[Pacific Lutheran Scene]
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In the News

PLU jumps to no. 7 spot on U.S. News & World Report best colleges list
PLU jumped to number seven on the list of Top 15 Regional Universities in the West in the U.S. News & World Report 2000 America's Best Colleges Annual Guide. The rankings were based on academic reputation, retention, graduation rate, faculty resources (includes class size), student selectivity, financial resources and alumni giving rate. PLU was ranked number nine the past three years and remains the only Northwest university to be listed in all U.S. News' best colleges surveys since the practice began in 1983.

Judge rules state grants not allowed at church-affiliated colleges, appeal expected
In May, a Thurston County judge ruled that Washington college students cannot use state scholarship money at 10 private, church-affiliated schools in the state, including PLU. However, Superior Court Judge Daniel Berschauser noted his decision is likely to be overturned on appeal and would not order the state to stop giving aid to private-school students through the Educational Opportunity Grant program.

EOC grants provide up to $2,500 yearly for juniors and seniors who demonstrate financial need and who are unable to relocate for college due to health, family or work commitments. As of spring 1999, 88 PLU students were receiving EOG benefits.

This fall an appeal is expected to be filed in the suit, which originally was brought in 1995 by a Washington State University professor and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Keck Observatory - Photo Credit: Chris Tumbusch

Keck observatory takes shape
By the time you read this, the W.M. Keck Observatory at PLU should be nearing completion. The observatory will feature a computer-controlled 16" Schmidt-Cassegrain reflecting telescope and five 8" telescopes. Astrometric (position) observations of known asteroids (minor planets), as well as the search for new asteroids, will be the principal research activities. For updates on the observatory's progress, see www.nsci.plu.edu/astro/.

Construction begins on South Hall
The university broke ground in August for South Hall, a 230-student, state-of-the-art residence hall for those ages 20 and over located on lower campus. The $10.5 million building should be open for business in fall 2000. (Spring Scene 1999)

Demolition - Photo Credit: Chris Tumbusch

Memories of Delta Hall and Evergreen Court sought
A part of history was lost as the aging Delta Hall and Evergreen Court buildings were demolished to make way for South Hall.

Eric Nordholm, professor emeritus of communication and theatre 1955-1991, remembers walking through the newly acquired buildings with President Seth Eastvold and Ted Karl, professor of speech communication and former dean of men. "Eastvold's comment at the time was, 'Use a little imagination and you can see what fine buildings we will have for our students,'" Nordholm said.

We want your memories! Scene is planning a modest retrospective in the next issue honoring Delta and Evergreen, and we want to hear from you. Alums from all eras are encouraged to tell their stories. All-night study sessions with people that have become lifelong friends? Roofs that leaked or walls that creaked? We want it all. Please email scene@plu.edu or fax 253-535-8331.

Photo Credit: Chris Tumbusch
Photo Credit: Chris Tumbusch
Cornelius Pope, carrying his 7-month-old daughter, Wisdom, receives his diploma from President Loren J. Anderson at PLU's commencement ceremony on May 23.

PLU awarded 530 diplomas at the May commencement and 198 diplomas at the August commencement.


Doug Oakman - Photo Credit: Chris Tumbusch PLU Associate Professor of Religion Doug Oakman's book "Palestine in the Time of Jesus: Social Structures and Social Conflicts" (co-authored with K.C. Hanson) won the 1999 Book of the Year award by the Academy of Parish Clergy. The award, given to the best book published for parish ministry in the previous year, was given at the annual conference of the academy in Cleveland in April.

Keith Seinfeld - Photo Credit: Susan Martensen Keith Seinfeld, KPLU's environmental reporter for the past three years, won the Radio-Television News Directors Association top national award for a news documentary. The Edward R. Murrow Award -the Pulitzer Prize of the radio industry- honored Seinfeld's sensitive coverage of "The Whale Hunt," a saga that was seen as spiritual destiny by the Makah Indians of Washington's northern coast and as senseless slaughter by their opponents. Seinfeld was officially awarded his national commendation in September in Charlotte, N.C. Photo Credit: Susan Martensen

Chris Tumbusch - Photo Credit: Lawson Kita '00 Chris Tumbusch, associate director of photo services, won four awards during the University Photographers' Association of America's 38th Annual Technical Symposium in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, June 22-25. Tumbusch won the inaugural Fuji New Approach Award sponsored and selected by Fuji Film U.S.A. His winning work was judged most innovative from more than 200 entries. In addition, he won first place in the photo features category, second place in the personal vision category and honorable mention in the environment and landscape category in the annual UPAA print competition. The photos can be seen at the PLU Photo Services website.

