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WSU history

Spring 2008

Vanished places: Tanglewood and Silver Lake

Imagine having a campus lake to skate on in the winter or, in fairer seasons, to picnic by. Washington State College had one: a small man-made pond in the area now occupied by Mooberry Track and the Hollingbery Field House. Officially called Silver Lake, it was informally known as Lake de Puddle.

Silver Lake became part of the College in 1899 as part of six acres purchased for $275. The school used the low-lying area to carve out a 1.6-acre water feature. Our earliest photographs of Silver Lake, such as those in President Bryan’s Historical Sketch of the State College of Washington, show the pond … » More …

Summer 2008

A sense of who we are

Although I think freely of Washington as home, 
I must confess to a technicality. I actually live in Idaho, on a farm we moved onto the same year I started working at Washington State University, 19 years ago.

When I drive to work by the various back roads between Pullman and our home, I never quite know when I’ve crossed from Idaho into Washington. There are no signs, no point where my brain says okay, I’m in a different state. Examined from Twin Falls to Aberdeen, however, Idaho and Washington obviously have very different identities. Idaho has no Ho Rain Forest, no Pacific shoreline, no … » More …

Spring 2003

The Ministry of Leadership: Heart and Theory

I was honored when asked to review The Ministry of Leadership: Heart and Theory, by former Washington State University president Glenn Terrell (1967-1985). I couldn’t agree more with President V. Lane Rawlins’s assessment: “Anyone who loves Washington State University will find this book irresistible”; or the appraisal offered by former Washington governor and U.S. senator Dan Evans: “Glenn Terrell has produced a powerful personal memoir. He presided over Washington State University during one of the most troubling and activist periods in our nation’s history. His leadership style successfully guided the University during its difficult times.”

In The Ministry of Leadership, Terrell divides his tenure into … » More …

Fall 2008

What lies beneath – Pullman and its water

Financial hardship, fires, and spring floods: In 1890 the community of Pullman was in desperate need of some good news. A hungry blaze had leveled the city’s newly rebuilt commercial district only three years after it first burned to the ground in 1887.

Then on May 24, 1890 word got out that a “gusher” had been struck. Fifty gallons of water per minute rushed up to the surface where contractors had been drilling a well for the Palace Hotel. They had accidentally discovered an artesian source, a well under pressure that once tapped was forcing water up. It was the turning point for an early … » More …

Spring 2006

When Pullman was a ski town

“Everybody still skis tremendously,” says Richter. “They’re all in really good shape.”

In 1952 the Washington State College ski team placed first in the Northern Division, the Pacific Coast Conference, and the North American International Intercollegiate Tournament in Banff, Alberta. In 1953 the Cougars won every University and College meet they entered, including Banff and the National Intercollegiate Championship at snow Basin, Utah. The following year the National Intercollegiate Championship became the NCAA Division I championship, which took place in Reno, Nevada. The Cougars were favored to win that as well. But the coach of the University of Denver team  … » More …

Summer 2002

Frances Penrose Owen dies March 9 at 102

Former Washington State University regent Frances Penrose Owen died March 9, 2002 in Seattle. She was 102.

Governor Albert Rosellini appointed WSU’s first woman regent to the board in 1957. She served for 18 years and was twice elected president. In 1979, WSU’s new science and engineering library was named in her honor.

Eleven years later, when Mrs. Owen was presented with the Medal of Merit, the state’s highest award, WSU president emeritus Glenn Terrell said, “Frances is a rare combination of strength, gentleness, intelligence, and forcefulness.”

Mrs. Owen’s life was filled with service. She was elected to the Seattle School Board in 1945 and … » More …

Summer 2002

Early leader of WSU’s Native American students

Ki Tecumseh learned to work within the system—or stretch it

“Indian people don’t consider themselves to be a minority people.” – Ki Tecumseh

Growing up on the Yakama Indian Reservation, Kiutus “Ki” Tecumseh, Jr. learned to put his finger up to the wind to test the direction it was blowing. In his ideas and actions, he also likes to test conventional thought. A longtime public relations specialist with the Department of Energy in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he is soft-spoken and measured in his speech. But people tend to listen to what he has to say, more than how he says it.

For example, in the … » More …