Congratulations to the winners of our first 100-Word Memory Facebook Contest. And thank you to all Cougs who submitted their memories of WSU on our Facebook page. Our first prize winner, Erika Szymanski, will receive a WSU baseball cap.
First place: Erika Szymanski | Few things better than walking out of a late afternoon seminar into the sweater-weather evening, low umberish light flooding the channels between buildings, surrounded by colleague-classmate-friends. Three hours not enough, we brought our assertions and challenges and rebukes out into the dusk, chattering like magpies, the Palouse hills clutching and opening as we walked home. Few things better than to be an academic so in love with academia, so addicted to the camaraderie of argument among friends, so comfortable with one’s comrades.
Second Place: Margaret Holmberg | After graduation we moved back to the Seattle area, got married and started our lives together. Of course we did everything Cougar that came our way on the Westside but it took a while before we decided to make a trip back to Pullman for a game. The anticipation grew as we approached Hilltop so we popped in the cassette (it’s an old story) of the fight song and then we crested the hill and caught the beautiful view of Bryan Tower and campus. We both smiled and looked at each with tears streaming down our cheeks not just because we were in Pullman but because we were home.
Third Place: Joey Pacific | It was Homecoming and I was chosen to ride on the chariot for my team. We lined up, but someone coordinating the even told us to move over. I got off the chariot and the four girls who were selected to pull it moved to the new starting location. Unfortunately, Glenn Johnson didn’t know to wait, so he said “GO” and the girls decided to take off running. Not knowing what was happening, I ran about a quarter of the way into Martin Stadium and then stopped, confused and embarrassed, in front of pretty much the entire school.
Fourth Place: Kevin Cloud Brechner | My favorite memory of WSU was graduation day, June 1970. It was held at the football stadium despite the fact that a quarter of it had been burned during the earlier student protests. A sea of black gowns crossing the field framed one graduate who had made his own purple gown with gold crescent moons and stars and a conical Merlin’s hat. The graduates erupted in loud cheers when he received his diploma. Also, despite the student unrest that year, WSU President Glenn Terrell received a standing ovation from the seniors for his fair handling of the student sit-ins.
Fifth Place: Shawn Magraw | My memory began on Sunday morning, May 18, 1980. It was the week prior to finals and I had just finished my shift at the Rotunda dining hall between Rogers and Orton Hall. I was heading back to my dorm room in Orton when I stepped outside and felt something falling on my head. It felt like snow. Snow, in May? I looked up into the sky and I could see a massive grey cloud coming from the west. When I got to my floor in Orton Hall everyone was buzzing. The emergency alert system came on peoples TV’s and the announcements began. Mount St Helens had blown, stay inside was the alert. And so began one of hundreds of “End of the World” parties on campus that day!
Nancy Talbot Doty | My favorite WSU memory is not my own. It was my father’s. In about 1923, he and his friend went to the dean of the music department and said, “We think we need a chapter of Phi Mu Alpha on this campus.” The dean replied, “You’re right. We do. But they won’t give us a charter unless we do “projects”. Washington State needs a pep band and a men’s glee! club. You chaps get them going; and I’ll submit the application.” So my dad, Al Talbot, sang bass in his friend’s glee club; and his friend played (whatever) in Daddy’s band. They got their charter; and the band was the first edition of today’s WSU Marching Band. They brought all 20-some pieces of it to Seattle for a predecessor of Apple Cup. The giant Husky band stomped onto the field and played “he-e-av–en help-the-foes of Wa-a-sh-ing-ton”– a real dirge. It came the Cougars’ turn and Daddy said, “we can do better than that” and they ran onto the field, playing “Bow Down To Washington” in double time. The Huskies have played it that way ever since. This is an important story that cannot be done justice in 100 words. But this Diamond+ grad is sure you can find some way to use it. Nancy Talbot Doty B.A. Sociology, 1950 –SIXTH PLACE – only because it was too long.
Anne Godsil-Friesz | My very first August at WSU, I remember moving into Perham Hall, 3rd floor. My grandparents drove me and my stuff from Vancouver to campus and helped me get settled in. My grandfather walked down the hall and met a few girls and he introduced them to me, thanks to my talkative grandfather! That’s what I remember most about my experience at WSU, the PEOPLE. Warm, friendly, embracing. I’ll never forget those memories. My heart swells with joy and my eyes happily tear up when I think about my days on the Palouse.
Margaret Holmberg | We weren’t sure if we’d live long enough to see this day, but here we were gazing out from our end zone seats at over 100,000 fans at the 1998 Rose Bowl. 100,000, that’s a good YEAR in Pullman, to see our Cougs, pretty damn exciting. But when the team entered the stadium and half of it turned Crimson from pom poms that we didn’t know about we just about lost it right there! Our “cheap seats” allowed us to view the “Sea of Crimson” which will always be a great Wazzu memory, or at least in the top 1000.
Rick Stewart | I can feel the warm spring sun, the cool green grass, and my joy for time to relax beneath Bryan Tower between classes while waiting for my girlfriend, then fiancée, now wife of 42 years to join me. Those memories warm my heart as I reflect on what WSU has meant in our lives and in our kids’ lives, as they, too, met their wives and all graduated there. We love it almost as much as we love each other and our family.
Dave Spencer ’66 | Moving into brand new Goldsworthy Hall in the fall of 1962 I discovered the large color TV in the basement lounge. Color TV was just out then and although poor by today’s standards, I was mesmerized! Bonanza! Disney’s Wonderful World of Color! I couldn’t keep away. My recollection of that reaction to color TV provides me a sense of developments which have occurred in my lifetime. Cell phones, computers, I-Pods, digital books,- the list is breathtaking and mindboggling. Meanwhile every year I plant, tend and harvest my vegetable garden just as we did when I was a kid.
Joan Halsey | My favorite Coug memory was going to the Aloha Bowl my senior year. It was the first time I had ever flown and the whole trip was amazing. The best part was that everywhere you went there were people in Coug gear. Even if you didn’t know them, we were all part of a family that was there to support and cheer on our precious Cougars. They didn’t disappoint, but win or lose, my heart will always belong to the Washington State Cougars!! GO COUGS!!!!
Cindy Ellis | Born in Pullman, lived here through most of grade school & surrounded by family – a bunch worked at Washington State University. I knew the WSU fight song before I started grade school. Grandparents, mother, step-mother, aunt, step-sister, & various cousins (once or was it twice removed) worked (and still work) here – some even attended school here. Palms – Johnson – Newby – Blankenship – Hatley – just to name a few. Me? I’ve been here nearly 30 years. Our family definitely bleeds crimson and gray! Go Cougs!
Rob Webb | My all-time favorite memory of
WSU is when I proposed to my wife at the WSU-USC Homecoming football game at half-time in 1984. The cheerleading squad helped me out and ran a “will you marry me” banner around the field. I nervously ran up to where we were sitting and gave my girlfriend at the time a box of cracker jacks. She opened it up to find an engagement ring as the prize! She joyfully said yes:) Today we are 27+ years happily married Cougs!
Chris Knudsen | May 18, 1980 – Mt. St. Helen’s erupted. I was living in Streit Dorm and was really hung-over that morning. A friend pounded on my door that the volcano had blown – I thought it was a joke. Finally she slipped a note under my door that read: You need to get up now! The volcano blew, your friend you had the bachelor party for last night is in jail and no one can find your visiting brother. I looked out the big west facing window – sure enough there was the big ominous volcanic dust cloud headed our way.