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In The News

PLU's own elected to Congress

Photo Courtesy: Brian Baird Brian Baird

Alums who were either elected or re-elected this fall:

Lois Capps '59
(D-Calif.) U.S. Congress (re-elected)
Jack Metcalf '51
(R-Wash.) U.S. Congress (re-elected)
Wash. State Rep. Craig Peterson '89
(D-Spokane) 6th Legislative District
Wash. State Rep. Brian Thomas '79
(R-Issaquah) 5th Legislative District (re-elected)
Brian Baird, associate professor of psychology, won the Nov. 3 election to become Washington state's third district Congressional Representative. He is the first PLU faculty member to be elected to Congress.
      Baird commented that his election "is tremendously exciting as there are so many important issues to deal with." He said he was thrilled with the chance to represent Washington state, calling it "an honor in which I will do my utmost possible."
      He attributed the success of his campaign to the help of a group of 18 college students who organized a grass-roots effort.
      "If anyone says that young people don't have an impact, we proved them wrong," said Baird, urging students be aware of their political power.
      Baird contributed much to PLU during his 12-year tenure. He served as chair of the psychology department from 1995 to 1997, and published two books, "Are We Having Fun Yet?" and "The Internship, Practicum, and Field Placement Handbook: A Guide for the Helping Professions." The first book, drawing on his extensive experience in outdoor recreation and knowledge of psychology, confronts the changing dynamics of family and partner relationships as they move from indoors to out. The second book is designed to help students and faculty in field learning opportunities in psychology, social work and related programs.
      "The colleagues and faculty are all very proud of Brian, and we will miss having him as a member," said Interim Provost Phil Nordquist.
      Baird, too, said he will miss PLU, teaching and the students, but said, "I hope my achievement shows that political involvement is important and possible. I really want to extend my appreciation and gratitude to my friends and colleagues at PLU for all their support," he added. Baird is eager to start work on issues such as extending the federal student loan program to include part-time students and middle-income families, and to offer a tax-deductible option if employers pay off student loans, and many other local issues. The third district encompasses Olympia, Vancouver and most of southwest Washington.

The Anderson Clock TowerChris Tumbusch

As promised, here's a look at the newly remodeled Anderson Clock Tower. Completed in early September, the 60-foot clock tower is made of Alaskan yellow cedar, and features new cedar bench-work around a reconditioned concrete base and new lighting to illuminate the clocks.

Chris TumbuschCommunion Service at Mt. Rainier

Under clear blue skies on Sept. 27, about 135 PLU students, faculty and staff hiked Mt. Rainier from Paradise to Panorama Point, where they shared a communion service and sang "A Mighty Fortress is Our God." In the early 1990s, the outing became an annual commemoration of a similar climb undertaken by the PLU band in 1896 - just two years after PLU opened its doors. The early Lutes were celebrating the fact that the new school in Parkland was finally underway. Gary Severson, chair of the board of regents, heard about the trip last year and made sure he was here this time. And he brought his family with him. "It's neat to see everyone enjoy it so much, and it's fun chatting with the students - in between huffs and puffs as they're passing me," he said with a laugh. This was the second trip for junior Cindy Messler, vice president of University Congregation, the sponsoring organization. "I love the time of praise in such a beautiful setting," she said, noting the bright sunshine and gorgeous views of Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens.

Into the Streets project a resounding success

Volunteers From front to back, Into the Streets volunteers Mary Anne Ashton '02, Jessica Allen '00 and Mary Jo Larsen '02 diligently paint a Habitat for Humanity house in northeast Tacoma.

On Sept. 26, more than 140 students, faculty and staff, along with volunteers from 12 local agencies, got "Into the Streets" to better the Tacoma area by rendering service to groups such as Citizens for a Healthy Bay, Habitat for Humanity, Northwest EquiCARE, the Salvation Army and others. The event began with a continental breakfast and kick-off talk with Paris Mullen '97, former ASPLU president, in Red Square. From 9 am to1 pm volunteers dispersed to various sites throughout Tacoma and began gardening, painting, general cleaning and volunteering for the Pierce County AIDS Walk. Volunteers' hard work and individuals' and business' donations made the project a resounding success.

