley Pratt, sculptor of “Nature Boy,” puts his OK on the head of the 30-foot sandstone figure, just before the piece was hoisted into place on the side of the Ernest Holland library.

Alumni_Pow_Wow_1949_cover_Nature_Boy_sm Alumni_Pow_Wow_1949_NatureBoy_construction

WSC police department forms after state legislature authorizes WSC Board of Regents that power

17 September 1949

The State Legislature gives the WSC Board of Regents the power to develop a police department. H.E. Sims is the initial acting chief.

President Compton swears in new campus police, Sept. 17, 1949.
President Compton swears in new campus police, Sept. 17, 1949.
The decade marked a Golden Age of television, rock 'n roll, the Cold War, a new civil rights movement, and the baby boom. At WSC, students frequented the new Compton Union Building. And in 1959, the legislature re-named the college Washington State University.  

R. L. Albrook establishes the hydraulic research center, which provided assistance in the development of hydroelectric power plants in the Northwest and throughout the world

1 January 1950


Camp Easter Seal, later called Camp Larson, opens on Lake Coeur d’Alene

16 July 1950

Camp Easter Seal, also known as Camp Manitowish and later renamed as Camp Larson, is established on Lake Coeur d’Alene’s Cottonwood Bay by Professor Roger Larson. For over 50 years, both the Easter Seals and WSU education students use the site as a field school in their studies. WSU sold the property in 2005 to the Coeur d’Alene Tribe.


Plant pathologist Frederick Heald donates his personal library to WSC

26 July 1950

Plant pathologist Frederick Heald donates his personal library to WSC, including 300 volumes and 10,000 reprints in plant pathology.

Edward R. Murrow narrates “This is WSC”

"This is WSC" promotional film narrated by Edward R. Murrow.

1 December 1950

In 1950, WSC produced a 23 minute promotional video designed to be shown in high schools as a recruitment tool.  The film was narrated by former Cougar, Edward R. Murrow.

WSU researcher reports berry plant developed at Puyallup Research Center added $15 million to state’s wealth

1 January 1951

J.W. Kalkus, superintendent of the college’s Puyallup Research Center, reported that “one new berry plant developed at the station has added $15 million to the state’s wealth during the last 10 years.”

Budget cuts cut deep

27 April 1951

In the face of state budget cuts, the Regents order Compton to dismiss 182 employees, including the vice president. Compton resigns.

Vishnu N. Bhatia helps build the Honors Program and International Education

1 September 1951 1 May 1998

Vishnu N. Bhatia served as a teacher, administrator, innovator, and ambassador at WSU for 47 years. His chosen field was pharmacy, but he also served as the head of the Honors Program from 1964 to 1993 and as the director of International Education from 1973 to 1990.

With the help of his colleagues, Bhatia began laying the groundwork for an academic program that would promote intellectual curiosity and critical thinking long past graduation. The Honors Program was introduced in 1960 and would later become the Honors College in 1998.

Bhatia passed away on January 16, 2003 in Pullman.


After President Compton resigns, William Pearl serves as acting president for WSC

16 September 1951 30 March 1952

After President Compton resigns, William Pearl serves as acting president of WSC for a period of six-and-a-half months.

William Pearl in 1951.
William Pearl ca 1951.

WSC ski team places first in the Northern Division, the Pacific Coast Conference, and the North American International Intercollegiate Tournament

15 February 1952

In 1952 the Washington State College ski team placed first in the Northern Division, the Pacific Coast Conference, and the North American International Intercollegiate Tournament in Banff, Alberta.

Member of the WSU Ski Team, photo date unknown.
Member of the WSU Ski Team, photo date unknown.

WSU dedicates the student union building to President Compton

25 October 1952


McCoy and Wegner Halls named

26 October 1952

The animal clinic and classroom-laboratory buildings (both constructed in the early 1940s) are named after J. E. McCoy and E. E. Wegner, respectively. Each had served as dean of the veterinary college during their careers.  In 1972 a two-story addition is built on McCoy Hall. The space is used primarily for faculty offices and research

McCoy Hall
McCoy Hall
Wegner Hall
Wegner Hall

Philip Phibbs, a future president of University of Puget Sound, graduates a top scholastic student

31 May 1953

Philip Phibbs graduates a top scholastic student. Phibbs later becomes president of University of Puget Sound in 1973, helping transform the institution into one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country.


WSC establishes world-class radiology facilities

1 January 1954

Modern, powerful equipment is installed including a GE Maximar 250 III with medical x-ray head, mounted on an electrically operated jib crane. A diagnostic unit manufactured by Standard X-ray Co. is mounted from the ceiling. Upon completion, the WSC veterinary x-ray facility is the best in the country and perhaps the world.

Edward R. Murrow, WSU alumnus, challenges Senator Joseph McCarthy on national television

9 March 1954

On March 9, 1954, Edward R. Murrow spoke out against Senator Joseph McCarthy on his CBS program, See It Now. McCarthy had taken it upon himself to investigate communism in the U.S. government and had made allegations of treachery and subversion against many innocent people, ruining their careers and lives. Murrow was adamant that he speak out against McCarthy and ended up playing a key role in the senator’s political downfall.

Legendary sportscaster Keith Jackson graduates from WSU

30 May 1954

Keith Jackson, president of Crimson Circle, outstanding senior student, and chief announcer at KWSC (now KWSU), graduated from WSU and began a world-class career as a sportscaster.

Two WSC students win Rhodes Scholarships

11 December 1954 10 December 1955

Two WSC students, Richard Thompson and Russell McCormmach, were the only representatives from land-grant colleges among the 64 U.S. students to win Rhodes Scholarships in these two years.


WSC ties San Jose, 13-13, in a football game played in subzero temperatures in Pullman

12 November 1955

WSC ties San Jose, 13-13, in a football game played in subzero temperatures in Pullman. Exactly one game ticket was sold at the gate.

Football program cover: WSC / San Jose St., 11-12-1955.
Football program cover: WSC / San Jose St., 11-12-1955.

WSU faculty team up to build analog music synthesizer

1 January 1956

David Seamans, who joined the electrical engineering faculty in 1954 (and retired in 1992), taught the first computer hardware course on campus. In 1956 or 1957, Seamans worked with William Grant, a professor of music, to build an analog music synthesizer.

Scientists Leo Jensen and Igor Kosin refine the hatch process, which will return $9 million in annual savings to turkey producers

20 January 1956

Nutritionist Leo Jensen and geneticist Igor Kosin refine the hatch process for turkeys, which dramatically increases the survivability of turkey eggs and returns an estimated $9 million in annual savings to turkey producers.

WSC graduate Pete Rademacher wins the Olympic heavyweight boxing title

1 December 1956

WSC graduate Pete Rademacher wins the Olympic heavyweight boxing title, knocking out the Russian finalist in the first round in Melbourne, Australia.


Frances Penrose Owen named to the Board of Regents

9 March 1957

Frances Penrose Owen is the first women named to the Board of Regents, she served for 18 years and was twice elected president. The Owen Science and Engineering Library is named in her honor. Owen was a life-long community volunteer, serving the boards of both the Seattle Childrens Hospital and the Seattle School Board. In 1990, Owen receives the Medal of Merit, the state’s highest award.  Frances Penrose Owen passed away on March 9, 2002 in Seattle.  She was 102.masc-ua333b82f04_undated1

WSU archaeologist Richard Daugherty and his students excavate two house pits near Lower Monumental Dam

1 July 1957

In the 1950s Congress approved the building of four dams on the lower Snake River in Washington. Archaeologists surveyed the area for sites that would be destroyed by the new reservoir and found eleven habitation sites, including the Marmes rock shelter where the Marmes Man would later be found.

Richard Daughterty and his student crew also excavated two large house pits and found artifacts like stone projectile points, knives, and scrapers, all dating between A.D. 187 and A.D. 687. Unfortunately, only a portion of the site could be excavated before being flooded by water.

WSU begins instruction in computing, one of the earliest programs in the field.

23 September 1957

Computer science became a full-fledged department in 1969 and graduates students at the B.S., M.S., and PhD levels.

History professor Herbert Wood gives the first WSC faculty member-led “Invited Address,” known today as the Distinguished Faculty Address

15 January 1958

History professor Herbert Wood gives the first WSC faculty member-led “Invited Address,” known today as the Distinguished Faculty Address.



George Marra, WSU wood technologist, develops a high speed lamination process capable of producing a weatherproof beam in seven minutes

1 January 1959

George Marra, WSU wood technologist, develops a high speed lamination process capable of producing a weatherproof beam in seven minutes.


From WSC to WSU

1 July 1959

Washington State College officially becomes Washington State University.

A decade of revolution and counterculture, the 1960s marked War in Vietnam, Woodstock, the fight for civil rights, and a historic moon landing. TIME magazine featured WSU research on space exploration and colonization. At WSU, students organized anti-Vietnam War protests and sit-ins on campus.

Dr. John Fred Bohler, coach, athletic director, and administrator passes away

12 July 1960

Dr. John Fred Bohler passes away. He served as a basketball coach, athletic director, and physical education administrator at WSU for 42 years.


Research by John Talbott results in development of what are now known as I-joists.

1 January 1961

I-joists make up 30 percent of the floor supports in single-family homes in the U.S. today.


WSU offers first Ph.D. in American Studies in Pacific Northwest

29 May 1961

The Regents adopted a Ph.D. in American Studies, an interdisciplinary degree within the Departments of History and English, for the 1961-1962 school year. It was the first doctoral program in American Studies in the Pacific Northwest and by 1975 it was only one of six programs west of the Mississippi.

Jack Cole named to the WSU Board of Regents

9 August 1961

Jack Cole, from Edwall, Wash., is named to the WSU Board of Regents. He served two terms from 1961-1967 and 1977-1983.


WSU president and regent visit WSU program in Pakistan

28 January 1962 3 February 1962

President French and Regent Tom Gose visited WSU’s program in Pakistan, one of the first international programs helping developing countries with land grant assistance.  French also visited Pakistan in 1956 and 1964.

President French with Pakistan President Ayub Khan in 1962 during French's visit to Pakistan
President French with Pakistan President Ayub Khan in 1962 during one of French’s visits to Pakistan


Distinguished Cougs receive Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award

1 April 1962 1 June 1962

The Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award honored the first three recipients: Phillip H. Abelson, Henry T. Heald, and Edward R. Murrow.

Edward R. Murrow delivers the annual commencement address

Edward R. Murrow delivers the Commencement Address in 1962

3 June 1962

WSU alumnus Edward R. Murrow returns to campus and delivers the annual commencement address at Rogers Field. Rogers Field was located where Martin Stadium is today. The introduction was delivered by President C. Clement French who can be seen with Murrow in the first photo. The video seen here is the audio from that address, with a select few photographs from the ceremony overlaid upon it. Murrow died from cancer just three years later in 1965.

WSU joins Athletic Association of Western Universities

1 July 1962

WSU joined the Athletic Association of Western Universities in 1962, the precursor of today’s Pac-12.

Compulsory ROTC program changed to voluntary

24 September 1962

The compulsory ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) program was changed to voluntary, reflecting a greater focus on academics at WSU.

1963 ROTC students with President French
1963 ROTC students with President French

Ivy Lewellen, executive secretary for 37 years, passes at age 83

25 March 1963

Ivy Lewellen passes away at age 83. She served as executive secretary for 37 years to three presidents: Bryan, Holland, and Compton.


Republican campaign finance chairman, biochemist receive the fourth and fifth Regents Distinguished Alumnus Awards

3 June 1963

J. Clifford Folger, Nixon’s 1960 campaign finance chairman and member of the board of directors of IBM, and C. Glenn King, one of the two biochemists to isolate vitamin C, are selected for the fourth and fifth Regents Distinguished Alumnus Awards. Folger receives his award on June 3, 1963; King on April 11, 1964.

Folger receiving award
Folger receiving award
King receiving his award.
King receiving his award.

J. A. Henderson, co-author of Veterinary Medicine, the authoritative text for a generation of veterinary students, becomes Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine

1 September 1963 31 August 1973

The College of Engineering builds a radiocarbon dating laboratory

1 November 1963

Famed “Agony Hall” is torn down to make way for the new Kimbrough Music Building

15 December 1963

Famed “Agony Hall” (Music Conservatory) is torn down to make way for the new Kimbrough Music Building.



Hugh Campbell, WSU record-breaking football pass receiver, is voted MVP of the East-West Shrine game after setting a new catching record

28 December 1963

Hugh Campbell, WSU record-breaking football pass receiver, is voted MVP of the East-West Shrine game after setting a new record after catching 10 passes. The East-West Shrine game, sponsored by the Shriners, has been played annually since 1925 and teams are drawn from the two geographic regions east and west, including Canada. Campbell played wide receiver from 1958 to 1962 and during that time he appeared in the Hula Bowl, the College All-Star game, the Coaches All-America game and the aforementioned Shrine Bowl, and while at WSU he was awarded the 1961 W. J. Voit Memorial Trophy as the outstanding football player on the Pacific Coast. After playing for WSU, Campbell went on to play for the Saskatchewan Rough Riders and coach several Canadian and US college and professional football teams.

