If there’s one thing we know about Cougs, it’s that they share a powerful bond. The shared experiences and sense of camaraderie get expressed between Washington State University alumni in that ever-present cheer, “Go Cougs.” But it goes deeper.

Witness the story of Mark Schuster (’95 Busi.), WSU Alumni Association president and avid collector of Cougar memorabilia. He stumbled upon a 1976 plaque for legendary WSU men’s basketball coach George Raveling for sale online, and that discovery led to an entire storage unit containing everything from Raveling’s high school diploma to a warm-up jacket. Schuster quickly tracked down Coach Raveling and flew to Los Angeles to return his stuff.

“Cougs help Cougs” is another commonly heard refrain with real meaning. WSU alumni help each other by volunteering with WSUAA, launching other alumni into careers, and providing support when they burn out.

They also connect to the natural world. WSU scientists and alumni study the importance of salmon to the Pacific Northwest’s ecosystem. Emma Johnson (’19 Anthro.), an enrolled member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, links her community to the landscape through traditional foods and the goal of food sovereignty.

Faculty and students contribute to the development of the WSU bond, too. They work together in classes and labs on revolutionary technology like 3D printing of medical implants and simulated shark skin.

Just as 3D printing builds layer on layer, Cougs provide each other with what they need to build a stronger, better world. Scott Keoni Shigeoka (’11 Comm.) truly represents that WSU spirit of connection. He traveled the United States to listen and search for what divides and unites us as Americans.

Shigeoka found that curiosity fosters healing and strengthens relationships: “Confronting what we fear with curiosity can actually make us more courageous.”


If you want to re-establish old connections with classmates, be sure to check out the WSU Alumni Association’s largest reunion in history in June. They’re bringing together classes that missed out during the pandemic with a full schedule of events in Pullman. Learn more and register by May 18 at alumni.wsu.edu/reunions.