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Golden, diamond grads recall Holland during library tour

By Nella Letizia, WSU Libraries
PULLMAN, Wash. – Roughly 80 members of the Washington State University classes of 1964 and 1954 (and one from the class of 1944) listened to piano performances in the Terrell Library atrium and toured Holland Library last week during an annual celebration honoring longtime alumni.

For the diamond grads, Holland had just been constructed when they arrived at the university to pursue studies in 1950.

Diamond grad Ray Needham.

Ray Needham of Gold Canyon, Ariz., was in Pullman a year earlier and remembered when workers installed the Nature Boy sculpture on the library building. Some questioned the expense, he recalled – not foreseeing how much Nature Boy would come to mean to generations of students at WSU.

“It’s a nice symbol. It enriches the college,” Needham said. “I think that’s something that lives and lives.”

Golden grad Mary Jo Keller of Woodland, Wash., enjoyed working with and handling original books, articles and other documents in Holland. For a Pacific Northwest history course she took as a student, Keller flipped through the library’s extensive collection of maps, noting places that she and her husband, Jim, would later visit in their travels.

She still relishes the pleasure of physical books in her hands: “I love the smell of them, the feel of them,” she said.

Other alumni have a closer relationship to the WSU Libraries through their continued involvement in its operations, including diamond grad Jim Ruck of Everett, Wash. He is a longtime member of the WSU Libraries Council, a 12-member group that works to build awareness and resources for the libraries through advocacy and fundraising.

Diamond grads Jim and Lee Ruck of Everett, Wash., show their Cougar pride. (Photo courtesy of the WSU Foundation)

Two initiatives that Ruck is particularly proud of from his council service were establishment of the Glenn Terrell Endowment for Excellence in Student Services and purchase of the libraries’ large-format Zeutschel scanner.

The Terrell Endowment provides support for modern group and individual study environments that also integrate multimedia equipment. The Zeutschel scanner has made it possible to preserve, digitize and share rare, delicate collections from WSU Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections that previously could not be scanned.

In fact, roaming the archives and seeing some of the collections in MASC are Ruck’s favorite activities at the WSU Libraries. He and wife Lee, also a WSU diamond grad, are frequent visitors to Pullman and keep up to date with what’s happening at their alma mater by reading the university’s e-newsletter, WSU News.

“I’m just amazed at what’s happening on and off campus,” Ruck said. “At this point, we count our blessings. We’re fortunate to still walk around campus.”

Golden grad Marilyn (Vinup) Kimble of Bellevue, Wash., is also a familiar face in Pullman and at the WSU Libraries. In 2001, she and husband Wallis made a gift to establish a specialized digitizing project in the libraries to scan and index articles from Pacific Northwest newspapers dating back to 1890. With the Kimbles’ continued support, WSU Libraries has digitized the collection so others can see the treasure trove of history chronicled there.

As a WSU student and even after graduation, Kimble worked at Holland Library, which she called “a second home.”

“That’s the main reason I gave to the libraries as an alum, because I fell in love with Holland,” she said. “I spent a lot of time here. It was so central to campus, and everybody used it in those days. That hasn’t changed.”


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