It was late March 1890 when the fledgling Washington State Legislature established the state’s land-grant college – the institution that has grown into the Washington State University of today.
Seattle’s population was right around 43,000 at the time, and cable cars had just started running up and down Madison Street. Spokane was booming as a result of gold and silver strikes in the late 1800s and had become one of the largest and most important railroad hubs in the western United States. Pullman had only been incorporated as a city for four years, but its 200 residents fought hard to make their new community the home of the new college.
Over the past 125 years, Washington State University has had an incredible impact within Washington, nationally and internationally. There are hundreds of examples of how the innovative research of our faculty and the energy and skill of our graduates have made a positive difference in business, industry, education, the health sciences, government, and communities around the globe.
Throughout our history, we have aligned our resources with the needs and challenges of our state, our nation, and the world. As a land-grant research university, our mission is three fold: To advance knowledge through creative research, innovation, and creativity; to extend knowledge through impactful educational programs that help students realize their highest potential; and to apply knowledge through local and global engagement in order to improve quality of life and increase economic prosperity.
The success of our efforts was acknowledged again just this week, as the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching recognized WSU with a Community Engagement Classification for the second time. The current classification runs for 10 years.
Throughout the Cougar Nation we will celebrate the many accomplishments of the past 125 years with gusto in the coming year, as we continue to serve our students, our many stakeholders, and the people of this great state. Here at WSU, we ask ourselves this: What do you call 125 years of outstanding research, teaching and outreach? We call that a very good start.