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WSM staff

Mushrooms, after the rains
Spring 2017

After the rains

WSU meteorologist Nic Loyd is stuck on one word for last October’s Washington weather: Wet.

Make that two words: Abnormally wet. Sea-Tac measured over 10 inches of rainfall. Even dry Yakima saw almost 2-1/2 inches. But the undisputed epicenter of soggy conditions was Spokane which registered not only their rainiest October ever, but the highest precipitation for any month ever recorded: a whopping 6-1/4 inches. That’s remarkable when compared to an average October rainfall of just 1-1/4 inches. Especially given that their typical annual total is just over 16 inches.

Loyd says this was due to an unusually deep and persistent trough of low pressure … » More …

Meleah and Dan Nordquist
Spring 2017

Adopt a Coug

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.


This … » More …

Talk Back
Winter 2016

Talk back for Winter 2016


Spirit of ’25

The reference in William Stimson’s article (Fall 2016) on the 1925 rally for the Cougar football team to students as forerunners of “The Greatest Generation” struck a chord. As a history department T.A., I researched the 1938 student strike for Dr. George Frykman. Issues may seem trivial to postmodern eyes (Dean Fertig’s proscription of blankets on picnics is one example), but students’ experience in campus mobilization was not. What started as pique over parietal rules became an experience in leadership. Indeed, some student organizers became war heroes within the decade. I remember that Lt. Col. Jerry Sage responded to my … » More …

Book - Briefly Noted
Winter 2016

Briefly Noted


Light in the Trees

Gail Folkins ’85

Texas Tech University Press: 2016 

Folkins draws on her experiences growing up in rural western Washington to weave a coming of age tale for both the narrator and the place. The memoir, touching on everything from serial killers and Northwest volcanoes to Sasquatch myths and runaway livestock, glides through past and present while exploring cultural and environmental topics illustrating the changing American West.


The Expanding Universe: A Primer on Relativistic Cosmology

William D. Heacox ’72 MA

Cambridge University Press: 2015

Cosmology, the science of the universe, has seen a renaissance in recent decades. This textbook by … » More …

WSU license plate
Winter 2016

Road rave

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 …

Class Notes
Winter 2016

Class Notes

To read more class notes or post your own, visit the online class notes site, MyStory


Ken Schmauder (’54 Ag., ’70 EdD), retired superintendent of the Evergreen School District, was designated as the early learning champion by Educational Opportunities for Children and Families (EOCF) of Washington, for his work with southwest Washington public schools.

Ornithologist, artist, and emeritus professor at the University of Nebraska Paul Johnsgard (’55 MS Wildlife Bio.) received the WSU Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of writing and teaching that has expanded public understanding of natural history, conservation, and pressing environmental issues.


The American Veterinary Medical Association granted … » More …

In Memoriam
Winter 2016

In memoriam


Lois Eleanor Henkins (’35 Office Admin.), 103, July 28, 2016, Spokane.

Thomas A. Golding (’39 Zool.), 97, March 29, 2016, Sequim.


Harry L. Hokanson (’40 Ag.), 98, April 7, 2016, Chehalis.

Edith Thurley Scheel (’40 Pharm.), 98, August 15, 2016, Vancouver.

Dorothy E. Street (’40 Socio.), 99, May 1, 2016, Portland, Oregon.

Rae G. McCain (’41 Home Econ., ’54 Ed.), 96, June 7, 2016, Spokane.

Paul Bergquist (’42 Elec. Eng.), 96, August 22, 2016, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

Jack P. Meiners (’42 Agro., ’46 PhD Plant Path.), 96, April 24, 2016, Silver Spring, Maryland.

Mary McColl Neilson (’42 Socio., Kappa Delta), 95, … » More …