Hugh Campbell

President Emeritus Holland leaves estate of $410,000 to WSU

1 February 1964

Nearly 14 years after his death, President Holland’s final estate of $410,000 was gifted to WSU. Two weeks later, the John I. and Orpha Preissner estate of $300,000 is also gifted to the school.

Orton Hall and Rogers Hall are constructed to accommodate “baby boomer” generation

1 August 1964

The first “skyscraper dorms,” Orton Hall and Rogers Hall, are built to accommodate the Baby Boom generation.

Rogers Hall
Rogers Hall
Orton HAll
Orton Hall

George E. Duvall, the “dean of U.S. shock wave science,” joins the WSU faculty

1 September 1964 1 May 1988

George E. Duvall, a pioneer of shock physics research, joined the WSU faculty in 1964 after leaving his position as director of the Standford Research Institute Poulter Lab. At WSU, Duvall established the WSU Shock Dynamics Laboratory in 1968 and supervised the doctoral dissertation of more than 25 students. His work was instrumental in furthering research efforts to seek a microscopic understanding of shock-induced changes in condensed materials. Duvall retired from WSU in 1988 and passed away in 2003 in Vancouver.


Cougar baseball coaching legend and his wife are killed in an auto accident

28 October 1964

Cougar baseball coaching legend A.B. “Buck” Bailey and Mrs. Bailey are killed in auto accident in New Mexico.

Bailey, Buck March 11, 1937
Bailey, Buck March 11, 1937

WSU and UW establish the State of Washington Water Research Center

17 November 1964

WSU and UW establish the State of Washington Water Research Center (SWWRC) on the WSU Pullman campus, in Albrook Hall. The Washington Water Research Center is established by the Water Resources Research Act; the SWWRC is one of only 14 centers which begin in that first year.


Howard B. Bowen, president of the University of Iowa, delivers commencement address and receives the sixth Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award

30 May 1965

Howard B. Bowen, president of the University of Iowa, delivers commencement address and receives the sixth Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award. Bowen received his bachelors of arts in 1929 and masters of arts in 1933 from then-WSC. He served as chancellor of Claremont University, as well as president of the University of Iowa, Grinnell College and the American Association of Higher Education. He researched and wrote extensively on the economics of higher education, and was appointed by President Lyndon Johnson to chair his National Commission on Technology, Automation and Economic Progress.


WSU sets record for longest baseball game in College World Series history

10 June 1965

In 1965, the WSU baseball team became famous for playing the then-longest game in College World Series history: 15 innings against Ohio State, with OSU finally winning 1-0.

Life magazine features WSU animal science reproduction research

22 September 1965

Life magazine features WSU animal science reproduction research. S.E. Hafez, animal physiologist as WSU, is the primary researcher in planet colonization.

WSU veterinarian develops less painful branding method for animals

1 January 1966

WSU veterinarian Keith Farrell developed a freeze-branding technique for animals, reducing their pain and injury during the branding process.


Harriet B. Rigas joins the WSU faculty

1 February 1966 31 July 1984

Professor Harriett B. Rigas joins Washington State University, eventually becoming full professor and chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering school.  A pioneer in her field, she received one of the earliest national awards from the Society of Women Engineers and was later named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.


Gerry Lindgren, WSU track All-American, wins 11 NCAA titles

12 March 1966 24 November 1969

Gerry Lindgren, WSU track All-American, wins 11 NCAA titles during his time at WSU. He never loses any NCAA event he enters during the four years he attended the university. Lindgren majored in political science with a minor in Russian.


President French announces his retirement

24 October 1966

President French announced his retirement on his 65th birthday, October 24, 1966, but had actually notified the Regents in the spring of 1965. The Regents officially accepted his resignation in their May 31,1965 meeting. French stayed to provide stability while he selected his successor.

Internationally acclaimed scientist receives the seventh Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award

25 October 1966

Karl Sax, internationally acclaimed scientist, receives the seventh Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award. Sax attended then-WSC from 1912 to 1916, earning a bachelors of science in agriculture, and while at WSC he met and married his cytology teacher, Dr. Hally Jolivette. Sax is perhaps most well-known for his research in cytogenetics and the effect of radiation on chromosomes.


After President French retires, Wallis Beasley serves as acting president.

1 November 1966 30 June 1967

Following President French’s retirement near the end of 1966, Wallis Beasley served as acting president for a period of eight months until President Terrell officially came aboard in 1967.  While Beasley officially left office at the end of June, President Terrell did not arrive and so Beasley remained unofficially in charge. He took care to sign no official university documents during those last weeks.


R.A. Nilan, geneticist, develops new barley strain with chemical mutagent

1 January 1967

R.A. Nilan, geneticist, develops new barley strain with chemical mutagent.

Bob Nilan, 1963
Bob Nilan, 1963

President Emeritus Wilson Compton passes away

6 March 1967

President Emeritus Wilson Compton dies in Ohio.

Matsuyo Yamamoto is presented with the Regents Eighth Distinguished Alumnus Award, the first woman honored

16 May 1967

Matsuyo Yamamoto is presented with Regents Eighth Distinguished Alumnus Award and is the first woman honored. After receiving her degree in home economics in 1937 at then Washington State College, Yamamoto returned to Japan where she pioneered home economics extension programs, eventually overseeing a staff of 3,000 home advisors that served the rural populations of Japan and other Asian countries. The College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Studies offers the Matsuyo Yamamoto Endowed Scholarship in her honor.


WSU graduate George Nethercutt elected to Congress

11 June 1967

George Nethercutt, elected to Congress in 1994 by unseating then-Speaker of the House Tom Foley, graduated from WSU in 1967 with a B.A. in English. Nethercutt would serve five terms in the House of Representatives and then run unsuccessfully for the Senate against fellow Coug Patty Murray.

Nov. 8, 1994 campaign handout from WSU/USC football game
Nov. 8, 1994 campaign handout distributed at WSU/USC football game

WSU dedicates the French Administration Building

27 April 1968

WSU dedicates the French Administration Building in honor of former President C. Clement French.


Northwest surrealist Robert Helm graduates

10 May 1969

Robert Helm, an acclaimed Northwest artist known for surreal imagery and exquisite craftsmanship, graduates from WSU. After leaving WSU, Helm and Tamara continued to live and work in their studios in their beloved wheat fields between Pullman and Moscow. From there, his art went to museums and galleries all over the world. His work is in the collections of some of the most distinguished institutions in America: the Whitney and the Metropolitan Museums in New York, the Hirshhorn in Washington, D.C., and others.


Geologist Roald Fryxell examines lunar rocks in Houston

26 July 1969

Geologist Roald Fryxell examines lunar rocks in Houston after all six manned moon landings. Fryxell was initially asked simply  to present to the lunar teams on core-sample analysis, but so impressed NASA that he was asked to join the analysis team.  A leader in the field of geoarchaeology, Fryxell was the co-principal investigator with Dr. Richard Daugherty of the Marmes Rockshelter site and designed the apparatus used for collecting the lunar rocks. A lunar crater is named Fryxell in his honor.

The WSU nursing program accepts its first class

1 August 1969

In 1969, the program that is today known as the WSU College of Nursing accepted its first class of 37 students. The WSU campus is rife with Vietnam war protests and student unrest.

It was an era of disco, sideburns and bell-bottoms, Star Wars, and Saturday Night Fever. Political and social rights movements continued to shape the nation. At the WSU campus, students participated in nationwide protests.

Carlton Lewis, WSU’s first African-American student body president, wins elections in two consecutive years

30 March 1970 26 March 1971

Carlton Lewis, the first African-American student body president at WSU, was elected in both 1970 and 1971, serving two consecutive terms before graduating in 1972. During his terms, the United States’ was actively involved in Vietnam and the draft lottery system was in place, a system that impacted many young men enrolled at WSU. Issues related to the rights of racial minorities also dominated the Pullman campus. Many students and faculty members were pressuring WSU administration to increase recruitment of minority students and create new academic programs, like Black Studies.

Lewis graduated with a degree in political science from WSU in 1972 and went on to earn his master’s in public administration from the University of Washington. He moved to Washington D.C. in 1976 and founded his own consulting firm, DevCorp Consulting Corporation.


Enrollment passes 15,000 students

21 September 1970

Enrollment for the 1970-1971 year passed 15,000 students.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen attends WSU

21 September 1970

Paul Allen, philanthropist and co-founder of Microsoft, attended WSU and became a member of Phi Kappa Theta fraternity. He dropped out of school to work for Honeywell in Boston a couple years after enrolling.  In 1975 Allen co-founds Microsoft with childhood friend Bill Gates in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Washington State University Alumni Association introduces the Alumni Achievement Award to honor outstanding Cougar alumni

21 September 1970 9 November 1970

The Washington State University Alumni Association introduces the Alumni Achievement Award to honor outstanding Cougar alumni. Edryn “Ed” Jones (Sept. 21), Asa V. “Ace” Clark (Sept. 28), and Harry E. Goldsworth Jr. (Nov. 9) receive awards in 1970 as the first three recipients.

WSU graduates its 50,000th student

6 June 1971

WSU names Thompson Hall for former dean

15 April 1972

WSU names Thompson Hall for Albert Wilder Thompson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at WSU from 1953-64.  It had formerly just been known as the Administration Building, but those functions had moved to French Hall in 1967-1968.

Gary Larson and Patty Murray graduate from WSU

4 June 1972

In 1972, students Gary Larson, creator of the acclaimed comic strip “The Far Side,” and Patty Murray, future United States Senator, graduated from WSU.

United States Senator Patty Murray speaking with a student at the Vancouver campus in 1996.
United States Senator Patty Murray speaking with a student at the Vancouver campus in 1996.


Ki Tecumseh, founder of Native American Student Association, stretched the rules

4 June 1972

Growing up on the Yakama Indian Reservation, Kiutus “Ki” Tecumseh Jr. told his high school counselor that he wanted to go to college and was told, “You will fail. You are good with your hands. You can be either a baker or a bricklayer.” Tecumseh applied for admission to Washington State University and was accepted. While earning a degree (’72 Comm.), he served as an ASWSU senator and was an assistant instructor in a contemporary American Indian Studies class. Many remembered him best as founder and first president of the Native American Students Association.  “Indian people don’t consider themselves to be a minority people. They have their own religion, own culture, own life and land,” says Tecumseh, a member of the Winnebago Indians of Nebraska. During his student days, he and his Native American peers pushed the University to recruit more Indian students from the state and provide the support services they needed to be successful.  He believes that traditional fishing rights, shoreline and mineral issues, and treaty rights transcend the reservation and are important to all people living in the Northwest.  Ki is now retired in New Mexico, where he formerly chaired the advisory council on Indian education to the state board of education.


WAMI begins, bringing medical education programs to Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho

18 September 1972

The Washington, Alaska, Montana, Idaho (WAMI) program is established in 1971 to create a cooperative agreement among the aforementioned states, and WSU becomes part of it in 1972. The program provides access to medical school to state residents of Alaska, Montana, and Idaho — states without medical schools — and also brings medical education into these states.

WAMI students are admitted to the University of Washington Medical School. They initially spent their first year at satellite universities including Washington State University, the University of Idaho, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks (later the University of Alaska-Anchorage), and Montana State University. During their first year, all students of the UW Medical School, including WAMI students, were registered for the same first-year course. Consequently course topics, materials, evaluations, and exams were similar at all five sites.

In 2015, WSU left the WWAMI partnership in favor of forming its own medical school.

First commencement held at Beasley Coliseum

3 June 1973

The recently constructed Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum opened for hosting the 1973 commencement ceremonies. In previous years, commencement ceremonies had been held either in Bohler Gym or, weather permitting, at Rogers Field (now Martin Stadium).


Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory approved

24 April 1974

The Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (WADDL) is officially created with new funds from the legislature and existing resources. Today, it is a fully accredited facility and one of only a handful integrated with veterinary schools nationwide.

WSU creates major exhibit for Spokane World’s Fair/Expo ’74

4 May 1974 3 November 1974

WSU created a major exhibit featuring Albrook Hydraulic Laboratory work, titled “Waterworld,” for the Spokane World’s Fair/Expo ’74.


The Washington, Oregon, and Idaho regional Veterinary Medicine program begins instruction, led by the WSU Veterinary College

23 September 1974

The Washington, Oregon, and Idaho (WOI) regional Veterinary Medicine program begins, led by the WSU Veterinary College.

WSU provides educational services in Jordan

1 January 1975

WSU signs a pact with the Kingdom of Jordan to provide educational services. A team of twelve staff members (all but one from Pullman) traveled to Jordan to assist the creation of animal science, plant pathology, irrigation, agricultural marketing, and other programs, working with Jordanian students and faculty.


Kate Webster and Edith William become the second and third women appointed to the Board of Regents

2 May 1975

Kate Webster and Edith William become the second and third women appointed to the Board of Regents.