Fulbright Scholars
A Fulbright Scholarship is one of the most prestigious scholarships a person can receive, and PLU is home to an impressive 51 student Fulbright recipients since 1975. PLU Languages Professor Rodney Swenson has been instrumental as Fulbright adviser since 1975.
  • Scyller Borglum '99 will study "Sustainable Development from the Norwegian Perspective" in Oslo, Norway. After her Fulbright experience, she hopes to earn a juris doctorate and a master's degree in international relations.

  • Kristen Hart '99 will be a teaching assistant in Germany to observe the differences between German and American school systems, German customs and Germans' feelings about cultural and political developments. She also will enroll in university lectures and volunteer for a social services agency. After her assistantship, Hart hopes to earn a master's degree in education and German.

  • Jennifer Tinker '99 will be teaching English as a foreign language in Korea. By observing the philosophy and techniques used in the Asian educational system, she would like to find out why American students are falling behind other students internationally.

New Web pages at PLU
To check out these new pages, add the following extensions to the PLU home address - www.plu.edu - in your URL:

Center for Teaching and Learning - /~ctl - Provides a fast connection to resources that support teaching, including sections on current CTL events, technology, tips for new faculty, a university calendar and grant information.

News and Information Services - /~newsinfo - We've provided a staff section and links to a calendar of events, a news release index and online versions of PLU Scene and Campus Voice.

QUEST library card catalog - /~libr/libraries/quest - QUEST provides indexing for more than 354,000 items in the PLU library collection.

Published Corner

PLU Religion Professor Paul Ingram (with Sallie B. King, James Madison University) edited "The Sound of Liberating Truth: Buddhist-Christian Dialogues in Honor of Frederick J. Streng," which was published in August by Curzon Press. The book is a collection of dialogues written in honor of the late Streng, a former president of the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies. Some of the questions examined include: What is the role of religious practice in interreligious dialogue? How does the present historical context of Buddhist and Christian tradition affect their respective priorities in dialogue?

PLU Associate Professor of Sociology Anna Leon-Guerrero (with Chava Frankfort-Nachmias, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) published "Social Statistics for a Diverse Society," 2nd edition (Pine Forge Press, $67), which is the third-largest selling statistics text in the world. This introduction to statistics text book for the social sciences emphasizes the social dynamics of race, gender and class on our attitudes and behaviors. The text, in addition to its presentation of statistical techniques and procedures, highlights current data from the U.S. Census and social science literature on education, income disparity and crime, as well as attitudes toward affirmative action, abortion and women's issues from the 1996 General Social Survey.

Walt Pilgrim, retired religion professor, published "Uneasy Neighbors: Church and State in the New Testament" (Fortress Press, $20) in May. Pilgrim sheds new light on the topic of church and state relations by looking at how Jesus handled the issue. He introduces a new aspect of the subject he calls "critical distancing" and discusses how Jesus treats church and state relations by focusing on Jesus' attitude toward government officials.

Suzanne Rahn, associate professor of English, published "The Wizard of Oz: Shaping an Imaginary World" (Twayne Publishers, $31.35) in July 1998. The book is a study about the long series of Oz books that has fascinated generations of readers and has became the most controversial fantasy series in the history of children's literature. Rahn explores this attraction and notes how Oz simultaneously reflects the utopian ideals of its era. She addresses both recent scholarship and the popular concerns of modern readers.

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

Summer Institute for the Gifted celebrates second year on campus
The PLU community could be saying "We knew them when . . . " in a few years, thanks to the Summer Institute for the Gifted, held on campus July 25 to Aug. 14. Some of our future astronauts, chess masters and other standouts just might have emerged from the successful program, which drew more than 115 gifted children in grades 4 through 11 from 19 states, Canada, Japan and Hong Kong. Students took classes in fencing, robotics, mock trials, Mars colonization and dozens of other challenging subjects.

Photo Credit: Chris Tumbusch
Photo Credit: Chris Tumbusch
A Summer Institute for the Gifted fencing student learns the fine art of the thrust.

