Two WSU alumni will be honored at the 31st National Lentil Festival and will forever be commemorated in Pullman with Walk of Fame awards.
Mike Utley and Sue Durrant are two of this year’s Walk of Fame 2019 inductees. Plaques with their names inscribed on them will join the previous Walk of Fame inductees in the sidewalks of Pullman.
The annual festival opens this evening at Reaney Park and Spring Street in downtown Pullman and continues through Saturday. Washington State University is among the festival’s sponsors.
Utley, who in 1988 during his senior year, helped the Washington State football team win its first bowl game since the 1916 Rose Bowl with a 24-22 victory over the Houston Cougars in the Aloha Bowl. After earning All-American honors as an offensive lineman, he went on to play in the NFL for the Detroit Lions, where his career was cut short after a spinal cord injury that paralyzed him.
With rehabilitation, he regained control of his upper extremities. His foundation, The Mike Utley Foundation, works to financially support an effective function-restoring treatment for spinal cord injuries and to encourage adopting a rehabilitative lifestyle for the spinal cord injured.
Durrant was a pioneer in women’s athletics at WSU and a driving force in the Title IX lawsuit to provide gender equity in Washington and across the nation. She earned her master’s degree at WSU in 1962 and went on to coach both women’s basketball and volleyball, spending over a decade coaching both sports.
In 1983, she became the first delegate from Washington State University to the Bryn Mawr Institute for Women in Higher Education Administration. In 2001 she became the first recipient of the Samuel H. Smith Leadership Award after serving as faculty representative to the state legislature, becoming president of the Association for Faculty Women at WSU, and serving as the chair of the Washington Council of Faculty.
The festival will be held on August 16-17 at Reaney Park and Spring Street. Pre-festival activities will start on Friday at 9:00 A.M. Later in the evening at 5:00, attendees can enjoy free chili from the World’s Largest Bowl, ZFun mix and trivia, a live cooking demo segment, and live music from Clare Dunn, Smithfield, Melodime and Aaron Cerutti.
For more information, including times and locations for all activities, visit www.lentilfest.com.