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Washington State University Libraries
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Pullman, WA 99164-5610 USA
(509) 335-6691

Archives 319
Washington State University Emeritus Society
Oral Histories, 2010-2011

The oral histories of the Emeritus Society Oral History Project were received on an individual basis in 2010 and 2011. They were accessioned (UA2012-01) upon receipt of the permissions forms, and processed at that time by University Archivist Mark O'English. Descriptions of individual interviews were created by WSU History student Hannah Robinson.

Number of containers: 1
Linear feet of shelf space: .5


The Washington State University Emeritus Society was formed in 2007, so that WSU could aid retired faculty member in making effective use of skills and experience developed in years of employment in their fields and to explore new directions of intellectual endeavor, to the benefit of the retirees, the University, and its current faculty, staff, and students. In 2010-2011 the Society conducted oral history interviews with several retired faculty.


The collection is organized alphabetically by interviewee. Two DVDs containing the interviews and electronic files of the transcripts are held in one folder at the rear of the collection, but the archival copies of these materials are held in MASC's digital archives.


The collection is a series of oral interviews conducted with retired Washington State University faculty between March 2010 and April 2011. The interviews document the interviewees life and work at Washington State University, as well as their recollections of significant campus events.

The interviews were all conducted by Washington State University PhD candidate Katy Fry, and recorded digitally as wav files using a Sansa Fuze. Transcripted interviews were returned to Mrs. Fry and the interviewees for correction/elaboration, and those corrected files are maintained as Microsoft Word files, but also have been printed and can be physically found in this collection. Also present in the collection are permission forms signed by the interviewer and interviewee.

Creation of the transcripts was provided through a fund created in 2004 by the returning (Golden Grad) Alumni of the Washington State College Class of 1954.


MASC maintains a list of its oral history holdings, but collections with strong WSU ties include:
Archives 202: WSU Centennial Oral History Project Oral Histories, 1982-1988
Archives 297: WSU Class of '54 Washington State University Oral History Project, 2005-2008


This collection is open and available for research use. Materials are subject to copyright.


The suggested citation for the collection is:

[Item Description]
Washington State University Emeritus Society Oral Histories, 2010-2011 (Archives 319)
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Washington State University Libraries
Pullman, WA


Materials are primarily in English.



