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Campus life

Winter 2003

A magnet for entertainment: Beasley celebrates 30th anniversary

As Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum marks its 30th anniversary this year, there’s been much to appreciate about the multi-purpose building. It has a great sound system and sightlines. The entertainment is big time and varied—Broadway shows (Jesus Christ Superstar, 1988) to Cougar basketball games and crafts and job fairs. One wonders how the University managed before the $8 million facility opened for commencement in 1973.

Capacity is 12,000, or 4,700 in a mini-arena configuration, and 2,500 in the theatre at the coliseum’s west end. Basketball made its debut in Beasley in 1973, and George Raveling’s 1982-83 Cougars (23-7) went undefeated in the coliseum.

Comedians, including … » More …

Winter 2003

All for one, one for all

In the president’s conference room I have placed a Smithsonian Institution poster showing a group of about a dozen meerkats. For many years I have been fascinated by these small mammals, about the size of prairie dogs, that survive in the harsh conditions of the Kalahari Desert. I first learned of them in an article in the Smithsonian magazine in the early 1980s. Since that time there have been a number of studies, magazine articles, and at least three television specials on these small members of the mongoose family. They have been the subjects of extensive study, not just because they are small, cute, and … » More …

Winter 2006

Book burden

It’s not news to anyone that textbooks are among a student’s biggest expenses. But some of us have figured ways around paying the high prices.

This fall, I coaxed my freshman sister, Kaytee, into sharing her book for the human development class we are taking together. The two of us were able to outsmart the system by buying just one heavy hardback for a steep $90. It didn’t take much to convince her: I promised she could keep it in her dorm room and explained that we were helping our parents, who usually pay for our books.

I’ve come a long way from my freshman … » More …

Fall 2006

A home for music

You don’t always need an address to find the Friel House. Just follow the music.

A short walk from campus, a group of music-minded students have found a home on C Street. The house looks small from the curb, but its three stories shelter seven students, and still have room for a formal dining room, a large kitchen with a breakfast nook, a living room, and a library.

The house is named for the Friel family, and for 54 years was home to Washington State University basketball coach Jack Friel and his wife, Catherine.

Catherine Friel died in 2003. Last year, her family agreed to … » More …

Summer 2006

The CUB: Back to the future

Work has begun on a two-year, $86-million project to remodel the Compton Union Building. The plan is to modernize the 1951 building, carving out 53,000 square feet for stores and restaurants, installing a new state-of-the-art auditorium, and introducing more light and style.

The price tag, 60 percent of which will be covered by a student assessment of $120 a semester, is the highest in Washington State University history. That’s because at six stories and 235,000 square feet, the CUB is one of WSU’s largest buildings, says Travis Duncan ’05, the CUB project coordinator. The renovation involves gutting the entire building and the costly endeavor of … » More …

Summer 2007

Jane Goodall visits Pullman

Nearly 6,000 people came to Beasley Coliseum the evening of March 8 to hear Jane Goodall speak about chimpanzees, conservation, and her own growth from shy child to scientific celebrity. In the early 1960s, she became the first person to observe chimps using sticks to dig up termites to eat. That finding demolished the notion that tool use is a distinctively human activity and led to other studies showing that chimps have high mental abilities and a rich emotional life that includes joy, anger, grief, and embarrassment. What remains uniquely human is our complex speech and the ability to share ideas, said Goodall; no one … » More …

Winter 2001

WSU reports record enrollment

Over the past year fall semester enrollment at Washington State University’s four campuses grew by 2.5 percent—from 21,248 to 21,794. The freshman class at the Pullman campus is the second largest in history and the most diverse ever, with students of color totaling 409, or 15 percent of the class. The class total increased to 2,619 from a fall 2000 total of 2,473. Transfer students were up from 1,318 to 1,329.

“We are pleased with these solid numbers,” said Charlene Jaeger, vice president for student affairs. “The University plans to attract the most able students. We are interested in quality, not quantity.”

The average … » More …

Winter 2001

Two million volumes and counting

IN APRIL 2001 the WSU Libraries celebrated the acquisition of their two millionth volume. At a reception in the Owen Science and Engineering Library, botany and biology faculty, library faculty, and longtime friends gathered to thank Edith, Julia, and the late Adolph Hecht for this volume and many others.

Out of their love of plants and gardens, their appreciation of the importance of sharing information and knowledge, and their allegiance to WSU, Edith and Julia Hecht established the Hecht Family Fund for the Support of the Botanical Sciences prior to Adoph Hecht’s death in December 2000. Professor Hecht was with the WSU Department of Botany … » More …