For a while, they called it the Washington Agricultural College and School of Science. After that, they officially called it the State College of Washington. Then, in 1959, they started calling it Washington State University.
Our land-grant turns 125 years old this weekend. It has been perched atop a hill in the little slice of heaven on earth we call the Palouse for one and a quarter centuries. Plenty has changed in Pullman since and will in the future. But it's still a marvel to sit back and realize that, just one year after the state of Washington has admitted to the union, our alma mater was created. The first graduating class in 1897 had seven people, creating for what had to be the most pleasantly short graduation ceremony in school history. Contrast that with a bursting at the seems Beasley Coliseum every May for three separate ceremonies and things have come a long way.
As with every WSU birthday, we ask you to share you favorite story from your time in school. I'll get us started with a story about why the chairs in the Todd Auditorium are too comfortable.
Like many underclassman, my goal in the first two years at WSU was to get rid of all the general credit requirements I could, especially when it came to my worst subject: science. So after getting environmental science out of the way my freshman year, I started the fall semester of my sophomore year with biology. Paul Verrell, he of the incredible mustache and booming English voice that needed no microphone, made for a very memorable half of a semester before some boring old fart replaced him.
But the first day of Verrell's class, I was hungover. First time in Pullman in three and a half months hungover. I took my seat near the back of the massive Todd Auditorium at 9:00 a.m. because I'm a good student and will still drag my ass to syllabus day even if I'm sporting a headache that could knock a bull elephant off its feet.
The trouble with Todd Auditorium though is the seats. They're wide, padded and they recline. Add in the perfect ambient temperature in the room and the combination creates perfect napping conditions.
For the first time in my life, I fell asleep in a class. Not only did I fall asleep, I didn't wake up until the next class had started their lecture. I opened my eyes to what I thought was a sociology class and a teacher who was definitely not Paul Verrell. So after what was admittedly a very refreshing 60 or so minute snooze, I got up and started to leave. The professor stopped his class.
"Hey, you, where are you going?"
"Uh, I'm not in this class."
"You clearly are. It may be syllabus day but it's still rude to leave."
"I fell asleep in the biology lecture, man. I don't even know what this class is."
"Give me your name, you're going to lose some attendance points."
"Nope, see you later."
I walked out and whoever was teaching the class didn't follow. Then, I walked home, got in the car, drove to Taco Bell and destroyed about five tacos and at least 64 ounces of Mountain Dew.
So what's your favorite story from your time at WSU?