[IMAGE: Pacific Lutheran Scene] 
F A L L     1 9 9 7

A L U M N I   P R O F I L E

Drop a note to your
new alumni board

B Y  B R I A N    O L S O N   ' 8 3

"Quality Education in a Christian Context" and "Educating for Lives of Inquiry, Service, Leadership and Care" are two mottos that have made Pacific Lutheran University stand out over the years as one of the finest and most unique universities in the country. It is the distinctiveness of my alma mater that makes it a great honor and privilege to serve as the president of the PLU Alumni Association for the coming year.

Under the dedicated leadership of the alumni association's immediate past president, Susan Stringer '76, the board of directors spent significant effort rethinking its organizational framework. The goal of this effort was to design a new structure to more effectively utilize and channel the resources of the board as well as the hundreds of alumni association volunteers interested in serving our alma mater. I'm happy to report that the end result is a more streamlined board structure that provides clear and direct responsibilities for each board member and ample opportunity for other alumni involvement.

One of the key new additions is a committee responsible for volunteer recruitment. This committee's role will be to recruit and involve alumni with board activities where help is needed. If you would like to get involved, please contact the alumni office.

As president of the alumni board it will be my goal to build on the objectives of informing you about and involving you in the life of your university. Pacific Lutheran Scene magazine, PLU Connections groups, and Homecoming are traditional ways to deliver on these objectives. The board will continue to look for ways to make each of these forums even more interesting and rewarding.

As our alumni association continues to grow and as our world becomes an ever-smaller place, there are also many new and exciting ways to be involved in the life of the university, either locally or around the globe. One relatively new communication tool I wonder about is the power of the Internet, and how we might use it to inform and involve. At the same time I wonder just how you want to be involved and on what you wish to be informed.

As we continue to explore these questions you can help. Drop me a note and let me know your thoughts about the alumni board and your alma mater. What do you want from your university? How can we help? You may contact me through email at brian_olson@hp.com or send me a note in care of the alumni office.

Brian Olson graduated in 1983 with a degree in economics. He is a media business manager at Hewlett Packard in Boise, Idaho. Olson, who has been on the alumni board for three years, lives in Boise with his wife Mary (Boyd) Olson '81, '82, who is an assistant professor with a Ph.D. in adult education at the Boise extension of George Fox University. They have two children, Daniel, 7, and Benjamin, 3.

'Graffiti' project grabs
national attention

B Y   L I Z  R U S S E L L  '9 8

Drinking a cool glass of water, you look back on the projects you've accomplished this summer. You fertilized the lawn, drove to the beach and painted your house. Did you know many of the supplies you used - fertilizers, oil, paint - pollute the water?

Thanks in part to Stephanie Lund '95, "Dump no waste, Drains to bay" appears on many storm drains in Tacoma's Eastside to promote the reduction of pollution in storm water runoff. Lund, a senior environmental analyst at Citizens for a Healthy Bay (CHB), was part of the brains behind the award-winning volunteer storm drain stenciling program, "Graffiti Tacoma Green."

Stephanie Lune '95 poses in her office with the stencil used
to deter people from dumping waste into storm drains.

CHB's "Graffiti Tacoma Green" program received an award for Special Achievement in River Stewardship from American Rivers, a national group dedicated to saving and building healthy rivers, on June 12, in Washington, D.C. CHB, a nonprofit organization, works to keep Tacoma's Commencement Bay and its subsidiaries healthy through environmental programs and research.

Water is a necessary component to our environment. It collects on our rooftops, streets and lawns when it rains. The water flows into storm drains and through underground pipes to rivers, streams and to Puget Sound. Any pollutants such as paints, oil, pet waste, cigarette butts and fertilizers wash into our water, which results in harmful conditions for fish, shellfish, wildlife and people.

Lund majored in biology and minored in environmental studies. She has been a CHB employee since two weeks after graduation. Working with the Thea Foss Waterway at CHB, Lund heard of programs in Pierce County that create awareness and reduce water pollution in the Northwest. This sparked the idea to implement a similar program in Tacoma's Eastside neighborhoods.