Henry Rono sets multiple world records while running for the Cougars

1 January 1976 1 January 1979

Henry Rono sets multiple world records while running for the Cougars. Rono won the NCAA Cross Country Championship three times, in 1976, 1977, and 1979, as well as the NCAA Steeplechase in 1978 and 1979, and the NCAA Indoor champion in the 3000 meters in 1977.

The high point of Rono’s running career was in 1978. In the span of 81 days, he broke four world records in the 10,000 meters, 5,000 meters, 3000 meter steeplechase, and 3,000 meters. Rono would never go on to the Olympics because Kenya, his country, boycotted the games in 1976 and 1980.


Heart plays at KWSU

1 February 1976

The band Heart played to a packed studio audience on campus during KWSU’s show Second Ending. At the time, Heart was a young band whose internationally-renowned album, Dreamboat Annie, hadn’t been released yet.


Steve Puidokas sets Cougar men’s career basketball scoring records

21 February 1976

Steve Puidokas, a six-foot-eleven point guard, sets the Cougar men’s career basketball points record. Puidokas other career records would include scoring average (18.6 points per game), field goals, and rebounds (9.7 per game).  He was the second-team all-conference for four straight seasons. Puidokas is the first WSU basketball player to have his number (55) retired.

Steve Puidokas
Steve Puidokas

A $1,000,000 Kellogg Foundation grant creates the Partnership for Rural Improvement

22 March 1976

A $1,000,000 Kellogg Foundation grant creates the Partnership for Rural Improvement (PRI). The PRI project includes community planning/organizing, economic development, organizational development for NGOs, leadership education, distance education access, and rural policy development.

Brochure for a PRI event held at WSU campus.
Brochure for a PRI event held at WSU campus.

Regent Michael Dederer becomes Board of Regents President for a third time

16 April 1976

Regent Michael Dederer becomes Board of Regents President for a third time. Dederer, a Seattle philanthropist and president of the Seattle Fur Exchange, was originally appointed in 1955 to fill the unexpired term of John C. Scott, who resigned. Dederer started as a janitor at the Seattle Fur Exchange in 1922, and just 17 years later was president of a rapidly growing fur empire. In public service, Dederer not only served as first member, then president of the WSU Board of Regents, but he was also a regent for Pacific Lutheran University and headed the WSU Foundation. Dederer died on June 24, 1995.


Film actor Dolph Lundgren attends WSU for one year

20 September 1976 3 June 1977

Dolph Lundgren, best known for his action roles in Rocky IV (as Ivan Drago) and The Expendables, spent the 1976-1977 school year at WSU as an exchange student, working on a chemical engineering degree. He was also a member of the Cougar Marching Band. Contrary to some reports, he did not actually graduate from WSU. Instead, he finished his coursework at Sweden’s Royal Academy and the University of Sydney in Australia.

Hans "Dolph" Lundgren, page 302, 1977 Chinook
Hans “Dolph” Lundgren, page 302, 1977 Chinook

Orville Vogel, developer of the world’s most productive wheat strains, receives Regents ninth Distinguished Alumnus Award

4 June 1977

Orville Vogel, developer of the world’s most productive wheat strains, receives Regents Ninth Distinguished Alumnus Award. Vogel received his Ph.D. at WSU in 1939 and stayed as faculty for several decades. His work helped start the “Green Revolution” in agriculture. He led the research team that produced the first commercially successful semi-dwarf wheats and was known for his inventions of scientific research equipment. He received the National Medal of Science, presented by President Ford in 1975, as well as the State of Washington Medal of Merit in 1987.

Orville Vogel on a on is a small plot combine (designed by Dr. Vogel himself). It was used to harvest small wheat plots.
Orville Vogel on a on is a small plot combine (designed by Dr. Vogel himself). It was used to harvest small wheat plots.

The student show choir, The Crimson Company, debuts

28 October 1977

The Crimson Company student show choir first performs for Dad’s Weekend in 1977 and goes on to be one of WSU’s most popular public relations vehicles. In almost 23 years, they do over 650 shows for over 350,000 audience members. They last perform in May of 2000, after the WSU Alumni Association could no longer afford to sponsor them.

1982-1983 Crimson Company
1982-1983 Crimson Company

The tenth Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award goes to ABC television sportscaster, Keith Jackson

3 June 1978

The tenth Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award goes to ABC television sportscaster, Keith Jackson.

Keith Jackson (right) as a student in 1954
Keith Jackson (right) as a student in 1954

The Hitchcock Research Track, the only horseracing facility of its type built for research purposes on a university campus in the U.S., is begun on the Pullman campus

16 June 1978

The track is completed in early summer of 1980, and named that year after horse industry activists Maurice and Kathleen Hitchcock, who donated about one quarter of the construction costs.

Butch VI, last of the live mascots, passes at age 15

24 August 1978

The last of the live mascots, Butch VI, dies at age 15. Butch VI was gifted to the school by then-state governor Albert Rosellini in September 1964.


WSU introduces the Athletic Hall of Fame, which eventually grows to over 150 members

20 October 1978

WSU introduces the Athletic Hall of Fame, which will grow to over 150 members by 2010.


Veterinary Science Building, later Bustad Hall, dedicated

20 October 1978

In 1983 a $3 million multi-purpose animal holding and care facility is completed adjoining existing animal care facilities in the Veterinary Science Building.  In 1984 the building is named for the dean emeritus, Leo K. Bustad.

Bustad Hall
Bustad Hall

WSU Foundation established

3 February 1979

The WSU Foundation is created as a “separate foundation of a charitable and educational nature, organized exclusively to serve the needs of WSU and manage the private support given it.”  By 2015, the Foundation will have raised over 1.3 billion dollars.

Jack Thompson’s No. 14 jersey is retired, recognizing his 7,818 yards gained passing

24 February 1979

Jack Thompson’s No. 14 jersey is retired, recognizing his 7,818 yards gained passing. Thompson is only the second football jersey ever retired by WSU.


Athletes sue WSU for equal support of women’s sports teams

6 April 1979

In 1972 Title IX, a federal law mandating gender equity for any education program or activity that received federal financial support, passed. Like many institutions, WSU was slow to improve the experience for women athletes so in 1979 the students, along with their coaches, sued the university.

Blair vs. Washington State University became a landmark women’s rights case for Washington. In 1987, the state supreme court ruled in favor of women athletics and in the following years women’s soccer and crew were added to WSU, scholarships for women athletes were established, and the teams were provided buses for transportation to and from games.

Gibson, Shroeder, Neill receive the Regents Distinguished Alumnus Awards

25 May 1979

Weldon B. “Hoot” Gibson, Charles Schroeder, and Marshall Neill receive the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth Regents Distinguished Alumnus Awards.

Hoot Gibson
Hoot Gibson
Marshall Neill in 1955, while serving as a special assistant AG for WSC
Marshall Neill in 1955, while serving as a special assistant AG for WSC
Charles Schroeder

The Campaign For Washington State begins

8 November 1979

The Washington State University Foundation is created to “promote, accept, and maximize private support for programs, initiatives, and properties of Washington State University and its regional campuses” as well as manage, invest and steward the assets entrusted to it by WSU and alumni, friends, and donors.

By 1987, private giving to the university through WSU Foundation surpassed $9 million. Major gifts included Distinguished Professorships from the Kennedy family of Seattle and from five high-tech companies; $1 million from the Boeing Company and $1 million in computer equipment from AT&T.

Troubled youth detonates bomb in Streit-Perham Hall

18 December 1979

John Stickney, a troubled youth and ex-boyfriend of WSU student Lisa Clark, detonated a bomb on the fourth floor of Streit-Perham Hall, killing himself and wounding two policemen. Stickney, a high school dropout, was employed by Industrial Rock Products as a powder man. He drove from his home in Mercer Island to attempt a reconciliation with Clark. Stickney twice attempted to talk with Clark at her dorm room and then detonated the bomb after a failed attempt to force entry.


Inside of Streit-Perham 4th floor room after explosion.
Interior of Streit-Perham 4th floor room after explosion.
During the 1980s, the Berlin Wall crumbled, the personal computer industry exploded, Michael Jackson debuted his moonwalk, Mount St. Helens blew, MTV became a staple, and the U.S. beat USSR in Olympic hockey in the “Miracle On Ice.” In Pullman, WSU was expanding with construction on the Lewis Alumni Centre, Chemistry Building, and Food and Human Nutrition Building.

Alumni and Foundation Leadership awards recognize outstanding Cougs

1 January 1980

Alumni/Foundation Leadership Awards begin under the leadership of Alumni Association President, Richard Gustafson.

Cooper Publications Building is the first building named to honor a classified staff member, Caroline Cooper.

28 March 1980

Cooper Publications Building is the first building named to honor a classified staff member, Caroline Cooper. Cooper was Director of Duplicating and Mailing for 39 years.


The home of WSU Baseball, Bailey Field, opens after relocating

12 April 1980

The home of WSU Baseball, Bailey Field, opens after relocating. The field was previously at the site of today’s Mooberry Field. In 1984, the field was one of the first NCAA fields to be lit for night games. In 2013, WSU installed an artificial turf mound, the only such mound among west coast schools.


WSU museum surpass teaching mission and become public icons

30 April 1980

WSU is home to three superb collections: the Conner Museum, Ownbey Herbarium, and James Entomology Collection. All three began almost as soon as Washington State College opened its doors. They were considered central to the school’s land-grant mission to help farmers identify weeds and pests and to document the native flora and fauna of the state.

The collections soon grew beyond their teaching role. What makes them research collections is their sheer numbers. The Conner has about 69,000 specimens, the Herbarium about 375,000, the James more than 1.25 million.


Conner Museum
Conner Museum

Mount St. Helens erupts, leaving a thin layer of ash on campus

18 May 1980

Students walking on campus after the Mount St. Helens eruption.

William Bugge, Washington Director of Highways, and Laurence Peter, co-author of the Peter Principle, receive the fourteenth and fifteen Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award

7 June 1980

William Bugge, Washington Director of Highways, and Laurence Peter, and co-author of the Peter Principle, receive fourteenth and fifteenth Regents Distinguished Alumnus Awards.

Bugge completed three and one-half years at then-WSC, leaving in 1922 to work for the Washington Department of Highways. He received an honorary bachelor’s degree from WSU in 1990. As Director of Highways, Bugge oversaw the design and construction of some of the states most ambitious projects. In 1963, he resigned his position to become the Project Director in charge of the design and construction of the Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, in San Francisco.

Peter taught in Vancouver before attending WSU. After graduation, he moved to California where he became an Associate Professor of Education, Director of the Evelyn Frieden Centre for Prescriptive Teaching, and Coordinator of Programs for Emotionally Disturbed Children at the University of Southern California.

William Bugge
William Bugge
Laurence Peter
Laurence Peter

Connie Kravas, a doctoral graduate in education administration and supervision, becomes director of development

13 August 1980

From student to philanthropic leader, Connie Kravas (’74), doctoral graduate in education administration and supervision, becomes director of development. In 1980, she was named executive director of development and WSU Foundation president. She became University Advancement vice president in 1997, after leading the highly successful Campaign WSU, the university’s first comprehensive fund-raising effort. Over a seven-year period, ending in 1997, Campaign WSU raised more than $275 million. It increased the university’s scholarship endowment, established endowed professorships to attract and retain top faculty, and provided modern equipment for teaching and research.

Connie Kravas
Connie Kravas

Robert Redford Institute for Resource Management announced at WSU and University of Idaho

1 February 1981

Robert Redford Institute for Resource Management announced at WSU and University of Idaho. Named for the famous actor, the IRM opened in fall of 1982 and brought together environmentalists and industrialists to resolve conflicts and promote sustainable development.

WSU dedicates the Warren G. Magnuson Nursing Education Building

27 August 1981

WSU dedicates the Warren G. Magnuson Nursing Education Building, home to Intercollegiate Center for Nursing Education, on Aug. 27. The building, located in Spokane, is named for State of Washington U.S. Senator.

The Warren G Magnusun Dedication UA 333 B14 F23

Jim Walden leads WSU Cougar football against Brigham Young University in the Holiday Bowl

18 December 1981

Coach Jim Walden leads WSU Cougar football against Brigham Young University in the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. In the WSU Cougars first bowl game in 51 years, they narrowly lose with a score of 36-38.


WSU men’s bowling team wins national title

1 May 1982

The WSU men’s bowling team brought home a national title. They accomplished this by outlasting Michigan State with a score of 192-168. This was their second appearance in the national tournament finals, having finished in second place two years earlier.

The 1982 WSU men’s bowling team

Institutional advancement functions consolidate under new vice president, Stanton Schmid

23 August 1982 31 December 1993
Stanton Schmid
Stanton Schmid

Hein, Stevenson, and Bigeleisen receive Distinguished Alumnus Awards.

3 March 1983

The Regents 16th, 17th, and 18th Distinguished Alumnus Awards are respectively awarded to Mel Hein, the “greatest all-around player the game of football has seen;” Robert Stevenson, the former head of Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Co.; and world-renowned chemist Jacob Bigeleisen.

