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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]


scene A Look Back at 30 Years...
By Laura (Ritchie) Gifford ’00

For 30 years, alumni have counted on Scene for the latest information on all things PLU. From the achievements of students and faculty members to births, graduations and other milestones, Scene has helped Lutes stay in contact with their alma mater and the people who made their time at PLU special.


“I think many people view it as their lifeline to the university,” said Lauralee Hagen ’75, ’78, Director of Alumni and Parent Relations. “It’s the consistent form of communication with everyone… the one thing that can keep people connected to the university.”

President Loren Anderson signs his PLU contract in 1992 as regents Bishop David Wold '56 and Frank Jennings look on
President Loren Anderson signs his PLU contract in 1992 as regents Bishop David Wold ’56 and Frank Jennings look on.

“Lost” alumni often call the office with updated contact information when they have stopped receiving Scene. “You may not notice when you don’t get the annual giving letter, but you do notice when you don’t get Scene,” Hagen said.

In three decades, Scene has seen five editors, four PLU presidents, and more class notes than the magazine’s many faithful proofreaders wish to contemplate. Contributors have come and gone, and many individuals merit recognition for their dedication to Scene. First and foremost is Jim Peterson, who took the helm during Scene’s inaugural issue, and stayed on as editor until 1994. Ken Dunmire’s photographs graced Scene’s pages until 1995. And the late Harvey Neufeld ’54, director of church relations emeritus, wrote his “Travelin’ With Harv” column for 22 years.

Richard Jungkuntz
Richard Jungkuntz, former acting president and longtime provost.

Scene has seen physical changes ranging from paper grade, to print quality and graphic design. The times have changed, and Scene has changed along with them. In the mid-1980s, the magazine’s printing process went completely electronic, and today, articles are submitted via email, designed on sophisticated computers and printed on an electronic full-color press. While the style of Scene may have changed, the substance stays strong. Certain values continue to emerge, year after year: service to the community and to the world, as well as servant leadership; care for the earth and its inhabitants; preparation for the future; seeing and changing the world, both during and after the PLU experience; inquiry into what a Lutheran education is, and why it is important. In short, PLU has been “Educating for Lives of Thoughtful Inquiry, Service, Leadership and Care” long before the phrase made its way onto the bottom of its letterhead. And for the last 30 years, Scene has chronicled every step.


Pacific Lutheran University Scene
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