Washington State University
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Washington State University (WSU) is a major public research university in Pullman, Washington. The state's land-grant university, WSU has a mission of teaching, research and public service, and offers more than 250 fields of study. It is one of 96 public and private universities in America with "very high research activity," as determined by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
The flagship campus in Pullman is located on the eastern border of the state in the Palouse region. There are regional campuses in Vancouver (WSU Vancouver), Spokane (WSU Spokane), and the Tri-Cities (WSU Tri-Cities). The student population is 23,000 statewide.
Founded in Pullman on March 28, 1890 and opened on January 13, 1892 as the state's land-grant college, the school changed names from the Washington Agricultural College and School of Science to the State College of Washington in 1905, and, subsequently, in 1959 to Washington State University. As a land-grant institution, the university has been entrusted by the state of Washington with 190,000 acres (769 km²) of land for agricultural and scientific research throughout the Pacific Northwest.
The first influential president was E.A. Bryan, appointed July 22, 1893. Previously the president of Vincennes University in Indiana, he had graduate degrees from Harvard and Columbia. Bryan ensured the institution offered a balance of the liberal arts and sciences with practical education in fields such as agriculture and engineering.
WSU's role as a statewide institution became clear in 1894 with the launch of its first Agricultural Experiment Station west of the Cascade Mountains near Puyallup. Extension offices and research centers have been established in all parts of the state. WSU's regional campuses in Spokane, Tri-Cities and Vancouver were officially created by the Legislature in 1989.
Washington State University is chartered by the State of Washington. A Board of Regents governs the university and provides direction to the President. There are ten regents, each appointed by the state governor. One of the regents is a student who is nominated by the student body, appointed by the governor, and serves one year. Currently the regents are Kenneth Alhadeff, Ted Baseler, Elizabeth Cowles, Francois Forgette, Laura Jennings, Joe King, Kyle Smith (student), Chris Marr, Connie Niva, and V. Rafael Stone.
The President, currently V. Lane Rawlins, serves as the chief executive officer. In July 2006 he announced his retirement for June 2007. The Provost, currently Robert C. Bates, handles academics, research and faculty matters for WSU statewide. Bates also is Executive Vice President for the Pullman campus.
The WSU Foundation is an independent, private corporation with its own Board of Trustees and President that serves as a fundraising organization for the university. Currently the President is Len Jessup and the Board Co-Chairs are Mark & Pat Suwyn.
The WSU Alumni Association is also an independent body with a Board of Directors and President. The directors are leaders of regional alumni groups called districts. The Association's mission is "Encouraging excellence to enhance the quality and global recognition of WSU, Supporting Scholarships to help students attain a WSU education, and Making Connections to connect back to WSU through services and programs for alumni and friends." The Association hosts numerous socials and networking events for alumni in addition to sponsoring many on-campus activities. WSU University Relations also provides support for the Association through the Office of Alumni Relations. The current Executive Director of Alumni Relations is Tim Pavish, and the Board President is Larry Arcia.
Two student body organizations represent the students: the Associated Students of Washington State University (ASWSU) and the Graduate & Professional Students' Association (GPSA). ASWSU's organizational framework is similar to that of most American governments complete with an appointed and confirmed judiciary, elected representatives (from districts) to a senate, and an annually elected president & vice-president team. The president also has a paid staff ranging in size from 6-12 members depending on the year. As of 2005, the ASWSU president had the distinction of being the highest paid student body president at a public university at $22,000 per year. GPSA is similarly structured. Because of the smaller population of graduate students, and their relatively greater occupation in academic pursuits, GPSA is less active and less influential.
Besides ASWSU, there are several other influential student organizations. The Residence Hall Association is a government body for students in the residence halls. Interfraternity Council, Panhellenic Council, and Greek Presidents' Council are government bodies for university-recognized Greek social houses. The Greek system has traditionally been the most powerful voting block in determining ASWSU elections. The Board of Directors of the Students' Book Corporation oversees the non-profit campus bookstore with over $17 million in annual revenue that donates all profits back to WSU students. The Compton Union Board oversees the management of the student union building and its services. The University Recreation Board oversees the management of university recreation. The ASWSU Student Entertainment Board brings in high-profile speakers and musicians to campus. The Student Alumni Connection hosts several major campus events. The Student Services & Activities Fees Committee disperses over $6 million annually from a student-imposed fee to student events and programs.
Recently, the student body has completed several major projects on campus. In addition to passing a $15 transportation fee to support Pullman Transit, the student body also voted to remodel the Compton Union Building. The building will close in May of 2006 and reopen in August 2008. In March of 2006, the student body voted to renovate Martin Stadium, adding a $25 per semester increase.
