Honored for five decades of outstanding teaching and research at Washington State University, Ken Casavant, Emeritus Professor in WSU’s School of Economic Sciences, will receive the university’s Alumni Achievement Award at a reception, presentation and reunion, 4 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at the Lewis Alumni Center on the Pullman campus.

Colleagues and friends are invited to attend and celebrate Casavant’s accomplishments. RSVP by May 21.

Admission is free.

Receiving his doctorate in agricultural economics here in 1971, Casavant has studied and worked at WSU for 50 years. An agricultural economist and longtime Faculty Athletics representative, Casavant was co‑developer and director of the WSU Freight Policy Transportation Institute with associate professor Eric Jessup, and a member of the Northwest Power Planning Council. He retired in 2018.

Mentoring many students and faculty members, Casavant’s research explores how policy affects people and the movement of goods that power our economy. His work has helped develop more intelligent, effective transportation systems of roads, rail and ports for producers and customers.

The 2015 recipient of the WSU President’s Distinguished Lifetime Service Award, Casavant also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pacific Northwest Transportation Consortium.

“Washington is the most trade dependent state in the United States, and when you can’t reach your customer, there is no trade,” he said. “Transportation is the lifeline of our economy. Improving it is critical to people and products, and I have relished seeing our work at WSU providing those benefits.”

In addition, Casavant has won local, state and national awards for his teaching. His research program brought in more than $9 million in funded research, and he has co-authored several books and more than 100 articles.

“Being a graduate of WSU, a faculty member and a member of the Pullman/WSU community for so long, I was always pleased to contribute where I could – something that so many of our WSU community do so well,” Casavant said.

“Being recognized for what I have always enjoyed doing is a pleasure,” he said. “All young people should want to work in an area that is so essential, rewarding and fun.