The Summer Institute, which marked its second year at PLU in 1999, has been offered at prestigious colleges on the East Coast and in the Midwest since 1984. Organizers are already discussing new possibilities for next year's program at PLU, including rock climbing and sea kayaking. An open house is scheduled for May 2000. For more information, call 973-334-6991 or visit www.cgp-sig.com.

Scandinavian Cultural Center celebrates 10th anniversary
Founding members, history lovers and longtime supporters gathered in the Scandinavian Cultural Center on May 14 to celebrate the center's 10th anniversary with a pan-Scandinavian gala. From a dream in the minds of the founding committee in the mid-1970s, the center has grown into a premier PLU showcase for exhibits and events.

Photo Credit: Chris Tumbusch
Photo Credit: Chris Tumbusch
"Mu Phi Mama" Dagny Ordal Vaswig - adviser to the PLU Epsilon Sigma chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon International, and Scandinavian Cultural Center member and volunteer - performed three traditional Scandinavian songs at the center's 10th anniversary gala in May.

In the past 10 years, the center has sponsored a smorgasbord of events that have become annual traditions for the community: Julefest, Fastelavn, Norwegian Christmas Service, Norwegian Heritage Day, and Sankta Lucia. The center also has been a place for countless other exhibits, lectures, concerts, and arts, crafts and cooking classes.

The center has helped PLU and the estimated 40,000 Scandinavian Americans in Pierce County celebrate all things Scandinavian. Many Scandinavian dignitaries and members of the royal family have visited the campus in the past 10 years including Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway (1995), Thor Heyerdahl (1996) and Crown Prince Haakon of Norway (1999). Two PLU presidents (Rieke and Anderson) hold the honor of Knight First Class of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit.

"Our goal is to assist the Scandinavian Cultural Council in presenting programming that is representative of all five Nordic countries," said Susan Young '92, '98, director of the center. "In looking back at all we have done during the previous 10 years, I believe we have accomplished our goal."

Mayfest Dancers

Mayfest Dancers celebrate their 66th - put out plea for new costumes
While the Mayfest Dancers are happily celebrating 66 years of Scandinavian folk dancing at PLU, they also are mourning the fact that their once-proud traditional costumes have become tattered and worn and are, in some cases, just plain unusable.

"These costumes have been around 30 or 40 years, maybe longer," said adviser Mark Noll '86. "I'm surprised they've held up this long, even considering the care we take with them. We put them to good use throughout the year."

The dancers, a group of about 20 PLU students who perform for area elementary schools and other community organizations, are seeking donations of traditional men's and women's Scandinavian dress, including lederhosen (leather shorts that retail at about $200 a pair). Cash donations also are being accepted. Contact Noll at 253-535-7521.

PLU excels in international math competitions

  • Mathematical Contest in Modeling
    A team from PLU was one of only 10 teams in the world who received an "outstanding" rating at the Mathematical Contest in Modeling Feb. 5-8. The contest, designed to stimulate and improve problem-solving and writing skills in a team setting, was made up of 472 teams representing 229 institutions from nine countries. The "outstanding" team was composed of Nick Baeth '00, Jacob Nelson '00 and Andy Meyers '00. A second team composed of Chris Ahna '00, Corey Dunn '00 and Joe Nichols '99 also competed.

  • Putnam Competition
    PLU ranked 94th among 419 institutions at the William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Contest in December 1998. Joe Nichols '99 earned the seventh best score in PLU history since 1966. Ten PLU students participated in the competition, which is the premier mathematical competition for undergraduates in North America. Participants included Chris Ahna '00, Nick Baeth '00, Curtis Dobson '01, Corey Dunn '00, Samuel Lester '99, Andy Meyers '00, Reuben Nelson '99, Joe Nichols '99 and Satoshi Simoji '00.

    Associate Professor of Math Rachid Benkhalti was adviser for both teams.

Rev. Rich Hamlin '84 wins court battle for religious freedom
An alumni profile in the fall 1998 issue of Scene featured Rev. Rich Hamlin '84 and his fight to preserve the confidential nature of the pastoral office in the midst of a murder trial. Hamlin had been called as a witness in the murder trial of Scott Anthony Martin, accused of the 1997 death of his own three-month-old son. Prosecutors wanted Hamlin to testify because they believe Martin admitted guilt in a conversation with Hamlin. He refused to testify and was found in contempt. Last year, Hamlin appealed to the Washington State Court of Appeals and won. Prosecutors then appealed that ruling, taking the case to the State Supreme Court. Last May it ruled that Hamlin does not have to testify in court about statements he heard from the murder suspect.

