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Initiative supports healthy decisions about alcohol use

“Strengthening programs that encourage a healthy community and responsible lifestyles” has been tagged as a key university initiative for the 1998-99 academic year, and a large part of the ongoing efforts are centering on helping students make healthy decisions about alcohol use.
      A focus group of students, faculty and staff who met in spring 1998 identified the need for a multifaceted program that would affirm and support both underage and legal-age students who have made the decision not to drink alcohol, as well as encourage the responsible use of alcohol among legal-age students.
      A Healthy and Safe Community Initiative Steering Committee, formed in August 1998, is addressing these issues on four fronts: Curriculum - infusing physical education and other appropriate classes with information on health, safety and alcohol use; Student leadership - addressing alcohol issues in a variety of organizations across campus, including reviewing the ways the student conduct system deals with alcohol-related problems; Off-campus living - preparing and educating students as they move from campus to off-campus, also encouraging local landlords to use a “Safe Streets” addendum to their leases; Coordinated and expanded programming for all students - educating on issues of alcohol abuse, as well as alternatives to drinking.
      A grant from Aid Association for Lutherans will provide more than $5,000 to support the work of the steering committee.

$2.4 million gift is one of PLU's largest ever

A woman who came to know PLU through her sister’s music students capped a long history of giving with a bequest of $2.4 million to the school’s endowment fund. Alma Meisnest’s gift was among the largest single gifts ever received by the university. Meisnest died in March 1997 at the age of 94, and in December 1998 her estate was able to distribute funds to PLU. Three other Washington schools - Seattle Pacific University, University of Puget Sound and Whitman College - received gifts of equal amounts.
      Bertha Gilbertson, Meisnest’s sister, was a music teacher and active member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Puyallup, Wash. In recognition of her students who went on to excel in music at PLU, Gilbertson provided the university with an endowed music scholarship at her death in 1988. Meisnest added to her sister’s gift, created her own scholarship and funded a recital room in PLU’s new Mary Baker Russell Music Center - contributions to PLU that totaled more than $500,000 before her recent endowment gift.
      “Alma Meisnest was a good, strong, generous, humble lady with an incredible heart,” said PLU President Loren J. Anderson. He also noted that Meisnest’s $2.4 million gift will provide $125,000 annually to PLU’s operating budget. (An endowment consists of invested funds, and only the interest is spent.)
      “We won’t need to go out and raise that money, and we won’t need to ask students and their families to pay it. That’s the magic of endowment,” Anderson said.

Listen to KPLU’s jazz format on the web from anywhere in the world

On Web

KPLU 88.5 FM’s award-winning jazz and blues format can now be heard 24 hours a day over the World Wide Web.
      Those listening via the Web will hear KPLU the same as those tuned to 88.5 FM whenever KPLU is broadcasting its own award-winning blend of jazz and blues. Currently, National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Radio International (PRI) do not allow their programs to be broadcast over the Web. When these network programs air on KPLU, Web listeners will hear KPLU’s jazz mix, specially created for Web listeners. NPR’s top-of-the-hour newscast run by KPLU during jazz is the one exception, and KPLU’s Web site will include it.
      KPLU’s new venture is made possible through partnerships with the Web firms Activate and Speakeasy. Along with the new audio service, KPLU also redesigned its Web site to include more information and a tour of station facilities.
      Listeners who have a 28.8 or better connection can log onto KPLU’s Web site at www.KPLU.org. Find the “Listen Now” icon and follow the directions on downloading Real Audio player. Then enjoy!

New residence hall design

New residence hall may be in the works

If approved by the PLU Board of Regents at its spring meeting, an apartment-style residence hall on lower campus will house 200 to 225 junior and senior students in a mixture of units and provide more than 100 additional parking spaces. The $10.5 million complex, shown here in an architect’s drawing, is to be located on Yakima Avenue between 126th and 127th streets, just south of the Tingelstad Hall parking lot, and is slated to open Fall Semester 2000. Under the plan, the Evergreen and Delta single-story halls now located on the site will be demolished.
      The hall is designed to keep a large population of upperclassmen on campus, with the hope of decreasing noise, traffic and pollution in the surrounding off-campus neighborhoods. In addition, residents of the new hall will benefit from Campus Safety services, campus Internet and phone hookups, increased proximity to campus social activities, and a meal plan. The hall will be staffed by resident advisors and be subject to all campus rules, including the no-alcohol policy.