WSU Extension has offices in each of Washington's 39 counties, providing training and assistance in agricultural practices, natural resource management, human and life skills, diversity understanding & outreach, the state 4-H program, and many other program areas. WSU Extension faculty and staff have also provided assistance for programs in undeveloped and developing countries. Many faculty members have appointments to do research, teach, and provide extension services.
WSU Libraries is a centralized administration of seven significant libraries on WSU's Pullman campus (Architecture, Brain Education, Fischer Agricultural Sciences, Health Sciences, Holland/Terrell, Manuscripts Archives & Special Collections, Owen Science & Engineering), five minor libraries on the Pullman campus (GLBA, Heritage House, Human Relations & Diversity, Music, Women's Resource Center), and five significant libraries off the Pullman campus (Betty M. Anderson, WSU Energy Program, WSU Spokane, WSU Tri-Cities, WSU Vancouver). WSU Libraries also participates in a consortium with 33 other libraries in an inter-library loan system.
The WSU Museum of Art has several permanent collections including the Holland Collection, Orton Collection, Goya and Daumier Collections, Chaplin Woodcuts, Consortium Collections, Meyer Shapiro Print Collection, and Elwood Collection. Other permanent collections contain works by Northwest artists D. Griffin, Mark Tobey, Kenneth Callahan, Margaret Tomkins and former faculty members from WSU and the University of Washington. Several other collections and museums also exist on the Pullman campus and include the Connor Museum of Natural History, Culver Collection (petrified pre-historic animals), Jacklin Collection of Silicified Wood & Minerals, McCaw Fluorescent Mineral Display, and Museum of Anthropology.
Washington State University is a member of the Pac-10 athletic conference. The school's mascot is "Butch T. Coug" and the school's colors are crimson and gray. Varsity athletics include men's baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, and track and field, as well as women's basketball, cross country, golf, rowing, soccer, swimming, softball, volleyball, tennis, and track and field. In the past WSU had varsity programs of boxing, wrestling, and gymnastics. In 1937, Roy Petragallo and Ed McKinnon won the NCAA boxing championship, WSU's first national championship.
University Recreation also supports 26 club sports, including bowling, men's crew, cricket, cycling, equestrian show team, men's and women's flag football, fencing, polo, men's and women's ice hockey, judo, men's lacrosse, logger sports, rodeo, men's rugby, sailing, ski team, men's soccer, women's fast-pitch softball, tae kwon do, triathlon, Ultimate, men's and women's volleyball, water polo and wrestling.
Most popular sports
The most popular sporting events at Washington State are football games. Over the past five years, the Cougar football teams have been distinguished by three ten win seasons, three top ten poll rankings, and bowl game appearances (a Sun Bowl win in 2001 over Purdue University, a Rose Bowl loss the following season to the University of Oklahoma, and a Holiday Bowl win in 2003 over the University of Texas at Austin and future NFL QB Vince Young). The Cougars shared the Pac-10 title in 2002. Much to the dismay of Washington State fans, those three seasons were marred by losses to their archrival, the University of Washington Huskies. Over the last two seasons, the Cougars have stumbled to a disappointing record of 9-13, but have managed to defeat the Huskies both years. The Cougars are coached by Bill Doba.
Men's basketball is the second-most popular sport. The 1990s saw a major decline in support as the team floundered, however, there have been signs of a resurgence under the coaching of Dick Bennett who retired at the end of the 2005-2006 season. Tony Bennett, Dick's son, succeeds his father to become the Cougars 16th head coach. Tony Bennett spent the last three seasons at WSU, including last two as associate head coach. The 2004-2005 season saw a large increase in student support as the team finished within a few wins of a .500 record (along with a stunning upset win at eventual Elite Eight team Arizona). The Cougar basketball team holds the dubious record of participating in the lowest scoring championship basketball game in Division 1 history, losing to the University of Wisconsin 39-34 in the 1941 National Championship game.
The Cougar Women's volleyball team has a cult following. Residents of the all-male dormitory Stimson Hall known as the "Super Fans" attend every game in crimson shirts that spell "Superfans" on the front and "In Your Head" on the back. The Super Fans occupy the front rows of the stands and are notoriously rowdy, jeering heavily towards every opponent. It is rumored the WSU head coach sends advanced notice to the Super Fans as to who the key players are in the upcoming matches.
Baseball was also popular during the Buck Bailey and Bobo Brayton eras when WSU was a powerhouse of the Pac-10. The 2006 season has been the most successful campaign since the eighties, as the Cougars were ranked as high as 28th in the nation after winning the series against Stanford the weekend of March 26th, 2006. Another popular program is track and field, which has given WSU one of its two national championships.
