Washington State University created the Alumni Achievement Award in 1969 to honor alumni who have rendered significant service and contributions to their profession, community, and/or WSU. In recent months, five individuals have been recognized.
William H. Moos
As University of Oregon athletic director since 1995, William H. “Bill” Moos has initiated more than $140 million in improvements to the UO athletic complex. The 1974 history graduate was honored February 14 on Friel Court.
The captain of WSU’s 1972 football team earned first-team All-Pac-8 and All-Coast honors as an offensive lineman, and played in the East-West Shrine game. Beginning in 1982, he directed WSU Athletic Development for five and a half years and was associate AD for nearly two years. WSU Athletics generated its first $1 million year in annual giving in 1984 and improved each succeeding year. Later, Moos spent five and a half years as University of Montana AD, overseeing more than $4 million in athletic facilities improvements and increasing private and corporate gifts to UM athletics by 300 percent.
Retired Air Force major, Vietnam War veteran, and Bronze Star recipient William R. Valley touched the lives of many students during two decades as a teacher and coach in Shelton.
Former Shelton Middle School principal Linda S. Farrimond remembers when one of Valley’s students was having a difficult time. The boy’s mother was in the hospital. “Bill offered to let the boy live with him and his family until the boy’s mom was back on her feet again.” Now the former student is a thriving businessman. “When I last spoke to him,” Farrimond said, “he asked about Mr. Valley. He said, ‘Mr. Valley showed that he cared about me, believed in me. I’m a success today because of him.’ “
Valley (’53 Fine Arts) was honored January 17 in Shelton. He coached American Legion baseball teams, designed award-winning parade floats, and through various offices in the Mason County Forest Festival Association helped breathe new life into the annual spring event.
Richard S. Thompson
Richard S. Thompson ’55, veteran of 30 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, was honored February 24 in Washington, D.C. A graduate in political science, he was one of only 32 Rhodes Scholars selected in the U.S. in 1955, and he completed a master’s degree at Oxford University.
He began a distinguished career with the U.S. State Department in 1960 as a foreign service officer. Assignments took him to Aruba, Venezuela, Niger, Saigon, France, Algeria, and Washington, D.C. He was part of the U.S. delegation to the Vietnam peace talks in Paris, 1972-74. At State Department headquarters his areas of responsibilities included Ireland, Sweden, Greece, and the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs. He retired in 1988, then became coordinator of professional issues for the American Foreign Service Association until 2000. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
James E. Robbers
After working as a community pharmacist in Everett, James E. Robbers (’57 Pharm.) pursued a career in teaching and research. He returned to WSU for a master’s degree (’61 Pharm.), and completed a doctorate (’64 Pharmacognosy) at University of Washington.
He spent two years on the University of Houston faculty and 38 years at Purdue, retiring in 1998. His research, focused on the isolation, biosynthesis, genetics, and physiology of fungal metabolites, generated more than $1 million in grants and numerous articles in scientific journals. He co-authored four editions of Pharmacognosy, a standard text, and is senior author of Pharmacognosy and Pharmacobiotechnology. From 1984 to 1993, he was editor of the Journal of Natural Products. He received the alumni award January 24 in Mukilteo.
Thomas B. Rauchfuss
Thomas B. Rauchfuss (’76 Ph.D. Chem.), professor of chemistry and director of the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana (UICU), was honored March 1 on his return to WSU to deliver the Carl M. Stevens Lecture in chemistry. Rauchfuss joined the UICU faculty in 1978 and has held his director’s position since 1999. The former research fellow at the Australian National University has trained 48 Ph.D.s and published more than 220 papers. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, England (2000), and a recipient of the American Chemical Society Award in Inorganic Chemistry (2002).