Mel Hein
Mel Hein
Robert S. Stevenson
Robert S. Stevenson
Jacob Bigeleisen
Jacob Bigeleisen

WSU’s 100,000th graduate, Cheryl Anne Breen, receives her degree

4 June 1983

Col. John Fabian becomes the first Cougar astronaut aboard the Challenger II space shuttle

18 June 1983

Col. John Fabian (’62) becomes the first Cougar astronaut aboard the Challenger II space shuttle. Fabian made two trips to space and logged over 316 hours, and was the first person to deploy and retrieve a free-flying satellite. Fabian graduated from Pullman High School and then enrolled at WSU, receiving a bachelors of science in mechanical engineering. He later received the 19th Regent Distinguished Alumnus Award.


L. Keating Johnson named director of bands at WSU

15 August 1983 6 April 2004

In the fall of 1983, L. Keating Johnson was named director of bands at WSU, where he taught both conducting and tuba and conducted the Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra. He also served as music director and conductor of the Washington-Idaho Symphony.

After 18 years with the WSU School of Music, Johnson passed away April 6, 2004 in Pullman from brain cancer.


Edmund O. Schweitzer, III, PhD, Electrical Engineering graduate, starts Pullman’s Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

5 April 1984

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories incorporates in 1982, but marks their official beginning from their first microprocessor relay shipment, in 1984. Today, SEL is the largest private employer in Pullman.  Schweitzer, class of 1977, would receive the Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2014.


WSU athletes win three gold medals in the Olympic games

2 August 1984 10 August 1984

WSU athletes win three gold medals and one silver medal, in Los Angeles at the 1984 Olympic Games. Julius Korir wins the gold in steeplechase, while Paul Enquist and Kristi Norelius both win in rowing -Paul in the men’s double sculls and Kristi in the women’s coxed eights.  In track, Gabriel Tiacoh finishes with the 400m silver.

Julius Korir
Julius Korir

For the first time in the university’s history, WSU uses an early-start semester academic calendar

27 August 1984

For the first time in the university’s history, WSU uses an early-start semester academic calendar. Although implemented in August 1984, the WSU Faculty Senate approved the calendar change in 1980.

Dan Lynch, WSU offensive lineman, appears on the Bob Hope Christmas Special with the AP All-American team

16 December 1984

Dan Lynch, WSU offensive lineman, appears on the Bob Hope Christmas Special with the AP All-American team. Lynch played for WSU from 1980-1984 and started all four years for the Cougars.


An act of legislature increases the WSU Board of Regents membership from seven to nine people.

17 April 1985

Construction begins on the WSU Research and Technology Park

29 June 1985

Ground is broken on the WSU Research and Technology Park.

John Candy immortalizes the WSU fight song as “Tom Tuttle from Tacoma”

16 August 1985

John Candy immortalizes the WSU fight song in the movie Volunteers. Candy plays a WSU graduate, “Tom Tuttle from Tacoma,” who is assigned to build a bridge for local villagers in Thailand with fellow costars Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. The WSU fight song is sung by Tom Tuttle while he is under the capture of communist forces.

WSU dedicates science building to James H. Hulbert, 50-year advocate of Washington agriculture and WSU.

25 October 1985

Agricultural Science Phase II Building, built in 1971, is dedicated to former Regent, Skagit County farmer, and 50-year advocate of state agriculture and WSU, James H. Hulbert.

James H. Hulbert
James H. Hulbert
Agricultural Science Phase II (now Hulbert Hall) shortly after construction in 1972
Agricultural Science Phase II (now Hulbert Hall) shortly after construction in 1972
Dedication of James H Hulbert Agricultural Sciences Building
Dedication of James H Hulbert Agricultural Sciences Building

Students celebrate college-level commencements

10 May 1986

Students celebrate the first commencement that had individual college-level ceremonies on Saturday, May 10. Following a shorter main ceremony, students now participate in college graduations held all around campus.

WSU Athletics introduces new leadership

6 January 1987 11 August 1987

WSU Athletics introduces new leadership to the Cougar family, including Jim Livengood, athletic director; Dennis Erickson, football coach; and Kelvin Sampson, men’s basketball coach.

Jim Livengood
Jim Livengood
Dennis Erickson
Dennis Erickson
Kevin Sampson
Kevin Sampson

The first 48 Glenn Terrell Presidential Scholars are named

26 March 1987

170 incoming students in total will be named as the first Glenn Terrell Presidential Scholars and Distinguished Presidential Scholars in advance of the 1987-1988 school year.

Students get a jump on registration and pre-register for their 1987 fall semester classes.

13 April 1987 22 April 1987


Washington Mutual Bank donates a former Union Pacific train depot in downtown Pullman to WSU.

18 August 1987

Washington Mutual Bank donates a former Union Pacific train depot in downtown Pullman to WSU. As the Cougar Depot, it opens on July 13, 1988 as home to the athletic ticket office, visitor center, and community meeting facility. In 2014, the Brelsford Visitor Center opens and the Cougar Depot is sold to Umpqua Bank.

Union Pacific Railroad Depot (Cougar Depot)
Union Pacific Railroad Depot (Cougar Depot)

Dean Emeritus of the College of Veterinary Medicine receives the 20th Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award

19 October 1987

Leo K. Bustad, Dean Emeritus of College of Veterinary Medicine and internationally recognized speaker, humanist, and founder of People & Pet Therapy programs, receives the 20th Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Leo K. Bustad
Leo K. Bustad

The Washington State Historical Society recognizes trailblazers from WSU in the Washington Centennial Hall of Honor

11 November 1987 11 November 1988

The Washington State Historical Society recognizes trailblazers from WSU in the Washington Centennial Hall of Honor: Philip Abelson (Class of 1933), “Father of the Atomic Submarine;” Enoch Bryan, WSC president (1893-1916); Gary Larson (Class of 1972), acclaimed Far Side cartoonist; Edward R. Murrow (Class of 1930), preeminent broadcast journalist; Archie Van Doren (Class of 1937), father of controlled atmosphere storage for apples, conducted research for WSU at its Wenatchee Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center; Orville Vogel (Class of 1939), agronomist who revolutionized wheat breeding, made possible the Green Revolution. He worked for the USDA at WSU in Pullman.

A new monument constructed at the walkway entrance of Bailey Field welcomes fans who come to watch the Cougs play ball

1 January 1988

A new monument constructed at the walkway entrance of Bailey Field welcomes fans who come to watch the Cougs play ball.

Former WSU president C. Clement French passes

6 March 1988

Former WSU president, C. Clement French, died in Lacey, Wash.


Book thief steals rare books from library archives

11 April 1988

In early 1988, WSU Library archivists revealed that more than 357 books and 2,500 manuscripts, worth $500,000 total, were missing from the rare artifacts collection. Two years later, the FBI arrested the book thief, Stephen Blumberg, at his home in Iowa and discovered a cache of 16,000 rare books and manuscripts he had stolen from universities all over the country. Officials estimated the value at the time to be between $25 and $35 million. The book thief spent four and a half years in prison and was released on parole despite a WSU librarian and police officer arguing Blumberg would reoffend if released.


Governor signs land purchase bill for the Spokane campus

23 April 1988

Governor Booth Gardner signs an $800,000 appropriation allowing the Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute (SIRTI) to purchase a swath of Spokane land across the river from Gonzaga, for developing a branch campus. The first building would be dedicated there on Oct. 21, 1994.

Neva Martin Abelson receives the Regents 23rd Distinguished Alumnus Award for her work in pediatric medicine.

7 May 1988

Neva Martin Abelson receives the Regents 23rd Distinguished Alumnus Award. She is the wife of famed-chemist Phillip Ableson, and co-founder of the global test for Rh blood factor which has saved millions of babies’ lives.  Neva was one of the first women to earn a medical degree from Johns Hopkins University, and the first woman to be in charge of the hospital’s nurseries there. Later she was a professor of pediatrics and pathology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her work in pediatrics piqued her interest in the Rhesus factor and its relation to blood disease in tiny infants, which at the time was a likely cause of death or mental retardation.

Neva Marten Abelson
Neva Marten Abelson

The first Summer Orientation Program for students and parents welcomes new Cougs to campus

1 June 1988

Peter Koech wins the silver medal at the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea

30 September 1988

Peter Koech (’86) wins the silver medal in 3,000-meter steeplechase at Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. In 1989, Peter Koech breaks the world record in steeplechase with a time of 8 minutes, 5.35 seconds.


Mary Turner DeGarmo, known for transcribing musical compositions into braille, and William Julius Wilson, sociologist, receive the Regents 21st and 22nd Distinguished Alumnus Awards

7 October 1988

Mary Turner DeGarmo, known for her work in transcribing musical compositions into braille, and William Julius Wilson, sociologist, receive the Regents 21st and 22nd Distinguished Alumnus Awards. DeGarmo, who graduated in 1926 with a B.A. in Education, developed the first and only detailed, comprehensive teaching text on transcribing musical compositions into Braille for blind musicians, a volume used worldwide. DeGarmo, the second woman honored with the Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award, passed away in 1995.  Wilson received his Ph.D. in Sociology in 1966 and is known for his research and scholarship on the black underclass. He authored articles and books including, “The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass and Public Policy” and “The Declining Significance of Race.”

William Julius WIlson
William Julius WIlson
Mary T DeGarmo
Mary T DeGarmo

Cougs defeat the University of Houston at Eagle Aloha Bowl in Honolulu, 24-22

25 December 1988

The WSU Cougars defeat the University of Houston Cougars, 24-22, at the Eagle Aloha Bowl in Honolulu. The game was the second bowl appearance in the 1980s and the first bowl victory for WSU since the 1916 Rose Bowl.

WSU’s Hotel and Restaurant Administration Program ranks fourth nationally among hospitality programs

1 January 1989

A more humane way

1 January 1989

WSU introduces the first elective alternative laboratory course on basic surgical techniques which uses cadavers of animals euthanized for humane reasons to avoid use of surplus animals for that purpose.

Howard Nemerov, U.S. Poet Laureate, receives an honorary doctoral degree.

6 May 1989

Howard Nemerov, Pulitzer-prize winning poet and poetry consultant to the Library of Congress, receives an honorary doctoral degree.

AT&T donates $1.8 million in computer-aided design and analysis network equipment for molecular science.

1 September 1989

WSU dedicates McEachern Hall in honor of former Regent Robert and his wife Margaret McEachern

29 September 1989

WSU dedicates McEachern Hall in honor of former Regent Robert and his wife Margaret McEachern, both long-time benefactors and alumni. McEachern Hall was originally known as the Graduate Residence Center and was built in the early 1970s.

Roger and Margaret McEachern at McEachern Hall dedication.
Roger and Margaret McEachern at McEachern Hall dedication.

National Institutes of Health grants WSU $473,000 to train graduate students in the science and applications of protein chemistry.

16 October 1989

WSU signs an agreement with Far Eastern State University in Vladivostok, Russia, to begin an exchange program.

19 October 1989
Far Eastern State University (FESU) faculty on WSU Campus, note Thompson Hall in the background.
Far Eastern State University (FESU) faculty on WSU Campus, note Thompson Hall in the background.

Fulmer Hall receives a makeover, dedicating a vibration-free laser laboratory and a six-story addition

21 October 1989

Fulmer Hall receives a makeover, including a vibration-free laser laboratory and a six-story addition.

Fulmer Hall after remodel.
Fulmer Hall after remodel.

Jason Hanson, field goal kicker, is first team academic athletic All-American.

5 December 1989

Jason Hanson, field goal kicker, is the first team academic athletic All-American.  He’d go on to play 21 years for the NFL’s Detroit Lions.

The ‘90s brought the end of the Cold War and the rise of hip-hop, grunge, cable television, and the World Wide Web. The U.S. saw economic prosperity, email became popular, and J.K. Rowling released the first Harry Potter novel. At WSU, the Cougar football team played in the Rose Bowl for the first time in 67 years.

Dr. Rick Watts leads international research in the development of in situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) one of the more rapid methods for treating soil and groundwater pollution.

1 January 1990

Tony Li takes first place in the 55-meter hurdles at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship.

9 March 1990

He would win the title again in 1991 as well.

WSU celebrates its 100th anniversary

28 March 1990
100th Anniversary Celebration brochure
100th Anniversary Celebration brochure

Governor signs a $2.9 million appropriation to expand WSU’s telecommunications system.

30 March 1990

Gary Larson, syndicated cartoonist and creator of the Far Side, receives the Regents 24th Distinguished Alumnus Award and is the Centennial Commencement Speaker.

12 May 1990

Gary Larson, syndicated cartoonist and creator of The Far Side, receives the Regents 24th Distinguished Alumnus Award and is the Centennial Commencement Speaker.  His talk is titled “The Importance of Being Weird.”

Gary Larson, 1990
Gary Larson, 1990

WSU research animal, Morty the Moose, featured on TV’s “Northern Exposure”

12 July 1990

Morty the Moose, a WSU research animal, was featured in the opening credits of television’s “Northern Exposure.” In 1994, Morty died of an illness linked to a mineral deficiency.