Washington State's biggest rival is the University of Washington Huskies. Arguably, the most important athletic contest for both schools is the Apple Cup: the annual game that pits the Cougars and Huskies against each other, and is traditionally held on the third Saturday of November. WSU owns an all-time record of 28-63-6 against UW, but has held the trophy for two consecutive years (2004 & 2005).
As the two main public universities in the state, WSU and UW have a natural geographic rivalry--complete with a fierce bitterness that dates back over 100 years. As legend has it, UW stole WSU's stuffed cougar several times between 1917 and 1927. One year, UW paraded with the prized possession around Husky Stadium in front of the Cougar Section at the Apple Cup. The WSU students could not tolerate this mockery and a brawl ensued, destroying the cat in the process. As a result, the WSU Intercollegiate Knights were formed to care over the mascot more dutifully.
Strong rivalries also exist between WSU and the other Pac-10 teams of the Pacific Northwest: the University of Oregon Ducks and Oregon State University Beavers. Competition between the schools in football has been very competitive over the years, as the Cougars hold a 46-41-3 advantage in the series against OSU and trail UO by a tally of 37-39-7.
WSU’s closest geographic rival is the University of Idaho, a land-grant school only eight miles away in Moscow, Idaho. The “Battle of the Palouse,” which is the annual football game between the two universities held at Martin Stadium in Pullman, has encouraged some creative activities between the schools. Starting in the 1910s, the student body of the losing school would walk the eight miles between the towns. This now is done in a shared spirit between the WSU Student Alumni Connection & UI Student Alumni Relations Board, as they relay the game football from Moscow to Pullman before the start of the game. The student body presidents have recently stoked the rivalry by making bets, such as the president at the losing school having to shave his/her head. The editors of the student newspapers have also gotten in on the action, making unique bets, which have even involved marriage (WSU can afford to make more outlandish bets as it holds a 67-17-3 lead in the all-time series).
1915 Football National Championship
Recently there has been a case made about Washington State's claim to the 1915 National Championship. The legendary Washington State Warriors that won the 1915 Rose Bowl finishing 10-0 and outscoring its opponents 204-10 was in fact one of three teams that went undefeated that year, the other two being Cornell University (currently recognized as the 1915 champions) and the University of Pittsburgh. In 1915 Washington State College was awarded the opportunity to play in Rose Bowl and was set to play Brown University, which had lost only one game, to Harvard University (who in turn lost to Cornell 10-0) by a score of 16-7. Cornell and Pitt at that time were busy bickering over where the site of their football game would take place and eventually the season had come to an end before a decision could be made. Washington State wound up beating Brown in the Rose Bowl 14-0 which garnered huge headlines around the country at that time. However a 1915 national championship was never awarded until 1935 when a Princeton University graduate submitted the first national polling of that season, quite disputed because in previous seasons he claimed that Princeton had won 22 National championships before 1933. However the poll was acknowledged and Cornell was given the championship twenty years after the 1915 season. Recently experts have come up with ground breaking evidence that could include Washington State in that circle of National Champions. One example is that a comparison of points scored between teams Washington State played and teams Cornell played (some of which played each other in the post season) actually favors Washington State. Another was that fact while Cornell and Pittsburgh never actually played a post season together, Washington State did in fact play a powerhouse East Coast team and defeated them soundly. If the claim is acknowledged by the University and/or the media Washington State will not only have received its first National championship but will have become the first team to have won the National Championship and the Rose Bowl in the same year.
The first school colors were pink and blue, said to be chosen by the first WSU President when he was so in awe of the blue and pink sunsets of the Palouse. Research has not uncovered the exact date when the official colors changed, although Crimson and Gray are thought to have been the colors by 1916, when the then-WSC "Warriors" won the first annual Rose Bowl.
The first mascot was a terrier named "Squirt". It is believed the terrier was selected because someone brought their pet dog to campus.
The mascot became the Indians during the decade (1910-1919) called the "Carlisle Connection". Three football coaches arrive from the famous Carlisle Indian College in Pennsylvania: Frank Shivley, William "Lone Star" Dietz and Gus Welch.
Following the first football game between WSC and California in 1919 (WSC beat the Cal Bears 14-0), an Oakland cartoonist portrayed the Washington State team as fierce Northwest cougars chasing the defeated Golden Bears. A few days later, on October 28, WSC students officially designated "Cougars" as their team mascot.
In 1927 during the Homecoming football game against the University of Idaho, Washington State Governor Roland H. Hartley presented a cougar cub to the WSU students. Butch was originally to be called "Governor Hartley," in honor of its donor. The governor gracefully declined and suggested the name "Butch," in honor of Herbert "Butch" Meeker of Spokane, who was WSU's gridiron football star at the time.
