Washington State University History - Highlights by Decade
 
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1890-1899
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1990-1999

1990
$36.5 million expansion approved for Holland library.

1990
Frances Penrose Owen, a WSU regent from 1957-1975, received the Medal of Merit, the state's highest award.

1990
$2.9 million appropriation to expand WSU's telecommunications system approved by the state Legislature.

1990
Gary Larson, syndicated cartoonist and creator of the Far Side, received the Regents 24th Distinguished Alumnus Award and was the Centennial Commencement Speaker.

1990
Tony Li took first in the 55-meter hurdles at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championship.

1990
Edward R. Murrow School of Communication dedicated.

1990
Allen C. Wilson received Regents 25th Distinguished Alumnus Award for his work in molecular evolutionism.

1990
Regents approved $28.6 million architectural plans for Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

1990
WSU pitcher Aaron Sele selected to play on the USA baseball team at the Goodwill Games.

1990
Groundbreaking for Holland Library addition.

1990
Regents approved plans for SIRTI, the Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute plans.

1990
Money magazine ranked WSU among "America's Best College Buys."

1990
"The Caring Call" veterinary medicine sculpture, located by Grimes Way, built and dedicated.

1990
Chuck "Bobo" Brayton won 1,000th game as Cougar baseball head coach.

1990
Howard Nemerov Poet Laureate of U.S., given WSU honorary doctoral degree at commencement.

1991
Cross country runners Samuel Kibiri and E.J. Guo named to All-American team. Both finished in the top 25 at the NCAA Championship in Knoxville, Tennessee.

1991
Neill Hall, a former residence hall, renovated for $4 million and became home of the Math Department.

1991
Carolyn Kizer, Pulitzer Prize winning poet, presented WSU honorary doctoral degree at Commencement.

1991
KWSU- Northwest Public Radio "Bob and Bill" classical music show goes nationaI.

1991
348 acres chosen at Salmon Creek in Clark County for WSU Vancouver branch campus.

1991
Lewis Alumni Centre library dedicated in honor of Phillip M. and June E. Lighty, Past President's Room in memory of Henry W. and Anna Magnuson Reaugh, and the Reception Gallery named for Weldon B. "Hoot" Gibson.

1991
WSU West moved to the Westin Building in downtown Seattle.

1991
Vishnu Bhatia, director of the Honors Program and former director of WSU's Office of International Education, appointed a Knight of the Dannebrog Order by Queen Magrethe II of Denmark.

1991
Harold Rhodes, the women's basketball coach, and Kelvin Sampson, men's basketball coach, both named Pacific-10 Coaches of the Year.

1991
Women's basketball team makes first-ever appearance in NCAA Tournament.

1991
Dedication of WSU Tri-Cities new $12.7 million teaching facility in Richland.

1991
WSU men win Pacific-10 in track and field title and place 2nd in NCAA Track and Field Championships.

1991
WSU ranked 34th nationally in corporate financial support.

1991
Barry Serafin, national correspondent for ABC News, receives 26th Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award.

1991
Ground broken for $30 million Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

1992
Football team wins Copper Bowl, 31-28, over the University of Utah in Tucson, Ariz.

1992
Former WSU quarterback Mark Rypien chosen as MVP of Super Bowl XXVI in the Washington Redskins' 37-24 win over the Buffalo Bills.

1992
WSU research moose, Morty, becomes a TV star in the opening credits of the popular CBS show "Northern Exposure."

1992
Mike Lowry (Class of 1962) elected governor of Washington, first WSU grad to this office.

1992
Patty L. Murray (Class of 1972) elected to U.S. Senate. She was the first Cougar and first woman to be elected to the post from Washington.

1992
Sallie Giffen named vice president for Business Affairs. WSU's first woman vice president.

1992
Todd Hall addition, home of the Hotel and Restaurant Administration Department completed, at cost of $5.6 million.

1992
Women's volleyball team invited to NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship.

1992
Remodeled Carpenter Hall reopened as home for the School of Architecture. Cost of renovation was $9 million.

1992
Conner Museum, home of the largest collection of birds and mammals in the inter-mountain Pacific Northwest, reopened in Science Hall after being closed since 1986.

1992
WSU West headquarters insert dedicated in honor of former WSU Regent Michael Dederer.

1992
Doctor of Pharmacy program approved for WSU Spokane.

1992
Men's basketball team receives first-ever NIT (National Invitational Tournament) bid. Lost in second round to University of New Mexico.

1992
Josephat Kapkory claimed 3,000-meter title at NCAA Indoor Track and Field championship.

1992
U.S. Air Force General (ret.) Robert D. Russ receives 27th Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award for his service as Commander of Air Force aviation during the Gulf War.

