Washington State University occupies a hilly, 600-acre site on the e. side of town. Authorized in 1890 as the Washington Agricultural College, WSU has grown to become one of the most important universities in the West, renowned for its research and curriculum in agriculture, veterinary medicine and communications. The attractive campus of red-brick buildings is set against a backdrop of trees and rolling green lawns.
A number of facilities are open to the public. The Holland/Terrell Libraries contain several historical collections. The Museum of Art features changing paintings, photography, sculptures and performances. The Cougars play Pac-12 football in 33,000-seat Martin Stadium; basketball is played at Beasley Coliseum. Both are located on Stadium Way.
At the WSU Bear Center, on Terre View Drive near the intersection with Grimes Way, visitors can observe bears foraging in their exercise yard. In the planning stages is the National Bear Center, a research and educational facility. WSU Creamery dairy products can be sampled at Ferdinand's Ice Cream Shoppe, located in the Food Quality Building, 2 blocks east of Stadium Way on Ferdinand's Lane; phone (509) 335-2141.
A 90-minute campus walking tour, offered Mon.-Fri. at 9 and 1 (also most Sat. at 10, Sept.-Apr. when school is in session), starts at the Lighty Student Services Building, Stadium Way and Wilson Road. Visitor parking permits can be purchased at the Brelsford WSU Visitor Center, 150 E. Spring St. (at E. Main Street); phone (509) 335-4636.