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Washington State University
CAS Connect January 2014

I ’Heart’ Herb continues the Eastlick legacy of love

Dr. Herb Eastlick often described himself as a curmudgeon and “a taskmaster and autocrat in the classroom,” but he loved his students and was dedicated to preparing them for the rigid demands of medical, dental, and veterinary school. He was also a passionate researcher who gained widespread respect for his work on pigment cells in vertebrates and pioneered cross-species transplantation.

Herb Eastlick
Herb Eastlick

A one-man advising force at WSU, Herb got to know the students interested in healthcare careers, guided them toward hands-on experience in the laboratory and in clinical settings, pushed them to achieve more than they thought they could, and listened to their problems when they needed a steady shoulder to lean on.

Dr. Bob Gibb was one of Herb’s first students at WSU—and one of many whose lives were changed by the care Herb and his wife, Peg, extended during their three decades of inspiring and encouraging WSU students as teachers, fellow researchers, mentors, and friends.

In supporting the “I ‘Heart’ Herb” Eastlick legacy campaign, Dr. Gibb remembered his mentor and friend this way:

“Dr. Eastlick and I arrived on the Washington State College campus the same year, 1940. When I changed my major from pre-vet to pre-med later that first semester, to my great fortune, he became my advisor. He was a serious taskmaster which required me to learn how to study.

In early 1943, with the war raging, his recommendation led to my acceptance to medical school. Although the Navy called me to active duty in July 1943, I was able to continue my studies while in service, and with Dr. Eastlick’s assistance, graduated with my class, in uniform, in 1944.

Whenever my family and I returned to Pullman, we visited the Eastlicks and the reception was always warm. My appointment to the WSU Board of Regents in 1972 was especially well received and I was honored to speak at the dedication of the Eastlick Building.

For 21 consecutive years—as our seven children matriculated through the University—we had at least one student on campus. The Eastlicks showed interest in each one and supported their applications to graduate school. A note with the last one wished that we had more children for them to know and support. Their ‘surrogate parenting’ of so many students was uniquely generous.”

Although he passed away nearly a decade ago, Herb’s presence can still be felt on the Pullman campus. One of the science buildings is named in his honor, but it’s more than that: his legacy of high expectations and personal dedication can be seen in the faces of our pre-health students and in the actions of their faculty mentors.

Herb and his wife Peg, a bacteriologist, valued scholarship and hard work and believed in rewarding these qualities. The Eastlicks provided a generous estate gift to the University that continues to inspire undergraduate students—the healthcare professionals of the future—and to provide resources for distinguished faculty researchers at WSU.

Support future healthcare professionals

Coinciding with Valentine’s Day, the “I ‘Heart’ Herb” giving campaign aims to preserve Herb and Peg Eastlick’s mission in the hearts and minds of healthcare researchers and professionals. Your gifts can help support students and research today for the future.

Eastlick Scholarship
Supports undergraduates who intend to apply to medical, dental, or veterinary school.

Eastlick Professorship
Provides an outstanding faculty member with additional resources and helps us retain the best and brightest faculty in front of our students. Future increased in the endowment will provide an opportunity to create an annual Eastlick Alumni Award and distinguished lecture.

Eastlick Graduate Fellowship
Further enhances the research endeavors of the Eastlick Professor by providing financial support for one or more graduate students.