College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences

A legacy of student support: Myrtle Fulfs

Myrtle Stout Fulfs knows the value of an education.

More than 20 years ago, Myrtle joined her husband Robert in helping animal science students at Washington State University pay for their education. After Robert, a dedicated Coug, passed away in 2003, she continued their legacy, funding the Robert and Myrtle Fulfs Endowed Scholarship in Animal Sciences.

Myrtle Fulfs of Pullman, an endowment supporter of the WSU Department of Animal Sciences, holds the bottle that held her message along the bank of the Snake River for five decades.
Myrtle Fulfs of Pullman, an endowment supporter of the WSU Department of Animal Sciences, holds the bottle that held her message along the bank of the Snake River for five decades.

“I want to help, and I know there are students who need help,” said Myrtle.

Born in 1924, Myrtle grew up in a farm community a few miles south of Uniontown, Wash. She attended the one-room Hall School with as many as 35 classmates, doing well enough that her teacher decided to move her up a grade. In 1941, at age 17, Myrtle graduated from Colton High School.

Myrtle had ideas of attending university and becoming a teacher. But her father decided that nearby Washington State College (today’s WSU), then crowded with soldiers attending classes, was no place for his daughter. Instead, Myrtle attended business school in nearby Lewiston, Idaho. That led to a secretary job at the Zimmerly Air Transport Co. in Clarkston, Wash, where her father’s hopes of keeping her away from young soldiers came to naught. World War II was on, and at Zimmerly airport, Myrtle met hundreds of cadets training to become navy pilots.

Message in a bottle

While working in Clarkston, Myrtle took a boat ride up the Snake River and launched a message in a bottle that, decades later, gave her a moment of national fame.

On a spur of the moment, she wrote a note on a blank check from Security State Bank of Colton, sealed it in a Singer sewing machine oil bottle, and tossed it into the river.

“To who ever finds this, I’m a lonesome young lassie 19 years old,” looking for a dark man with a good bank account. “I am a good cook about 5 foot 4 inches tall, blue eyes, nice, well proportioned girl. If interested, write me a note.”

Once launched, Myrtle forgot all about the note—until it was found, 56 years later, by a 16-year-old Clarkston boy named Luke Jackson, in a sandbar near Asotin, Wash.

The story made the local newspaper, then the national news. That summer, Luke and Myrtle were interviewed in New York City by the NBC Today Show’s Katie Couric. Friends far and wide wrote Myrtle to share their excitement at seeing her on television.

“I was a celebrity for a while,” said Myrtle. “It kind of overwhelmed me!”

Agriculture supporter

In 1945, Myrtle married Robert Fulfs. Together, they farmed wheat near Pullman for more than 50 years, raising three children, Marilyn, John and Robynn.

Farm life was always busy, but “we were brought up learning how to work,” said Myrtle. She remembers cooking meals for busy harvesters in an abandoned house in the fields and occasionally driving farm trucks to help her husband.

Robert, who earned a degree in animal husbandry from WSC in 1938, was a strong supporter of local and state agriculture and the university. A regular contributor to 4-H and FFA programs and the Department of Animal Sciences, he received the WSU Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1998.

“Robert was a very progressive farmer,” Myrtle remembered. “He was interested in young people getting back into farming.” Together, she and Robert started the endowment, using some of Myrtle’s investment earnings.

Along with their initial commitment, made just before Robert’s death, Myrtle recently renewed her endowment with a gift, ensuring $1,100 in annual scholarships.

“Students should value the opportunity to get an education,” she said.

“Scholarship gifts make a tremendous difference for our students,” said Kristen Johnson, interim chair of the Department of Animal Sciences. “They’re an investment in future leaders, who will improve animal and human lives. Myrtle’s generosity betters our society, changing lives, one student at a time.”

Her life and education took a different path before she made her WSU connection. Yet Myrtle has always strongly valued the benefits of education.

“It’s a part of my being,” she said.

• Learn more about CAHNRS scholarships and donors here.

CAHNRS is more than agriculture. With 24 majors, 19 minors, and 27 graduate level programs, we are one of the largest, most diverse colleges at WSU. CAHNRS Cougs are making a difference in the wellbeing of individuals, families, and communities, improving ecological and economic systems, and advancing agricultural sciences.



CAHNRS students are awarded more than $600,000 in scholarships annually.


CAHNRS has 39 student clubs and organizations to enhance student experiences and opportunities.


With 24 majors, 19 minors, and 27 graduate level programs, CAHNRS is one of the largest, most diverse colleges at WSU.