Morty the Moose and WSU Zoology professor Charlie Robbins
Morty the Moose and WSU Zoology professor Charlie Robbins

WSU pitcher Aaron Sele plays on the USA baseball team at the Goodwill Games.

26 July 1990 30 July 1990
1993 Baseball program honoring Aaron Sele
1993 Baseball program honoring Aaron Sele

Allen C. Wilson receives the Regents 25th Distinguished Alumnus Award for his work in molecular evolutionism.

27 September 1990

Allen C. Wilson receives the Regents 25th Distinguished Alumnus Award for his work in molecular evolutionism. Wilson received an M.A. in Zoology in 1957, studying under bird physiologist Donald S. Farner. Wilson came to WSU from his birthplace in New Zealand. During his career, his work was recognized with many prestigious awards, including the MacArthur Fellowship.

Allen Wilson
Allen Wilson

WSU has largest intramural program west of the Mississippi

5 November 1990

According to intramural program supervisor Mary Ann Steele, the University “has the largest intramural program West of the Mississippi” based on the number of participants compared to total enrollment The participation rate ranks WSU’s program among the top 25 in the nation.

The Todd Hall Addition is added to Todd Hall as part of a $5.6 million expansion

14 December 1990

The $5.6 million expansion to renovate Todd Hall, home of the Hotel and Restaurant Administration, establishes the Todd Hall Addition.

The KWSU-Northwest Public Radio “Bob and Bill” classical music show goes national

31 December 1990

Hilltopics 1991-01 01

WSU ranked 34th nationally in corporate financial support

1 January 1991

African American Alumni Alliance is born at WSU

1 January 1991

The WSU African American Alumni Alliance begins in fall of 1991 during the planning of that year’s first Black Student Reunion.


WSU basketball coaches Harold Rhodes and Kelvin Sampson named Pac-10 Coaches of the Year

9 March 1991 10 March 1991
Kevin Sampson
Kevin Sampson
Harold Rhodes
Harold Rhodes

The women’s basketball team makes first-ever appearance in NCAA Tournament

13 March 1991

The Cougars were defeated by Northwestern, 82-62, in a first round match-up in Chicago.

Queen of Denmark appoints Vishnu Bhatia, director of the WSU Honors Program, a Knight of the Dannebrog Order

27 March 1991

Queen Magrethe II of Denmark appoints Vishnu Bhatia a Knight of the Dannebrog Order for the decades he devoted to building bridges between the Scandinavian nation and WSU.  Bhatia served WSU for 47 years (1951-1998) and counted among his greatest accomplishments heading the Honors Program (1964-1993) and  directing the Office of International Education at WSU (1973-1990).  The WSU Honors Program, now the Honors College, counts several thousand alumni and is considered one of the best Honors programs in the United States.

WSU West moves into the Westin Building in downtown Seattle

1 April 1991

WSU West moves into the Westin Building in downtown Seattle.  In 2000, WSU West moved from the Westin Building to a building on Pike Street, both in downtown Seattle.

Carolyn Kizer, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, receives her WSU honorary doctoral degree

11 May 1991


Carolyn Kizer receiving her doctoral hood.
Carolyn Kizer receiving her doctoral hood, and President Samuel Smith at the 1991 Commencement.

WSU Men’s Track and Field takes the Pac-10 title and places second in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships

1 June 1991

WSU West dedicated in honor of former WSU Regent Michael Dederer

3 September 1991

WSU Tri-Cities opens its new $12.5 million teaching facility in Richland

26 September 1991

Barry Serafin receives the 26th Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award for his career in journalism

31 October 1991

Barry Serafin receives the 26th Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award for his career in journalism. Serafin started his career at KWSU and later transferred to the CBS Washington D.C. bureau. He won an Emmy for his contribution to the documentary “Watergate: The White House Transcripts.” He then joined ABC in 1979, covering the Iran hostage crisis, and became a national correspondent in 1981.

Barry Serafin
Barry Serafin

Women’s volleyball invited to their first NCAA tournament

1 December 1991

Alumnus Clint Cole helps to develop the HeartStart portable automated external defibrillator, or AED, which is credited with saving tens of thousands of lives

1 January 1992

Cole later returned to teach advanced courses in Electrical Engineering at WSU in 1997, and began designing adaptable circuit boards for his students to use.  After sharing them with colleagues in different universities nationwide they became so popular that he formed his own company, Digilent, to manufacture and market the circuit boards.  Cole received his B.S. in computer science in 1987 and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2000, both from WSU.  He continues to teach junior and senior-level electrical engineering courses.


The Center for Animal Well-Being opens

1 January 1992

The Center for the Study of Animal Well-Being at Washington State University is a cooperative effort between the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Animal Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Home Economics. Its goal is to produce and distribute the best possible information on what factors of animal care and use controlled by humans are truly in the animals’ best interest.

Former WSU quarterback Mark Rypien is the Super Bowl XXVI MVP

26 January 1992

Former WSU quarterback Mark Rypien is the 1992 Super Bowl XXVI MVP in the Washington Redskins’ 37-24 win over the Buffalo Bills.


Josephat Kapkory wins NCAA track and field, cross country titles

14 March 1992

Josephat Kapkory claimed the 3,000-meter title at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1994, Kapkory captured the 10,000-meter title at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.

Men’s basketball receives first NIT bid

15 March 1992

The WSU men’s basketball team received its first invite to the National Invitational Tournament. The Cougs lost in the second round to University of New Mexico.

Remodeled Carpenter Hall opens as home to School of Architecture

24 April 1992 25 April 1992

The remodeled Carpenter Hall opens as home to the School of Architecture, now the School of Design and Construction. The cost of renovation was $9 million.


Doctor of Pharmacy program approved for WSU Spokane

6 May 1992

The space shuttle Columbia carries WSU science experiments into space.

25 June 1992 9 July 1992

The space shuttle Columbia carries WSU science experiments into space. The first from WSU physicist Philip Martson and the second from WSU plant scientists.

Phillip Martson
Phillip Martson

Sallie Giffen becomes the first vice president for Business Affairs

23 July 1992
Sallie Giffen
Sallie Giffen

Donors contribute record-setting $33.5 million to WSU in 1991-1992

24 July 1992

In the ’91-’92 fiscal year, donors gifted WSU with a then-record $33 million in grants and gifts.  This is up from the previous year’s record of $26 million, and it would in turn be topped the following year when that year’s gifts tallied $45 million.

Construction management becomes the first five-year Construction Management program in the nation, bachelor’s degree program receives accreditation.

24 August 1992

WSU alumnus receives 27th Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award for service during the Gulf War

16 October 1992

U.S. Air Force General (ret.) Robert D. Russ received the 27th Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award for his service as Commander of Air Force Aviation during the Gulf War. Russ graduated from WSU in 1955 with a B.A. in business administration and entered the Air Force in 1955 as a second lieutenant, serving until 1991 when he retired as general.


Patty L. Murray becomes first WSU graduate to serve in the Senate

3 November 1992

Patty L. Murray, class of 1972, was elected for the first time to represent Washington in the U.S. Senate. She was the first WSU graduate to serve in the Senate.

United States Senator Patty Murray speaking with a student at the Vancouver campus in 1996.
United States Senator Patty Murray speaking with a student at the Vancouver campus in 1996.

Mike Lowry is elected governor of Washington

3 November 1992

Mike Lowry (’62) is elected governor of Washington. Lowry was born in St. John, Washington and served various positions in the Washington State government before his election.  Lowry also spoke at the 1993 commencement ceremony.

Mike Lowry
Mike Lowry

Women’s volleyball wins NIVC tournament

6 December 1992

The WSU women’s volleyball team won the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (volleyball’s equivalent of basketball’s NIT) by beating Bowling Green University in three straight sets. The team did not lose a single game throughout the tournament.

WSU Cougars win the Copper Bowl, 31-23, against the University of Utah in Tucson, Arizona

29 December 1992

WSU College of Arts and Sciences reorganized into two separate units

1 January 1993

The WSU Board of Regents approved reorganization of the College of Arts and Sciences into two separate academic units: the College of Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts.

Boeing donates $7 million to WSU

20 January 1993

The Boeing Company donated $7 million to WSU- the largest private gift to date.

Heather Metcalf becomes sixth female ASWSU president

1 March 1993

WSU quarterback Drew Bledsoe is the first pick in the NFL draft by the New England Patriots

25 April 1993

WSU professor R. James Cook selected for National Academy of Sciences membership

1 May 1993

R. James Cook, USDA plant pathologist and WSU professor, was elected into membership in the National Academy of Sciences.


John Olerud, former WSU baseball star and Toronto Blue Jay, wins the American League batting title with a .363 average.

3 October 1993

Internationally renowned WSU faculty member receives 28th Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award

14 October 1993

John Gorham, internationally renowned veterinarian and WSU faculty member, received the 28th Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award. Gorham was the first student to earn a graduate degree from the College of Veterinary Medicine and contributed heavily to the study of feline and canine disease.

Army ROTC earns No. 1 national ranking

1 January 1994

WSU’s oldest alumni die at 103

11 February 1994 22 October 1994

Floyd Smith and Mariel Fulmer Doty, WSU’s oldest known alumni, both die at age 103.

Cougar men’s basketball invited to NCAA Tournament

13 March 1994

The WSU men’s basketball team received an invitation to play in the NCAA Championship Tournament. They lost in the first round to Boston College, 64-67.

Prominent Native American author Sherman Alexie graduates from WSU

7 May 1994

Sherman Alexie, a Native American writer, poet, and filmmaker who grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation, graduated from WSU cum laude with a B.A. in American studies. Some of his best known works are the book of short stories The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight In Heaven and the film Smoke Signals, for which he wrote the screenplay. In 2003, Alexie received the WSU Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 2007, Alexie received the National Book Award for The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.  

Sherman Alexie Jr. receiving the Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award
Sherman Alexie Jr. receiving the Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award

Huntleys leave wheat ranch to WSU

13 May 1994

Necia Bennett Huntley (’35) and husband Elmer C. Huntley left a 890-acre wheat ranch in Thornton, Washington to WSU. The goal of the ranch was funding scholarships.

WSU women’s soccer makes first NCAA Tournament appearance

9 November 1994

Coach Lisa Gozley and the WSU women’s soccer team made their first NCAA Tournament appearance. The Cougs were ranked 19th by “Soccer America,” the oldest magazine devoted to American soccer.

Cougs win Apple Cup in the snow

19 November 1994

Cougar fans celebrate a 23-6 Apple Cup football victory against University of Washington in the snow at Martin Stadium.

The WSU football team beats Baylor University 10-3 at the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.

31 December 1994

WSU beats UW in friendly fundraising competition

1 January 1995

WSU wins a friendly fundraising competition with the University of Washington. As a result, Seattle’s Space Needle roof got a crimson and gray paint job.

WSU Honors Program ranked among top eight in the nation

1 January 1995

“Money” magazine ranked WSU among the top eight of the 436 honors programs at American public universities.

Campaign WSU exceeds $200 million goal

1 January 1995 1 January 1997

Campaign WSU passes $200 million mark eight months before its scheduled end.  In 1997 the seven-year Campaign WSU, the university’s first comprehensive fundraising effort, concluded with final total of $275.4 million, surpassing its original $250 million goal. Supporting WSU’s vision to be one of the top public universities in the nation, the money raised benefited scholarships, teaching and research programs, student programs, and learning initiatives statewide.

Coach Kevin Eastman takes men’s basketball to NIT

31 March 1995

Coach Kevin Eastman took WSU men’s basketball to the post-season NIT Tournament.

Plans approved for new Cougar Plaza in downtown Pullman

8 May 1995
From left: Mayor Al Halvorson, WSU President Stanley Smith, Chamber of Commerce President-elect Kelly Brown and Cougar Plaza Fund-raising Committee Chair Donna Donati.
From left: Mayor Al Halvorson, WSU President Stanley Smith, Chamber of Commerce President-elect Kelly Brown and Cougar Plaza Fund-raising Committee Chair Donna Donati.

Golden Grads donate grand piano to WSU

10 May 1995

The Golden Grads of 1945 donated a grand piano to WSU as a class gift. It was dedicated during a concert in the Rotunda of the Terrell Library.

WSU Baseball takes Pacific-10 North title

13 May 1995

The WSU baseball team captured the Pac-10 North baseball title under first-year coach Steve Farrington.

U.S. Army General Shalikashvili speaks at commencement

13 May 1995

U.S. Army Gen. John M Shalikashvili, chairman of the U.S. Department of Defense Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke at commencement. His son Brant was one of the graduates.  Shalikashvili served as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Supreme Allied Commander from 1993 through 1997, the first foreign-born American to do so.

Thrifty PayLess donations to School of Pharmacy total $100,000

25 May 1995

Thrifty PayLess contributed more than $100,000 for computer equipment, software, and student scholarships for the College of Pharmacy.

