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Volunteer

Alicia Cooper
Fall 2017

Alicia Cooper

Many college students balance a full load of classes and activities, but it’s pretty rare to juggle all that plus the crown of Miss Washington 2016. Alicia Cooper, a senior at Washington State University Vancouver, works as a real estate broker as she studies personnel psychology and human resources—and she was third runner-up for Miss America in 2016 after winning the Miss Washington competition.

Cooper credits her grandmother with inspiring her. When she passed away after a 13-year battle with breast cancer, “I realized how significantly she impacted every person who knew her,” says Cooper. She took her grandmother’s lessons to heart, volunteering as … » More …

Dave Wilson '86 with WSU-themed boxes for graduates, produced by Spokane Packaging. Photo Robert Hubner
Summer 2016

Boxing day for Cougs

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.

“The way the box is designed you don’t … » More …

Alumni volunteers, Courtesy WSUAA
Winter 2015

Volunteers drive the Cougar Nation (really)

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 …

Mark Paxton doing surgery
Fall 2014

Mark Paxton ’76—Shaping smiles

Sweat trickled down his face as Mark Paxton ’76 threaded the surgical needle through the roof of his patient’s open mouth. In 95-degree heat and no air conditioning, the doctors in the Guatemalan operating room used white cloths to wipe away the moisture.

The oral surgeon put down his tools and stepped back. After 23 years of performing cleft lip and palate surgeries on medical mission trips to Zacapa, Guatemala, he has grown used to the intense and muggy conditions.

His 10-day trip with a group of about 100 Washington State University students and volunteers last March focused on construction, providing general medical and dental … » More …

Dan and Val Ogden
Summer 2013

Dan ’44 and Val ’46 Ogden—Staying activist in older age

Last fall in Vancouver, with the voter registration deadline looming, Dan Ogden ’44 wasn’t about to be held up by Parkinson’s disease or two artificial hips.

He pushed his walker around his new apartment complex and through a recently completed cul-de-sac to make sure his neighbors could take part in the November general election. At his side was Val Ogden ’46, his partner in Democratic Party politics and wife of 66 years. She was spry enough to negotiate steps and stairways to ring doorbells beyond her husband’s reach.

The Ogdens are in their seventh decade of political and social activism—with roots going back to their … » More …

Major General Paul J. Fletcher (Ret.) ’72. Courtesy US Air Force
Winter 2012

Awards and Volunteer Recognition

The Alumni Achievement Award was created by the WSU Alumni Association in 1970 to honor those who have made significant contributions to their professions, their communities, the world, and WSU. Of the nearly quarter of million people who have attended WSC/WSU since 1890, fewer than 600 have received this prestigious award. We salute the following Cougars who were recognized with the Alumni Achievement Award over the past year and thank them for the prestige they bring to their alma mater:

Retired Major General Paul J. Fletcher ’72

Chad Little ’85, former NASCAR driver

Rueben Mayes ’92 & ’00, retired NFL player

James B. Niblock … » More …

Summer 2011

A plan for Washington

In 1972, as Scott Carson was preparing to graduate from Washington State University, a counselor told him he was still six credits shy of his degree. The Vietnam veteran was astonished. “He said I had to complete these physical education credits.”

Carson had already attended several semesters of community college, was married, had served his country, and had only budgeted for two years in Pullman to finish his business degree. That a handful of phys. ed. credits stood in the way of his degree seemed absurd.

But the counselor was unwavering. Carson took it to the department head, who insisted that it was a state … » More …

Spring 2011

True to his school long after graduating

Robert Williams ’79, a banking executive, is the current president of the WSU Alumni Association. He started volunteering with the University in the 1980s by joining the advisory board for the College of Business and later found his way to the Alumni Association. He is also on the Board of Trustees for the WSU Foundation. Recently, Williams met with WSM’s Hannelore Sudermann to talk about his time as a student and what he enjoys about volunteering with the Alumni Association.

Why did you choose WSU? In high school, I was a four year track and field letterman. At that time, WSU had one … » More …

Video: A Different Kind of Spring Break

During Spring Break 2010, a group of Washington State University students volunteered on the “Spring to Action Break for Change” program, sponsored by WSU’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Center for Civic Engagement. WSU students Cindy Ola, Ian Chittle, and Vanessa Balch describe the spring break program.

Read about other young WSU alumni and humanitarians giving back in Time Out in the World, Summer 2010 issue.