Washington State University (WSU) is a remarkable place, over the years educating hundreds of thousands, conducting innovative research in a wide variety of disciplines, and earning numerous intercollegiate athletics titles. Originally named The Agricultural College, Experiment Station and School of Science of the State of Washington, the school first opened on a wintry 1892 morning with six professors. Today, the institution has more than 2,600 faculty positions and annually awards over 7,000 degrees on multiple campuses—now exceeding 260,000 total since its first graduating class of seven.
In Leading the Crimson and Gray, multiple authors chronicle the lives and legacies of those who served in one of WSU’s most visible roles—president. These executives were responsible for raising funds, shaping strategic visions, addressing faculty and student concerns, attending to fiscal issues, and interacting with lawmakers and business leaders. There were early bitter battles over the Pullman location and curriculum. Other eras brought student unrest and social upheaval, wars, protests, and severe economic depression and recession.
Their accomplishments were substantial. Early presidents launched the college, expanded the academic program beyond agriculture and science, established general education requirements, and took key steps toward eventual university status. Later presidents supported athletic achievement, vastly strengthened enrollment, obtained favorable legislative budgets and support for a capital construction bond referendum, increased research grants and contracts, completed major construction projects, effectively faced massive state allocation cuts, and won bipartisan state legislative backing for a new medical school. Combined, George W. Lilley, John W. Heston, Enoch A. Bryan, Ernest O. Holland, Wilson M. Compton, C. Clement French, W. Glenn Terrell, Samuel H. Smith, V. Lane Rawlins, and Elson S.Floyd left a legacy that makes the Cougar Nation proud.
Illustrations / research notes / index / 256 pages (2019)
For the limited edition hardbound, only 125 were printed, with each collectible volume numbered and signed by current WSU President Kirk H. Schulz and WSU Regent Scott E. Carson.
A portion of every sale—hardbound or paperback—benefits the President’s Excellence Fund.
About the chapter authors:
William Stimson is a professor of journalism at Eastern Washington University. He holds a PhD in American history from WSU. A lifetime Pacific Northwesterner, Mark O’English is the University Archivist at WSU. He also writes regular local history columns for the regional newspapers, and conducts campus history presentations for a variety of groups. Tim Steury, like Enoch Bryan, is a Hoosier farm boy. He joined WSU in 1990 as research news coordinator and editor of the research magazine Universe. He created Ask Dr. Universe and is a founding editor of Washington State Magazine. Dr. Trevor James Bond is the Co-Director of the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation and the Associate Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections at the WSU Libraries. He completed his doctorate at WSU in the Department of History in 2017. Larry Clark has served as editor of Washington State Magazinesince 2014, and previously worked as a writer, editor, and communications professional. He holds bachelor’s degrees in journalism and Asian studies from WSU, and a master’s degree in Asian studies from the University of Oregon. Sam Fleischer is a doctoral student in modern American history at Washington State University. He has been teaching collegiate education, English, and history courses for over twenty years across the U.S. John T. Menard is currently a WSU graduate student in the history department. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in history from WSU. He previously worked as a high school world history and economics teacher, as well as a book reviewer for the Yakima Herald-Republic. Brian Stack is currently a doctoral candidate in history at WSU, where he also earned his master’s degree in history in 2015. His dissertation examines the interrelated histories of the American West, sexuality, and animal abuse during the twentieth century. Buddy Levy is a WSU clinical professor of English. Along with several of his own titles, he has co-authored books with Erik Weihenmayer and Coach Mike Leach. Paul Pitre became Chancellor for WSU’s Everett campus in September 2016, after serving as Academic Dean of the campus from 2011- 2016. He is an associate professor of Educational Leadership and Counseling Psychology at WSU. He received his doctorate in Education Policy and Leadership from the University of Maryland. Aaron Ngozi Oforlea is Associate Professor of English at WSU. He has published several articles in the areas of African American literature, folklore, and masculinity, as well as a book. Brian Dixon is assistant vice president of Student Financial Services at WSU. Originally from Wisconsin, Brian is completing a doctorate in higher education leadership and policy at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon.