Washington State University Names Chancellor’s Residence After a Pioneering Woman Faculty Member

The board of regents of Washington State University has voted to rename the residence historically used by the president of the university system to honor a pioneering woman faculty member. The residence, which was completed in 1913, is now occupied by the chancellor of the flagship Pullman campus. The residence will now be known as Ida Lou Anderson House.

Anderson grew up in the South before her family relocated to Colfax, Washington, where she graduated high school and went on to attend what was then known as Washington State College. After completing her master’s degree in speech from the University of Chicago, she returned to Pullman in 1926 as an instructor in the speech department. She was one of Washington State’s first female faculty members and counted among her many students and mentees Edward R. Murrow, one of the university’s most illustrious alumni.

Through her teaching and guidance, Anderson had a tremendous impact on radio broadcasting and the academic field of communication. Her accomplishments came in spite of the significant physical ailments she endured in her life, having been stricken with polio as a child.

Anderson taught at Washington State until 1939 when she was forced to step down due to her deteriorating health. She died two years later.

Ida Lou Anderson House, Pullman, Washington


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