Everywhere Ed Little goes, he manifests his Cougar pride. He might be on the beaches of Bermuda and give out an enthusiastic “Go Cougs” to a stranger in WSU gear. In 42 years as an educator and principal, he has made a tradition of decorating each of his offices in crimson and gray. He filled his workspaces with WSU trinkets and photos, and in some offices even had a special Cougar rug inlaid in the carpet.
“Anyone who steps into my office would know I love the Cougs,” he said. “Every wall has fond memories of WSU for me.”
Growing up in Seattle, Little learned about WSU from his high school math teacher, coach and mentor, who was an alumnus. Little went on to earn a B.A. in education at WSU Pullman in 1976. In 1981, he received his master’s degree in administrative leadership from Portland State University; and in 2003, he earned a superintendent’s certificate at WSU Vancouver. “It was so nice to have a highly recognized superintendent’s program right here in my own backyard,” he said.
He has served as president of the Southwest Washington Cougar Club; a member of the WSU Vancouver Advisory Board; and a member, vice president and president of the WSU Alumni Association. Little’s service to WSU and commitment as an educator in Vancouver Public Schools earned him an Alumni Achievement Award from WSU in 2005. Over the years, beginning in 1998, he gave the alumni greeting at WSU Vancouver's commencement half a dozen times.
The Littles are a Coug family through and through. All of them are WSU alumni, including his wife, Cristi, and children Meghan and Adam. Together, they have earned eight degrees and certificates from WSU.
He often gets calls from people who are interested in sending their children to WSU, and Little is always an advocate for his alma mater. “I like one of our past taglines: WSU is a world class, face-to-face education,” he said. “I truly believe that.”
Little recently retired as the founding president and principal of Seton Catholic College Preparatory in Vancouver, Wash., after 11 years. In his retirement, he looks forward to traveling and having more time to attend Cougar football games with his wife.
“Once a Coug, always a Coug is not just a statement,” he said. “It is a fact.” ■
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About Northwest Crimson & Gray
Northwest Crimson & Gray is the semiannual magazine of WSU Vancouver, produced to highlight the WSU Vancouver community and higher education in Southwest Washington.