WSU Honors Rich Hadley

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

The WSU Spokane and health sciences community is saddened by the death of our long-time friend Rich Hadley, who passed away on March 19. He was a true visionary, and his legacy will forever be woven into the fabric of the Spokane region.

Rich can only be described as a kind, humble and forward-thinking leader dedicated to improving Spokane and the Inland Northwest. He served as the president of Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) from 1993 to 2014 and was an active public leader in the years that followed. During his tenure, he was instrumental in attracting new businesses to the area, promoting economic development, and advocating for policies that benefited the entire community.

One of Rich’s most significant achievements was his work establishing the University District in Spokane. He saw the potential for the area to become a hub of innovation, education, and economic growth and was dedicated to making that vision a reality. Thanks to his efforts, we are proud to call the University District our home.

Rich recognized WSU’s land-grant mission and commitment to serving our region and worked tirelessly to secure a vision for WSU Spokane. In addition to many years of service on the WSU Spokane Advisory Council, Rich was a champion of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine from the beginning. He worked alongside Marty Dickinson as co-chair of “Leaders for a WSU Medical School” to build partnerships with community and state leaders to secure support.

In a 2017 op-ed in The Spokesman-Review, Rich and Marty celebrated the college’s first class of students. Together they wrote:

Today is a moment to reflect on what makes Spokane a special community. It’s our ability to dream big. It’s our knack for bringing people together. It’s our tenacity and our grit. So let’s take a moment to enjoy a truly big achievement. And then let’s get back to work.

Rich will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and colleagues, and in his honor, we will continue to work to improve the lives of those in our region and beyond.


Daryll DeWald

Executive Vice President, WSU Health Sciences

Chancellor, WSU Spokane