A 48-foot moving van full of furniture and papers from outgoing House Speaker Tom Foley arrived in Pullman Friday.
Washington State University is about to become home to a comprehensive collection of material tracing the career of the former congressman who represented Eastern Washington for 30 years.
University officials hope to establish an institute devoted to the study of government as well as the issues that were important during Foley’s career.
Furniture from the Foley era will be used to build a replica of the former speaker’s office. Some of the furniture is on loan to WSU from Congress as part of a tradition that allows outgoing speakers to establish study centers.
A notable example is the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Study Center at the University of Oklahoma at Norman.
John Pierce, the dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said WSU’s institute would be more than just an academic environment.
The institute would become a destination for tourists and students, and a place where educational outreach programs are developed. Scholarly research would also be conducted.
Among the material sent to WSU are speeches, photographs, campaign memos, appointment books, letters from constituents and various files on legislation.
The material in the moving van was stored in 500 boxes. It includes papers from throughout Foley’s career in Congress. The furniture includes a conference table used for important meetings.
Also, papers from Foley’s district offices were sent to WSU to be included in the institute.
So far, no location for the institute has been selected, Pierce said.