1992
Donors contribute a record-setting $33.5 million in private gifts, grants, and pledges to WSU.

1992
The space shuttle Columbia carried an experiment by WSU physicist Philip Marston.

1992
WSU's extensive intramural program is a popular social outlet for the university's students. According to Mary Ann Steele, intramural supervisor, on the basis of the number of participants to the total WSU enrollment, the university "has the largest intramural program West of the Mississippi and certainly the largest in the Pac-10 Conference. The participation rate ranks WSU's program among the top 20 to 25 in the nation.

1993
Women's volleyball team won National Invitational Tournament by beating Bowling Green University in straight sets. The team did not lose a single game throughout the tournament.

1993
R. James Cook, USDA plant pathologist and WSU adjunct professor, selected for National Academy of Sciences.

1993
ICNE celebrated 25th anniversary.

1993
Heather Metcalf became sixth woman to be ASWSU president.

1993
WSU quarterback Drew Bledsoe first pick in the NFL draft by the New England Patriots

1993
Former WSU baseball star John Olerud of the Toronto Blue Jays won American League Professional baseball batting title with .363 average.

1993
History professor Leroy Ashby selected as CASE Outstanding College Professor in the state for second time.

1993
Plans for new Cougar Plaza in downtown Pullman approved.

1993
The Boeing Company donated $7 million to WSU - the largest private gift to date.

1993
Regents approved reorganization of College of Sciences and Arts into two separate academic units, the College of Sciences and the College of Liberal Arts.

1993
New Multicultural Center opened doors in renovated former Chemical Engineering Building.

1993
WSU researchers sent a plant experiment up with the space shuttle Discovery.

1993
John Gorham, internationally renown veterinarian and WSU faculty member, selected as 28th Regents Distinguished Alumnus Award.

1994
Alumnus Edward R. Murrow (Speech, 1930) was memorialized on U.S. postage stamp, the first broadcast journalist so honored. National first day of issue ceremony was January 21 in the Murrow Communications Center on the WSU campus in Pullman.

1994
New Holland Library addition completed at cost of $36 million.

1994
Floyd Smith and Mariel Fulmer Doty, WSU's oldest known alumni, both died at age 103.

1994
Regent Kate Webster, retired after 18 years and eight months service. She served the longest term in the past 50 years. Physical Sciences Building named for her.

1994
Legendary WSU baseball coach, Bobo Brayton, retired after 33 years and more than 1,150 victories.

1994
The men's basketball team received invitation to play in NCAA Championship Tournament. Lost in first round to Boston College, 67-64.

1994
Josephat Kapkory captured 10,000 meter title at NCAA Cross Country Championships.

1994
WSU's Army ROTC unit marched away with #1 national ranking.

1994
Lewis Alumni Centre completed 5th year of operation. Host to 150,000 visitors and 1,500 meetings.

1994
WSU Veterans Memorial dedicated and a special tribute made to the 300 alumni, faculty and staff who died during WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf conflict.

1994
Morty, the WSU research moose and CBS-TV "Northern Exposure" star, died of an illness linked to a mineral deficiency.

1994
WSU broke ground for Vancouver campus.

1994
Necia Bennett Huntley (Class of 1935) and husband Elmer C. Huntley left a 890-acre wheat ranch at Thorton to WSU, ultimately to fund scholarships.

1994
Campaign WSU kicks off with goal to raise $200 million.

1994
Museum of Art celebrates 20th Anniversary.

1994
New Student Services building, named for benefactors Phil and June Lighty, under construction at cost of $17 million.

1994
African American Alumni Alliance conducted its first meeting at WSU.

1994
Albert Wilder Thompson, dean of the College of Sciences and Arts at WSU from 1953-64, dies at 95. Thompson Hall (old Administration Building) is named for him.

1994
Cougar fans celebrated, 23-6 Apple Cup football victory against University of Washington, in the snow at Martin Stadium.

1994
WSU football team beats Baylor University 10-3 at the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.

1995
Cougar pride went on the road. WSU Cougar logo license plates support student scholarships.

1995
HillTopics alumni newspaper celebrated 25 years. Its only editor has been Patrick Caraher (Class of 1962.)

1995
Stevens Hall, listed on the National Register for Historic Places, celebrated its centennial.

1995
The second woman to be honored with WSU's highest award Regent's Distinguished Alumnus Mary E. Turner DeGarmo, dies at 91.

1995
Coach Kevin Eastman took WSU men's basketball to NIT Tournament.

1995
WSU captured the Pacific-10 North baseball title under first year coach Steve Farrington.

1995
Butch the Cougar and Mickey Mouse spent the day together at Disneyland at a pregame rally for the WSU vs. USC football game.

1995
Money magazine ranked WSU among the top eight of the 436 Honors programs at American public universities.

1995
Golden Grads of 1945 gave as a class gift a grand piano which was dedicated during a concert in the Rotunda of the Holland Library addition.

