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1997 PLU

Distinguished Alumnus
Norman Dahl '61

For his many years of distinguished service in the field of education, Norman Dahl '61 will be recognized with the 1997 Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Dahl earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from PLU in 1961. He went on to earn his master's and doctorate degrees in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1965 and 1971. Dahl began teaching philosophy at the University of Nebraska in 1966. From there he continued on to the University of Minnesota, where he has taught for the last 30 years.
A distinguished scholar and teacher, Dahl is regarded as an important authority on Aristotle. His book, "Practical Reason, Aristotle, and Weakness of the Will," is recognized by scholars to be one of the most thorough and important works on this part of Aristotle's thought. He has also published a dozen articles on a variety of philosophical topics. As a teacher, Dahl is revered for his depth and breadth of knowledge, and for his commitment to his students. Dahl's devotion to teaching has extended to the University of Oslo, Norway, where he worked with the first generation of graduate students at the recently formed Center for Medical Ethics.
His knowledge and expertise has also benefited PLU where he has served as a visiting professor from 1981 to 1982, and again this year. Dahl has also read philosophy papers on three different occasions at PLU. In addition, he has served as visiting professor at the University of Washington and UCLA.
Dahl has been an active member of his community by coaching co-ed and boys soccer, and co-ed, girls and boys basketball at the neighborhood park and recreation center in Minneapolis. From time to time he has been politically active in the Democratic Labor Party in Minneapolis, and was a member of the PTA when his children were in school.
He and his wife, Patricia (Mullen '62), commute between their homes in Minneapolis and Washington State. They have two grown children, Austin and Ashley.

Outstanding Alumnus
Daniel Erlander '62

For a lifetime of service to church, community and society, the Rev. Daniel W. Erlander '62 of Freeland, Wash., is being honored as Outstanding Alumnus for 1997.
Erlander received his bachelor's degree in art from PLU. Assured by his advisor, Ken Christopherson, that he could combine art and theology, he continued his education at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, earning a Master of Divinity degree in 1966, the year he also was ordained.
Prior to his arrival at Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland, Wash., where he now serves half-time, Erlander was campus pastor at PLU from 1986-1994. He also served congregations in St. Charles, Ill., Spring Valley, Calif., and Albuquerque, NM. He also was on the staff at Holden Village where he served as a pastor, teacher and resource center director. His other career is writing, hand printing and illustrating theological booklets. His works include "Manna and Mercy," "Let the Children Come," and "Baptized We Live." The latter, an introduction to Lutheran teaching, has sold over 140,000 copies in five languages.
Erlander has given numerous lectures and led many retreats, conferences and workshops on Bible, theology, Luther, worship, and peace and nonviolence. In 1985 he was a traveling teacher for the Lutheran Institute for Theological Education at PLU. He helped organize and advise the PLU Center for Peace, Justice and the Environment. He also was a member of the ELCA Peace Task Force, which developed a peace statement that was adopted by the 1995 churchwide assembly.
In his parish ministry, Erlander helped organize a community day care center and a program to connect inner city children with suburban families. He served on the boards of a community fine arts council and a home for teenage runaways. He also served on a planning committee for an all-city peace conference.
Erlander and his wife, Karen, have traveled to Central America, China, Japan, South Africa, Namibia, Poland, Hungary, Estonia and Russia. Erlander produced slide programs from each place to help Americans understand the context of the people and churches of these laws.

Outstanding Recent Alumnus
Jennifer Specht Brannfors '94

Jennifer Specht Brannfors '94 will receive PLU's 1997 Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award for her brilliant work in cancer research.
Brannfors' interest in cancer research got its start at PLU. Before graduating with a bachelor's degree in biology, she became one of the few undergraduates to have an article published in a journal. Along with biology Professor Art Gee, she conducted cancer research on mussels by examining the molecular aspects of shellfish tumors. Their work led to an article in the journal "Molecular Marine Biology and Biotechnology" in 1994. Also while at PLU, she received a Goldwater Scholarship, which nationally recognizes students for their academic abilities and promise.
After graduation, Brannfors entered the University of Washington Medical School. During the summer of her first year, she was awarded a research fellowship, sponsored by the American Cancer Society. As a summer fellow, Brannfors worked on an experimental breast cancer therapy. The results of the study were presented at the American Association of Clinical Investigators Western Conference in Carmel, Calif., in February 1996.
In 1996, Brannfors was selected for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholars Program, which allows medical students to conduct research in biomedical science at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. As a Howard Hughes scholar, Brannfors researched breast cancer with Dr. Steven Rosenberg, chief of surgery in the National Cancer Institute at NIH. She presented the results of her study at the American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting in April. A manuscript detailing her work is also in preparation.
Brannfors returns to the University of Washington this month. After medical school, she plans to enter an internal medicine residency in preparation for fellowship training in medical oncology where she can continue to pursue research and bring experimental therapies to cancer patients.
She is married to John Erik Brannfors '95.

