by Marcia Hill Gossard '99, '04
Front: Charles C. Mellinger III. Back: Charles’ father Charlie
Mellinger and his sister Lisa Mellinger.
When Charles Mellinger III graduated from high school in 1981, he knew he wanted to follow in his family’s tradition and attend WSU. His father Charlie (’60 BA General Studies) and his sister Lisa (’81 BA Fine Arts) are both devoted Cougs, as was his mother Sally.
Growing up, Charles loved animals, and had hoped to one day work as a veterinarian in agricultural animal medicine.
“Charles always had a way with animals,” said his father Charlie Mellinger. “Whether it was training a Labrador or working with the Charolais cows, he was at ease with them.”
After Charles finished his freshman year at WSU in preveterinary medicine he went home for the summer and was looking forward to returning in the fall. But the night before returning to Pullman, the car Charles and his roommate were driving was struck by another car. Charles’ roommate was killed in the accident and Charles spent a year in the hospital. Left a quadriplegic after the accident, Charles was unfortunately never able to return to WSU and finish his degree.
While Charles’ dream to be a veterinarian could not be realized, his family wanted to give back to the college and University that had meant so much to Charles and his entire family.
The Charles C. Mellinger III Endowed Scholarship in Veterinary Medicine will be awarded to third- or fourth-year veterinary students who intend to go into agricultural animal practice.