Bob Smawley, “Mr. WSU,” embodied what it meant to be a Cougar for generations of Washington State University students, staff, and alumni, through his selfless service to the University, his caring nature, and his deep knowledge of WSU history, all delivered with a dry sense of humor and true compassion.
For over six decades, Smawley worked under six WSU presidents in several departments, volunteered and led in the Alumni Association, taught many the history of WSU through engaging slideshows, and mentored thousands of students.
“He was the heart of WSU,” says Malia Martine Karlinsky ’92. “Bob had a magical way of making you feel … » More …
For over 60 years, Bob Smawley was “Mr. WSU” as he served as a volunteer and staff member at Washington State University, mentored thousands of students, and shared his life with his community of Pullman as well as his family.
Growing up in the foothills of Mount Rainier, Anna King ’00 figured she’d end up either a veterinarian or a writer. Her family ran a small cattle farm in Roy, and she loved animals.
King participated in 4-H projects, raising animals but also giving presentations that taught her to communicate with an audience. When a TV reporter from the Seattle area paid a visit to her high school class, she remembers thinking, “This person is so smart, so edgy, so inspiring.”
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.
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 …
It’s easy to find the Cougar wine along the row of stainless steel tanks at Bergevin Lane Winery in Walla Walla. The WSU logo gives it away. But what’s inside really distinguishes Cougar III wine.
“The idea that what’s in the bottle comes first is the predominant feeling around here,” says winemaker Dave Harvey ’88. “But what’s most unique about this vintage of the Coug wines is that everybody is Coug: vineyard owners, winery owner, winemaker.”
Winery owner and manager Annette Bergevin ’86 laughs at the synchronicity as she, Harvey, and winery dog Paco walk past the tanks.
Hundreds of eager WSU seniors prepare to leave Pullman each spring after graduation. Some might be headed to new jobs or internships. Others will go to graduate school, the military, or the Peace Corps. Whatever the destination, almost all those Cougs have a common need: sturdy boxes.
As they pack their crimson sweatshirts, posters, and books, the graduating students will carry away another reminder of their college days: free WSU-themed packing boxes.
And they can thank Dave Wilson ’86 for his volunteer efforts in arranging delivery of about 1,500 of those boxes for the last eight years.
WSU may have transformed a lot since 1955, or even 1965, but the camaraderie of graduates from those years hadn’t changed a bit.
One of the largest groups of golden and diamond alumni in years gathered late last October at the Lewis Alumni Centre, where they joined their old friends from 50 or more years ago. Gerry Danquist ’65 thought it was great to see so many fellow pharmacy students.
“We have about half the class of 26 pharmacy graduates here,” says Danquist. He traveled from Indianapolis, where he retired after getting his MBA from Harvard Business School and working 34 years at Eli Lilly. “I saw several pharmacy students I … » More …
Organizing a trip to a Major League Soccer game for 100 people could intimidate anyone. Not to mention a community garden, a networking meeting for young alumni, or even a WSU football viewing party. Fortunately, there’s an engine that drives the Cougar nation and its events: volunteers.
Ashley MacMillan ’05, president of the Oregon Chapter of the WSU Alumni Association, has seen that engine work. “We have so many people here who are passionate about being involved with other Cougs, we’ve been able to diversify our events,” she says.
That includes the hottest sports ticket in Portland: MLS soccer team the Timbers, which is one … » More …