History professor E. Wayne Carp tapped for Faculty Excellence Award

E. Wayne Carp
Professor E. Wayne Carp, chair of the history department, was honored in December with PLU’s 1997-98 University Faculty Excellence Award. Carp, a 13-year faculty member whose specialties include the histories of adoption and slavery, is an effective and appreciated teacher, and a gifted course designer.
      Harvard University Press published Carp’s book “Family Matters: Secrecy and Disclosure in the History of Adoption” in the spring. He also wrote a book chapter and a journal article on adoption, along with penning four book reviews.
      PLU created the University Faculty Excellence Award to recognize one faculty member each year for excellence in teaching and productive scholarship over the previous academic year. Winners are nominated by past award recipients.

Distinguished writer-in-residence spreads a little Caribbean warmth

PLU students got a taste of the Caribbean from Earl Lovelace, internationally renowned writer from Trinidad and Tobago, during Fall Semester. As a distinguished writer-in-residence, Lovelace taught three English courses. He is the author of five novels, many short stories and a number of plays. Among his body of work, which forms part of the literary heritage of the Caribbean, are the outstanding novels, “The Dragon Can’t Dance” and “Wine of Astonishment.”
      His most recent novel, “Salt,” brought Lovelace the coveted Commonwealth Writers Prize in 1997, an award presented to only one of the finest writers of 53 countries. Lovelace continues to teach for PLU’s Spring Semester Abroad Program in Trinidad and Tobago.

Mother and son share an important milestone

Susan Young '92, '98 and Stephen Young '98 The December commencement ceremony was one of the rare times in PLU history that family members graduated at the same time. Susan Young ’98, administrative associate in the Division of Humanities and program director of the Scandinavian Cultural Center, earned a master’s degree in social sciences with a marriage and family therapy concentration, and her son, Stephen ’98, earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy.

New music scholarship established, in honor of Mary Baker Russell

During the final days of her life in 1997, philanthropist Mary Baker Russell established the Mary Baker Russell Distinguished Music Scholars Program, an endowed scholarship program for PLU music students. The scholarship is awarded each year to outstanding music students who have demonstrated extraordinary talent, have contributed to the strength of the PLU Music Department and who exemplify PLU’s dedication to serving others. Each scholarship recipient receives a medallion bearing the MBR rose emblem, and each is permanently recognized on a wall inside the music center. At a recital in November, the following 1998-99 Mary Baker Russell Music Scholars were recognized: William Beam ’00, Erin Harlan ’02, Linda Hutson ’01, Meagan Manning ’02, Karlene Miles ’99, Nicholas Pharris ’99, Micah Sheller ’01 and Jamie Unger ’00.

Saxifrage celebrates 25 years of poetry and prose in special anniversary issue

Photo Credit: Chris Tumbusch

1974 Cover of Saxifrage

Saxifrage, PLU’s annual creative arts magazine, celebrates 25 years of existence with an anniversary edition due out in late April or early May. The special issue titled “Majolica” (a word taken from a William Carlos Williams poem) will be a compilation of the best poetry and prose of the last 25 years. “Saxifrage is a testament to the creative energy at PLU,” said “Majolica” editor Patrick Query ’99, an English major. “One would be hard-pressed to find a college magazine that’s been around this long.” PLU Associate Professor of English Megan (Beckman ’76) Benton was editor of the very first issue of Saxifrage in 1974. She is currently the magazine’s staff advisor, a position she’s held intermittently for 12 years. To receive a complimentary copy of this anniversary issue, call 253-531-5398.


New regents to serve three-year terms

Deborah Bevier was named a regent in October. In the banking and financial services industry for 25 years, Bevier is currently the president and CEO of Laird Norton Trust Company in Seattle. Previously, she was the CEO and president of KeyBank of Washington. At the time she left the bank in 1996, Bevier was the highest-ranking woman in its nationwide organization. She also serves on numerous corporate and community boards in Seattle and Tacoma. Bevier and her husband, James, have a son, Scott, 24. The couple resides in Seattle.
Filling a vacated ELCA position, Kathleen Jacobson joined the board of regents in January. She is the co-owner of T.K. Jacobson Limited Partnership, a rental management company, and vice president of T.K. Jacobson Investments, Inc. She is a valued leader in the Oregon Synod, where she is currently on the board of directors of Lutheran Family Service of Oregon. Jacobson and her husband, Tom ’69, have four children: Ben, 20, Kerry, 17, Elizabeth, 15, and Lyle, 13. They reside in Bend, Ore.
Katherine Johnson joined the PLU Board of Regents in October. She is involved in the PTSA and serves on the Community Bible Study Leader’s Council in Shoreline, Wash. Johnson lives in Shoreline with her husband, Jeffrey, and daughters, AnaLisa, 16, and Karin, 13. Their son, Brian, is a freshman at PLU.