Governor Clarence D. Martin presented Butch II to the student body in 1938. Butch III and IV were twin cubs presented by Governor Arthur B. Langlie in January 1942. Governor Langlie also presented Butch V in 1955. Butch VI, the last live mascot on campus, died in the summer of 1978. Governor Albert Rosellini had presented him to WSU in 1964 from Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo.
Today, the mascot is a student wearing a cougar mascot costume. The student playing the mascot is anonymous; their identity only revealed after their last big event, usually the last home basketball game of the season.
Herbert "Butch" Meeker
As not too many mascots are named after students, this is of special note. Butch, was a stand-out football player in high school in Spokane, but he wasn't getting much attention from college football recruiters. So his high school coach gave a call into the University of Washington. UW declined to offer Butch a spot on the team, citing his small size. However, WSC did.
Butch became the star of the team and an All-American. In his senior year of 1927, the 5-foot-5, 145-pound halfback led the football team to a successful 6-1 season. Most importantly, he scored the winning touchdown against UW. Butch was also Student Body Vice President and a member of Crimson Circle, the prestigious senior men's honorary.
Football touchdown traditions
After every Cougars touchdown, a cannon operated by the ROTC fires a blank off the Compton Union Building and the cheerleaders do a pushup for each point in the cumulative score.
In the late 1800's the bell was mounted on the ground in the center of campus to start and dismiss class. Later, it was placed on top of Old College Hall when automatic bells were used, and then on Bryan Hall. The bell was first rung in victory after WSC beat the Washington Huskies by the women's basketball team in 1902. Later, the members of the Intercollegiate Knights rang the bell following a football win. It was subsequently moved to the present College Hall, and now rests on the west side of the Alumni Centre where it is rung by the Student Alumni Connection after each football win.
Wazzu is a nickname for Washington State University. The term is an attempt to pronounce the University's acronym, WSU, as a single word. In 2002, then new University President V. Lane Rawlins sought to reduce use of "Wazzu," a move which carried some weight as the University owns the trademark. Following a firestorm of protest from students and alumni, the effort faded, though as of 2004 the word "Wazzu" is noticeably absent from Cougar uniforms and printed WSU publications. The term was thought to have strong connotations with WSU's reputation as a "party school", a reputation that Dr. Rawlins has been working to change, very unsuccessfully, during his term as University President. WSU remains a top party school.
The Palouse Walk tradition started when the sports editor of the Argonaut, the U of I student newspaper, challenged the Evergreen's editor Lloyd Salt. The challenge was that the person would have to walk the eight miles to the winner's campus if their team lost. The Cougars won and McGowan walked the eight miles to WSU. The Idaho Walk lasted through until the 1974 football season. The Cougars only walked three times in that 36-year span.
Intercollegiate Knights was a selective organization of men in the junior class that existed from the early 1920s to the 1960s. Two stuffed cougars served as mascots between 1919 and 1927. They were the target of several attempted cat-nappings so the "Cougar Guard" was formed to protect them. The group eventually became the Cougar Guard Chapter of Intercollegiate Knights.
A gift from the Class of 1910, the Senior Bench is adjacent to yet another WSU tradition, "Hello Walk." Only WSU seniors were allowed to sit on the bench. Any other students observed occupying it were subject to discipline by the Student Vigilante Committee.
In 1922, freshman had to go through a rite of passage to be accepted by the rest of the campus. According to the May 20, 1922 Daily Evergreen, freshmen had to accomplish three tasks to "bask favorably in the public eye." They had to paint their class numerals on a 100-foot tall chimney known as the "totem pole," though the Sophomore Class would try to thwart their efforts. The second trial involved meeting the Sophomore Class for midnight combat. The losers were thrown into Silver Lake, a man-made lake located where the Field house stands today. And finally, an official, "lawfully regulated" contest of some sort between the same two classes was held. The freshmen were then obliged to wear their green caps the Monday following registration, rain or shine. On Campus Day, held in May, the freshmen rid themselves of the hats by way of incinerating them in "frosh-fire."
The WSU Creamery has also garnered a reputation for fine dairy products, most notably the Cougar Gold Cheese sold at the Creamery store as well as available for online purchases. The cheese is regionally famous and fetches the price of $18 for a 30 oz can. Marketed as, "a white, sharp cheddar with a taste that resembles Swiss or Gouda. Aged for at least one year." The cheese also comes in various flavors, including, American and Smokey Cheddar, Viking, Dill Garlic, Sweet Basil, Hot Pepper and Crimson Fire.
Presence on ESPN College GameDay
The popular ESPN College GameDay program has as of 2006 never broadcasted from WSU. An unofficial, but well organized effort to place the WSU flag in view of the GameDay cameras for every broadcast has been acknowledged by the GameDay crew, but the show still has no plans to broadcast from Pullman.
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