Named for WSU graduate Edward R. Murrow, the University’s Murrow School of Communication became the Murrow College of Communication on July 1. It had been part of the College of Liberal Arts.
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.
“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.
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.
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.”
WSU alumnus and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen became the 29th recipient of the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award during commencement.
Floyd Smith and Mariel Fulmer Doty, WSU’s oldest known alumni, both die at age 103.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
The tenth Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award goes to ABC television sportscaster, Keith Jackson.
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.
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.
In 1973, the Edward R. Murrow Communications center was dedicated to WSU alumnus, Edward R. Murrow. In 1990 the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication was dedicated.
In 1994, Murrow was memorialized on a U.S. postage stamp. He was the first broadcast journalist honored this way. The national first day of issue ceremony was January 21 in the Murrow Communications Center on WSU’s Pullman campus.
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.
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 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.
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.
The Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award honored the first three recipients: Phillip H. Abelson, Henry T. Heald, and Edward R. Murrow.
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.
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.”