1995
The WSU women's junior varsity eight crew team captured the crown at the National Collegiate Rowing Championship Regatta on Lake Harsha, Ohio.

1995
Coach Lisa Gozley and the WSU soccer team made their first NCAA Tournament appearance, ranking them 19th by "Soccer America."

1995
WSU opened a new 130-unit Yakama Village apartment complex for families and graduate students.

1995
President Emeritus Terrell, who led WSU from 1967-1985, returned to WSU for dedication of the Glenn Terrell Friendship Mall.

1995
Cougar women's volleyball team ranked, 5th nationally.

1995
Nobel Peace Prize Recipient Norman Borlang received WSU's honorary doctoral degree at commencement.

1995
Campaign WSU passed $200 million mark eight months before its scheduled end.

1995
U.S. Army Gen. John M Shalikashvili, U.S. Dept. of Defense Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair, spoke at commencement. His son was one of the graduates.

1995
Thomas "Les" Purce, former senior administrator at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, selected vice president for Extended University Affairs at WSU.

1995
Jack Friel, coach of the Cougar men's basketball team for 30 years and 495 victories, died at 97.

1995
"Common Ground," an acrylic-on-canvas three-piece painting celebrating diversity on the WSU campus, is dedicated in the Compton Union Building. WSU colleges and administrative units donated the nearly $10,000 for the mural. It was painted by artist Katrin Wiese, Riverside, Calif.

1995
Volleyball Coach Cindy Fredrick concludes her seventh season at WSU by being named Pacific-10 Conference Coach of the Year. The team finished 22-7 overall and third in the Pac-10, led by All-American Sara Silvernail.

1996
WSU President Samuel Smith received Boy Scouts of America's Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.

1996
Thrifty Payless contributed more than $100,000 for computer equipment, software and student scholarships for the College of Pharmacy.

1996
WSU officials and community partners announced plans to develop six pilot Learning Centers in the state to expand educational opportunities. The centers are located in Port Townsend, Wenatchee, Colville, Longview/Kelso, Tacoma and Yakima.

1996
Time magazine named WSU graduate William Julius Wilson, noted sociologist, one of America's most influential people.

1996
WSU Vancouver's new Salmon Creek 384-acre campus dedicated. It is WSU's first all new campus in more than a century.

1996
The $16 million Lighty Student Services Building, which adjoins French Administration Building, opened. It is named for WSU graduate Phil Lighty and his wife, June. The Lightys established one of WSU's largest scholarship endowments for students with demonstrated leadership potential.

1996
At the first anniversary of the state of Washington collegiate motor vehicle program, more than 5,119 plate featuring the WSU Cougar logo have been sold. More than all the other public schools in the state combined.

1996
The $3.1 million Phi Kappa Theta fraternity opened. High-tech in every respect, it reflects the "wired world" commitment of WSU alumnus and fraternity member Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder. He funded the building and equipped each of the other Greek houses at WSU with Internet connections.

1996
Money magazine ranks WSU among the top 15 best for value four-year undergraduate universities and colleges in the Western U.S.

1996
Mrs. George Randolph Hearst, Sr., widow of the oldest son of late newspaper giant William Randolph Hearst, became an Adopted Cougar.

1996
Dedication of WSU's Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service. It is named for the former speaker of the house and State of Washington Congress member.

1996
WSU's $38 million Veterinary Teaching Hospital opened. On Sept. 9 the hospital made history when an 80-year-old woman became the first human patient to use the hospital's magnetic resonance imaging unit. Under a cooperative agreement, the vet hospital provides imaging services for human patients.

1997
Gretchen Bataille named provost and vice president for academic affairs, effective July 1. She had been provost of the College of Letters and Science at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

1997
The seven-year Campaign WSU, the university's first comprehensive fund-raising effort, concluded with final total of $275.4 million, surpassing its original $250 million goal. Supporting WSU's vision to be one of the top public universities in the nation, the monies raised benefit scholarships, teaching and research programs, student programs and learning initiatives statewide.

1997
WSU President Samuel Smith chaired the NCAA Presidents Commission, the major governing body for college intercollegiate athletics.

1997
The Consolidated Information Center at WSU Tri-Cities opened. Funds for the $18.6 million literary and teaching center came from the state of Washington and the U.S. Department of Energy.

1997
WSU biochemists Rod Croteau and Linda Randall were elected to the National Academic of Sciences. They joined four other WSU researchers in the academy, C.A. "Bud" Ryan, a biochemist; Jim Cook, a USDA plant pathologist at WSU, John Hirth, a materials scientist, and Dieter H. von Wettstein, a plant geneticist.

1997
Debbie Pipher, senior member of the WSU coaching staff, resigns after 20 years as coach of the women's swimming team.

