Patrick Siler

I was thrilled to see the feature on Patrick Siler in your fall 2012 issue. I am a proud fine arts graduate from WSU and as a former professor of mine, Patrick Siler had (and continues to have), a huge influence on me.

I never considered myself a natural artist. I was drawn toward computer arts, that is until I took Patrick Siler’s drawing class. My advisor warned me that he was hard, but I am so glad that I took it. During the class he not only gave me invaluable feedback, but he, in his quirky way, encouraged me toward a more imaginative way to look at drawing and art. His own work has inspired me and helped me find a niche in my own chosen career path. I am now a graphic designer and much of the illustration I do in my daily work harkens back to the style I picked up in Patrick Siler’s class. I now realize that fine art comes in many forms.

I am so excited to see that he has done a large installation in Pullman and I look forward to visiting the mural when I am in town next. Thank you again for the great feature!

Go Cougs!

Sally Waldburger Balt ’06, Edmonds


I watched the Heart concert (after reading the article) with interest. Was at WSU working on a speech master’s then; didn’t see that show (but have picked out friends in the audience).

Has anyone looked in the station archive to see if [Kathi] Goertzen’s senior TV project is still there? I was featured/interviewed in that piece (by [her friend] Charlie DelValle). It was a piece about disco; I ran the disco in Moscow (PW Hoseapples); Chuck worked there for me; he and Kathi were there a lot. I got some dancers to come over and do the piece too. Would be a BLAST to see it. We miss her. Thanks.

Ed Lamoureux ’80 MA

Master Plan

I am sure that the new master plan is well done. Do not mess with Ferdinands.

Dick Allen ’56

Chris Dunagan

A great story about a fine environmental reporter. He is a hero to many of us readers of The Kitsap Sun.

Rosie Atkinson

Cougs at the Huntsman Games in Utah
Seven WSU graduates teamed up to play full-court basketball at the Huntsman Games in St. George, Utah, this past October. Three of the players formerly played for the Cougars in the Pac-8 conference. Ray Stein and Ted Wierman played in the late ’60s and Dan Steward played in the early ’70s. From left to right: Terry Nealey ’69 Bus. Admin., Darryl Olson ’63 BS Animal Sci., Ray Stein ’68 BS Math, Ted Wierman ’69 BA Bus. Admin., Tedd Nealey ’69 BS Ag., Joe Pettit ’68 BA Edu., and Dan Steward ’72 BA Edu. (Courtesy Tedd Nealey)

A Stroke of Perfection

A vignette by Andrew Wilcox

The absence of the moon intensified the stars shining over their stretch of the Snake River. Were it not for the resistance he felt on the handle and the sound of the water as his blade caught, he would have guessed they were flying. They may not have been moving at all. He was somewhere in between motion and a complete lack thereof. Barely able to see the men seated a couple feet in front of him, he pulled the handle with a controlled and powerful stroke. Countless hours of practice had taught him to balance his effort; not to give everything he had so quickly, but rather to give just the right amount of himself to each stroke so he could die at the appropriate time and not a moment sooner.

Eight men feathering their blades in unison made a beautifully mechanical sound. Beyond this the movement of their slides, the beating of his heart, and the eight oars entering the water as one were the only things to reach his ears. The coxswain made few calls as they glided across the still black water, which provided a skewed mirror of the night sky above. The stars moved left and right as the wake disturbed the heavenly image caught on the surface. In the distance the boathouse light destroyed the illusion of solitude and reminded them of that to which they would inevitably return. The light was their lifeline and their guide that would see them safely to the world.

“In two,” she said, “weigh enough. One, two.” She may as well have whispered it.

One last perfect stroke and they gunwaled their oars. Silence greeted them, save for the faint sound of water rushing past the fiberglass shell. With no reference point to gauge distance, there was no telling how far their glide took them; it may have been miles. Nobody spoke, happy in their silent recognition of each person in the boat.

“Thank you,” he would have said. “Thank you for being here and for making it and allowing me the opportunity to be here as well.” But he did not utter a sound. He was too busy trying to perceive everything around him and nothing at the same time. He strove to exist between the conscious and unconscious and all that the row took out of him, was replaced by the universe above and below him. The oars hung in the space between, inches above the river, balanced by the practiced hands of the men commanding them. Water beaded off them and into the water, creating dozens of small expanding circles, which were constantly interrupting each other.

Hours went by.


The coxswain gave the command and they feathered their oars; letting them fall to skim across the night sky.

Andrew Wilcox’s sister Laura Ambrey (née Wilcox) ’06 sent us this reminiscence. Wilcox ’09, a member of WSU’s crew team, is currently serving as a Marine 1st Lieutenant in Afghanistan.

Rowing on the Snake
Hours went by. Years. (Julia Gamache)


A Gentle Goodbye“Grief is the price of loving,” said Leo Bustad, former dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. As human relationships with their pets have become more enduring and complex, so has grieving over the loss of a pet. Watch a video about that relationship and WSU’s Pet Loss Hotline.

Follow @WSUDiscovery on Twitter

socnet_twitterGive someone a spaceship, they can go to the moon. Give them a 3D printer, they can build a house on the moon.

socnet_twitterRetail dollars and scents: Simple smells motivate sales.

socnet_twitter#WSU’s Schillinger: “It might potentially become too dry for some Washington state farmers to grow anything.”

What’s New?

WSU West
WSU West recently moved its downtown Seattle offices to 901 5th Avenue. It is headquarters for a number of WSU Foundation employees, the Cougar Athletic Fund, Government Relations, and the Small Business Development Center—the space sees many uses. (Courtesy Kennedy-Wilson Inc.)