President-elect Kirk H. Schulz and Dr. Noel Schulz’s tour of WSU’s five physical campuses gave our new first couple an opportunity to see the many parts of our great university. The two-day trip also displayed WSU as a cohesive system with campuses statewide that reflect the economic and human diversity of their communities.

Kirk and Noel were able to see what makes each of our campuses unique and responsive to community needs and what makes them an integral part of WSU’s system-wide priorities around students, academic excellence and research.  Their engaging and personable approach was lauded by attendees at each stop.

Standing room only crowds waving the Cougar Nation flag greeted us at each campus; Pullman, the Tri Cities, Spokane, Vancouver and Everett. The crimson and gray tides waving in the sunshine, or in the rain at one location, were truly a sight to behold!

I was proud to walk alongside our campuses’ chancellors and deans showing off the unity of WSU and the unique strengths of each campus. Viticulture and enology in the Tri Cities. Human medical sciences in Spokane. Research and innovation in Vancouver. And WSU North Puget Sound at Everett has now grown into the second-largest education provider in Everett.

At the WSU offices in Seattle, we met with our colleagues whose work in fund development, government relations, economic development, communications, and corporate relations help maintain WSU’s position as an economic engine and major provider of higher education.

The tours required a lot of effort and logistical planning. We owe a debt of gratitude to the many staff members on all of our campuses that worked as a team to pull off a very complex and packed agenda. We are also very appreciative for the air transportation donated by our Coug friends. Cougs help Cougs; that is in our DNA.

As we had planned, the tour turned out to be a great way for Cougs to meet WSU’s 11th president. Equally as important were the face-to-face affirmations of WSU as a multi-campus system offering high-quality academics and research throughout Washington State.  I know that both Kirk and Noel Schulz were very impressed and are excited to get started on the next chapter of their lives and for Washington State University.