Women’s JV crew captures national crown

10 June 1995

The WSU women’s junior varsity crew team captured the crown at the National Collegiate Rowing Championship Regatta on Lake Harsha in Ohio. It was the first title for the five-year-old rowing program.

Thomas “Les” Purce announced as Vice President For Extended University Affairs

23 June 1995

Thomas “Les” Purce, former senior administrator at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, was selected as Vice President for Extended University Affairs at WSU.


“Money” magazine ranks WSU among top 15 best value universities

11 September 1995

Money magazine ranks WSU among the top 15 best value four-year undergraduate universities in the West.

“Common Ground” mural dedicated in the CUB

4 October 1995 6 October 1995

“Common Ground,” a three-piece acrylic-on-canvas painting celebrating diversity at WSU, was dedicated in the Compton Union Building. WSU colleges and administrative units donated funds for the mural by artist Katrin Wiese, Riverside, Calif.

Students view "Common Ground" Mural at the opening reception.
Students view “Common Ground” Mural at the opening reception.

Cougar women’s volleyball team ranked fifth nationally

10 October 1995

Butch T. Cougar spends the day at Disneyland for WSU vs. USC pre-game rally

14 October 1995

Butch T. Cougar and Mickey Mouse spent the day in Disneyland at a pre-game rally for the WSU vs. USC football game.

WSU pilots six Extended Learning Centers

2 January 1996

WSU Cooperative Extension officials and community partners announced plans to develop six pilot Extended Learning Centers in Port Townsend, Wenatchee, Colville, Longview/Kelso, Tacoma, and Yakima to expand educational opportunities.

President Samuel Smith receives the Boy Scouts of America’s Distinguished Eagle Scout Award

1 February 1996

Second building at WSU Spokane, Phase One Classroom Building, celebrated

21 February 1996

After opening its doors to its first students in January, the new classroom building, Academic I, celebrates its dedication on Feb. 21.

WSU dedicates Foley Institute

2 April 1996

WSU officially dedicated the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service. It is named for the former speaker of the house and State of Washington Congress member.

WSU alum named one of America’s 25 most influential people

10 June 1996

Time magazine named WSU alumnus William Julius Wilson (’66) one of America’s 25 most influential people. Dr. Wilson, who earned his doctorate in sociology from WSU, taught sociology at several universities, including Harvard. He is one of the nation’s most accomplished and looked-to analysts of race, inequality, and poverty, a MacArthur “genius” award recipient and, counting this year’s accolade at Yale University, holder of 45 honorary degrees.

He is only the second sociologist to receive the National Medal of Science, the highest scientific award in the United States.

(Cambridge, MA - October 1, 2008) - William Julius Wilson, the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University, delivers a talk titled "More Than Just Race: Social Structure and Culture in Inner City Poverty" in the Thompson Room at the Barker Center. William Julius Wilson (pictured) takes questions from the audience following his talk. Staff Photo Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard University News Office
(Cambridge, MA – October 1, 2008) – William Julius Wilson, the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor at Harvard University, delivers a talk titled “More Than Just Race: Social Structure and Culture in Inner City Poverty” in the Thompson Room at the Barker Center. William Julius Wilson (pictured) takes questions from the audience following his talk. Staff Photo Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard University News Office

WSU opens new $38 million Veterinary Teaching Hospital

3 September 1996

WSU opened its new $38 million Veterinary Teaching Hospital. In 2007, the Veterinary Medical Sciences program was ranked among the top three nationally for scholarly productivity, according to Scholarly Productivity Index.  On Sept. 9 the hospital made history when an 80-year-old woman became the first human patient to use the hospital’s magnetic resonance imaging unit. Under a cooperative agreement, the vet hospital provides imaging services for human patients.

New high-tech Phi Kappa Theta house dedicated at WSU

28 September 1996

The new $3.1 million Phi Kappa Theta fraternity house opened. High-tech in every respect, it reflected the “wired world” commitment of WSU alumnus and fraternity member Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder. He funded the building, and equipped each of the other Greek houses at WSU with fiber-optic connections.

WSU dedicates Lighty Student Services building

19 October 1996

WSU began construction of the $17 million Student Services building, named for benefactors Phil and June Lighty, in 1994.  The Lightys established one of WSU’s largest scholarship endowments for students with demonstrated leadership potential.

The Center for Reproductive Biology, an interdepartmental and inter-institutional program involving 16 departments and 7 colleges at WSU and University of Idaho, is established

1 December 1996

The mission of the Center (CRB) is to provide opportunities for investigators from across the Pacific Northwest to collaborate and learn from one another.  The Center boasts a large membership at the two core institutions (WSU and UI), but also includes a number of members at Montana State University, University of Washington, Central Washington University, and Spokane Community College.The CRB includes approximately 88 faculty and over 200 trainees and staff and is one of the largest reproductive biology centers in the world.

Dave Cooper retires as manager of the Students Book Corporation after 27 years

9 May 1997

Dave Cooper retired as manager of the Students Book Corporation after 27 years.

Consolidated Information Center opens at WSU Tri-Cities

27 June 1997

The Consolidated Information Center at WSU Tri-Cities opened. Funds for the $18.6 million literary and teaching center came from the state of Washington and the U.S. Department of Energy.


Gretchen Bataille named Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

1 July 1997

WSU names Gretchen Bataille Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, effective July 1. She had been provost of the College of Letters and Science at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Women’s swimming coach Debbie Pipher resigns after 20 years

1 November 1997

Debbie Pipher, senior member of the WSU coaching staff, resigned after 20 years as coach of the women’s swimming team.


The WSU Cougars return to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 67 years

1 January 1998

The WSU Cougars head to the 84th Rose Bowl for the first time in 67 years. Sadly, the Cougars lose to Michigan, 21-16, a sad end to an otherwise great season. The Cougars were predicted to finish seventh in the Pac-10, but won the conference title and posted a 10-1 record.  In February, football coach Mike Price signed an eight-year contract extension through December 31, 2005.


WSU veterinary staff and alumni honored as Legends of Veterinary Medicine in Washington D.C.

1 January 1998

The CL Davis Foundation for the Advancement of Veterinary and Comparative Pathology honor Dr. John Gorham, Dr. Thomas Jones, class of 1935 and Dr. Floris M. Garner, Class of 1950, former chairman of veterinary pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington D.C. by naming them Legends in Veterinary Pathology.

The Alumni Association celebrates 100 years

26 March 1998

On March 26, the WSU Alumni Association began a six-month centennial celebration. The association started in 1898, eight years after the state Legislature created the land-grant college.


Engineering, Teaching, and Research Laboratory (ETRL) opens

3 April 1998

The new $27 million, 100,000-square-foot Engineering, Teaching, and Research Laboratory opened. Adjacent to Dana Hall, the four-story structure was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

WSU takes a larger role in education in Spokane

3 April 1998

A new state law gave WSU a major educational leadership role in Spokane and management responsibilities for the Riverpoint campus.

Oldest living graduate of WSU College of Pharmacy dies at 102

19 April 1998

At age 102, Dorothy Otto Kennedy, the oldest living graduate of the WSU College of Pharmacy, died in Everett. She earned her degree in 1916 and went on to practice pharmacy in Reardan in eastern Washington and Everett in western Washington.

Governor Gary Locke discussed race and bigotry on campus

30 April 1998

Washington Gov. Gary Locke participates in a dialogue on race and bigotry in the Compton Union Building with students, faculty, and staff. In an address he said, “The gift of cultural pluralism is grounded in mutual respect and democracy.”

Governor Gary Locke third from left.
Governor Gary Locke third from left.


WSU students riot on College Hill

3 May 1998

Early on the morning of Sunday, May 3rd, approximately 200 students rioted, clashing with police on Greek Row in the College Hill neighborhood of Pullman. The riot, possibly provoked by a WSU ban on on-campus drinking, injured twenty-three police officers and about twelve party-goers.

Initially, two police officers were called at midnight to investigate a car-pedestrian accident at the intersection of Colorado and A streets. When police arrived at the scene, rioters pelted them with rocks, beer cans, and construction materials. They also overturned portable toilets and lit bonfires on the street. The officers retreated and called for backup, “giving the party a chance to cool down,” according to Pullman Police Chief Tim Weatherly.

Seeing no reduction in the rioting by 2 a.m., a combined force of ninety-three officers and troopers from Pullman and Moscow tried to disperse the crowd with tear gas, smoke, and water. This only diverted the crowd around the police, and rioters continued to attack law enforcement for two more hours. The riot was finally dispersed at 5:30 a.m. with property damage listed at $15,000. In the next year and a half, twenty-two felony charges were filed against the students involved. Many of them were plea-bargained down to misdemeanors, resulting in nineteen convictions.

Evergreen 1998-05-04 page 01

The first Future Teachers of Color graduate

9 May 1998

The first students recruited to WSU through the College of Education’s Future Teachers of Color program graduated during the 1998 Commencement.

WSU Board of Regents adds first student member

1 June 1998 31 May 1999

The first WSU student regent is Jannelle Milodragovich, who serves in 1998-1999. She is followed in order by Bernadett Buchanan, Matthew Moore, Darren Eastman (2001-2002) of Renton, and many more.

Enrollment at WSU reaches 17,912

24 August 1998

Enrollment on the WSU Pullman campus in the fall of 1998 reaches 17,912. System-wide WSU registration totaled 20,998. The 2,877 new freshmen comprised the largest incoming class since 2,970 enrolled in 1980.

Kiplinger’s ranks WSU 39th in “Top 100 Values in State Universities”

1 September 1998

The September issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine ranks WSU 39th among the nation’s “Top 100 Values in State Universities.”

The Animal Disease Biotechnology Facility Opens

1 January 1999

The Animal Disease Biotechnology Facility (ADBF) houses offices for the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences and research laboratories. The facility is unique among all USDA buildings and facilities projects because its focus is on the use of molecular biology to resolve diseases in agricultural animals with application where appropriate to human health. Program goals include ensuring a safe and abundant human food supply; improving the health and well-being of food animals produced in the US; and providing research training for the next generations of scientists.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for WSU's Animal Disease Biotechnology Facility. Left to right: Barry Wilcox, owner Wilcox Farms; Borje Gustafsson, dean WSU College of Veterinary Medicine; Melinda Wilkerson, graduate student; Mary Joe Hamilton, research tecnologist; Sam Smith, president WSU; Phyllis Campbell, vice president of the WSU Board of Regents; Rep. Tom Foley; and David Prieur, chair WSU Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology.
Groundbreaking ceremonies for WSU’s Animal Disease Biotechnology Facility.
Left to right: Barry Wilcox, owner Wilcox Farms; Borje Gustafsson, dean WSU College of Veterinary Medicine; Melinda Wilkerson, graduate student; Mary Joe Hamilton, research tecnologist; Sam Smith, president WSU; Phyllis Campbell, vice president of the WSU Board of Regents; Rep. Tom Foley; and David Prieur, chair WSU Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology.

Admissions office dedicated to long-time employee, Stan Berry

5 February 1999

WSU dedicates the admissions office suite in the Lighty Student Services to Stan Berry, who worked 33 years in WSU admissions. He was director for 22 years.

Stan Berry (retired) with students.
Stan Berry (retired) with students.

WSU hosts the Student American Veterinary Medical Association symposium

18 March 1999 20 March 1999

William Julius Wilson, Ph.D. receives National Medal of Science

27 April 1999

William Julius Wilson, Ph.D. (’66) received the 1998 National Medal of Science, the highest scientific honor in the United States.Wilson was a behavioral and social scientists and received the medal  “for his innovative approach to studying urban poverty, his dedication to the proposition that rigorous social science change will improve his fellow American’s lives, and his advocacy of policies which reflect more accurately what we have learned from research and which therefore take a broader point of view with respect to the interactions of race, class, and location.”

Wilson received the award at a White House ceremony April 27, 1999.

Yahoo Internet Life magazine rates WSU the No. 1 “wired” public university in America

15 May 1999

Jamie Kern is the 150,000th graduate

15 May 1999

James Petersen transforms engineering PhD education

4 August 1999

James Petersen receives a 5-year National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) grant, the largest NSF grant received at WSU at that time. The grant enabled the education of about 45 PhD students and transformed the PhD educational programs.

Jason Gesser becomes “winningest quarterback in WSU history”

4 September 1999 1 January 2003

Jason Gesser broke several Cougar football records during his time at WSU. He was the only player to be selected as team captain three times, and the only quarterback to have back-to-back double-digit win seasons. The “winningest quarterback in WSU history” played briefly in the NFL, CFL, and AFL, then coached for the Idaho Vandals and the Wyoming Cowboys, and in 2014 returned to WSU as an analyst for the football radio broadcast team.

The new millennium saw growth of the Internet and global communication. The September 11 attacks in 2001 spurred the War on Terror and the War in Afghanistan, the Great Recession hit in 2007, and smartphones became popular. WSU opened the on-campus Palouse Ridge Golf Club, which has been twice named one of the nation’s best college courses.

