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Fall 2016

Spirit of ’25

When the United States formally became a nation in 1787, everyone involved, from George Washington down, knew there was a piece missing. The nation might be bound together by a Constitution, but it actually remained a conglomeration of states, religions, ethnicities, regions and cultures. The lack of national unity was a serious threat, as the Civil War would demonstrate.

But how do you create national feeling?  As twentieth-century philosopher Allen Bloom put it: “How do you get from individuals to a people, that is, from persons who care only for their particular good to a community of citizens who subordinate their good to the common … » More …

An even playing field - WSU hill
Fall 2013

An even playing field

Anyone who has negotiated the Pullman campus in winter will hardly be surprised that students dependent on wheelchairs tend not to select Washington State University. Only about five wheelchair-using students currently brave WSU’s hills. Among them is Svetlana Lockwood, a graduate student in computer science.

Lockwood, who has cerebral palsy, married a Pullman resident and moved here from Latvia. Her description of life in the former Soviet country illuminates a stark contrast.

Teachers there discouraged Lockwood’s parents from bothering to pursue further education for their daughter. She was largely confined to a third-floor apartment with no elevator. Even when she emerged, streets and sidewalks were … » More …

veterans’ monument at WSU Tri-Cities
Summer 2013

Soldiering on

The newest landmark on the WSU Tri-Cities campus is a sculpture of an open book with pages floating up from it to the sky. The bronze, titled Stories, is a statement for the military veterans who come to study at Tri-Cities.

What better way to show that there’s a place for them? And what better way to show the community that we’re here? asks Erick Flieger, the campus Vet Corps representative and one of around 130 military veterans attending WSU Tri-Cities last semester.

In the two years since campus leaders pledged to become a veteran-supportive campus, the school has increased its resources to accommodate veteran … » More …

BIXI green bikes at WSU
Summer 2012

What moves you at WSU

One fuzzy old photograph of construction in downtown Pullman shows images of early days in the city: men laying a foundation by hand, a horse-drawn carriage on the street, a bicycle leaning on a post in the foreground. The photo has no date, but that bike, like a relic dropped by a time traveler, looks remarkably modern.

You won’t see a horse-drawn anything on Pullman’s streets now, except in parades, but you still see bikes among the buses, pedestrians, and a lot of cars.

Bridgette Brady, director of Washington State University’s Transportation and Parking Services, envisions bike use on campus increasing over the next decade … » More …

Fall 2011

Cross-cultural pen pals

One morning this spring a group of WSU students from Jeff Petersen’s Communication Studies 321 class fills half of a small lecture hall at Spokane’s Riverpoint campus. They have traveled here from Pullman to meet their pen pals, 5th through 8th graders from the Nespelem Elementary School on the Colville Reservation in north-central Washington. Though they have been communicating with the grade-schoolers by letters throughout the semester, they are meeting for the first time to visit, “play” with science, and talk about going to college.

The Center for Civic Engagement at WSU started the pen pal project last fall. As a part of its mission, … » More …

Winter 2010

A sinking economy sparks scholarships

Two years ago, Lou Pepper watched the bank he once managed become the largest bank failure in U.S. history.

Pepper, a former Washington State University regent, had retired from Washington Mutual in the early 1990s when the bank was sound. But then a pattern of rapid growth and risky lending led to the collapse.

The former CEO felt helpless as each day brought more negative news. “People had been building this bank for 115 years, damn good people,” says Pepper, leaning forward in his chair in the small first-floor office of his home on Skagit Bay. And many of them were losing their savings, their … » More …