S U M M E R 1 9 9 9
Retiring Faculty and Staff
By Katie Tippet '99 and Jason Miller '99
Associate Professor of Psychology and Counseling and Testing Services Counselor
Shortly after Seiichi Adachi arrived at PLU in 1967, people knew exactly where to find him: in his office. Every day he'd arrive early, brown-bag lunch in hand. Even during a brief lunch break — which consisted of either doing work or reading a book — he would be, without fail, working as hard as ever.
That is until Dean of Students Phil Beele taught him how to play badminton. Adachi proved to be a quick study. He's won countless competitions over the years, most recently bringing home two golds and a silver from the U.S. Badminton Nationals held in Seattle in April.
Adachi came to PLU as a full-time counselor in the Counseling and Testing Services Office. He also taught psychology courses and badminton classes.
"Working at PLU has been a large family experience. I appreciate the respect I've received, as well as the personal and professional freedom I've been given."
After retirement, Adachi will devote more time to his many hobbies: listening to Mozart, writing poetry, growing his own vegetables, spending weekends at his family's beachfront property on Hood Canal and, of course, playing badminton.
Adachi earned his bachelor's degree from Jamestown College in 1946, his bachelor of divinity from McCormick Seminary in 1951, his master's degree from Columbia University-Union Theological Seminary in 1957, and his Ed.D. from the Teachers College of Columbia University in 1960.
Department of Communication and Theatre Program Specialist
After almost 22 years as the Communication and Theatre senior office assistant, Joanne Eager has some reading to catch up on.
"[Reading] under these lights? It's for the birds," she said with a disdainful gesture toward the flickering fluorescent tubes above. She has no plans for travel or the other things that retired people typically do — she just wants to read in daylight.
Since 1977, Eager has been postponing her reading to make the department of Communication and Theatre run more smoothly. She's set up a system for university theatre box office reservations and pre-ticket sales, instituted accurate academic major and minors lists, and managed multiple accounts for the department, all in addition to eternal paperwork and coffee preparation.
Eager said she's been "very privileged" to have worked at PLU, as it allowed three of her children – Wendy (Eager) Koessler '86, Mark Eager '88 and Kevin Eager '89 — to graduate from here.
When pressed for more information, she just smiles and laughs softly. "There's not much to tell," she said. "I come and I go. I came; now I go."
Admissions Director and Transfer Coordinator
Sometimes life takes unusual turns. After coming to PLU just to help out temporarily, Camille Eliason is retiring — 18 years later — from her position as the director of admissions and transfer coordinator.
In 1982, after more than 20 years of teaching junior high and high school students, Eliason substituted in the PLU Registrar's Office. She was quickly hired on to coordinate and counsel transfer students.
"It's like a breath of fresh air," Eliason says, describing the satisfaction she gets from dealing with the direct intensity of transfer students. Of PLU, she simply says, "It's an awesome place to work."
Eliason will miss contact with the people here, as well as traveling to recruit more transfer students. Mostly, though, she'll miss being able to help students navigate their way through PLU.
"[When counseling transfer students,] I have to be objective. I can't say 'If you do this and this you may graduate some day.' I have to be able to say 'This is what we offer, this is what you need over the next few years.'"
After she retires, Eliason intends to spend more time with her family and her grandchildren. She says she'll probably keep up on her traveling, too, but with her husband instead of primarily looking for future Lutes. And maybe, she said, after relaxing for a while, she'll come back "just to help out" a little more.
Larry Huestis, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry
When Larry Huestis applied to teach organic chemistry at Whitworth in 1961, he couldn't have suspected that he would be hired by PLU, let alone retire from teaching general and analytical chemistry and mineralogy 38 years later. Even so, he says he's always enjoyed it.
"A lot of times, where you're going will take a big left turn from where you were planning on going," Huestis observed with a reflective smile.
Huestis, a California native, did his undergraduate work at Berkeley, got his doctorate in organic chemistry from U.C. Davis, then went to the University of Minnesota for some postgraduate work. It didn't take too many of the cold winters before he returned to the West Coast.
Huestis has greatly expanded the opportunities available to PLU undergraduate students. He started the undergraduate chemistry seminar sessions, set up a special projects lab so that students could practice real research, and established a reference collection of minerals.
After retirement, Huestis intends to keep working — just when and how he wants. He'd like to set up a mineral identification laboratory, and will probably continue to teach mineralogy and possibly analytical chemistry. But those will play second fiddle to spending time with his wife and visiting their daughters — Elaine (Huestis '81) Isaak, and Sharon Huestis '85 — in California. He also intends to invest more of his time singing in a local choir.
Anne Lucky '55
Executive Secretary to the President
It's Anne Lucky's spot, and everyone knows it. At 12 o'clock sharp almost every day you can find her eating lunch and reading the paper in the left-hand corner of the large leather couch in the Faculty House living room. The tradition ends with her retirement this spring.
In 1976 as a young, newly widowed mother of four, Lucky found herself looking for a job. She wanted not only a meaningful place of employment, but also a place where her children would have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education. PLU, the university she had attended for three years (1952-55), turned out to be the perfect place.
