Dean’s message: October 2023

Dori outside the College in October 2023.

We have had a truly picturesque fall in the Palouse. This week temperatures are expected to drop and my morning walks now align with big sky sunrises and evening walks showcase the muted colors of winter sky.

Now, at the end of autumn, the WSU community has been given the gift of art. Next week we will unveil the Deborah Butterfield sculpture, Red Forest, whose new home will be between the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and the Paul G. Allen School for Global Health. The sculpture was gifted by Howard Wright in honor of the relationship between his mother, Ty Scheumann, and Dr. Leo Bustad.

Its outside location perfectly reflects the Wright Scheumann family connection to horses and passion for global health, and the human-animal bond. I am delighted that this regal, noble, life-sized sculpture has joined our college landscape. It couldn’t be more perfect. The artist originally wanted to be a veterinarian but shifted to art. She wanted to depict a side of horses that veered from racing, sport, or war. Rather, her mares are meant to “evoke a sense of tranquility, showing horses in peaceful and natural poses as they stand, graze, contemplate, and rest.”

Art, and particularly public art, draws smiles, contemplation, and conversation—an enduring appreciation for the creative spirit, something bigger than us. So, do come meet Red Forest, get to know her through the seasons and appreciate her journey here that started with a relationship between Dr. Leo Bustad and the Wright Scheumann family.

Thank you for this opportunity, we’re so honored and proud to recognize this legacy between WSU, Dr. Bustad, and the Wright Scheumann family.

Howard Wright, Class of 1976

Last week, we hosted the Dean’s Celebration of Excellence in Seattle. We showcased the amazing biomedical research taking place at the college. Faculty at our college tackle some of the world’s biggest health challenges, from infectious diseases that move between animals and people to strategies to address food insecurity and resilient livestock.

The people who come to these evenings all have a deep connection with the college as grateful clients or proud alumni or simply friends of friends. These relationships are strong, and I am delighted to do my part in building and sustaining our community connections because, as we learned with the Butterfield sculpture, relationships matter. A truly heartfelt thank you to Drs. Bonnie Gunn, Jon Oatley, and Dana Shaw who brought their best selves forward for an engaging night to celebrate research excellence.

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