Student Satisfaction Inventory reflects favorable ratings for PLU
Compared with 198,869 students from other four-year private institutions, PLU students are more satisfied with their university experience and would be more likely to choose their university "if they had to do it all over" again, according to a Student Satisfaction Inventory administered to 900 PLU undergraduates in October 1998- the third such survey since 1996.

Survey results indicate that students rated PLU more favorably on seven of the 12 areas and less favorably in five areas. Students gave PLU higher ratings for a second or third consecutive year, at a statistically significant level, in the following seven areas: instructional effectiveness, concern for the individual, student centeredness, campus life, campus climate, service excellence and campus support services.

In two of the last three years, concerns of PLU students have been noted in the same five areas. These are the areas of safety and security, registration effectiveness, academic advising, recruitment and financial aid, and responsiveness to diverse populations. These areas of concern are being addressed.

Architect of PLU rose window logo dies of stomach cancer
Paul Porter - Photo Credit: Chris Tumbusch The university lost one of its most beloved longtime staff members this summer. Paul Porter, employee for more than 25 years and the architect of the PLU rose window logo in 1975, died suddenly on Aug. 13 of cancer of the stomach in the esophagus. He was 52.

Porter came to PLU in 1974 and was director of publications design until 1993, when he became director of communications, a position he held until 1997. During his time as communications director, he was integral in shaping a new look for Scene that first debuted in 1994.

Porter, who was director of publications design and operations for the last two years, left a legacy in his professional life that included countless one-of-a-kind prints, art shows, awards, honors and unique designs that live on today, including many years of PLU signature publications such as viewbooks and catalogs.

On a personal level, Porter touched a great many people during his short life. He was known for his ever-present smile, easygoing manner and the ability to listen and make people feel special when they were around him.

He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Mary Drutis-Porter of Tacoma; daughters, Emily, doing research in Asia and Samantha of Tacoma.

In his early days at PLU, Porter taught printmaking - one of his favorite artistic past-times. In honor of this, his family has set up a scholarship fund to be used for PLU students interested in printmaking. Contact the PLU Development Office, 253-535-7177

PLU strives for enhanced environmental quality
  • Tree management program
    Until the grounds department entered into a tree management program last September, there was no in-depth knowledge of PLU's valuable urban forest. Now the program provides regular documentation of existing resources and an easy way to update the tree inventory. It also outlines a future course for tree care at PLU. Learn about PLU's unique trees and a few old favorites on a tree tour at www.plu.edu/~phpl/treetour.html.

  • Audubon Cooperation Sanctuary System
    PLU and the golf course have joined the Audubon Cooperation Sanctuary System (ACSS), a national program designed to help landowners preserve and enhance the environmental quality of their property. By participating in ACSS, PLU will be involved in projects that further enhance wildlife habitat and conserve natural resources for the benefit of the local community. These projects include, among others, placing nesting boxes for cavity-nesting birds, conserving water and energy, and recycling wastes.

PLU students, alum win in local pageants
  • Miss Washington
    Two PLU women were among 14 to compete this summer for the title of Miss Washington. Karissa Bryant '03, Miss Burien, won a $1,000 recording studio award plus the $600 nonfinalist scholarship. Bryant, 18, of Tukwila, is an opera singer. Amy Lee Fraser '99 received the $600 nonfinalist scholarship. The 23-year-old Miss Auburn graduated with a bachelor's degree in physical education and plans a master's degree in dance. She envisions a career teaching elementary physical education and owning a dance studio. Contributed by Melissa O'Neill '91, business reporter for the Tri-City Herald.

  • African American Heritage Pageant
    Travis Anderson '03 and Gwen Cheatham '03 were crowned king and queen at the African American Heritage Pageant on Feb. 27 in Tacoma. They each won a $1,000 scholarship at the annual event, which offers Pierce County high school seniors the chance to compete for scholarship money. Anderson plans to major in business and possibly music. Cheatham plans to major in nursing.

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