Norman Dahl '61
many years of distinguished service in the field of education,
Norman Dahl '61 will be recognized with the 1997 Distinguished Alumnus
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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 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
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.