Washington State Magazine

Spring 2012

Spring 2012

In This Issue...


On Closer Inspection—The curiouser and curiouser world of the small :: In some ways, with so much science now involving tools that detect things outside the five senses, examining the world with a microscope seems quaint. But a corps of WSU researchers—let’s call them microscopists—are wrangling photons, electrons, glowing proteins, exotic stains, and remarkably powerful devices in their pursuit of the small. by Eric Sorensen

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Gallery: Micrographs from WSU }

Lessons from the Forest—The anthropology of childhood :: Anthropologist Barry Hewlett has spent the last 40 years gleaning lessons from the Aka, a people who personify hundreds of thousands of years of human history. by Tim Steury

A Feast of Good Things :: How do we Washingtonians eat? The author travels from farm to table to explore and explain Washington cuisine. by Hannelore Sudermann

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Photo: A delicious dilemma: Ingredients for a photographic still life }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Recipe: Swiss Chard with Garlicky Chickpeas }


{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Video: The Amazing Leaproach (and how it can jump like that) }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Video: Feeding styles demonstrated }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Video: Creator of The Wire David Simon’s speech at WSU }


:: First Words: Time’s Warehouse

:: Thank you: Our 10-year event

:: Short Subject: A hidden history

:: Sports: Let him swim: The Tom Jager story

:: In Season: A cattle drive

:: Last Words: The Lowell Elm

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Slideshow: Life at Heart Mountain internment camp for Japanese Americans }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE—Tips: How to cook lean beef }


New Media

:: The Long Journey of the Nez Perce: A Battle History from Cottonwood to Bear Paw by Kevin Carson ’81

:: Good Science: The Pursuit of Truth and the Evolution of Reality by Timothy McGettigan ’95 PhD

:: The World’s Beaches: A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline by Orrin H. Pilkey ’57,William J. Neal, Joseph T. Kelley, and J. Andrew G. Cooper

:: All You Can Eat by Richard Harlan Miller

Cover illustration by Colin Johnson

John Gorham with his Gold Head Cane Award from Hartz Mountain Corporation. <em>Henry Moore Jr.</em>


John Gorham with his Gold Head Cane
Award from Hartz Mountain Corporation.
Henry Moore Jr.

John R. Gorham 1922-2011—Veterinary pathologist

by | © Washington State University

In the early 1940s, John Gorham ’46 DVM, MS ’47 left his family home in Sumner to attend Washington State College as an undergraduate. He found a life here, marrying fellow student Mary Ellen Martin and staying on to earn his doctorate in veterinary medicine, at the same time serving in the U.S. Army. In 1948, he was the first student to earn a graduate degree from the veterinary college.

He then took a position as a U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher in 1949 and the next year made his first big contribution to the field of animal disease research with his major professor Donald Cordy. They discovered the microorganism that causes salmon poisoning, a fatal dog disease. He also soon after discovered a cat disease that could be avoided by including vitamin E in the feline diet.

Gorham spent his career in Pullman, though he left briefly in the 1950s to complete a doctoral degree at the University of Wisconsin. As much a historian as part of the University’s history, Gorham was full of stories. Among his favorites were those of the campus he remembered as an undergraduate, where the animal facilities weren’t far from where the English classes were held, and that studies of Shakespeare could be interrupted by the squeals of pigs nearby.

Over nearly 70 years, Gorham watched the college develop from a small veterinary school into a major animal disease research institution. His own contributions included research into both parasitic and viral diseases affecting livestock and fur animals. He was one of the first to establish animal models for human diseases. In 1991, Gorham received some unwanted attention after someone broke into his office and two research sites on campus. Some of his documents and records were destroyed. According to the Animal Liberation Front, Gorham was targeted because of his work with mink, which benefited the fur industry.

The setback did not keep Gorham from his research. For the next two decades, Gorham continued to work and make regular visits to his office on campus. In 1993, he was recognized with the WSU Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award, and in 2007, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Gorham, who died October 14, 2011, at the age of 89, is survived by his wife, his son Jay Gorham ’73, daughter Katherine Ellen Gorham MA ’79, and two granddaughters.

Categories: Veterinary medicine, WSU faculty | Tags: Animal diseases, Pathology, Animal health, In memoriam

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