Washington State Magazine

Summer 2014

Summer 2014

State of Wonder

In This Issue...


State of Wonder—Growing up in a state that fosters belonging :: A childhood spent in Washington has never been better. Our abundant natural resources, our trove of teachers and volunteers, and our commitment to child development make this a great state to grow up in. by Hannelore Sudermann

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Story: A storybook story The Inga Kromann children’s book award }

Machine in the Classroom—New tech tools engage young scientists :: Teaching with new technology may involve a microscope app for an iPad or an affordable circuit board for a budding engineer. School children have some exciting new tools with which to conduct experiments and explore their worlds, but now teachers have to decide how to use them. by Larry Clark ’94

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Video: Focus Microscope Camera captures the world beyond the eye’s reach }

Lost Highway—John Mullan closed the last link of the Northwest Passage and vanished from history—until now :: More than 150 years ago, a contingent of road builders and a military escort set out on a rugged pilgrimage to build a wagon highway across the Rocky Mountains and into the west. Historian Keith Petersen ’73 has traced the tumultuous life of the lead engineer John Mullan and, in the process, uncovered some fascinating facts about what is now known as Mullan Road. by Eric Sorensen

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Story: Mullan Road Monuments by Keith Petersen }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Gallery: Gustav Sohon’s illustrations of the Mullan Road and the West }


:: Charting the course of a globe-trotting pathogen

:: Sex, drugs, and differences

:: The time in between

:: Consider the dragon

:: A matter of taste

:: The scoop on Ferdinand’s murals

:: 100 years of the Bookie

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Video: Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Gallery: A century of the Bookie }


:: First Words

:: Posts

:: In Season: Salmon

:: Sports: Summer spikes

:: Last Words: Ask Dr. Universe


:: Tom Norwalk ’75—Visit Seattle

:: Tim Hills ’93—Hotels and history

:: Cori Dantini ’93—Art and whimsy

:: Allison Helfen ’89—A crush on local wine

:: Alumni news: Lewis Alumni Centre “re-barn”

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—List: Seattle sites you may not have visited }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Book excerpt: The Many Lives of the Crystal Ballroom }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Video: The Lewis Alumni Centre Story }

New Media

:: The Aesthetics of Strangeness: Eccentricity and Madness in Early Modern Japan by W. Puck Brecher

:: Hunger Immortal: The First Thirty Years of the West Seattle Food Bank, 19832013 by Ronald F. Marshall ’71

:: Legal Guide to Social Media: Rights and Risks for Businesses and Entrepreneurs by Kimberly A. Houser

:: New & Noteworthy: Kierkegaard for the Church: Essays and Sermons by Ronald F. Marshall ’71; The Whiskey Creek Water Company by Jan Walker ’60; Into the Storm: Journeys with Alzheimer’s edited by Collin Tong; Teeing Up for Success Cheri Brennan ’72, contributor; So This Is Christmas by Jim Devitt ’86

On the cover: Milky Way galaxy over Mount Rainier from Sunrise Point—meteorites show up as streaks of light. This image was a winner in Smithsonian magazine’s 10th annual photo contest. Photo by Dave Morrow. See the entire image.

A new wood-framed building with exterior brick was constructed in 1923 next to the music conservatory and financed by the Associated Students. Photo from 1924, courtesy WSU Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections.


A new wood-framed building with exterior brick was constructed in 1923 next to the music conservatory and financed by the Associated Students. Photo from 1924, courtesy WSU Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections.

100 years of the Bookie

by | © Washington State University

For a hundred years the Washington State University student-owned bookstore, affectionately known as “the Bookie,” has served as a social hub, a source of funds for the student body, and, of course, the place to get textbooks and supplies.

Since it opened in 1914, the Bookie has had several homes and sold thousands of books, baseball caps, fancy fountain pens, and frozen treats. But many former students remember best those iconic Bookie bags, the Cougar gear, and the coffee. Even though the bookstore doesn’t hand them out any longer, many also remember those crisp Bookie bucks that filled their wallets at the end of each semester when they sold back their books.

In April 1914, the Associated Students at the college voted to invest $2,000 in a co-op bookstore on campus which would sell books, supplies, and, as an Evergreen ad from that year noted, “hot chocolate, milk shakes, ice cream, soft drinks, and sandwiches.” The Students’ Book Corporation (SBC) became an instant hit for students who saved 10 percent on all student supplies.

The original Bookie operated in a small wood-frame building on the present site of Wilmer Hall until 1923, when a new brick building was constructed next to the music conservatory and financed by the Associated Students for nearly $30,000. A larger two-level red brick bookstore was erected in the same location in 1954. The Bookie remained there until 2008, when it moved into its present location in the remodeled Compton Union Building. Now there are also branch Bookies at WSU Tri-Cities, Spokane, and Vancouver.

The old Bookie’s coffee shop, with its soda fountain and high-backed booths, attracted droves of students seeking coffee or Cokes and company. It was a de facto student union before an official one, the CUB, was built after World War II. A 1936 Evergreen story reported the shop sold 600 cups of coffee on an average day.

The original store sold pennants and other spirit gear, just as the current Bookie sells Cougar clothes and paraphernalia. The Bookie also continues its tradition as a coffee and meeting place, only now with a Starbucks inside the bookstore.

Around a table there, Leslie Martin, Bookie manager and an employee for 17 years, reflects with SBC board chair and doctoral student Richie Liu and undergraduate director Lindsay Elhart on what the Bookie means for WSU’s students.

“With e-books and online stores, the role of the college bookstore changes all the time,” says Martin. But the Bookie has always been focused on saving the students money by finding the lowest priced textbooks, and now offers a textbook rental service, she says. Students also still realize a 10 percent discount on all textbooks. Even though bookseller Barnes & Noble, Inc., now manages the store, it has always been owned by students.

The Bookie returns a 10 percent dividend to the student body, says Elhart, a senior in finance. Last year, the SBC gave $85,000 to the Associated Students of WSU, which used the money to install traffic crosswalk lights along Stadium Way.

In honor of a hundred years of service, the student-run SBC board presented a $100,000 dividend to the WSU student body this year. And in April, the Bookie staff handed out free ice cream and retro baseball shirts bearing the old Washington State College logo. There’s reason to celebrate, says Liu. It’s all with the purpose of reminding the campus that students own the bookstore and reap its benefits.

Categories: WSU students, WSU history | Tags: Buildings, Bookstore, Bookie

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