In late June nearly 200 people gathered to recognize Washington State University’s presidents emeriti Glenn Terrell (1967–1985), Sam Smith (1985–2000), and V. Lane Rawlins (2000–2007). The event kicked off a fundraising effort for need-based scholarships for students who might have to drop out of school because of tuition hikes and the poor economy.
Welcoming the crowd to the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, WSU President Elson S. Floyd said he seized the opportunity to get all the presidents together, “so that we could say hello, share stories, and have some photos taken together.”
“These were dedicated men,” said Rawlins of his fellow presidents. “During their tenure and mine, we struggled to build a great University.” He emphasized how valuable an affordable education is to the well-being of a generation and the state. “I encourage you to help where you can by giving and by speaking out,” he said.
President Smith weighed in saying the price of attending college has moved out of the range of what he called “the garden-variety kid. We have to do something about it,” he said.
It’s fitting to combine an event honoring these presidents with an effort to raise scholarship money, said Mikal Thomsen ’79, who was representing the WSU Foundation board of governors. All of them have contributed to the University in different ways, he said, “But their common theme has always been the students.”