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My Father Before Me cover
Fall 2017

My Father Before Me: A Memoir

My Father Before Me cover

Chris Forhan ’82

Scribner: 2016

 

As Chris Forhan approached his mid-forties, feelings about his dead father began erupting in dreams and poems. Ed Forhan killed himself at age 44 in 1973, leaving behind his wife and eight children, including his son Chris, without explanation. Questions left unanswered in Chris’s family for so many years drove him to face, with an unrelenting eye, the legacy of the father who had abandoned … » More …

Summer 2012

The Murrow boys

In 1913 Ethel and Roscoe Murrow moved their family from their small farm in North Carolina to the Puget Sound community of Blanchard hoping to find a better living for themselves and their three sons.

The worldwide fame of their youngest, Edward ’30, the broadcast journalist, over-shadowed the stories of the rest of the family, particularly the two older brothers. But Dewey x’26 and Lacey ’27, ’35 forged the path for him to follow to Washington State College in Pullman. They, too, led interesting and productive lives and influenced the development of the state. They deserve some attention in their own right, says J. Clark … » More …

Fall 2011

A Leonard legacy

Elmer O. Leonard started as a student at Washington State College in 1915. When the call came in 1918, he headed to Europe and the Great War as a soldier. Like a number of other young men, he was killed in combat and never returned to Pullman and the college.

His nephew and namesake Elmer F. Leonard was born a year later. He followed in his uncle’s footsteps to Pullman, enrolling at WSC in 1939, joining the Army and serving in World War II from 1942 to 1946, and eventually graduating from WSC in 1949.

Ever since the first two Elmer Leonards, WSU has been … » More …

Spring 2011

Black Leapt In

blackleapt-cover

Chris Forhan ’82
Barrow Street Books, 2009

In Chris Forhan’s latest collection of poems, Black Leapt In, the writer draws upon his childhood in Seattle, using striking natural images and startling honesty and insight. He balances straightforward description of the environment he grew up in with an older, wiser voice that recollects, sometimes sarcastically, that time in his life. Forhan dedicated Black Leapt In to his father, who died in 1973, and many of the … » More …

Summer 2003

Don Zajac named WSU Dad of the Year

Like the husband in O. Henry’s famous story, “Gift of the Magi,” who sold his prized watch to buy his wife a comb for Christmas, Don Zajac sold his vast collection of vintage metal lunch boxes to take his daughter, Meggan Zajac, on a month- long European tour last summer.

As a way of showing her appreciation, Meggan successfully nominated her father for Washington State University’s Dad of the Year. He was honored November 2 at the annual Dad’s Weekend breakfast in the Compton Union Building.

Don Zajac, a single father, has been there for his daughter “all of my life, and our relationship has … » More …

Fall 2004

WSU Mom of the Year listened to her heart

In the early 1980s, Susan Jackson of Lakewood wasn’t interested in marriage, but longed for a child. Although single-parent international adoptions were rare in those days, within four years she adopted two little girls from India. Jennifer graduated in May 2004 from Washington State University, and Krissy will complete her WSU degree in December.

In a five-page letter of nomination, Jennifer successfully spelled out why her mother should be honored as 2004 WSU Mom of the Year last spring.

Jackson worked relentlessly for 18 months to be placed on the waiting list for a child. “While many women would have given up, my mother persevered, … » More …

Spring 2004

Grandfather Extraordinaire

Jordi Kimes had been a teacher before becoming a stay home mom. She dreamed of returning to Washington State University and earning a doctorate in pharmacy. But she didn’t want to put her daughters, ages 7, 3, and 1, in daycare. So she called her parents. Would they be willing to watch the girls while she went to school, and her husband, Ken, worked? Without hesitation, her parents said yes.

“I couldn’t believe it,” the WSU graduate (’94 Pharmacy) said.

In the summer of 2002, she and her family moved from Waterville, Washington, to Pullman, where she had been accepted in the College of Pharmacy. … » More …