Driving around the state of Washington, Cougar license plates are impossible to miss. In fact, they are the number one specialty license plate on the road, dwarfing all others. What many do not know is that these crimson plates mean a lot more than just Cougar Pride; with $28 of each plate supporting WSU student scholarships, this program raised over $600,000 last year.
Since the WSU Alumni Association assumed responsibility for managing the license plate program and launching its cool crimson plate design, the program has exploded. Today, the Cougar plate is proudly displayed on nearly 23,000 vehicles (and counting!). The growth of this program … » More …
Each fall, the WSU Alumni Association’s wildly popular Feast of the Arts dinner series brings together some of the very best aspects of WSU for a can’t-miss evening. These special dinners feature wines from a different Coug winery expertly paired with exquisite food courses by Executive Chef Jamie Callison of the Carson College of Business School of Hospitality Business Management and his talented students.
“I work with my students to craft a menu inspired by WSU-focused fare—like fresh vegetables from the WSU Organic Farm and Wagyu beef from the Premium Beef Program,” Chef Jamie explains. The Feast also incorporates the WSU » More …
Bob Smawley, “Mr. WSU,” embodied what it meant to be a Cougar for generations of Washington State University students, staff, and alumni, through his selfless service to the University, his caring nature, and his deep knowledge of WSU history, all delivered with a dry sense of humor and true compassion.
For over six decades, Smawley worked under six WSU presidents in several departments, volunteered and led in the Alumni Association, taught many the history of WSU through engaging slideshows, and mentored thousands of students.
“He was the heart of WSU,” says Malia Martine Karlinsky ’92. “Bob had a magical way of making you feel … » More …
For over 60 years, Bob Smawley was “Mr. WSU” as he served as a volunteer and staff member at Washington State University, mentored thousands of students, and shared his life with his community of Pullman as well as his family.
Growing up in the foothills of Mount Rainier, Anna King ’00 figured she’d end up either a veterinarian or a writer. Her family ran a small cattle farm in Roy, and she loved animals.
King participated in 4-H projects, raising animals but also giving presentations that taught her to communicate with an audience. When a TV reporter from the Seattle area paid a visit to her high school class, she remembers thinking, “This person is so smart, so edgy, so inspiring.”
Meleah Nordquist ’16 loves WSU, and so does her dad, Dan Nordquist. He grew up on the Palouse, has worked at WSU for 26 years, and enjoys listening to his father tell stories about his days as student body president and a Cougar football player in the early ’50s.
With those ties, you’d think that all of the Nordquists are Cougs. Truth is, Dan is not. He went to the University of Idaho. Despite his silver-and-gold education, Dan bleeds crimson and gray. Meleah knew that her dad was a Coug deep inside. She just needed to find a way to officially acknowledge it.
We have a bunch of ways to express our pride: waving the flag, joining the Alumni Association, yelling “Go Cougs!” But considering how much time we spend in our vehicles, what better way to tell the world you’re an alum than a crimson Washington State University license plate?
You certainly won’t be alone. WSU plates outnumber every other specialty plate in the state, and can be spotted all over the Northwest. Almost 21,000 plates grace the roads and highways—more than all state collegiate plates combined, and more than twice as many as the University of Washington.
It’s not just about pride. Each license plate sends … » More …
It’s easy to find the Cougar wine along the row of stainless steel tanks at Bergevin Lane Winery in Walla Walla. The WSU logo gives it away. But what’s inside really distinguishes Cougar III wine.
“The idea that what’s in the bottle comes first is the predominant feeling around here,” says winemaker Dave Harvey ’88. “But what’s most unique about this vintage of the Coug wines is that everybody is Coug: vineyard owners, winery owner, winemaker.”
Winery owner and manager Annette Bergevin ’86 laughs at the synchronicity as she, Harvey, and winery dog Paco walk past the tanks.
Hundreds of eager WSU seniors prepare to leave Pullman each spring after graduation. Some might be headed to new jobs or internships. Others will go to graduate school, the military, or the Peace Corps. Whatever the destination, almost all those Cougs have a common need: sturdy boxes.
As they pack their crimson sweatshirts, posters, and books, the graduating students will carry away another reminder of their college days: free WSU-themed packing boxes.
And they can thank Dave Wilson ’86 for his volunteer efforts in arranging delivery of about 1,500 of those boxes for the last eight years.