CWU Library Named after Geographer! James E. Brooks
This has a musical ring, the James E. Brooks Library – the only note missing is his wife’s name, Lillian (Lil), who is clearly the energy behind the gentleman. At the ceremony, held in November, 2003, many of the speakers told stories about Jim and Lil in the same breath. Yet, we geographers remember Jim Brooks as the admired teacher and supportive colleague who came back to teach Geography after a 17-year hiatus as CWU President (1961-78), (+ 1985 & 1986, presiding over YVCC), and continued teaching CWU Geography until 1994. Few could have done that as gracefully and sincerely as Jim. He and Lillian shared their house and wrap-around deck/patio, overlooking the Yakima River, for Geography picnics and other functions, even after his retirement. There were fun times in their living room for "roasts" for retiring colleagues.
Since retiring, Jim Brooks has been busy promoting the Friends of the Library and is involved in a long list of community activities. To list all his accomplishments would have filled our Alumni newsletter this past spring (2004) – so we just kept it short and said our big thank you "for being you and such a positive influence for Geography, CWU, and the many lives you have influenced through the years."
Now, however, as reporter of the original lead article, I will repeat this (above) for the Association of Washington Geographers page because I know he is special to many you of you (and, he was active in this organization in the past, and was President, in 1984). And, I will add some more information.
His biggest contribution to students happens yearly and has been occurring since 1997. He and Lillian donated a substantial sum to the CWU Foundation, in the their name and of Reginald Shaw, a former CWU faculty member. The "interest" from this fund is given each spring to students picked by the Geography Faculty as outstanding recipients of a Brooks-Shaw award (usually $400). In the past, this fund also has entertained and funded requests for assistance with travel costs in order for the student to present a paper at national meetings.
At the November 2003 celebration of the Library naming, I was seated not too many rows behind their large family who filled many rows up front. With their own five children and their families, it's no wonder. There were people seated downstairs and upstairs in the balcony. I learned later that our current AWG President J.W. Harrington was in attendance, but I missed seeing him or getting him in any of my pictures. For now, until I can get more positive IDs from Jim, I'll put up what candid shots I have, minus complete names, and seek some help from him. As I get it, I'll update this page.
1 - long time friend _______________ 2 - _____________________________________ *another ? different friend ?
3- Lillian and Dale Comstock 4 - daughter ____________, and rest of kids, ________,_______,_____,______
5. All the family up front and the kids up front too... 6. Pres. of Board of Trustees ?? ___________, _________
7.Thanks, Babe (Lillian, Jim, hugging ?? _____ daughter who spoke) Dean of Library, Tom Peschel, Master of Ceremonies
Lots of people there (on the first floor), and more above on second (balcony). Jim, addressing the bunch of admirers.
CWU President McIntyre presides, thanking Jim Brooks for his service through the years. Geographers: George Macinko & Jim Huckabay
more to come, but I have to make them smaller first.