WSU’s Owen Library Celebrates 20th Anniversary

PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the
Owen Science and Engineering Library’s dedication during a 1:30 p.m. program Friday, April 23,
at the facility.
“This event is a public celebration of the library as a landmark, which has done so well for
more than 20 years,” said Nancy L. Baker, director of WSU libraries.
The celebration will take place in the middle concourse between Owen library and Science
Hall and feature a presentation hosted by Baker. Guest speakers include Gretchen M. Bataille,
provost and academic vice president; Darlene Hildebrandt, Owen library head; and Kirk
McMichael, associate professor of chemistry and member of the Owen Library Building
Owen library is named for Frances Penrose Owen, WSU’s first woman regent. Mrs. Owen
was appointed in 1957 and served for 18 years, during which she was elected board president
In 1990, Mrs. Owen received the Medal of Merit, the state’s highest award, for her significant
contributions to education. WSU President Emeritus Glenn Terrell said Mrs. Owen “has few if
any peers in terms of her insightfulness about higher education…Frances is a rare combination of
strength, gentleness, intelligence and forcefulness.”
President Sam Smith added that her impact on the state and its citizens is immeasurable.
“She is the epitome of the public service volunteer.”
Mrs. Owen also served as president of the National Association of Governing Boards of
Universities and Colleges during her tenure as a WSU regent.
Mrs. Owen, who celebrated her 99th birthday in February, lives in Seattle.
Public tours and a reception that includes a WSU student string quartet, birthday cake and
an appearance by Butch, the WSU mascot, will follow the program.
Owen library opened its doors in 1977 and was officially dedicated in 1979.