Professor Warwick M. Bayly named dean of Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine

5 January 2000

Dr. Bayly has been at WSU for more than 20 years and was named the first, four-year Robert B. McEachern Distinguished Professor in Equine Medicine in 1995. Named acting dean in 2000, one year later the position would become permanent.


Steve Wymer elected to his third ASWSU presidency

8 March 2000

Steve Wymer became the first person in WSU history to serve three terms as president of the Associated Students of WSU. He initially became president in 1998-1999, upon succession while serving as ASWSU vice president. He was elected ASWSU president for 1999-2000 and re-elected for 2000-2001.


WSU unveils its new graphic

17 November 2000

On November 17, WSU unveiled its new graphic identity at a WSU Board of Regents meeting in Spokane: the new crimson and gray on white logo employs the Cougar head within a crest, now an internationally recognized symbol for higher education. The famous Cougar head logo was designed in 1936 by then Washington State College student Randall Johnson.

Scientist Jack Gorski receives 30th Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award

28 March 2001

WSU graduate and scientist Jack Gorski, a National Academy of Sciences member, received the 30th Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award. Gorski was known for his discovery of the estrogen receptor.


Ralph Yount receives the President’s Eminent Faculty Award

28 March 2001

Ralph Yount, a distinguished chemist and Regents Professor Emeritus, receives first WSU Eminent Faculty Award, granted for distinguished lifetime service at WSU. His research was funded through National Institutes of Health without interruption for 40 years, one of the longest continually funded projects at NIH.


WSU boasts record fall enrollment

27 August 2001

WSU had a record fall enrollment with total student numbers increasing from 21,248 to 21,794. The freshmen class on the Pullman campus was the second largest in history and the most diverse ever. This university-wide total includes students at WSU campuses in Pullman, Spokane, the Tri-Cities, Vancouver, and in Distance Degree Programs.

WSU holds vigil for 9/11 victims

12 September 2001

WSU and Pullman community members held a vigil the evening of September 12 in Pullman’s Reaney Park in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. East Coast.

Washington State Magazine publishes its first issue

1 October 2001

Robert Bates becomes Provost and Academic Vice President

30 October 2001

Robert C. Bates, a WSU alumnus and longtime Virginia Tech administrator, began service as WSU Provost and Academic Vice President.


WSU hosts first fall commencement in the Beasley Coliseum

15 December 2001

Cougar Football wins Sun Bowl

31 December 2001

On the final day of 2001, the WSU Cougar football team beat Purdue 33-27 in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. The Cougs finished the season with a 10-3 record and ranked 10th in two polls.


Sociologist James E. Blackwell receives 31st Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award

6 April 2002

WSU graduate and sociologist James E. Blackwell received the 31st Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award. Blackwell is a leading scholar in the areas of minorities in higher education and social movement in black communities.  Blackwell received his Ph.D. in Sociology from WSU in 1959 and worked during the turbulent early 1960s as the president of the San Jose NAACP and as a teacher at San Jose State University.  In 1970 the University of Massachusetts hired Blackwell to build its fledgling Department of Sociology and Anthropology at its five-year-old Boston campus where he stayed for 20 years.  Blackwell remained passionately dedicated to teaching, not for the sake of knowledge alone, but to help students ” go on to graduate and professional schools and becoming important, contributing citizens.”


The Appel Legacy Continues

1 September 2002

Four generations of the Appel family, starting with Don in the 1930s, have migrated from farming on the Palouse to cultivating their knowledge at WSU.  While Don had to withdraw due to failing eyesight one semester short of his degree, he made sure that all nine of his children (Dick Appel ’59, David ’61, Tony ’63, Fred ’65, Donna ’67, Colleen ’68, Steven ’74, Laurette ’78, and Renata ’82) received their college degrees at WSU.  Most of their spouses are WSU degree-holders, plus a host of cousins.  They were followed by a third and fourth generation of graduates.  Dick and his wife Helen, also a WSU graduate, farm on 1,700 acres near Dusty, Washington and many of the Appel children have degrees in agricultural or engineering related fields.


Donna Appel
Donna Appel

U.S. News and World Report ranks WSU in the nation’s top 50 public research institutions

16 September 2002

Dr. Robert W. Higgins wins 32nd Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award

3 October 2002

WSU graduate Dr. Robert W. Higgins, former U.S. Navy Deputy Surgeon General and Navy Medical Corps chief, received the 32nd Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award. Also the recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal, the highest military peacetime award, he was former president of the American Academy of Family Physicians and of the World Organization of Family Doctors.


Women’s Volleyball earns ninth NCAA tourney berth

1 December 2002

Cougar women’s volleyball received an NCAA Championship tournament at-large berth for the ninth time, all in a twelve year stretch, hosting the first and second rounds of play.

WSU faculty members Petersen and Grimes named to leadership positions

1 January 2003

WSU named faculty member James Petersen as the University’s vice provost for research. Faculty member Howard Grimes was named the dean of the Graduate School.

Cougar football plays in two bowl games in 2003

1 January 2003 30 December 2003

The WSU football team had a successful year in 2003. It began with the 2002-03 football team (named PAC-10 Conference co-champions) playing in the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2003. The Cougs lost to Oklahoma 14-34. For the 2003 season, former assistant Bill Doba became the Cougars’ new head coach, succeeding Mike Price. The Doba-led team played in the 2003 Holiday Bowl football game on Dec. 30, 2003. The Cougars beat Texas 28-20. The 2003 season marked WSU football’s third straight 10-win season. The Cougs were the first Pac-10 team to achieve this feat in 70 years.

2003 athletic highlights include NCAA appearances and victories

1 January 2003 31 December 2003

The athletic highlights of 2003 included women’s golf making its first NCAA appearance, a WSU swimmer competing in the NCAA championship, rowing making its first team NCAA appearance, and Whitney Evans winning NCAA, NCAA regional, and PAC-10 high jump titles.

Dedication of the Dr. Richard Ott Small Animal Medicine and Research Center

1 January 2003
Richard Ott in 1952
Richard Ott in 1952

Branch campus deans become chancellors

14 March 2003

The WSU Regents gave chief executive officers/deans of WSU urban campuses in Spokane, Tri-Cities, and Vancouver “chancellor” titles and expanded their responsibilities.

WSU Foundation moves to downtown Pullman

17 April 2003

As part of WSU’s commitment to supporting Pullman, the WSU Foundation moved its offices from campus to downtown’s new Pullman Town Centre. The Foundation raised more than $48.5 million, the second highest fund-raising total in its history.

WSU retires baseball jersey no. 14 in honor of Bobo Brayton

24 May 2003

On May 24, WSU honored its “winningest” coach, Charles Frederick “Bobo” Brayton, by retiring baseball jersey no. 14. Brayton wore no. 14 while earning 12 varsity letters at WSU, becoming the school’s first baseball All-America in 1947 as shortstop, and during more than three decades as baseball coach.

At the WSU-UCLA baseball game, a white banner bearing a red no. 14 encircled by a baseball was unfurled on the rightfield fence. The 77-year-old coaching legend threw out the ceremonial “first pitch.” The Cougars went on to win 15-2, appropriately pounding out 14 hits.

CharlesBoboBrayton_ua333_b63_f26 CharlesBoboBraytonDay_ua333_b63_f26

Pomerenk named to succeed Guzman as WSU registrar

6 June 2003

Julia Pomerenk is named as the new WSU registrar, succeeding Dave Guzman after his retirement. Previously WSU assistant registrar, she returned to the University after serving as registrar of Pacific Lutheran University.

WSU enrolls best prepared freshman class in its history

25 August 2003

The best prepared freshman class WSU ever enrolled in the fall included 15 National Merit Scholars and 24 Distinguished Regents’ Scholars.

Keith Lincoln steps down as alumni director

7 September 2003

In early September 2003, Keith Lincoln stepped aside after 25 years as the WSU alumni director. Lincoln arrived at WSU in the fall of 1957, having attracted attention as a quarterback at Monrovia High School near Pasadena. At WSU he became a triple-threat halfback and earned the nickname “The Palouse Moose.” He was inducted into the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1979.

Lincoln became the WSU alumni director in 1978 when E.G. Pat Patterson retired from the position and looked to his assistant, Lincoln, as the ideal successor. In 1982, Lincoln stopped the university from demolishing WSU’s historic livestock barn, which was later renovated into the Lewis Alumni Centre.


Tim Pavish becomes WSU Alumni Relations Director and Alumni Association Executive Director

8 September 2003

WSU alumnus Tim Pavish became WSU alumni relations director/WSU Alumni Association executive director. He succeeded Keith Lincoln, who retired from the post after 26 years of service.


Historical entryway arch replica dedicated

4 October 2003

A three-quarter size replica of WSU’s historic entryway arch is installed near the original’s location.

Sherman J. Alexie awarded 33rd Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award

10 October 2003

WSU graduate Sherman J. Alexie Jr., award-winning poet, author, screenwriter, and film director, received the 33rd Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient.


WSU’s Anjan Bose and Jim Asay join the National Academy of Engineering

12 October 2003

WSU’s Anjan Bose, an international expert in the power grid control industry, and Jim Asay, an expert in shock-wave research and high-pressure science, join The National Academy of Engineering.  Bose is internationally known for his development of training simulators and computational tools for reliable power-system operation, and for contributions to education and research on power systems.

Raymond Muse, chair of the WSU Department of History, passes away

28 October 2003

Raymond Muse joined the WSU Department of History and Political Science in 1948 after completing his doctorate at Stanford. By 1956, Muse had become the chair of the newly formed Department of History. By the time he retired, the history department was ranked among the top 15 percent in the U.S. and offered courses in U.S., Latin American, European, and Asian history.


WSU first in U.S. to diagnose “Mad Cow” Disease

23 December 2003

A test developed at WSU was used to diagnose the nation’s first case of “mad cow” disease. Researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service at WSU and from WSU’s Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology were credited. The USDA chose WSU for one of seven laboratories nationwide to conduct tests for the disease.

College of Veterinary Medicine earns highest level of accreditation

1 January 2004

The WSU College of Veterinary Medicine was granted seven years of continued full accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education. It is the highest level of accreditation any veterinary college can attain.

Veterinary Leadership Experience

1 January 2004

The Veterinary Leadership Experience (VLE) is a global leadership education program for veterinary students, faculty and allied professionals.  Originally developed from the Cougar Orientation and Leadership Experience (COLE) curriculum, the VLE emphasizes personal leadership and teamwork. Participants have come from as far away as China, Sweden, and South Africa. To expand its reach, VLE moved from WSU in 2012 and is now led by VLE alumni.

President Rawlins creates Commission on Race and Ethnicity and Council for the Advancement of Women

20 February 2004 11 May 2004


Thomas J. Dickinson receives seventh WSU Eminent Faculty Award

18 March 2004

Thomas J. Dickinson, Regents Professor in the Department of Physics, was honored as the seventh recipient of the WSU Eminent Faculty Award.


Spokane Chancellor Rom Markin receives first President’s Award for Distinguished Lifetime Service

26 March 2004

WSU Spokane Chancellor Rom Markin received the first WSU President’s Award for Distinguished Lifetime Service. His WSU service included 15 years as the dean of the College of Business and Economics.


Frances McSweeney receives Eminent Faculty Award

26 March 2004

Frances K. McSweeney, professor of psychology and vice provost for faculty affairs, was honored as the fourth recipient of the 2004 Eminent Faculty Award.


WSU celebrates the excellence of faculty and staff

26 March 2004

The first “Celebrating Excellence: An Evening Honoring Our Faculty and Staff” banquet in Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum honored WSU award-winning faculty and staff.

News anchor Peter Jennings receives Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting Award

14 April 2004

Peter Jennings, ABC-TV news anchor, received an Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement in Broadcasting during the WSU Edward R. Murrow Symposium.

WSU purchases the Friel House and converts it into a home for music

15 April 2004

In 2004, WSU purchased the Friel House and renovated the home into housing for music students. The home belonged to WSU basketball coach Jack Friel and his wife, Catherine, for 54 years. After Catherine passed away in 2003, the Friel family agreed to sell the house to WSU. The school invested $400,000 into the property.

Murrow School Of Communication expands

1 May 2004

WSU’s renowned Edward R. Murrow School of Communication was strengthened by the opening of a 24,000-square-foot building, now known as Goertzen Hall, that includes communication research and teaching labs, TV news studio, faculty offices, and an auditorium.


WSU opens new Education Addition building

4 May 2004

WSU held opening events for the new Education Addition, adjacent to Cleveland Hall, home of the WSU College of Education.

Dr. Irwin “Ernie” Rose receives 35th Regents’ Distinguished Alumni Award

14 October 2004

Nobel Prize winner in chemistry Dr. Irwin “Ernie” Rose received the 35th Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award. A graduate of Spokane’s Lewis and Clark High School, he attended WSU in the mid-1940s and was influenced by Herb Eastlick, a prominent WSU zoology teacher.


John M. Abelson receives 35th Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award

22 October 2004

John N. Abelson, who earned a bachelor of science in physics in 1960, was honored as the recipient of the 35th Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award. Abelson was a distinguished molecular biologist and member of the National Academy of Sciences.


