WSU to name building in honor of Kathi Goertzen

SEATTLE -- Washington State University announced Friday that it will be naming a building at The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication in honor of KOMO 4 News anchor Kathi Goertzen.

"It is fitting that we honor Kathi's devotion to preparing the next generation of journalists with the rededication of a building in which so many future journalists will learn the trade," University President Elson S. Floyd said in a news release.

"In this way, we recognize the unique perseverance, hard work and dedication that Kathi demonstrated throughout her professional career and in her personal life. Kathi will forever be remembered as the truest of Cougs whose life is an inspiration to WSU's alumni, friends and students for years to come."

Kathi joined KOMO after graduating from the college in 1980 and was always a loyal Coug. She sat on the University Foundation Board of Trustees and received the university's Alumni Achievement Award and Lifetime Achievement Award. Every year during Apple Cup week she and Steve Pool, a University of Washington grad, would try to one-up each other on the news.

Kathi died last year at age 54 after a long battle with brain tumors.

The building will be known as the Kathi Goertzen Communication Addition. The university said the building currently houses the Murrow College dean's suite, faculty offices and teaching and research labs.

A round of a planned fund-raising effort will create a "state-of-the-art multimedia convergence complex," according to the university, combining a working digital lab and television studio. A "Hall of Excellence" will display some of Kathi's work and that of alumni.

University officials said the complex will also become the new home of the Murrow College's nightly newscast, the same program on which Goertzen first honed her skills.

Every Murrow student will spend time in the complex during his or her WSU career, according to the university.

"This initiative is about what Kathi would have wanted," WSU Foundation President and Board of Governors Chair Dan Harmon said. "She loved helping students, and this effort will help further her legacy at WSU by completing the work along the same path she once traveled."