“Miracle worker,” “inspirational” and “unwavering student advocate” were just a few of the qualifications coworkers used to nominate the winners of PLU’s 1998 Distinguished Staff/Administrator Awards: Audrey Cox, admission, retention and recruitment coordinator, School of Nursing; Ardys Curtis, office/systems manager and counselor, Admissions and Enrollment Services; David Gerry, coordinator of international student services, Admissions and Enrollment Services; and Vicky Winters, purchasing manager, Business Office. Each received a $500 honorarium and special recognition at the university’s annual holiday luncheon in December.
      The Distinguished Staff/Administrator Awards recognize outstanding contributions made by employees through their accomplishments, leadership and service to the university and its community members. The university selects up to four recipients each year.

Shirley Coleman Aikin
Shirley Coleman Aikin, assistant professor of nursing, has been appointed to the Washington Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission through June 2002.

Congressmen Brian Baird (former PLU psychology professor) was appointed to a House Democratic leadership post in November. He was elected as regional “whip.”

Laura Majovski
Laura Majovski, assistant to the president since 1996, has been appointed acting vice president for student life effective June 1. Her appointment is through the 1999-00 school year. At that time, they will either name her the permanent vice president or reopen the search. Prior to serving in the president’s office, Majovski worked as a psychologist in the PLU Counseling Center from 1992-96. Before coming to PLU, she worked as a clinical psychologist in private practice. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and religion from Duke University and a master’s degree and doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. She will replace Erv Severtson ’55, who is retiring.

Public Broadcasting Management Association Award of Excellence
Martin Neeb, general manager of KPLU 88.5 FM, received the Public Broadcasting Management Association Award of Excellence in recognition of Modal Jazz Initiative 1998. The award recognizes individual excellence in public broadcasting administration, management or leadership. The award is given to PBMA members who have made significant contributions to the advancement of their organization.

Greg Youtz
Greg Youtz, music professor, received the 1998-99 American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Award, which he has won each year since 1992-93. Granted by an independent panel, the award is based upon the unique prestige value of each writer’s catalog of original compositions as well as recent performances of those works in areas not surveyed by the society.

Published Corner

Professor of Anthropology Gregory Guldin published “Farewell to Peasant China: Rural Urbanization and Social Change in the Late Twentieth Century” (M.E. Sharpe, $27) in December 1997. The book reports findings that a group of Chinese and American researchers discovered about transformations at the village level in China. The ages-old division between village and town is being bridged by the increasing flow of people, goods, capital and information between those two social levels. Rural urbanization means that Chinese society as a whole is becoming urbanized, and we should begin to say goodbye to our old images of peasant China.

Music faculty Jane Harty, pianist, and Janeanne Houston, soprano, released the CD “Sir Hamilton Harty Irish Songs” ($15), which was recorded in Lagerquist Concert Hall. Jane Harty is the grandniece of Sir Hamilton Harty, who was Ireland’s foremost composer in the first half of the century. The CD is the first recording of his songs, which include romantic Irish songs with text by Irish poets, and songs about different places in Ireland.

Associate Professor of Music Richard Nance’s “Credo,” the title work and premiere recording on a CD released by PLU in October, will be published by Walton Music. The composition is a worshipful approach to the text of the Nicene Creed, an essential part of the doctrine and liturgy of the Lutheran and Episcopal churches since it was adopted by the church council in AD 325. To order a CD ($15), call 1-800-727-5566 or email audio@plu.edu.

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

Media Watch

PLU - its faculty, students, alumni and programs - have been both seen and heard over the last four months among major newspapers, local TV programs and Internet news sites. Major stories ran the gamut from a full-color feature on The Gottfried and Mary Fuchs Organ in “The Seattle Times” to a story quoting PLU student comments on President Clinton’s testimony in the “Seattle Post-Intelligencer.” Equally impressive was the inclusion of PLU Associate Philosophy Professor Jon Nordby’s expert opinion about a mass murder in Berlin for a story on “ABCNEWS.com,” and PLU History Professor E. Wayne Carp’s participation on a panel on adoption on KOMO-TV’s (ABC Seattle affiliate) “Town Meeting.” The following indicates the number of major PLU stories published in the area’s three daily newspapers from October 1998 to January 1999.

The (Tacoma) News Tribune - 22
The Seattle Times - 5
Seattle Post-Intelligencer - 3

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