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WSU staff

Summer 2017

Robert Smawley 1928–2017

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 …

Vintage slide rack projector (Photoillustration from photos by yanukit/123RF and WSU MASC)
Summer 2017

Washington State University history and traditions—A slideshow

Bob Smawley ’52, “Mr. WSU” to many generations of Cougs, presented thousands of his famous slideshows that educated and entertained everyone from student groups to retiring University presidents and regents.

Above is a 47-minute history of WSU told through pictures from 1890 up to the 2000s. The presentation covers major happenings from Rose Bowl appearances and the Martin Stadium fire, to WSU traditions like “Hello Walk” and ringing the Victory Bell. It replicates one of the slideshow presentations that Smawley gave on many occasions at WSU.

Smawley’s audio was recorded at WSU’s MASC (Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections) in 2005.

Courtesy WSU » More …

Dan Maher
Spring 2017

Dan Maher ’78

Everywhere you go on the Palouse, there’s Dan Maher ’78. He’s playing at the Co-op in Moscow, the farmers’ markets in Pullman and Moscow, on Terrell Mall on the WSU campus—if there’s acoustic live music, Dan Maher, his guitar, and his guide dog can’t be far.

But, says Maher, the music scene is nothing like what it once was. “When I was a student here in the early ’70s there was a guitar every 30 feet. Everybody played guitar! We used to go to the basement of the K-House and jam every night.”

 

Even if you’ve never seen Maher play live, you may have … » More …

Greg Blanchard at WSU
Summer 2013

Greg Blanchard—On timing and taste

Greg Blanchard is making dinner for 224. From the cramped confines of the CUB kitchen, he and his staff have just a few hours to create three different types of crostini, chicken parmesan and linguine, garlic bread, Caesar salad, and strawberry shortcake, with exceptions for vegetarians, the lactose intolerant, avoiders of gluten, and one person who just doesn’t like cheese.

Come 6:30, student waiters and waitresses in black ties will serve the food on individual plates, a timing play that ups a chef’s game from, say, a buffet. If the food is ready too soon, lettuce will get flat, chicken will get dry, strawberries will … » More …

Summer 2012

Donald Wayne Bushaw 1926–2012—A great teacher and a great learner

“Learning should be an unending process,” said Don Bushaw in an interview some years back. Anyone who knew him at all will know this was no idle observation. Bushaw, who first arrived at Washington State College in 1943 as a 17-year-old freshman and returned, a doctorate in mathematics from Princeton in hand, to teach and lead for a distinguished 43 years, passed away in Portland, Oregon, on January 15, 2012, surrounded by his wife and children.

Don Bushaw was born in Anacortes, Washington, on May 5, 1926, to Elmond and Ruth Bushaw. The family moved to Bremerton in 1930 when Elmond took a job at … » More …

Hal Dengerink
Spring 2012

Hal Dengerink 1943-2011—Tribute to Hal

On September 14, 2011, the first chancellor of Washington State University Vancouver, Hal Dengerink, passed away at the age of 68.

I first met Hal Dengerink when he came to WSU Vancouver from WSU Pullman to oversee the programs that were offered at Bauer Hall on the Clark College campus. The process of selecting a site for the WSU Vancouver campus was underway when he joined the site recommendation task force that was appointed by WSU President Sam Smith. As members of the task force, we spent many months and endless weekends meeting regularly to complete our charge, which included visiting potential campus sites in … » More …

G. Roger Spencer DVM
Winter 2011

Outsmarting Dementia

We used to believe, says neuropsychologist Maureen Schmitter-Edgecombe, that if a person lived long enough, he or she would develop dementia.

Now we know better, she says. Whether caused by Alzheimer’s or other disease, dementia is not a normal aging process. Many people, such as G. Roger Spencer and colleagues pictured here, remain completely alert and engaged well into their 80s and 90s and older.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the chance of someone over 85 having the disease is nearly 50 percent. Other dementia-causing diseases raise that risk even higher. So what is it that enables someone to escape the dementia odds?

Besides age, … » More …

Summer 2011

Bill ’69 and Felicia ’73 Gaskins—All in stride

Bill Gaskins says he knows exactly when Felicia Cornwall fell in love with him. On a snowy day in 1963, the two were walking arm-in-arm along WSU’s Hello Walk.

Felicia, a sophomore from Tacoma, was taking mincing steps through the icy slush when Bill, a freshman from Spokane, told her she needed to be more bold.

“Look Felicia, you need to stride like this,” he said, stepping forward with the athletic gait of a running back, which he was. At that exact moment his feet flew out from under him and he landed on his backside.

Bill is laughing, filling the room with his deep … » More …