Water to the Promised Land

I thoroughly enjoyed the article on the Columbia Basin Irrigation project in the recent issue of WSM. It brought back so many memories. I farmed for a year (1953) with a partner, Vern Divers, a bit south of Quincy. Subsequently, while a research associate in the Agricultural Economics department, I did research on the economics of different systems of irrigation in the Basin.

Interesting to read of the research by Whittlesey and Butcher. I was a member of the Agricultural Economics faculty with them and always respected them, professionally and personally. I retired in 1986.

Ralph A. Loomis


An even playing field

Thank you for writing the article. When I graduated in 1975 in Computer Science there were no ASL (American Sign Language) classes offered and I can’t recall meeting any deaf students. We are pleased to see that WSU is providing interpreter services, offering a few ASL classes, and accepting high school students with ASL for the foreign language requirement. I contribute to the lifeprint.com website and with Dr. Bill Vicars, professor in deaf studies, CSU Sacramento, created a website for learning ASL online at asl.tc. In the past worked for Purple Language Services who provide video relay service for the deaf.

John Feagans ’75

Something Old, Something New: A history of hospitality

I was intrigued by the notes about the founding of the WSC hospitality program, as my father, Ward Walker Sr., was instrumental in this process. After several jobs in restaurants and fountains, he had lamented the lack of technical knowledge of the average manager or owner. A job at a “modern” fountain in Pullman led to his enrollment at WSC “…where my request for Home Economics courses to prepare myself for Hotel and Restaurant Management led to the creation of a separate course in Hotel Management in which I was the only person enrolled in 1930.” (This is from a autobiography that he wrote in 1939.)

He goes on to say “Under the direction of the late Miss Ethel Clarke, the course was improved constantly. In 1931, five boys were enrolled, but the freshman class of 1930–40 totals 33. … Miss Trump succeeded Miss Clarke as head of the Hotel Management Department, while Miss Velma Phillips is Dean of the School of Home Economics. Both … are working earnestly and diligently to improve the course and to secure as much outside interest as possible, especially the interest of hotel men.” Ward became a charter member of the W.S.C. Greeters Club, which was organized to help promote interest in the Hotel Management Department so that special courses desired by the student would be justified. This also led to the opening of positions for graduates of the course. “Men graduating are given a Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Home Economics, although a large percentage of their work is taken in the School of Business Administration. In June 1934, I graduated, being the first from the Hotel Management course of W.S.C. and in fact, so far as known the first in Hotel Management this side of the Mississippi, as at that time, Cornell, Michigan State, and W.S.C. had the only Hotel Management Courses recognized by the American Hotel Associations.”

Later, after becoming Manager of the Washington Hotel in Pullman, Ward provided practical work experience at the hotel to many boys in the program, and even taught a class. Ward went on to manage, among others, the Desert Caravan Inn, with its popular dining room on Sunset Hill in Spokane.

Ward Walker Jr. ’70

Ottawa, Canada


What’s new?

Northside Residence Hall, WSU
Across the street from Mooberry track, the new Northside Residence Hall welcomed its first 300 student occupants in August. (From WSU Northside Residence Hall Facebook photos, courtesy Kato Clinton)



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Twitter Study sees “universal exposure” to #BPA in womb http://ow.ly/oodE8 #WSU via @YahooHealth

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