CAHNRS leads in discovery through its high-quality research programs. In 2014, CAHNRS received research funding exceeding $81.5M. This accounts for nearly 40% of all research funding received by WSU.  


Fall undergradsUndergraduate Studies

Check out every department and program CAHNRS has to offer, from Interior Design to Agriculture to Wildlife Ecology. We have 13 departments and schools to prepare you for your chosen career.

Grad student dogGraduate Studies

Students have a variety of options to pursue masters and doctoral degrees. Many of these have very specific background requirements, so we suggest exploring the individual programs for academic guidelines.

CTLLCenter for
Learning & Leadership

The CTLL is a student, faculty, alumni and industry partner collaboration for high quality learning and leadership beyond the classroom.


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Inspiring Teamwork – Arron Carter

It started with a car, a ’69 Corvette Stingray to be exact.

When Arron Carter, the director of the Washington State University Winter Wheat Breeding Program, was in high school his agricultural teacher had a ’69 Corvette Stingray. Every year this teacher would let his favorite senior take the car to senior prom. Carter had never taken an agriculture class before, but he knew he wanted to drive that car.

“Well, if I’m going to be the favorite senior,” Carter said to himself, “I’d better start taking some ag classes.”…

Read More: Inspiring Teamwork – Arron Carter


CAHNRS Office of Research

Agricultural Research Center

Mission Statement

The goal of the Washington State University CAHNRS Office of Research is to promote research beneficial to the citizens of Washington. The Office of Research recognizes its unique land-grant research mission to the people of Washington and their increasing global connections. The CAHNRS Office of Research provides leadership in discovering and applying knowledge through high-quality research that contributes to a safe and abundant food, fiber, and energy supply while enhancing the sustainability of agricultural and natural resource systems.

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CAHNRS Office of Research

Hulbert Hall 403
PO Box 646240
Pullman, WA 99164-6240
PH: 509-335-4563
FAX: 509-335-6751

Alumni & Friends

Holiday Hours & End-Of-Year Giving

It’s that time of year again—time for sharing merry moments with family and friends. As you prepare for the holidays, consider these year-end giving tips below. We know how important the last few days of 2015 will be for meeting tax deadlines, and we are here to help make the process as easy as possible.

Please note the WSU Foundation’s hours of operation through the end of the year:

Dec. 2 – Dec. 23: Normal operation (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)

Dec. 28 – 31: Although Washington State University and the WSU Foundation will be closed, WSU Foundation gift accounting and gift planning staff will be available by phone from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. throughout this week. If you would like to give a gift of appreciated stock or discuss your year-end giving plans to benefit WSU, please call 1-800-448-2978.

Making a gift online using the WSU Foundation’s secure site is an easy way to make your year-end gift using a credit or debit card any time, day or night. Note: Online gifts may be made as late as 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31 to receive tax credit for 2015.

Thank you for your generous support of Washington State University throughout the year. Have a wonderful holiday season!

Year-end Giving Tips:

Remember, only gifts made by Dec. 31 can help reduce your 2015 taxable income. Please keep the following in mind and consult your tax advisor for specific details.

To Receive 2015 Tax Credit:

  • Make sure your gift is dated and postmarked no later than Dec. 31, 2015.
  • Complete your online gift on or before 11:59 p.m. (PST) on Dec. 31, 2015. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.


The date you deliver or mail your donation is generally recognized as the gift date for tax purposes. Please note, the date on the actual check or money order is not recognized by the IRS as proof of your intent to give on a particular date. Gifts by check or money order may be mailed to:

WSU Foundation
PO Box 641927
Pullman, WA 99164-1927

Note: Gifts may be hand-delivered to the WSU Foundation Town Centre Suite 201 during hours of operation.

Credit Cards:

The date your account is debited is considered the date of the donation. In order to receive a 2015 charitable income tax deduction, credit card gifts must be processed against your account in 2015. Please make sure to make your gift online using your Visa, MasterCard, or American Express.

Have your stocks gone up in value this year? Consider making a simple and tax-wise gift of appreciated stock. Please note that mutual fund shares may take several weeks to transfer, and the gift is not considered complete until the shares are received in the WSU Foundation’s account. To give the University stock or discuss your year-end gift to WSU, please call 1-800-448-2978.

Contact Us

CAHNRS Alumni & Development
PO Box 646228
Pullman, WA 99164-6228
PH: 509-335-2243

Faculty & Staff

Important Dates and Deadlines


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Contact Dean’s Office:
Hulbert 421
PO Box 646242
Pullman WA 99164-6242

Lisa Johnson:
Assistant to the Dean
Hulbert 421C
PO Box 646242
Pullman WA 99164-6242