PULLMAN, Wash. — C. James Quann, registrar emeritus at Washington State University, will receive the WSU Alumni Achievement Award May 9 during the university’s 102nd Commencement. He served on the university’s Graduation Committee from 1971 to 1990.
The Spokane resident is being recognized by his alma mater “for superb executive leadership to the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and for providing state-of-the-art development and consultation, and for dedicated service and advocacy to alumni military veterans of Washington State.”
Quann began his professional career at WSU in 1966 as associate registrar. In 1970, he was appointed registrar, secretary of the faculty and editor of the university catalog. Ever the innovator, he led the way in bringing pre-registration, summer orientation and enrollment, the early-start calendar, decentralized commencement and the Parents’ Association to WSU.
In addition, Quann was founder of the Veterans Memorial Committee and chaired a fund-raising group to build the Veterans Memorial Plaza east of Thompson Hall at WSU. He gave the dedicatory address on Veteran’s Day 1993 and returned again to the plaza last fall for the Veterans Day ceremonies.
In 1978-79, he spearheaded a $1.5 million drive to build the St. Thomas More religious center and chapel near the campus for WSU students.
After nearly three decades at WSU, Quann left Pullman in 1990 to become university registrar and director of Student Information Systems at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Later, he was named vice chancellor of Student Affairs at UCSC. In the summer of 1995, he returned to WSU on a courtesy appointment, and continues as registrar emeritus/coordinator of Veterans research. He currently is exploring the lives and gallantry of WSU Veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf War, and has written more than a dozen journal articles on the sacrifice and heroism of selected WSU veterans.
The Hartline native holds three degrees from WSU, where he was vice president of the junior class and president of the senior class. He completed a bachelor’s degree in agriculture (1954), a master’s degree in agricultural economics (1960) and a Doctor of Education (1971).
Following graduation, he spent one year in Uruguay as an International Farm Youth Exchange Student, followed by two years as a U.S. Army officer, including a tour of Korea.
When he returned to WSU to complete his master’s degree, he was head resident at Waller Hall. He was dean of men and director of housing at Eastern New Mexico University (1959-62) and dean of men and director of student activities at Central Washington University (1962-66), before being hired by WSU.
Over the years he has been widely sought as a consultant and recognized by his peers with the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers. In 1994, he received the Chancellor’s Award from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Quann is married to the former Barbara Heathman (’54 Bus. Adm.).

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