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History of University

WSU University mace
Fall 2017

Fabric of the university

The ornate Washington State University mace, a convocation and commencement fixture, is perhaps the most widely recognizable of artist Tim Doebler’s creations.

But his artwork is interwoven throughout the University. Commemorative and recognition placards in building lobbies. A stone monument on Terrell Mall. Finely crafted tokens of appreciation awarded to University leaders and supporters.

“I see this as part of the fabric of the University,” says Doebler ’84 MFA, who is retiring in November after 38 years as an engineering technician with WSU’s fine arts department.

A Vietnam veteran and survivor of the bloody Easter offensive, Doebler returned to the States in 1972 and … » More …

Vintage slide rack projector (Photoillustration from photos by yanukit/123RF and WSU MASC)
Summer 2017

Washington State University history and traditions—A slideshow

Bob Smawley ’52, “Mr. WSU” to many generations of Cougs, presented thousands of his famous slideshows that educated and entertained everyone from student groups to retiring University presidents and regents.

Above is a 47-minute history of WSU told through pictures from 1890 up to the 2000s. The presentation covers major happenings from Rose Bowl appearances and the Martin Stadium fire, to WSU traditions like “Hello Walk” and ringing the Victory Bell. It replicates one of the slideshow presentations that Smawley gave on many occasions at WSU.

Smawley’s audio was recorded at WSU’s MASC (Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections) in 2005.

Courtesy WSU » More …

Winter 2016

The currency of challenge coins

Rooted in World War I lore, and popularized with dramatic references in books and TV shows, military challenge coins have become a powerful symbol of camaraderie and support.

Beginning this spring, they also will help recognize the sacrifice and determination of student veterans at Washington State University. The newly minted WSU challenge coins will be handed out to all graduating veterans, and to faculty and staff with military service.

“This was one of our first projects,” says WSU Veterans Coordinator Blaine Golden, noting the expanded student Veterans Center opened in 2014. “We wanted something that would show veterans we value their contributions…and are proud … » More …

Fall 2016

The long view

“I do not believe that any man can adequately appreciate the world of to-day unless he has some knowledge of … the history of the world of the past.” —Theodore Roosevelt, 1911

A hundred years ago, Theodore Roosevelt’s vision of conservation came to fruition with the establishment of the National Park Service. Although President Woodrow Wilson established the NPS, Roosevelt had doubled the number of national parks and passed the Antiquities Act in 1906 when he was in the Oval Office. Roosevelt believed that we must have a deeper and longer-term view of our country’s natural and historical heritage.

In the spirit of Roosevelt’s aims, … » More …

Fall 2016

The 11th President

Kirk and Noel Schulz packed up their 25-foot, silver Airstream trailer in early June, and hit the road from Manhattan, Kansas. Kirk H. Schulz had just concluded seven successful years as president of Kansas State University. The journey to Washington State University—where he will take the reins as president, and Noel will join the engineering faculty—provided a time to reflect on careers of serving higher education, especially at land-grant universities like WSU.

They hung a Cougar flag on the Airstream when they camped at Rocky Mountain National Park and elsewhere along the way, getting ready to join the WSU community. However, this wasn’t the first … » More …

Fall 2016

Spirit of ’25

When the United States formally became a nation in 1787, everyone involved, from George Washington down, knew there was a piece missing. The nation might be bound together by a Constitution, but it actually remained a conglomeration of states, religions, ethnicities, regions and cultures. The lack of national unity was a serious threat, as the Civil War would demonstrate.

But how do you create national feeling?  As twentieth-century philosopher Allen Bloom put it: “How do you get from individuals to a people, that is, from persons who care only for their particular good to a community of citizens who subordinate their good to the common … » More …