Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Larry Clark ’94

Fall 2011

A Leonard legacy

Elmer O. Leonard started as a student at Washington State College in 1915. When the call came in 1918, he headed to Europe and the Great War as a soldier. Like a number of other young men, he was killed in combat and never returned to Pullman and the college.

His nephew and namesake Elmer F. Leonard was born a year later. He followed in his uncle’s footsteps to Pullman, enrolling at WSC in 1939, joining the Army and serving in World War II from 1942 to 1946, and eventually graduating from WSC in 1949.

Ever since the first two Elmer Leonards, WSU has been … » More …

Fall 2011

Running with the Pac-12—A conversation with Bill Moos

This summer, Washington State University and the other nine schools in the Pac-10 conference expanded to the Pac-12, welcoming the University of Colorado and the University of Utah. WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos has been part of the changing conference for decades: as a football player at WSU in the Pac-8, as an associate athletic director and athletic director in the Pac-10, and now back at WSU for the Pac-12. The conference also gained the most lucrative television deal in the history of college sports, worth up to $20 million a year for WSU, which splits conference games between ESPN and Fox.

Larry Clark of … » More …

Fall 2011

When wildfire comes to town

Flames ripped through the pines and brush in the Dishman Hills west of Spokane Valley in July 2008, just as they’ve done for thousands of years. A dry wind pushed the fire up a hill, hotter and faster, and straight into a new development of expensive homes, destroying 13 of them and burning 1,200 acres.

The wildfire’s destruction was not surprising or unexpected. But the number of homes and residents who survived the blaze serves as a testament to smart planning, an awareness of inevitable fires, and research into the interaction of fire-prone wildlands and the growing number of people who live near them.

Although … » More …

Summer 2011

Revolutions are televised by Arab journalists

The world watched people rise up this year against dictators and authoritarian regimes across the Middle East and northern Africa, their protests aired by satellite television and the Internet. In Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Bahrain, and other countries, journalists televised, twittered, and spread the “electronic virus,” as Lawrence Pintak calls the media revolution, around the Arab world.

Pintak, founding dean of the Murrow College of Communication and a former Middle East correspondent for CBS, says satellite TV plays the critical role in the protests. Eighty percent of the Arab world gets its news from television, and international news in Arabic, produced by Arabs, displays the … » More …

Summer 2011

Hard Water

massyferguson

Massy Ferguson
Spark & Shine Records, 2010

Insistently local, yet tapping into a national legacy of country and blues rock, Massy Ferguson’s second album Hard Water travels the back roads of Washington and treacherous paths of relationships with guitar, drum, and organ-driven songs.

Dave Goedde ’92, Adam Monda ’94, and Jason “J” Kardong ’94 team up with Ethan Anderson and Tony Mann to play the Seattle-based band’s country-tinged rock reminiscent of The Jayhawks, Bruce Springsteen, … » More …

Spring 2011

Canjo

You’ve enjoyed the cheese, but what do you do with a Cougar Gold can?

John Elwood ’01 builds fine stringed instruments—dulcimers, mandolins, banjos, harpsichords— so using the iconic tin Cougar Gold can to craft a banjo seemed a logical choice. The Palouse-area resident created a canjo, a fretless, tunable instrument for all ages.

“These are three-string, robust instruments, have the scale dimensions of a violin, and are inexplicably pleasant to the ear,” says Elwood. “I blame it on the excellence of the cheese.”

His affection for WSU’s signature cheddar developed early as he helped his father, Lewis Elwood ’65, clean Troy Hall, the former … » More …

Spring 2011

Digging the new EcoWell

Students and faculty develop a mighty thirst after working out at WSU’s Student Recreation Center, and now they have a new, healthy, and environmentally friendly option to quench it.

The EcoWell vending machine’s slick iPhone-like touchscreen lets users choose their water (purified, carbonated, or hot), add any percentage and mix of juices, and include energy supplements if desired. But thirsty patrons better have their own bottles. An EcoWell machine only dispenses drinks, not disposable containers.

EcoWell grew from the minds and efforts of Reid Schilperoort ’10, Brian Boler ’09, and Andy Whitaker ’09, now at MIT graduate school, when they were students in the … » More …

Spring 2011

Gary Brinson ’68—Investing in the world

As businesses became more international and markets around the world grew increasingly interconnected over the last three decades, a forward-thinking investor could succeed with a global portfolio. Gary Brinson was one of the earliest of those investors.

He recognized in the 1970s that the markets outside the United States were not, as conventional wisdom dictated, excessively risky. In the right balance, he reasoned, they could actually lead to greater diversification and solid returns.

Brinson ’68 received the University’s highest honor last fall, the Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award, because of his achievements in institutional investing and his pioneering approach to global markets.

That investment acumen—worth … » More …

Spring 2011

Real investments return real experience

Stock symbols and percentages march across a long ticker screen, but it’s not a Wall Street brokerage firm. It’s the fourth floor of Todd Hall at WSU, and the eyes monitoring the stock market belong to undergraduates managing the Cougar Investment Fund.

The students invest $1 million of the university’s endowment—the Cougar Investment Fund—in a large capitalization equity portfolio. Under the supervision of Rick Sias, WSU finance professor and Gary P. Brinson Chair of Investment Management, the class has outperformed the S&P 500 since 2001.

Sias approached the WSU Foundation and suggested the program in 2000. “We wouldn’t charge any fee—unlike most managers. We … » More …

Spring 2011

A Marvelous Hundred Square Miles: Black Hills Tourism, 1880–1941

marv100-cover

Suzanne Barta Julin ’01 PhD
South Dakota State Historical Society Press, 2010

The faces of four presidents gaze down on the Black Hills of South Dakota, a fitting vigil for a tourist destination carved, like Mount Rushmore itself, by public policy, political machinations, and private investments.

Historian Suzanne Barta Julin has documented the rise of the Black Hills tourism industry, which grew from the efforts of state and federal politicians at the shift to automobile-driven … » More …