PULLMAN, Wash. - Saying he "epitomizes the Cougar spirit," Washington State University's president will be among those honoring Spokane native Steve Gleason Thursday with the university's highest alumni award.
Gleason will be in Pullman to accept the 2017 Regents' Distinguished Alumnus Award. A 1999 graduate, Gleason played football and baseball at WSU. He also played for the New Orleans Saints.
Gleason was diagnosed with ALS in 2011. Since then, he's worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the disease. His organization, Team Gleason, raises money to provide technology, equipment and services to others living with the disease, as well as funding life adventures for people with muscular diseases or injuries.
Gleason's life story has been told in magazines, newspapers and network television shows. The documentary Gleason chronicles his life, including triumphs and daily struggles. It was highly acclaimed and a contender for an Academy Award nomination last year.
In accepting this alumni award, Gleason joins WSU legends that include broadcaster Edward R. Murrow, best-selling author Sherman Alexie and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.
Thursday's award is part of an entire week celebrating Gleason in the Inland Northwest. The Gleason Classic Golf Tournament raised money Monday in Spokane. The week culminates with Gleason Fest Saturday, an annual music festival in Riverfront Park. For more information Gleason Fest, click here.
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