Ida Lou Anderson House renaming ceremony happening June 8

Exterior of the chancellor's home on the WSU Pullman campus.
Chancellor Elizabeth Chilton and First Gentleman Michael Sugerman's residence on the WSU Pullman campus.

The historic home of Washington State University presidents, now the official residence of the Pullman campus chancellor, is officially being renamed as part of a formal ceremony next week.

The commemoration of the Ida Lou Anderson House is taking place from 4:30–6 p.m. on Thursday, June 8, at 755 NE Campus Street in Pullman. The event is free, with all members of the public invited to attend.

The ceremony will serve as a celebration of Anderson’s legacy, who was among the first female faculty at WSU and counted among her numerous mentees the eminent broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow.

For the first century of its existence, the home located on College Hill was known as the President’s Residence and hosted the families of past WSU leaders dating back to its completion in 1913.

Closeup of Ida Lou Anderson with a group of students.
Ida Lou Anderson, one of WSU’s first female faculty members and longtime mentor of Edward R. Murrow.

That tradition shifted last year, when President Kirk Schulz opted to relocate to demonstrate a broader focus on the WSU system and allow WSU Pullman Chancellor Elizabeth Chilton and her family to move in. The shift in occupancy brought the opportunity to rename the residence, with Chilton working with WSU Libraries staff to find a new namesake.

In November of 2022, the WSU Board of Regents voted unanimously to approve the new name.

Anderson taught at WSU from 1926 until 1939, when her deteriorating health forced her to take medical leave prior to formally resigning the following year. Prior to teaching at WSU, Anderson attended what was then known as Washington State College, excelling on the stage in campus theatrical productions as well as winning statewide public speaking awards, according to a profile in Washington State Magazine.

Anderson’s great nephew, Bill Plaskett, is expected to be among those in attendance for the ceremony.

Questions about the event can be submitted to the WSU Pullman chancellor’s office.

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