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Washington State Magazine

In Memoriam
Spring 2017

In memoriam

1940s

Robert William Pirie (’40 Forest & Range Mgmt.), 99, October 17, 2016, Tacoma.

Dorothy M. Pirie (’41 Home Econ.), 96, April 27, 2016, Tacoma.

Blanche Adams King (’42, ’46 MA Home Econ.), 98, September 12, 2016, Pullman.

Charles E. Gardner (’43 Chem. Eng.), 93, October 17, 2016, Sonoma, California.

Frances Evelyn Hurd (’43 Home Econ.), 90, July 24, 2012, Spokane.

Warren Kelble Smith (’43 Busi.), 94, May 15, 2016, Shoreline.

Jean Gleason Witt (’43, ’48 MS Botany), 95, August 27, 2016, Des Moines.

James L. Frederickson (’44 DVM), 95, August 1, 2016, Bakersfield, California.

Verna Lou Hisey (’44 Phys. Ed.), 95, November 14, 2016, … » More …

Dan Maher
Spring 2017

Dan Maher ’78

Everywhere you go on the Palouse, there’s Dan Maher ’78. He’s playing at the Co-op in Moscow, the farmers’ markets in Pullman and Moscow, on Terrell Mall on the WSU campus—if there’s acoustic live music, Dan Maher, his guitar, and his guide dog can’t be far.

But, says Maher, the music scene is nothing like what it once was. “When I was a student here in the early ’70s there was a guitar every 30 feet. Everybody played guitar! We used to go to the basement of the K-House and jam every night.”

 

Even if you’ve never seen Maher play live, you may have … » More …

From the top
Spring 2017

From the top

It’s sunrise somewhere on the Appalachian Trail. Ruth Boden is sitting on top of a mountain, playing her cello as she gazes out at a sea of trees. A hiker approaches. “So that’s what I’ve been hearing for the past six miles!” he calls out to her, grinning from ear to ear.

Boden is the cello professor at Washington State University and the founder of Music Outside Four Walls. She is challenging the received wisdom that classical music is played in tuxedos in concert halls with whisper-quiet audiences who’ve paid big bucks for a seat. So she backpacks, with cello, … » More …

The most prolific scorJeanne (Eggart) Helfer. Photo Bruce Andre
Spring 2017

How you play the game

It took a while for the guys to start passing her the ball during pickup games at the gym.

Jeanne (Eggart) Helfer ’82 stuck with it, spending much of her free time back in 1977 simply running the length of the basketball court waiting for a chance to show she knew her way around the paint. It was her first semester at Washington State, a few months before she would start setting school records, and Helfer patiently waited for the guys to discover what her older brother and his friends already had learned back in Walla Walla.

That girl can shoot. And pass. And rebound.

» More …

Spring 2017

Paths that grew crystal clear

Crystals reflect the best of nature’s handiwork. With their atoms aligned in repeating 3D patterns, crystals can be as momentary as a snowflake or as common as the sodium chloride in table salt. They can sparkle on a finger, scatter rainbows across the room, or be grown on your kitchen table with a few ingredients from the hobby shop.

Some also possess unusual properties, such as quartz crystal’s ability to generate a tiny electrical current when pressure is applied. Known as the piezoelectric effect, this useful phenomenon helped inspire the rise of a global, multibillion dollar crystal growth industry.

Today, manmade crystals power an astonishing … » More …

John McCallum
Spring 2017

Writing pools, movie stars

The New York Yankees were establishing their dominance over America’s favorite pastime. The Golden Era of Hollywood was in full swing. And a nation recovering from the sacrifices of World War II had begun to heal and find itself.

It was a world of big cars and even bigger personalities. A world that sportswriter John D. McCallum, a U.S. Army veteran and former pro baseball player, found he could navigate with surprising ease.

McCallum resumed his English and journalism studies at Washington State after returning from the war, and briefly played for the Portland Beavers in 1947. But it was after he hung up his … » More …

Spring 2017

Ends of eras

Yes, Mesa Verde is the richest archaeological preserve in America. A sanctuary of cliff dwellings. Petroglyphs. Thousands of sites holding clues to an ancient civilization. But is it too much to ask for better cell phone reception?

For two days, my wife and I meandered around the park and its environs, climbing with other tourists among the 40 rooms of Balcony House, visiting dozens of kivas—rooms for religious rituals—and walking among striped pieces of broken pottery, or “sherds,” that litter the place. But it wasn’t until we retreated to the park’s Spartan lodgings, also called kivas, that we could tap the wi-fi and fill our … » More …

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 …

Alumni News
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 …