Outstanding Recent Alumnus
Michael Nelson '85, '87

Michael Nelson's '85, '87 dedication to the field of education will be recognized by PLU with the 1997 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.
After earning a bachelor's in elementary education and a master's in educational administration from PLU, Nelson immersed himself in the field of elementary education and reading. He began teaching at Orting Elementary School and taught kindergarten, second and fourth grades. He then spent a year in the Sumner School District as an assistant principal. For the past four years he has been principal of Camelot Elementary School in the Federal Way School District. Under his leadership, Camelot Elementary was one of four schools in the state to receive the national Blue Ribbon School award, which honors schools on their effectiveness in meeting local, state and national education goals. Nelson is also a language arts consultant. He has presented reading techniques and materials throughout the United States. He has positively influenced thousands of children, teachers, parents and educational professionals.
The Federal Way School District recently honored Nelson by naming him the district's Reading CZAR (Creating Zealous Avid Readers). He will be in charge of creating and implementing an improved reading program which will target grades kindergarten through three. He was chosen because of his talent as a leader and his educational knowledge, as well as his love of reading and learning which he passionately shares with others. He and his wife, Britt '84, live in Enumclaw, Wash., and have two children, Hans and Anna.

Heritage Award
Anne Long '86

Anne Long '86 will receive PLU's 1997 Heritage Award for her many years of distinguished service to the university and community.
Long earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from PLU late in life after having already raised daughter Kathleen and established two businesses with her late husband Ty. One of Long's companies, Long Painting Company, won both the state and national awards for the American Public Works Association Contractor of the Year for its work on the Tacoma Dome. Her other company, Long Services, an industrial cleaning and asbestos abatement firm, was named one of the Top 25 Puget Sound Area Women-Owned Businesses in 1990.
Long, a Bellevue resident, is serving her eighth year on the PLU Board of Regents. She has served on the board's development committee, is a Heritage Society member, and she and her company hold two Q Club memberships at the President's Circle level. Long has also generously stepped forward to assist with the Regents Deficit Reduction and Endowment Challenge Fund.
Long has served the Making a Lasting Difference campaign in several capacities, including co-chair of the East King County Regional Campaign Committee, and as a member of the Endowment Development Council and National Campaign Council. Because of her exemplary service to PLU, the university honored her as its Volunteer of the Year at the National Society of Fund Raising Executives National Philanthropy Day Luncheon in November 1995.
As a member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Long served as a council member and secretary. She also was a member of the facilities task force, and was director and treasurer of "Connection," a program providing respite care for the elderly.
She has also been board member and treasurer of the Women in Construction Seattle Chapter; a facilitator for the Pacific Institute Motivational Program; and council member, secretary, and "panel of arbitrator" member for the American Arbitration Association.

Special Recognition Award
Marcia Moe

Marcia Moe will receive the 1997 Special Recognition Award for her many contributions to the Tacoma community and PLU.
A graduate of the University of Puget Sound, Moe is a consultant to both Forum 21, a newly established community problem solving organization, and the Gottfried and Mary Fuchs Foundation, a philanthropic organization based in Tacoma. Until 1995, she served for six years as executive director of the American Leadership Forum.
A longtime volunteer in Tacoma, Moe recently served as chair of Tacoma 2010, a major community effort to identify cultural facility needs into the next century. She founded the extraordinarily successful Tacoma Farmers Market, which attracts 6,000 people to downtown Tacoma each Thursday during the summer. She helped establish the Tacoma/Pierce County Center for Dispute Resolution, a county-wide effort to foster non-adversarial means of solving individual and community disputes. Within the last three years, she was named the YWCA Woman of Distinction, the Municipal League of Tacoma-Pierce County Citizen of the Year, and Junior League of Tacoma Sustainer of the Year.
Her PLU involvement began in 1965 when the Joffrey Ballet conducted its summer residency at the university. This is where she met her husband Dick Moe, a now-retired professor of education and dean emeritus of the School of the Arts. They worked together to solve problems relating to the residency. She has been an active member of the PLU Society for the Arts since its inception. She is currently working on the Make a Lasting Difference Campaign and believes PLU is an important resource in the Northwest. She rejoices in the opportunities to spread the word of PLU's dedicated faculty and quality education.

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Source: Pacific Lutheran Scene, Summer 1997
Edited by: Linda Elliott, Summer Senior Editor (elliotlm@plu.edu)
Maintained by: Webmaster (webmaster@plu.edu).
Last Update: 08/01/97