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Alumni

Spring 2005

Channel Swimmer

Pushing back the age barrier

The young swimmers at the YMCA pool in Wilton, Connecticut, call him “Grandpa.”

They even ask their seasoned coach, “Are you the oldest person in the world?”

No. But lean and fit George Brunstad is the oldest person ever to swim the English Channel.

On August 28, 2004, three days after his 70th birthday, Brunstad swam from Dover, England to Sangatte, France, a feat no one older than 67 had ever tried. But just swimming the channel wasn’t enough for the retired pilot from Ridegefield, Connecticut. He also raised more than $11,000 for a project to benefit children … » More …

Spring 2005

Jennifer Lynn: Barreling out of the Chute

A couple wanders in to Portland’s White Horse Grill & Bar on a late fall evening as Jennifer Lynn’s alto soars into “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” The two look at the packed house, look at each other, and reel into country swing in progress just inside the door.

Despite the lack of a dance floor, Lynn and her band’s barreling-out-of-the-chute style soon have four women line-dancing to the Bill Monroe tune. The crimson and gray baseball caps of onlookers nod smartly in time. Lynn flashes her husband-rhythm guitarist Tim Cowan-her Missouri-wide smile and sings on with an air of pure enjoyment.

Jennifer Lynn Bryant ’03, … » More …

Fall 2009

S.R. Martin Jr.—A life in the West

“Rudy” Martin started out with a plan to collect the history of his family from its Texas roots to his home in Washington. It was at first a project for himself and his children. But the American studies scholar yearned for context, color, and regional history. He had to build a more complete story. He sought out distant family members, dove into ancient county records, and culled through population research in his quest to understand how he and his family have been shaped by race, religion, and, most importantly, place.

His book, On the Move: A Black Family’s Western Saga, is not simply a memoir, … » More …

Fall 2009

Kary Lamb Lee—Telling stories

Husky purple isn’t normally in Kary Lamb Lee’s palette. The Pullman-based illustrator was born in Pullman, and her family’s ties to Washington State University go back 80 years.

Still, she was happy to pull out the purple to create the souvenir poster for the 2009 Windermere Cup, a premiere boating event in the Pacific Northwest and a signature event for the University of Washington.

In fact, Lee’s poster says UW crew like no other. While previous Windermere Cup posters have highlighted the grace of rowing, or the beauty of Montlake Cut, or even the storied history of the UW rowing program, Lee’s captures all of … » More …

Fall 2009

What I’ve Learned Since College: An interview with Maurice (Sandy) Pearson

Maurice Pearson was born in Chicago in 1904. When he was just a year old, his family moved west and settled in Ferndale on 40 acres near the Lummi Indian reservation. Everyone called him Sandy because of his red hair.

After high school, Pearson worked for three years on bridge projects in Ferndale and Everett until he felt he had enough money to pay for his first year at Washington State College. He was the only one of his six siblings to go on to college.

While in Pullman, Pearson first “bached” with friends in an apartment downtown over Johnny Gannon’s Pool Hall. Later, he … » More …

Fall 2009

Letters in the Fall 2009 issue

Living large

I very much enjoyed the article “Living Large” in your Summer 2009 edition. I am always impressed by the dedication of the large animal veterinarians. My hope is that WSU continues to turn out excellent large animal vets and continues to be able to recruit students into the field.

I do have one nitpicky point about the story. The story indicates that Tom Kammerzell’s property was built in the 1930s by his grandparents. The barn shown on page 25 was built in 1912 or 1913 by my great-grandfather Mike Kroll. Tom’s grandparents Delbert and Miriam Kammerzell purchased the property in the late 1930s … » More …

Fall 2007

Marilyn Conaway: Charting new waters

Ten years ago, as Marilyn Eylar Conaway (’56 Hist.) rowed an inflatable boat on an Alaskan lake, she pictured herself as a girl working the oars of her father’s handmade boat.

The thought recalled the simple joys of an idyllic childhood in Grand Coulee, where her father had helped build the dam. But both of Conaway’s parents and three of her six siblings had since died, her husband Gerry’s heart was faltering, she herself had heart disease, and she was about to end a storied career in education.

That day, memory became mission: Conaway didn’t want to rock a chair; she wanted to row a … » More …