Washington State Magazine

Spring 2003

Spring 2003

In This Issue...


Philip & Neva Abelson: Pioneers on the knowledge frontier :: Philip Abelson '33 developed the process, adopted by the Manhattan Project, for separating U-235 from U-238. He went on to make significant contributions to biochemistry, chemistry, engineering physics, and other fields. Neva Abelson '34 developed the test for the Rh factor in newborns. What was once Science Hall now carries their name. by Pat Caraher

Between humor and menace: The art of Gaylen Hansen :: Gaylen Hansen paints his alter ego as he confronts giant grasshoppers and a buffalo lurking behind the bed. by Sheri Boggs

Resilient Cultures—A new understanding of the New World :: The history of European and Indian interactions is being dramatically rewritten. In a new book, a WSU historian produces an update. by John Kicza

Whirlwind tour :: On an August morning, Senator Murray '72 visits Dayton to hear its concerns. by Treva Lind

Homage to a difficult land: An African scientist returns home :: Beset by a relentless drought, the Sahel seems in unstoppable ecological decline. But Oumar Badini will not give up. There must be some way to help Mali farmers reclaim the land. Story and photos by Peter Chilson

Field Notes

Halloween in Iraq :: A traveler explores rumors of genuine "evildoers." by Nathan Mauger




Cover: A young fan gets his autograph from quarterback Jason Gesser. Read story. Photo by Shelly Hanks.

Ed Hedlund, his wife Cindy, and son Thomas, 14, were among the guests who toured the Oval Room with President Bush and the first lady.


Ed Hedlund, his wife Cindy, and son Thomas, 14, were among the guests who toured the Oval Room with President Bush and the first lady.

Hedlund Christmas trees selected for White House

by | © Washington State University

For the second time in three years, trees from the Hedlund Christmas Tree Farm in Elma, Washington, graced the White House during the holidays.

"I never dreamed that my passion for growing Christmas trees would get me to the White House to meet the president and first lady," said Ed Hedlund. The Washington State University graduate ('75 Forestry) started planting trees in 1980. Eight years later, he participated in  his first national competition sponsored by the National Christmas Tree Association of St. Louis.

The land services supervisor for Rayonier, Inc. in Hoquiam won the 1998 competition and the honor of providing the "official White House Christmas tree" to the Clintons in 1999. He and his wife, Cindy, also attended the millenium New Year's Eve party in the White House.

In 2002, the Hedlunds won again. This time they and their son, Thomas, 14, spent more than a half hour with the Bushes in the Oval Office. The president talked about the carpet design, his wife Laura's creation; the history of the photos on the walls; and the significance of the presidential seal-an American eagle clutching in its claws arrows and an olive branch, symbolizing war and peace.

During their four-day stay in Washington, the Hedlunds visited the Washington Monument, the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, and the Smithsonian.

Last October 18, White House staff members visited the 50-acre Hedlund tree farm. The owners had identified an 18-1/2-foot noble fir that was selected for the Blue Room, and a 12-footer for the first couple's private residence. The trees were cut November 25 and arrived at the White House December 1. They reported pre-Christmas sales were brisk at their "Choose and Cut" operation in the Satsop Valley. They also sell wholesale to customers as far away as Hong Kong.

Categories: Business, Alumni | Tags: Christmas trees

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