Editor’s note: We asked for your Stevens Hall stories and heard some great ones. Here are two of them, and you can find more stories and a link to Tori Stuckey’s Stevens Hall history site.
When I left my childhood home in Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii, in September 1961, to my new one at Stevens Hall, I had absolutely no idea what awaited. I was a 17-year-old who had never been to the mainland, what we islanders call the continental states. In those days, students from Hawaii didn’t go on campus visits, the Internet wasn’t born, and my only orientation to WSU was through the hard copy catalog.
Just after a month at WSU, I received a special delivery letter from my mom, telling me that my grandmother, who had lived in our same household, had suddenly passed away. Phone calls from Hawaii in those days were expensive and my family—with five younger siblings—couldn’t afford the call.
Due to the cost of airfare, I wasn’t able to fly home for the funeral. Knowing I was sad and homesick, my mom sent a letter with money to Mrs. Wade, my dorm mother, telling her about my grandmother’s passing and asking if she would host a birthday party for me. My birthday is November 11.
November 12, as my friends and I were heading out to a movie in downtown Pullman, my roommate feigned a headache to stall our movie outing while waiting for the cue to tell me Mrs. Wade wanted to see me. When I was told that Mrs. Wade wanted to see me “right away,” I nervously thought, “What had I done?” As I walked into her apartment, a group of girls yelled, “Surprise!” I stood stunned with my mouth wide open.
A sad time turned happy, thanks to my mom, Mrs. Wade, and my new friends at Stevens Hall.
Shirley (Kodani) Cavanaugh (’65 Speech)
Stevens Hall is what really bolstered my love for history and historical architecture. When I lived there, I became obsessed with researching Stevens’s history. I looked through all of the old photos and documents in the government closet downstairs, the scrapbooks in the lobby, and the MASC, as well, to get any information I could get my hands on. The fact that thousands of women walked through those halls and that Stevens was the social hub of campus in its early years is what really is amazing. I could write for hours about Stevens—and I did, actually. I made a website about its history.
Tori Stuckey (’18 Forestry)