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Fall 2011

Rhonda Kromm ’86, ’05

Rhonda Kromm wouldn’t let car problems keep her from going to college. Since her old vehicle wouldn’t make the drive from Moses Lake, she hitchhiked to Spokane and hiked up the hill to Spokane Community College to enroll. Then she hiked back down the hill to find another ride home.

She wouldn’t let money hold her back, either. With an AA degree completed, Kromm took a year off from school to save up. Then she moved to Colfax, spent mornings taking classes at WSU’s Pullman campus and afternoons coaching at Jennings Elementary. She finished her degree in education in 1986 and that summer moved with … » More …

Fall 2011

Letters in the Fall 2011 issue

Moral capital

I, too, enjoyed Jennifer Sherman’s interesting and authoritative piece on Golden Valley in the spring edition. I winced a bit, however, at the “in large part due to the 1992 spotted owl ruling” but, because her story seemed directed toward effects of economic collapse, not causes, I did not write. Then came the summer issue with Gordon Pilcher’s leap from “in large part” to apparently placing all blame for employment loss on owl protection.

The issue was not that simple. As a reporter for The Oregonian in Washington, D.C., from 1989 to 1993 I had a close-up view at what we dubbed “the … » More …

Fall 2011

Wendell Berry comes to Washington

Poet and author Wendell Berry visited Skagit Valley in May at the invitation of Washington State University students and faculty. He spent the day touring the WSU research and extension center and exploring a farm. He also visited with area farmers including Tom and Cheryl Thornton, left, and Anne Schwartz ’78, right.

Summer 2011

Don’t be a stranger—use Coug connections to break into a new community

In 2006, when David Cox ’05 moved 1,200 miles from Pullman to Phoenix, he didn’t have many ties to the community. Hungry for new friends, he emailed the Washington State University Alumni Association and learned that Lisa Steele-Haberly ’99 in Tucson could help him track down local alumni. It turned out that she was head of the area’s chapter of the alumni association. Cox immediately offered to help organize outings. “We just started coordinating,” he says. “She would plan alumni events in Tucson, and I would organize things in Phoenix.” He helped pull together networking events, game viewing parties, and Northwest wine tastings at local … » More …

Summer 2011

Letters in the Summer 2011 issue

Moral capital

Kudos to Jennifer Sherman for her good article summarizing her research and book about real-life experiences in Golden Valley. It describes the price of economic disaster in a rural atmosphere in a revealing and provocative way.

Moreover, we were struck by the completely unnecessary cause of this disaster in the first place. It seems that the collapse of the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest was “due in large part” to placing the protection of the spotted owl over the welfare and economic well being of the entire human population of not only Golden Valley, but also other communities in the logging territory.

» More …

Spring 2011

True to his school long after graduating

Robert Williams ’79, a banking executive, is the current president of the WSU Alumni Association. He started volunteering with the University in the 1980s by joining the advisory board for the College of Business and later found his way to the Alumni Association. He is also on the Board of Trustees for the WSU Foundation. Recently, Williams met with WSM’s Hannelore Sudermann to talk about his time as a student and what he enjoys about volunteering with the Alumni Association.

Why did you choose WSU? In high school, I was a four year track and field letterman. At that time, WSU had one … » More …

Spring 2011

Letters in the Spring 2011 issue

Civility 

Professor Cornell Clayton’s article in the winter issue, “Understanding the Civility Crisis” is thought-provoking. However, he betrays the liberal bias common to the majority of today’s college professors. All of the examples he mentions depicting “incivility” in political discourse are attributed to conservative commentators or politicians, as if the right had a monopoly on it.

Hardly. He fails to mention, for example, the current king of media incivility, MSNBC’s character assassin Keith Olbermann, who regularly violently trashes anything conservative and has in the past called President Bush a liar and told him to shut up. The current climate of political discourse was created … » More …

Winter 2010

Honoring alumni and volunteers

This year, the WSU Alumni Association had tremendous support from its volunteers, especially those serving as president, members of the board of directors, chapter leaders, and Alliance representatives. In keeping with a tradition established in 1999, the WSUAA at its spring 2010 board meeting recognized eight outstanding alumni with Alumni Ambassador Awards.

As WSUAA president this past year, Gina Meyers ’85 led the effort to approve new association bylaws. But her work as president is just one piece of the time and attention she’s offered WSU over the years. The Bellevue resident has also found time in her busy schedule as a director of … » More …

Winter 2010

Letters for Winter 2010

Walla Walla Sweets

I really enjoyed your article on Walla Walla Sweet Onions in the Fall 2010 Washington State Magazine. It brought back a lot of memories of working at the Walla Walla Produce Company, a wholesale fruit and produce company that my Dad ran, as I was growing up in the 1940s and 50s. I spent a lot of summers loading 50-pound bags of Walla Walla Sweet Onions delivered by the growers to our warehouse into rail cars that were being sent to the midwest and east coast. But your article stated that the onions were “not called Walla Walla Sweets until 1960.” As … » More …

Fall 2010

Spiritual landscapes

Contemporary Aboriginal Paintings

From the Collection of Margaret Levi and Robert Kaplan

WSU Museum of Art, October 1–December 11, 2010

Although the details and relationships vary amongst Australian Aboriginal groups, in the beginning the landscape of the world was formed by mythical ancestral beings. Every action of these ancestors had landscape consequences. According to the fine study Aboriginal Art by Howard Morphy, art establishes a connection with those foundational events, enabling people to maintain contact with a timeless spiritual dimension. Beginning in the 19th century, anthropologists trying to understand that relationship referred to “the Dreaming,” an exploration of the nature of the world. Not surprisingly, … » More …