President signs agreement to fight alcohol abuse on campus

President Loren J. Anderson along with seven other presidents of Washington colleges (six public, one private) gathered in Olympia in October to sign a joint agreement to search for a "comprehensive strategy" to reduce alcohol abuse on their campuses. The agreement specifies that university leaders will work together to find strategies to control drinking, from education to tougher rules. It also specifies that they will reach out to the community at large for help. "Joining with other university and college presidents in signing the initiative on alcohol provided an important opportunity to publicly affirm PLU's commitment and to share with other colleges and universities the creative steps PLU is taking in this area," said Anderson.

Diversity committee strives to put plan into action

One of the five areas addressed by PLU 2000 is Activating the Commitment to Diversity. In November 1997 a nine-member committee of students, faculty, staff and administrators was formed to monitor and enhance the university's progress in carrying out this initiative. One major step this committee has undertaken is the development of a comprehensive diversity plan for the university. At a retreat last fall the committee brought together university members who represent an array of diversity organizations on campus. The outcome of this work will assist in preparation of the plan - which should be in draft form by the end of Spring Semester. Initially, the plan will cover recruitment and retention of students, staff and faculty. Also, curricular dimensions, alumni relations and community development areas will be included.

Organ dedication concerts bring audiences to their feet

University Organist David Dahl received standing ovations each night from audiences at The Gottfried and Mary Fuchs Organ dedicatory concerts Nov. 6-8 in Lagerquist Concert Hall. The nearly 2,000 people in attendance were able to see for themselves the truly magnificent organ - 3,849 individually voiced pipes and 250 square feet of intricate carvings and 54 stops (differences in tone that can be mixed or matched). More than 30,000 hours of work went into the instrument by builder Paul Fritts and crew.

Summer Institute for the Gifted shines in premiere season at PLU

If you're planning on going to Mars in the near future and wonder what you should take along, ask your local gifted child. He or she might have attended the Summer Institute for the Gifted, held at PLU Aug. 2-22 for students in grades 4 to 11. "Mars Colonization" was one course option, along with fencing, robotics, theatre and drama, and many others. Held since 1984 at such prestigious schools at Bryn Mawr and Vassar, SIG's inaugural session in the Pacific Northwest brought 134 students from 19 states, Taiwan and Hong Kong for the three-week residential camp. SIG organizers hope to increase 1999 participation at PLU to 200.


Thanks to Kerry Swanson '89, director of technical services at KPLU, along with help from Lowell Kiesow, KPLU chief engineer, and Rick Anderson, PLU assistant chief engineer, live KPLU broadcasts are again made possible. KPLU recognized a great facility in Lagerquist Concert Hall and knew there must be a way for the station to offer live jazz broadcasts again. A connection across campus using equalized copper phone lines is now in place. With this technology in place, KPLU can now offer live jazz performances from MBR to its quarter million listeners throughout the region.

Aid Association for Lutherans (AAL), a fraternal benefit society benefiting the work of Lutheran education institutions, organizations and church bodies, has initiated a member gift-matching program to benefit Lutheran elementary and secondary schools, colleges and seminaries nationwide. The match is similar to that offered by Lutheran Brotherhood. Under the new program, any annual gift of $25-$100 by an AAL member to a participating Lutheran institution will be matched dollar-for-dollar by AAL. During a seven-month pilot period, $1.5 million was provided to the 147 participating Lutheran institutions. Call 920-734-5721 or 1-800-225-5225.

A panel discussion of retired military health care concerns, held Aug. 14 in Lagerquist Concert Hall, included U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and U.S. Representative Norm Dicks (D-Wash.). Other speakers were Washington state Senator Rosa Franklin '74 and Lon Weldon of the Retired Sergeants Major and Chiefs Association. At present, military retirees are the only federal employees without a health plan for those over age 65. The panel discussed possible local and national legislative remedies for the problem and fielded questions from the audience.

The International SPURS - an organization for college sophomores and upperclassmen focusing on service, patriotism, understanding, responsibility and sacrifice - recognized Ahna Lietke '99 and Erika Vestad '99 as co-winners of the MaryLou McCallum Outstanding Junior Advisor Award. The commendation is given each year to the junior advisor who "best shows the true spirit of SPURS by leading by example and through experience."