Anna Grant, the first woman to earn a doctorate in sociology from WSU, passes away

6 November 2004

Anna Harvin Grant, the first woman to earn a doctorate in sociology from WSU, passed away November 6, 2004 of heart failure. Grant was a nationally recognized expert in black family life and former chair of the Department of Sociology at Morehouse College.

Grant arrived at Pullman with a wave of top African American scholars who were recruited to WSU’s new doctoral program in sociology. She was one of the first sociologists in the country to address teen pregnancy in the 1950s and she also studied teen violence and interracial marriage.

Anna Harvin Grant (center) with Pete Butkus (Alumni Representative, left) and her husband, Thomas Grant.
Anna Harvin Grant (center) with Pete Butkus (Alumni Representative, left) and her husband, Thomas Grant.

Pullman community hospital moves off campus to its new location

16 December 2004

On December 16, 2004, Pullman’s hospital moved its last patient from the building it shared with WSU Student Health and Wellness Services to its new location on Bishop Boulevard. The hospital had been located on campus for 57 years.

The hospital started out as a two-story infirmary called Maple Cottage on campus after a smallpox outbreak in 1903 raised concerns about where to house sick students. In 1928, the new four-story Finch Memorial Hospital was built and remained the only community healthcare facility in Pullman until the 1940s. In 1947 the college and city leaders agreed to open a hospital in the student health building. Pullman Memorial Hospital opened on campus on September 21st, 1951.

Washington Building (Formerly Finch Memorial Hospital) in 1933.
Washington Building (Formerly Finch Memorial Hospital) in 1933.

Yolanda King speaks at WSU

12 January 2005

Motivational speaker and actress Yolanda King, daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., gave a presentation in Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum as part of the University’s MLK Celebration.

Cougs give to tsunami and Hurricane Katrina victims

14 January 2005 26 April 2006

Early in 2005, students, faculty, and staff participated in relief efforts for Asian countries struck by a tsunami. Later, efforts took place for victims of two hurricanes which hit the U.S. Gulf Coast. WSU admitted some students displaced by the hurricanes and more than 7,000 Backpacks for Hope, filled with school supplies, were collected for school students in the affected areas.

Students approve CUB renovations

1 March 2005

More than 52 percent of student voters approved renovating the Compton Union Building. Renovation closed the CUB for two years, starting in fall 2006.

Yogendra M. Gupta receives Eminent Faculty Award

1 April 2005

Yogendra M. Gupta, professor of physics and director of the Institute for Shock Physics, was honored as the fifth recipient of the WSU Eminent Faculty Award.


R. James Cook receives President’s Award for Distinguished Lifetime Service

1 April 2005

R. James Cook received the WSU President’s Award for Distinguished Lifetime Service. Prior to becoming interim dean of the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, he was a plant pathologist with the USDA-ARS at WSU and later held an endowed chair in wheat research at the university.

Clarence A. Ryan receives honorary doctoral degree

7 May 2005

Clarence A. Ryan Jr., emeritus professor, plant biochemistry researcher in WSU’s Institute of Biological Chemistry, and first WSU professor in the National Academy of Sciences, received WSU’s honorary doctoral degree at spring commencement.


WSU closes student firefighting services

17 May 2005

Desppite having used both live-in student (and professional) firefighters and EMTs on campus since 1906, WSU’s fire station is now permanently closed.  The city of Pullman assumes fire coverage responsibilities.

Washington State College student firemen sometime in the 1950s.
Washington State College student firemen sometime in the 1950s.

WSU student becomes youngest person in history to climb highest mountain on each continent

1 June 2005

During the summer, WSU student Danielle Fisher, age 20, became the youngest person in history to conquer the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. She was the youngest American to stand atop Mount Everest.

DaniFisher-Mt. Mckinley

WSU buys Adams Mall for $1.5 million

5 June 2005

In 2005, WSU purchased the two-story Adams Mall for $1.5 million and asked Corporate Pointe Developers to redesign the site and manage it for 30 years.

Adams Mall opened as a schoolhouse in 1909 and became the center of the College Hill community. In the 1980s, it was made into a shopping center and a hot night spot at the heart of the Greek system.

WSU engineering and architecture students display solar home at Solar Decathlon

7 October 2005

A solar home constructed on campus in Pullman by WSU engineering and architecture students was part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon competition in Washington, D.C. The home was later moved to a permanent exhibit at Shoreline Community College.

“Good Night, and Good Luck” film honors WSU alumni Edward R. Murrow

4 November 2005

“Good Night, and Good Luck,” a new motion picture, depicted WSU alumnus and broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow taking on U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s. Murrow’s legacy continues in the WSU Edward R. Murrow College of Communication and the Murrow Symposium.

Coug football and basketball “sweep” the UW Huskies

19 November 2005 31 December 2006

During the 2005-06 year, the WSU Cougars had a football and men’s basketball “sweep” of rival University of Washington Huskies. In fall 2005, WSU beat the UW in the annual Apple Cup football game. In the winter of 2006, the Cougars beat the Huskies in both basketball games. The last time the Cougars had such an academic year “sweep” of the Huskies was 1968-69.

WSU molecular biology research featured in “Discover” magazine

13 December 2005

Work by WSU molecular biologist Michael K. Skinner and his research team was chosen as one of the top 100 science stories of 2005 by Discover magazine. The researchers found that exposing fetal rats to environmental toxins can affect their sexual development in a way that also shows up in subsequent generations. The mechanism was an epigenetic one.

The College of Business and Economics is renamed

27 January 2006

The College of Business and Economics was renamed the College of Business by the WSU Regents to reflect the impact of business on society and the relocation of the new School of Economic Sciences to the WSU College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.

Carnegie Classifications ranks WSU as one of 94 research institutions with high activity

1 March 2006

The new Carnegie Classifications ranked WSU as one of 94 public and private research institutions nationwide with very high research activity. This recognition brought attention to WSU research and Ph.D. educational programs.

James F. Short Jr. receives the President’s Award for Lifetime Service

24 March 2006

Sociologist James F. Short Jr., nationally respected researcher and university leader, received the WSU President’s Award for Lifetime Service.


Women’s rowing takes fourth place at NCAA Championships

28 May 2006

The WSU women’s rowing team took fourth place at the 2006 NCAA Championships in May in New Jersey. In the Cougars’ best finish ever at the NCAA level, the varsity eight and varsity four each finished fourth. Earlier that year, the Cougars finished second overall at the Pac-10 Championships in California. Jane LaRiviere of WSU was named “Coach of the Year” for Pacific-10 Women’s Rowing and for the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association West Region.

Phyllis J. Campbell awarded 36th Regents’ Distinguished Alumni Award

15 September 2006

Phyllis J. Campbell, a member of the class of 1973 with a B.A. in business administration and the president and CEO of the Seattle Foundation, was honored as the 36th recipient of the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Academic Center opens at WSU Spokane

25 September 2006

A team of WSU physicists detect shock wave-induced changes

1 January 2007

A WSU team of physicists successfully completed the first experiments using the nation’s premiere synchrotron X-ray facility to detect shock wave-induced changes in a crystalline material.

Basketball coaching dynasty leads Cougs to NCAA Tournament.

15 March 2007 17 March 2007

For the first time since the 1993-94 season, the WSU men’s Cougar basketball team made the NCAA men’s national basketball tournament, coached by Tony Bennett. The Cougars won their opening-round game over Oral Roberts, but lost to Vanderbilt in the second-round. WSU finished second in the Pac-10 Conference with a 26-8 season win-loss record. Tony Bennett, who won numerous Coach of the Year honors, succeeded his father, Dick Bennett, who coached the Cougars for three seasons.

Travis McGuire receives WSU President’s Award for Distinguished Lifetime Service

23 March 2007

Travis McGuire, professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, received the WSU President’s Award for Distinguished Lifetime Service.


Patricia G. Butterfield becomes dean of the Intercollegiate College of Nursing

1 July 2007

Patricia G. Butterfield became dean of the WSU Intercollegiate College of Nursing. She had been a professor and chair of the Department of Psychosocial and Community Health Nursing at the University of Washington.

WSU receives $156 million in new research grant awards

1 July 2007 30 June 2008

WSU received nearly $156 million in new research grant awards during the 2007-08 fiscal year, up about 16 percent from the previous year.

George Mount becomes the Director of the Center for Environmental Research, Education, and Outreach

14 August 2007

George Mount, WSU civil and environmental engineering faculty member since 1997, became director of a new university system-wide interdisciplinary Center for Environmental Research, Education, and Outreach (CEREO).  In 2004 NASA launched a satellite into space that includes a pollutant-measuring device that professor George Mount helped develop.

WSU tests its Emergency Alert System on campus

15 August 2007

In 2007, WSU installed and tested outdoor warning sirens and public address units on the Pullman campus. The system was created to alert and provide information to students, faculty, and staff in the event of a campus-wide emergency.

Remembering Clarence A. (Bud) Ryan

7 October 2007

Clarence A. (Bud) Ryan, one of WSU’s preeminent scientists, died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in October. Ryan pioneered the study of the innate immune response of plants. Prior to his work, plants were assumed to contain protease inhibitors all the time, as a deterrent to being eaten. Ryan discovered instead that plants make the inhibitors in response to an attack. He further showed that an attack on one part of a plant sets off chemical signals that spur production of inhibitors throughout the entire plant. Besides his scientific renown, Ryan was well known around campus for his graciousness—-and his ability on the basketball court.

Clarence "Bud" Ryan on right.
Clarence “Bud” Ryan on right.

Architects David Miller and Robert Hull receive the 37th and 38th Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award

19 October 2007

David Miller and Robert Hull, members of the class of 1968 and founding partners of Seattle-based The Miller|Hull Partnership, LLP, were honored as the 37th and 38th recipients of the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award.  In 2003 the Miller Hull Partnership received the 2003 American Institute of Architects Architecture Firm Award, the AIA’s highest honor.

David Miller, left, and Robert Hull, right.
David Miller, left, and Robert Hull, right.

WSU celebrates 100th Apple Cup

24 November 2007

The first contest between cross-state rivals Washington State and the University of Washington took place on a muddy field in Seattle in November 1900. The Washington Agricultural College “Farmers,” as the Cougs were known then, made the 290-mile trek from Pullman to Seattle to play the UW “Sun Dodgers” in the pouring rain. The match ended in a five-to-five tie. In 2007, WSU beats UW in the 100th Apple Cup. They score in the last minute to beat the Huskies, 42-35.

Jay Starratt becomes the dean of WSU Libraries.

1 December 2007

Jay Starratt became dean of the WSU Libraries. He had been associate vice chancellor for information technology and dean of library and information services at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville.

Johnnetta Cole receives honorary doctoral degree

6 December 2007

Johnnetta Cole, former WSU faculty member and administrator and President Emerita of Spelman College in Atlanta and Bennett College in North Carolina, received an honorary doctoral degree from WSU at fall commencement on December 6.

Paul Wulff named WSU football coach

11 December 2007

In December, Paul Wulff, WSU graduate and former Cougar football player, is named WSU football coach following eight years as head coach at Eastern Washington University. He succeeds Bill Doba who was at WSU for 19 years, the last five as head coach. In late November, Doba’s coaching career concluded in Seattle in the 100th Apple Cup football game where WSU defeated the University of Washington Huskies, 42-35.

Scientific American names Patricia A. Hunt one of the top 50 researchers in the world for her research into plastics

16 December 2007

Scientific American named WSU reproductive biologist Patricia A. Hunt to their “SciAm 50” list, identifying her as one of the top 50 researchers in the world. Her research showed a potential threat to human health posed by bisphenol A (BPA), a component of the polycarbonate plastics used to make food and beverage containers.

WSU receives the largest grant in the history of the university

1 January 2008

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grants WSU $25 million to help construct the $35 million building that will become the centerpiece in the WSU School for Global Animal Health. This is the largest grant in the history of WSU.

WSU-branded airplane hits the skies

16 January 2008

Alaska/Horizon Airlines painted one of their aircraft in Cougar-branded livery.  Similar planes would follow in the coming years for other regional schools, but WSU’s was the first.

The NFL establishes a scholarship at WSU in Michael Utley’s name.

27 March 2008

Michael Utley, former student and 1989 All-American offensive guard, injures his spinal cord and is paralyzed during a Detroit Lions football game. Utley establishes the Mike Utley Foundation to help those with spinal cord injuries and Utley became known for the “thumbs up” he flashed fans after being carried off the field when he was injured in 1991.  In 2008 the NFL established a scholarship at WSU in Utley’s name for students studying sports medicine.

1993 Flyer for Mike Utley Foundation and appearance at WSU Homecoming
1993 Flyer for Mike Utley Foundation and appearance at WSU Homecoming

Anjan Bose receives Eighth Eminent Faculty Award

28 March 2008

Anjan Bose, Regents Professor in electrical engineering and computer science, was honored as the eighth recipient of the WSU Eminent Faculty Award.