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 …
To immerse himself in the lives of those he wrote about, John McCallum would spend extraordinary amounts of time with them, their friends and their families. He collected numerous tidbits and observations along the way, many of which he shared in his 1969 autobiography, Going Their Way.
Here are a few excerpts:
On the miserly nature of Ty Cobb
The notoriously mean-spirited and confrontational baseball legend had invested his earnings wisely and was still worth millions of dollars nearly three decades after retiring, which is when McCallum began profiling Cobb for the first of two books he’d write about the Detroit Tigers star. … » More …
Paul Henning ’98 didn’t set out to be a professional musician. “I swore up and down I wasn’t going to be a music major or study music—but then, look what I did!” he says.
He moved to Los Angeles where he made a lot of phone calls looking for work as a session player, orchestrator, or proofreader of musical scores—and ended up working with John Williams on the music for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Over the course of 60 years, John Williams has scored over 100 films and taken home five Oscars. All his scores, Henning says, start with Williams at the piano … » More …
In the summer of 1936, Randall Johnson, a fine arts student at Washington State College, designed a simple logo for the college to paint on a facilities truck. The cougar head logo, drawn in honor of Butch the Cougar, rapidly gained popularity and 75 years later represents one of the most recognizable symbols of a university or college in the U.S., if not the world.
Fort Hunt was built during the Spanish-American War on a portion of George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate to help bolster the Potomac River’s coastal defenses.
It later served as a staging point for the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, hosted an ROTC unit for African American soldiers during segregation, and now is managed by the National Park Service.
But until historians began digging, a clandestine piece of the 136-acre site’s military service was so tightly hidden away, it was at risk of being lost forever.
“This started coming together during a tour when someone raised their hand and mentioned their neighbor used … » 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.
A glimpse into the minds of prospective jurors through 50 conversations, this book written for trial lawyers teaches about juror biases and prejudices, and how to connect with potential jurors. Crump is a 1981 political science graduate and successful Pacific Northwest trial lawyer.
The Labyrinth House
Mark Rollins ’94
Luthando Coeur: 2014
Rollins’s fantasy novel follows architect Bradley Jensen through a door in a tree and into a mysterious mansion, which he and the other denizens can’t leave.
Directed by Lee Fleming ’07
A dark, gritty comedy shot on the Palouse and … » More …
Some traveled for three days through the humid air of Vietnam to get to the clinic offered by Victoria Tung ’96 and her colleagues.
“We were in one of the poorest regions of Vietnam,” Tung says. Over the course of a week, the all-volunteer Venture to Heal team offered two clinics, treating nearly 1,300 people. “We had a 67-year-old man who had never before seen a health care provider.”
“I have always been interested in global health issues and in serving people in underprivileged areas,” Tung says. That passion led her to her first jobs after graduating from WSU with a nutrition degree, working as … » More …
If you want to get to know Bob Olds ’64, DVM ’67, just ask Lizzy. Sure, Lizzy is a dog and can’t speak, but her story speaks volumes.
Found beaten on the streets of Tijuana, Lizzy’s jaw was so badly damaged she couldn’t close her mouth, and could neither eat nor drink. Rescued by members of a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, The Forgotten Dog, Lizzy got a complicated, pro bono surgery that repaired the damage to her jaw. The surgeon? Bob Olds. Lizzy is now a happy, normal dog.
Olds always wanted to be a vet. Kids love animals, he says, and he never had any … » More …
In Yakima’s Garfield Elementary School, Principal Alan Matsumoto ’75 is hearing music ring through the halls after school. With 100 percent of the students facing poverty, the afterschool Yakima Music en Acción (YAMA) gives them the opportunity to transcend their circumstances with instruments.
YAMA, based on a Venezuelan program called El Sistema, brings professional musicians to the school to teach Garfield students how to play violins, cellos, and other instruments in ensemble groups.
The program launched four years ago with just seven students. Matsumoto says he first heard about El Sistema from Stephanie Hsu, who had recently graduated from training and now leads YAMA. … » More …