Journalism Professor Cliff Rowe took eight of his journalism students on a road trip to California to the national Society of Professional Journalists Conference this fall. The students had won three first-place regional awards and a first place national award from SPJ, but there was another surprise waiting for them at the banquet. SPJ named PLU the Best Student Chapter for Region 10 (Wash., Ore., Mont., Idaho, Alaska). More than 800 attended Family Weekend '98 the last weekend in October. Sponsored by Alumni and Parent Relations, the event included such activities as a Presidential Dessert Reception, Great Moments in Opera, The Well, LuteBingo, Family University (where five classes were taught by PLU professors) and a dinner featuring the professional acting troupe Theatre Sports. Mark your calendars for Family Weekend '99, Nov. 5-7.


Greg Brewis was named executive director of University Communications effective Sept. 14. For the past five years, Brewis owned and operated the G.W. Brewis Co., a public relations, marketing and copy writing firm. Previously, he was the director of public relations at the University of Puget Sound for 11 years. Before that, he was assistant to the president and secretary to the board of trustees at UPS for six years. He holds a bachelor's degree in politics and government from UPS.

Michael Clifthorne, former program director of the American Cultural Exchange Language Institute, was promoted to Western U.S. regional director of the American Cultural Exchange. Although he will remain on campus part time, his new role will take him to the central office in Seattle and to the many language institutes throughout the region as he oversees their programs. Elizabeth Coghlan was promoted to program director of the ACEL effective Sept. 14. Coghlan, who replaced Michael Clifthorne, served as director of studies for the past two-and-a-half years.

This Halloween marked several milestones in the life of KPLU morning news host Dave Meyer. He turned 40, celebrated 10 years of hosting Morning Edition and also celebrated his 12th wedding anniversary with his wife, Cyn. Spending 10 years doing the same thing at the same radio station is fairly unique. In an industry where longevity is counted quicker than dog years, it is pretty amazing. A decade of early rising required a 2 am wake-up, with a 2:30 am departure from Seattle to head south regardless of rain, sleet, snow, ice and impaired drivers leaving the bars. Since becoming a Pierce County resident two years ago, his drop in commute time allows for a 3:30 am wake-up call. Congratulations, Dave, we're glad you're here!

New to PLU is Robert Riley, the university's controller effective Oct. 1. Previously, he was the business manager of Macalester College in St. Paul Minn. Before that, he was the director of accounting for the college for 15 years. Riley holds a BSBA in accounting from Pittsburg State University. PLU must be a pretty special place for the following faculty and/or administrators, who this year celebrate 20 or more years of employment at PLU. Each was recognized at PLU's annual Christmas luncheon on Dec. 17.

Stephen Barndt
Kathleen Farner
Lauralee Hagen '75, '78
James Johnson
Alene Klein '75, '78
Irmgard Knaack
Janet Moore
Thomas Sepic
Christopher Spicer
Marian Warr

William Becvar
Jerrold Lerum
Ann Miller '86
Gary Nicholson
Robert Stivers
Chang-Li Yiu

Arthur Gee
Paul Hoseth
Robert Jensen
Jerry Kracht
Brian Lowes
Jesse Nolph
Rodney Swenson

Philip Nordquist '56
James Van Beek '60, '69

Published Corner

Steward Govig, professor of religion, published "In the Shadow of Our Steeples: Pastoral Presence for Families Coping with Mental Illness." The book helps bring together the sufferer, the family, the civil servant and the religious counselor into one synergistic group of rehabilitative influence. Specific examples and proven strategies are given to help turn despair into hope, even in the face of chronic mental illness.

Doug Oakman, associate professor of religion, coauthored (with K.C. Hanson) "Palestine in the Time of Jesus." Through the use of the social sciences, the book explains the primary social institutions and structures of ancient Palestine, with a view to how they are reflected in and shaped the early Jesus movement.

PLU Political Science Professor Dick Olufs published "The Making of Telecommunications Policy," which examines the history, politics and impact of telecommunications policy.

Judy Ramaglia, business professor, and Diane MacDonald, associate business professor, authored the textbook "Personal Finance: Tools for Decision Making." The book integrates essential disciplines such as economics, accounting, finance, consumer law, tax law, and consumer psychology.

Each book is available at the PLU Bookstore, 253-535-7665, where alumni receive a 10 percent discount.

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