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.

WSU Alumni Association News

Lewis Alumni Centre “re-barn”

© Washington State University

Twenty five years ago the WSU “farm barn” with its cattle stalls and hayloft was converted into a welcome landing for visiting alumni and their families and friends. The ground-floor livestock area was transformed with a visitors’ desk, an open lounge with distinct seating areas, a small library, and several charming meeting rooms. The second level under the gambrel roof became a bright, open space perfect for parties, reunions, and game day gatherings.

The farm barn had been a landmark on the east side of campus since the 1920s when it was built to serve the agriculture school. Over the years, offices, laboratories, and classroom buildings sprouted out of the surrounding farmland and by the 1980s, the animals had been moved away from the central campus. The barn was deemed obsolete and scheduled to be demolished. But the Washington State University Alumni Association stepped forward with an offer to convert the landmark into a home for the organization.

A groundswell of support and donations from alumni and friends got the project started. Donors Jack and Ann Lewis gave $1 million and their name to the project. Architects Steve McNutt ’71 and Robert Grossman ’59 took on the challenge of remaking the building.

After traveling to other campuses seeking ideas for the renovation, the architects returned to Pullman to create not only a home for the alumni association, but a flexible space for campus gatherings, retirement parties, and starting this summer, wedding receptions. The building hosts 300-400 events a year.

Now, after 25 years, the structure is undergoing another overhaul, albeit on a much smaller scale. New furnishings, paint, lighting, and a variety of upgrades will bring the building up to date.

“For years the Alumni Centre has served as the University’s living room. We want to keep it fresh, contemporary, and useful to campus,” says Mark Wilcomb ’85, director of finance and operations with WSUAA. Part of that is building in more technology, offering wireless access for individual visitors as well as facilities for technology-based interactive meetings for groups. The association is revisiting the original ideas of architects McNutt and Grossman. By drawing ideas from the original plans “we’re hoping to offer even more of a Cougar feel than there is right now,” says Wilcomb.

Though the renovation will be underway throughout the summer, the center is welcoming visitors and commemorating the anniversary with displays of memorabilia and gifts from alumni. “We have the green freshman beanie, we get huge laughs with that,” says Wilcomb. Other items include a 1912 cadet’s uniform and a medal of honor donated by James Fleming ’66, an Air Force colonel honored for his life-saving actions piloting a helicopter rescue in South Vietnam.

The displays and a series of events celebrating the center’s anniversary will take place throughout the summer, culminating in the fall during Homecoming and the golden and diamond graduates’ reunions.

“We want to be an exciting and inviting twenty-first-century facility,” says Wilcomb. “But we’ll never forget our roots.”

For more information about WSUAA and alumni chapters go to alumni.wsu.edu or call 1-800-258-6978

Categories: WSU history | Tags: Buildings

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