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

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.

Jason Gesser becomes “winningest quarterback in WSU history”

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.

Catherine Matthews Friel: lifetime proponent and friend

Catherine Matthews Friel is born in Colfax, Washington, in 1901 to Pullman attorney and one-time mayor John W. Matthews and his wife, Serena. Growing up in Pullman, she is dedicates much of her next 101 years to the institution, forming close connections to six presidents, starting with Enoch A. Bryan, and their families.

Friel enrolls at Washington State in 1919 and joins Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. She holds several house offices and is inducted into the Mortar Board and Phi Kappa Phi scholastic honoraries. She also serves as president of the Army ROTC Women’s Auxiliary or “Sponsors.” During her freshman year, she meets Jack Friel, future famed Cougar men’s basketball coach, who at the time aspires to be a teacher.

The Friels’ three eldest children are WSU graduates: Charlotte (’51 Speech), a former CBS administrator; Wallis (’53 Polit. Sci.), retired Whitman County Superior Court judge; and internationally known artist John (’62 Fine Arts). Catherine Friel receives numerous awards and honors during her lifetime, including the WSU Foundation’s 1999 Outstanding Service Award, and she is credited for saving Stevens Hall from demolition due to her personal activism. Stevens was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

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

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.




The Appel Legacy Continues

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


Gary P. Brinson receives 41st Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award

Gary P. Brinson (69′, MBA), a nationally recognized leader in investment management renowned for his intellectual contributions to the financial investing world, is the 41st Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award honoree.


Bill Moos hired as Director of Athletics

During the spring, Bill Moos joins Cougar Athletics as director. A 1973 WSU graduate in history, former Cougar football player, and WSU Athletics administrator, Moos returned to WSU after serving as director at the universities of Oregon and Montana.


Robert Bates steps down from his position as Provost and Executive Vice President

Provost and Executive Vice President Robert Bates stepped down on July 1 after six years as WSU’s academic leader. A WSU master’s graduate in bacteriology, after leaving his position he joined WSU Vancouver as Director of Research and Graduate Education.

Paul Wulff named WSU football coach

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.

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

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.

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

“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.

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

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.


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

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.


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

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 student show choir, The Crimson Company, debuts

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

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

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.

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

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.