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Volunteer

Alumni News
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 … » 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 …

Chancho, a puppy treated by World Vets in Nicaragua
Fall 2012

World vets

Quivering all over, a dirty yellow and white puppy with a large potbelly whimpers as a veterinarian injects it with saline fluids. The puppy is severely dehydrated and disoriented, unable to stand up on its own.

Chancho, as the veterinarians name him because of his pig-like round belly, initially had a grave prognosis. Found wandering along the street, and visibly weak with parasites and tremors, he did not have long to live.

The puppy spends the night on intravenous fluids and medication. When the veterinarians return the next morning, his condition has improved. By the following day, they are confident he will survive.

Chancho was … » 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.

Winter 2009

Florence Wager ’54—Vancouver park activist without par

Florence Wager bought a set of golf clubs when she wrapped up her career in arts and education.

“I had this preconceived notion about retirement,” says Wager, 81, who earned a bachelor’s degrees at WSU in speech in 1950 and education in 1954 and spent most of her career boosting the San Francisco Symphony. “I thought you played golf, played bridge, went to tea parties.”

Then, after moving back to her native Vancouver in 1990, she volunteered for the Chinook Trail Association. Then she volunteered for the YWCA. Then the parks and recreation department. Then the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. She joined boards and … » More …