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PLU contingent receives
red carpet treatment in Scandinavia
By Nancy Covert
The Oslo reception provided an opportunity
for Norwegian PLU alumni to socialize. Shown are Kari '81 and
Andreas '83 Udbye, along with Yngve Josef Foss '82 and Guri Vestad,
study abroad advisor at the University of Oslo.
In the process of strengthening PLU's ties with its Scandinavian alumni,
a group of campus leaders received the red carpet treatment during a
recent, two-week trip. Visiting Denmark, Finland and Norway, the university's
outreach efforts included alumni events in Finland and Norway. Those
making the trip included PLU President Loren J. and MaryAnn Anderson,
and their daughter, Maren; Director of International Admissions Chuck
Nelson; and Director of Alumni and Parent Relations Lauralee Hagen '75,
Besides a full schedule of social activities, President Anderson had
an opportunity for an audience with His Majesty, King Harald of Norway,
who had conferred the title of Knight First Class of the Royal Norwegian
Order of Merit on Anderson in 1996. Anderson's itinerary also included
meetings with the new Norwegian Minister of Education Jan Lilletun,
and the U.S. Charge d'Affaires, Jon Gundersen.
"The university is widely known and highly regarded in Norway,"
said Anderson. A large part of this tremendous presence is owed to the
cultivating work of more than 25 years by Nelson, who was PLU's Registrar
for many years before moving into International Admissions.
Director of International Admissions
Chuck Nelson (left) with U.S. Charge d'Affaires in Norway
Jon Gundersen and PLU President Loren J. Anderson during the Oslo
As part of an outreach to PLU's Nordic alumni, the university group
hosted two events. One on Nov. 21, in Helsinki, was attended by about
30 alumni; the other, in Oslo, was held on Nov. 29, at the official
residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Norway, where about 150 people enjoyed
the opportunity to renew acquaintances.
In Denmark, Anderson visited the Danish National Center for Distance
Learning, as well as some schools to encourage the interest among business
students to study at PLU.
"PLU currently has more than 500 alumni in Norway and smaller numbers
in other Nordic countries," according to Hagen. A common theme
expressed by the alumni attending the reunion events was the pride they
have in their PLU education and the successes they've enjoyed in their
countries since earning their degrees at PLU.
The November gathering, Hagen said, was a "great opportunity to
reflect on the programs and services that we are able to provide to
our international alumni." Among the ways the office will expand
its outreach services to those graduates in far-away places, she said,
"we'll continue to think globally, perhaps with more outreach via
the Internet, and by changing our procedures for international mailings."
Nelson said that the November trip provided "an opportunity for
President Anderson to personally see what's been happening in the field
of education in those countries." Enrollment in PLU's Nordic program
is currently more than 100.
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