1997
Dave Cooper retired as manager of the Students Book Corporation, after 27 years leading the "Bookie."

1997
WSU received $10 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to create an Institute for Shock Physics. The institute is directed by WSU physics Professor Yogi Gupta.

1997
Picked to finish 7th in the Pac-10, the 1997 WSU Cougar football team finished first, earning the right to play the Rose Bowl game (Jan. 1, 1998) for the first time in 67 years.

1998
January 1, the WSU Cougar football team played in the Rose Bowl football game in Pasadena, Calif., pushing national champion and no. 1 ranked Michigan to the last play of the game before losing, 21-16. Some 101,219 fans and a world-wide television audience saw the game. In February, football coach Mike Price signed an eight-year contract extension through Dec. 31, 2005.

1998
An alcohol-induced student riot along a Colorado Street adjacent to the WSU campus takes place in early May. According to the Pullman Police Department, several hundred students engaged directly with police officers, some throwing bottles, cans and rocks. Estimates put some 1,000 on-lookers on the street during the five-hour disruption that left 23 law enforcement officers and four students injured, according to a story in the June 1998 issue of HillTopics.

1998
Washington Gov. Gary Locke participates in a dialogue on race and bigotry in the Compton Union Building, with students, faculty and staff. In an address, he said, "The gift of cultural pluralism is grounded in mutual respect and democracy."

1998
The new $27 million, 100,000-square foot Engineering, Teaching and Research Laboratory opened. Adjacent to Dana Hall, the four-story structure was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

1998
A new state law gave WSU a major educational leadership role in Spokane, and management responsibilities for the Riverpoint campus.

1998
The WSU Creamery, home of Ferdinand's, celebrated its 50th anniversary. Previously located in Troy Hall, Ferdinand's moved to new facilities in the Food Quality Building in 1992. WSU cheeses, including Cougar Gold, are sold worldwide.

1998
The first students recruited to WSU through the College of Education's Future Teachers of Color program graduated during the 1998 Commencement.

1998
Pine Manor was torn down. Built by the Works Progress Administration in 1937 with a knotty pine interior, it was operated as a cooperative house, independent of the university's housing system. In 1963, fire safety concerns brought an end to its use as a dormitory. WSU purchased it and renovated it into headquarters for an internationally recognized anthropology program.

1998
The Bill Chipman Palouse Trail opened. Built on an abandoned railroad bed, the recreational path parallels the highway between Pullman and Moscow. Creating the eight-mile recreational asphalt trail involved two states, two cities, and WSU and the University of Idaho. The late Bill Chipman, Pullman car dealer, was a UI graduate and supporter of his alma mater and WSU.

1998
At age 102, Dorothy Otto Kennedy, the oldest living graduate of the WSU College of Pharmacy, died in Everett. She earned her degree in 1916 and went on to practice pharmacy in Reardan in eastern Washington and Everett in western Washington.

1998
A $1 million renovation of the "Bookie," WSU's student book store, was completed. The facility now includes a 1,000-square foot den with a fireplace, plus an espresso bar as part of the Wazzu Café.

1998
WSU's official fall semester Pullman campus enrollments reached 17,912. System-wide WSU registration totaled 20,998. The 2,877 new freshmen comprised the largest incoming class since 2,970 enrolled in 1980.

1998
Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine (Sept. 1998 issue) ranked WSU 39th among the nation's "Top 100 Values in State Universities."

1998
A new poetry corner in the Holland/New Library Atrium was named to honor Ruth Slonim, professor emeritus of English.

1998
On March 26, the WSU Alumni Association began a six-month centennial celebration. The association started in 1898, eight years after the state Legislature created the land-grant college (March 28, 1890).

1999
In March, the 24th annual Pah-Loots-Pu, a three-day celebration and dance competition, was held, sponsored by Ku-Ah-Mah, the Native American student organization at WSU.

1999
WSU's campuses in Spokane, the Tri-Cities and Vancouver celebrated their 10th anniversaries. They were all created by the state Legislature on July 1, 1989.

1999
Jamie Kern represented WSU's 150,000th graduate at commencement.

1999
WSU alumnus and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen became the 29th recipient of the Regents' Distinguished Alumnus Award during Commencement.

1999
The Admissions Office suite in the Lighty Student Services is dedicated in Stan Berry's name. He worked 33 years in WSU admissions, 22 of them as director.

1999
President Samuel Smith, who became WSU’s eighth president in 1985, announced he would retire in summer 2000. Smith, 59, said WSU "has just finished a very successful Legislative session that provided much needed dollars for faculty salaries and construction" for the Pullman, Spokane, Tri-Cities and Vancouver campuses. A search committee will assist WSU Regents in finding a successor.

1999
The May issue of Yahoo Internet Life Magazine rates WSU the No. 1 "wired" public university in America.

         
                         
                         
                         
 

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