More importantly, the program involves and educates Tacoma's Eastside residents. This summer's storm drain stenciling activity focused on the T Street Gulch watershed and community. Last summer's activity affected more than 6,000 members of the Hilltop and Eastside neighborhoods, including students, organizations and business volunteers and supporters.

If you would like more information or to get involved, contact Stephanie Lund at Citizens for a Healthy Bay, 253-383-2429.

Liz Russell '98 is a senior communication major from Beaverton, Ore.

Dr. Foege granted
honorary degree

William Foege '57 (right) receives an honorary Doctor of Science from Harvard University's Marshall Richard Hunt.

Dr. William Foege '57 is widely recognized for his work in eradicating smallpox worldwide. In June, Foege received a special symbol of that recognition: he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Harvard University.

Foege, who is a distinguished professor in the International Health Department at Emory University as well as the executive director of the Task Force for Child Survival and Development, is an epidemiologist and pioneer in combating communicable diseases. He began his work as a medical missionary in Nigeria, the first step of a journey that led him to a position as director of the US Centers for Disease Control and later as Executive Director of the Carter Center. His present work has helped greatly to advance childhood immunization levels throughout the world.

In addition to his PLU diploma, Foege holds degrees from the University of Washington and Harvard's School of Public Health. Among those receiving honorary doctorates alongside him at the spring Harvard commencement exercises were musician Quincy Jones, Jr., playwright and novelist Arthur Miller, and Secretary of State Madeline Albright.

Grand Forks, North Dakota, and the
flood of the century (we hope!)

B Y  S A N D R A   M A S O N  ' 6 0

When I was 9 years old, I played the "fire" game... "If there is a fire in my house, I will save my roller skates, my dog Critter and my dress the color of lilacs." Fifty years later, at 6:30 pm on April 19, 1997, as water threatened our home, I packed my Colombian Supremo coffee beans, my two cats and clothes the color of chaos. Eerie Civil Defense sirens screamed through our neighborhood, formerly one of the safest, highest places in Grand Forks. We had a half hour to get out before the Red River on the east and English Coulee on the west made our streets their playground and our cars their toy boats.

My husband and I bid a hurried goodbye to two families who were staying with us after their homes went under. Along with our son, his wife, and their two cats, we drove all night to our daughter's home in northeast Montana. She welcomed eight evacuees with open arms. This was our headquarters while trying to register with FEMA, read and watch every scrap of news about our town to determine when we could come home. It was there I sadly canceled my dream trip to Europe, planned for over a year.

We returned May 1 just to survey the scene since no one was allowed to stay. No electricity for the past weeks turned our fridge contents into dark, furry, reeking blobs no flashlight should have been allowed to illuminate. For the next two weeks we had no power or water, but the bridge to Minnesota was finally open, allowing us access to our lake cabin 50 miles away. Every day we commuted and cleaned, pumped and repumped as the water kept trying to reclaim the basement.

We hauled in water to clean and used the Porta Potties two blocks away that I originally labeled undoable! On May 10, the day my friend and I were scheduled leave for Europe, it snowed. I was mentally in Monet's garden while physically mucking out 30 years of drowned dreams from the basement.

On the pile by the berm with my wooden-wheeled roller skates lay Binky, my son's first toy. I also learned my beautiful art studio down by the river was lost to the flood. I painted and taught there for 25 years. Our church is also beyond repair. We must rebuild and move on.

Time has passed and we count our blessings knowing God has helped us through it. Electricity restored our heat, light and spirits. Activated charcoal erased all but the faintest memories of five pounds of rotten fish, and as I write this I am sipping real coffee. Not road coffee, you know the kind, where they zip one bean through lukewarm water. And after all, this was just a disaster, not the end of the world.

This pile of waterlogged debris was one of three the Masons hauled out of their flooded basement during the spring storms in the Midwest. The city came by several times during the ensuing months of cleanup and toted away the neighborhood's once-prized possessions.

Table of Contents
Scene Home

Source: Pacific Lutheran Scene, Fall 1997
Edited by: Linda Elliott, Summer Senior Editor (elliotlm@plu.edu)
Maintained by: Webmaster (webmaster@plu.edu).
Last Update: 12/09/97