Interviewee Date Minutes Dept / Unit Areas
Ackerman, Robert2010-04-0569ArchaeologyHe discusses his academic career including his ethnographic and archaeological research in southwestern Alaska and teaching both undergraduates and graduate students in the Washington State University Anthropology department. He talks about interdepartmental cooperation on the WSU campus and the development of the Anthropology department. Other topics include his research concerning the peopling of the New World as well as his wifeís research; Lillian Ackerman was an adjunct Anthropology faculty member.
Ashby, LeRoy2011-04-11116HistoryHe talks about his academic career and how he was hired for the History department at Washington State University. He also discusses his involvement in the civil rights movement with his wife Mary. His wife Mary Ashby is also interviewed for a large part of the interview.
Bennett, Ed2010-10-07; 2010-10-21168HistoryHe talks about his military service overseas and his academic career studying Russian history and the United States' diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. He also discusses his research and teaching career at WSU as well as his administrative work on campus, university politics, and student strikes in the 1970s. He mentions women who worked in the History department, his job chairing the athletic council, and how his work affected his wife Margery. He discusses being chosen as the keynote speaker for the Roosevelt Libraryís 50th Anniversary celebration of recognition of Russia. He talks about traveling to Russia for a five year research job where he analyzed Soviet-American relations after World War II. He also mentions his appointment to the American Historical Association council.
Butcher, Walter2010-04-21115Economic SciencesHe discusses his academic career studying agricultural economics and his work as an economic researcher for the United States Department of Agriculture. He talks about his hiring process at Washington State University, campus politics, and his academic research. He mentions starting an irrigation consulting company, a power plant project, and his post-retirement irrigation project in Uzbekistan.
Durrant, Sue2010-12-0998Physical EducationShe talks about her education and career at Washington State University. She discusses teaching physical education, coaching womenís college sports, and the Association of Faculty Women at Washington State University. She also talks about her involvement in the implementation of Title IX and gender equality in college athletics.
Hinman, George2010-04-05; 2010-04-12118Earth & Environmental SciencesHe talks about obtaining degrees in Physics at Carnegie Institute of Technology and his career as a professor at Washington State University. Topics discussed include energy independence research, current energy issues, nuclear energy, environmental science and regional planning. He discusses his involvement as a consultant for the Government Accountability Office for thirty years. He talks about chairing the environmental science and regional planning program and his involvement in the Washington Public Power Supply System.
Kiessling, Nick2010-11-0297EnglishHe discusses getting a masters degree in American History and a PhD in English for Medieval Studies both at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He talks about his career at Washington State University, his teaching and research, and administrative politics on campus. Other topics include the implementation of a doctorate English degree at Washington State University, student movements on campus, his academic research in England, and his work editing the Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton.
Kirschner, Len2010-03-09; 1010-03-15119ZoologyHe discusses getting a degree in physiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, being hired at Washington State University, and his involvement in the Pullman community. He talks about campus administration, his work with the WWAMI, and civil rights issues on campus. He talks about the McCarthy era, the civil rights movement, and Vietnam War student movements on the Washington State University campus. He also discusses minority students in detail.
Kromman, Inga2011-04-20125EducationShe talks about her early career as an elementary teacher, her graduate and post-graduate studies, and her professorship at Washington State University. She discusses the education department in detail, including administration, politics, and gender equality issues. She also discusses her involvement in forming the Association for Faculty Women.
Maloney, Thomas2010-04-19; 2010-04-28181Mechanical & Materials EngineeringHe talks about attending Washington State University as an undergraduate, campus life, and obtaining a degree in Industrial Arts. He also discusses being hired at Washington State University, becoming a full professor, and directing the wood materials and engineering lab without ever getting a higher degree. Other topics of discussion include teaching, awards, personal health, and his family. He talks about organizing the International Nondestructive Testing of Wood Symposium, his family and his involvement saving the Lewis Alumni Centre.
Nakata, Herb2010-11-09; 2011-03-08140MicrobiologyHe reminisces about living through Japanese internment as a teenager, studying bacteriology and microbiology in college, and serving in the army during the Korean War. He discusses chairing the microbiology department at Washington State University for 24 years, student movements on campus, and university administration. He also mentions writing a history of the microbiology department at Washington State University, raising money for student scholarships, and his wife who also had a masterís degree in microbiology.
Orlich, Don2010-03-1077EducationHe discusses growing up in Montana, ROTC at the University of Montana, and getting a masterís degree in science education. He reminisces about being hired at Washington State University, campus administration and politics, teaching, and research. Other topics include science education in public schools, women in science, and university student movements.
Quann, James2010-04-2867RegistrarHe talks about growing up in Coulee City, Washington, getting his undergraduate and masterís degrees at Washington State University, and serving in the army during the Korean War. He discusses being hired at Washington State University as registrar, some teaching, and his research about student military veterans. Other topics include the Veteranís Memorial on the Washington State University Campus, work outside the university, travelling, and campus life.
Richarz, Sherrill2010-12-0754Childhood EducationShe reminisces about undergraduate school at Trinity University in Texas where she majored in bacteriology, getting married, and moving around the world with her husband who was in the Air Force. She talks about starting a family, resuming her education at Washington State University and getting a masterís degree in Early Childhood as well as a doctorate in Child Development at the University of Idaho. She also discusses her career as a professor in the Human Development department at Washington State University, her students, and campus issues.
Seamans, David2010-03-2464Electrical Engineering and Computer ScienceHe reminisces about going to the University of Kansas and getting an undergraduate and graduate degree in electrical engineering. He talks about being hired at Washington State University, university administration, and campus life. He also discusses technological advancements that happened during his professional career, his passion for music, and various students.
Short, James2010-04-14124SociologyHe talks about serving in the Marine Corps during World War II, his education at Denison University and the University of Chicago majoring in Sociology, and his later career as professor at Washington State University. He discusses his research concerning teenage gangs in Chicago, his publications, and visiting professorships at multiple universities. He also talks about race issues and students movements on the Washington State University campus.
Swanson, Thor2010-03-1776Political ScienceHe talks about attending the University of Iowa for undergraduate and graduate school for degrees in economics and political science respectively. He also mentions getting his PhD at Syracuse in political science and being hired at Washington State University. He discusses teaching, developing the political science graduate program, and his appointment as the chair of the discipline committee from 1968 to 1972 during times of student unrest.
Whittlesey, Norman2010-04-0975Agricultural EconomicsHe reminisces about his college education in agricultural economics at Colorado State University and the University of Iowa. He also discusses being hired at Washington State University and his research and teaching. He talks about his research projects, specifically his work on the Columbia Basin Project. Other topics include farming in eastern Washington and state politics.
Yount, Ralph2010-03-08107ChemistryHe talks about his education in chemistry at Iowa State University, his scientific research, and working at Washington State University. He discusses his part in the development of the biochemistry and biophysics department at Washington State University and his chairmanship of the chemistry department. Other topics include campus administration and politics, students, women in higher education, and work with the WWAMI program.