Lucky worked in the residential life office and the student life office before being appointed executive secretary to the president, where she has loyally served for 17 years.
In that time, she has been assistant to both President William Rieke and President Loren J. Anderson. "It has been such a privilege for me to be associated on a day-to-day basis with two such diligent and dedicated servant-leaders," Lucky said. She also appreciates the many opportunities she has had to represent PLU, in the president's office and outside of the university.
Lucky now looks forward to spending more time with her husband, Carl, working in her garden, visiting her children, who are spread out all over the world, and preparing for an upcoming trip to Norway.
Art Martinson '57
If you've ever been to the Nisqually Plains Room in the Mortvedt Library, you've seen Art Martinson's pride and joy. As a member of the PLU community for the past 33 years, Martinson has been a professor of history as well as a substantial contributor in building one of the largest collections of papers, photographs and other information on the community surrounding PLU.
Martinson also is proud of the role he played in the Cooperative Education program, founded in 1979.
"PLU is a very, very good place to work. It has been both accommodating and supportive of my interests, something many traditional jobs wouldn't allow," he said.
Martinson earned his history degree from PLU then graduated from Washington State University with a master's and Ph.D. in the 1960s. He taught for one year at Tacoma Community College before joining the PLU faculty.
Outside of PLU, Martinson has been active with the National Park Service. He has been everything from a trail foreman at Mount Rainier to a ranger in the North Cascades. As an avid hiker, skier, biker and climber (four times up Mount Rainier), his love for the outdoors has kept him active and young, and, as his wife says, "always on the go!"
After his retirement, he plans to teach several summer and J-Term classes. He also will continue venturing into the outdoors with a summer rafting trip, facing the fury of the Colorado River.
Professor of Religion
PLU's Religion Department may seem a little off-balance with Walt Pilgrim retiring. Throughout his 28-year teaching career with PLU, Pilgrim has worked to maintain balance in the department, the university and his own life.
He says he has been a successful teacher of the New Testament, both as a historical and religious document. He has done his best to hold the interest of students from increasingly diverse religious backgrounds. He has advocated maintaining PLU as a school of the church with top-of-the-line academics creating a dialog between religion and other fields of learning. He regularly took students to Israel and Jordan for J-Term courses, and, overall, he has appreciated the ability to teach while pursuing his own scholastic interests.
Pilgrim is the author of three books, the most recent is "Uneasy Neighbors: Church and State in the New Testament" (Fortress Press, Minneapolis).
Pilgrim earned his bachelor's degree at Wartburg College in 1956, a bachelor of divinity at Wartburg Theological Seminary in 1960, and a master of theology and doctor of philosophy at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1966 and 1971, respectively.
After retiring, Pilgrim wants to teach in a seminary in Namibia, work on his next book concerning Jesus' attitude toward women in the gospel, and work at Associated ministries of Tacoma.
Manager of Performance and Outreach
Not many people have traveled as much as PLUs manager of performance and outreach Maxine Pomeroy. In the past 20 years, she has had the opportunity to travel throughout the Northwest, around the East Coast and even as far as China and Japan with numerous PLU music groups.
Pomeroy began her work at PLU in 1974 as the head secretary in the Music Department. She held a number of positions before being named to her current position in 1995.
"One of the greatest pleasures about this job has been getting to know students and traveling. It has been such a privilege for me," she said.
"In retirement, the first thing Pomeroy plans to do is sit down and take a deep breath. Then she'll fill her time with her three favorite hobbies — gardening, sewing and reading.
Pomeroy said that she will not only miss the traveling, but also the students and colleagues she has come to regard as good friends.
"My son-in-law who is a high school music teacher reassures me that if I ever miss the students and what I've been doing too much, he'll let me come and spend a day with his students. I'm sure that will help me get it out of my system," she said with a laugh.
S. Erving Severtson '55
Vice President and Dean of Student Life
S. Erving "Erv" Severtson has gone from being a student to being a leader of students: He is a graduate of PLU and was a student body president, longtime professor of psychology, and vice president and dean of student life.
Severtson graduated from PLU with a bachelor's degree in classics, earning a bachelor of divinity in 1959 from Luther Theological Seminary, a master's degree in 1960 from the University of Wyoming and a Ph.D. in 1966 from the University of Utah. He returned to PLU the same year as an assistant professor of psychology.
He left PLU in 1983 to become the director psychology at Good Samaritan Hospital, but he couldn't stay away from his alma mater for long, returning to PLU in 1986 in his current position.
Severtson is always willing to listen, even if what hears is difficult or a personal criticism. In every situation, he puts himself into others' shoes and offers advice and encouragement.
Jeff Jordan, director of auxiliary services and one of Severtson's closest friends, describes him as the "ultimate educator."
"Erv has always given completely of himself. He never fails to demonstrate his support and dedication to students," says Jordan.
Although Severtson is retiring, he will work on several special assignments for PLU as needed.
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