RICHLAND — The first WSU Tri-Cities Fun Run on March 28 will recognize a multiracial pioneer who was key in establishing what is now WSU in Pullman.
The William Owen Bush Memorial 5K Fun Run/Walk starts at 9 a.m. Saturday on the Richland campus. Participation is free and open to the public, sponsored by the WSU Tri-Cities student-run Multicultural Club.
Registration starts at 8 a.m. in the WSU Tri-Cities parking lot by the East Building, 2710 University Drive. The 5K course goes along the Columbia River and wraps around the campus. Individuals and teams are welcome. Light refreshments are provided. Wear your crimson and gray.
William Owen Bush (1832-1907) was the eldest son of George Bush, a mixed-race settler who moved his large family to an 800-acre farm in the Tumwater area in 1845.
William Owen Bush and his family helped organize the Western Washington Industrial Association (WWIA) in 1872 to promote agricultural exhibitions, according to www.blackpast.org and the Early History of Thurston County, Washington by Georgiana Blankenship. In 1889, he represented Thurston County in the first state legislature. While serving in the House of Representatives, he helped write the first state laws including House Bill 90, which pledged the state to “use federal money from the Morrell Act to establish a college for the study of the science of agriculture.” Combined with several other bills, this proposal became Washington State College in Pullman, now WSU.