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WSU Veterinary College Dedicates “Solar” Plaza

CONTACT: Charlie Powell, PIO (509) 335-7073 or

April 12, 2007

Solar Memorial

PULLMAN, Wash.—The memory of beloved standard poodle, “Solar” Chamberlin, will live forever when Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine dedicates an outdoor plaza for the pet on April 14.

Solar was the long time companion of Michael Chamberlin of Seattle. Chamberlin recognized a need for such a space when he spent time at the hospital while Solar was undergoing cancer therapy.

“There wasn’t a convenient grassy area close to the hospital entrance,” said Chamberlin. “I felt it is important for ailing pets to access natural space to spend time with its owner in the eastern Washington outdoors.”


Chamberlin suggested to Harmon Rogers, director of WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital, that they restore a garden area near the hospital entrance for the convenience of in-patient animals. Chamberlin backed up his idea with a gift of $10,000 to the veterinary college. With a little power equipment and some manual labor from the university’s physical plant, the area was transformed.

The Solar Plaza, as it will be known, is located on the northeast corner of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital adjacent to the main entrance. The landscape design features a soothing natural basalt stone fountain and an eye pleasing collection of evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs. Large natural stones and wood benches provide creature comforts for both animals and owners. A lazy, serpentine pathway made with crushed stone complements the layout.

A bronze plaque provided by Chamberlin is inscribed with, “In loving memory of Solar Chamberlin, 1992 – 2005. A ray of light, courage, and hope for all during his lifetime and beyond.”

“I wanted to make life a little easier for animals undergoing treatment at WSU’s world class Veterinary Teaching Hospital,” said Chamberlin, explaining his gift. “WSU is home to one of the nation’s best equipped veterinary teaching hospitals and today it is even more ‘pet friendly’ than before.”

“Most medical organizations receive lots of good suggestions for improving care and most are out of financial reach,” said Warwick Bayly, dean of the WSU veterinary college. “Rarely though does a person step forward with a gift to accompany a vision. We can’t thank Mr. Chamberlin enough.”

Chamberlin is a 1969 Pasco High graduate.

Washington State University