A C I F I C L U T H E R A N U N I V E R S
I T Y
P R I N G 2 0 0 1
In the News
Tom E. Vraalsen
ambassador speaks peace
While the world has seen extraordinary
changes in the past decade leading to greater peace and prosperity
for some, many continue to struggle against famine, disease and
war, Norway’s ambassador to the U.S. told a rapt audience at PLU
Tom E. Vraalsen detailed many of
the problems and possible solutions dur-ing his campus visit.
“More than one billion people live
in absolute, abject poverty, and that number is growing,” Vraalsen
told a large crowd at the Scandinavian Cultural Center on campus.
Ethnic conflict, civil rights violations and illness are grave
“Conflicts within states are no
less bloody than conflicts between states,” he said, attributing
most of them to a lust for power and material goods. “On the contrary,
they tend to be very vicious, they tend to be more hateful.”
It’s more important than ever to
sharpen the focus and confront problems head-on, he said. Countries
struggling to find clean water, for instance, need help not only
so they will be healthy but so that more water is not contaminated.
“It will ultimately affect all of
us, as this world is getting smaller and smaller,” he said. “If
we upset the global life support system in one place, it will
indeed strike another.”
Vraalsen supports effective early
warning systems, a political commitment to setting aside money
for international aid and confidential negotiations to help end
conflict. Preventing conflict is better than dealing with destruction,
he said, and the cost of repair usually far out-weighs the price
Governments and people who can afford
to help should do so for their own sakes, he said, noting that
Norway is a leader in giving to poor countries. Those who have
little should get help from those who have more, he said.
“We only happen to have this one
2010 planning process goes online
The study phase of PLU’s new long-range
plan is now well under way with “PLU 2010: The Next Level of Distinction”
on track for publication in May 2002.
Four campus commissions working along
with a steering committee are studying four major themes: identity
and constituency, community, academic distinction and fiscal strategies.
Details of their charges and accomplishments are available on
the new PLU 2010 website: www.plu.edu/~plu2010.
The site has three purposes: to com-municate
current activities and events, to seek involvement and report
suggestions from the community, and to serve as a site of record
for the study.
“While the planning process is now
focused on-campus, we continue to be interested in the views of
our wider campus community,” said Loren J. Anderson, university
The town meetings were held last
year in 21 locations across the country, and in sites as distant
as Hong Kong and Helsinki. A total of more than 1300 alumni, parents
and friends of the university suggested planning themes that are
now serving as the basis of the work of the on-campus study commissions.
“Alumni, parents and friends of the
university are encouraged to visit the PLU 2010 website and add
to the important contributions many of them made during the town
meeting phase of the planning process,” Anderson said.
In the months ahead, the steering
committee and study commissions will continue to have regular
meetings, using the website and public programs as means to open
conversation across the community.
FOR MORE ON 2010 PLANNING PROCESS
GO TO www.plu.edu/encore.
Confirms PLU’s place as study abroad leader
PLU students gain more international
experience than students at other similar universities—and the
numbers continue to show that. Among comparable institutions,
PLU ranks 10th in the nation in the number of students studying
abroad: 379 in 1999-2000, according to the Institute of International
“In the whole realm of international
education, what has happened at PLU is remarkable,” said Bill
Teska, associate provost. “The percentage of our students with
international experience ranks very high in comparison to other
While the IIE says less than 3 per-cent
of American college students study abroad, last year 40 percent
of PLU grads had studied abroad in PLU-faculty directed programs,
university exchanges and other programs.
With study abroad programs from Tanzania
to Trinidad & Tobago and a core curriculum stressing a global
perspective, PLU is committed to providing students with an international
Shorter study abroad programs have
also grown dramatically. Six years ago, there were just a handful
of international programs offered during J-Term, the January session
in between semesters. This year there are 18, which include sending
students to study politics in Cuba, the economy in Hong Kong and
nursing in Jamaica.
The university’s International Core
of classes continues to grow, providing an interdisciplinary approach
structured around a theme of global studies. Also available are
majors in Scandinavian Studies and Chinese Studies.
“It is critical to be preparing our
students to be global citizens,” Teska said. “We are giving our
students the tools they need to navigate through an increasingly
International students also make
up 5 percent of PLU’s student population, compared with a 3 percent
average at American universities.
President Loren J. Anderson
named chairman of NAICU
PLU President Loren J. Anderson was
recently named chairman of the board of the National Association
of Independent Colleges and Universities. Having Anderson at the
helm will improve PLU’s visibility nationally and provide him
the opportunity to make important strides on behalf of all private
“There are 64 registered higher education
organizations in Washington, D.C., and NAICU is probably the most
effective,” said Anderson.
NAICU’s main goals are to lobby for
financial aid, tax policies that benefit nonprofit organizations
and regulatory reform relating to education. Congress has approved
a 43 percent increase in federal financial aid for next year.
As chairman, a position he holds
after serving a year as vice-chair, Anderson will lobby and work
with law-makers, but he says students across the country are the
most powerful voice. He attributes much of the support for the
increases to students who made the case for financial aid.
“I can think of no other leader in
private higher education more qualified to lead us through this
time of change than Loren,” said David L. Warren, NAICU president.
“He’s a first-rate strategist, keenly attune to national campus
and policy issues and an articulate and dedicated advocate of
private higher education.”
Celebrating its 25 th anniversary
this year, NAICU represents more than 950 independent universities,
from tiny private colleges to large schools, including Brown and
New York University.
Anderson said he’s honored to fill
the position and hopes to spotlight PLU and other Northwest universities.
chapel series focuses on unity, reconciliation and hope
Discussions about religion and values
at PLU reached fever pitch this fall. Students on all sides of
the debate were shocked by graffiti painted on windows of the
Hauge Administration Building, that delivered a hate message to
“I think that incident really pointed
to something deeper that was lacking in our community, issues
of community and faith,” said Erik Samuelson ’01, chair of the
Campus Ministry Council.
In the wake of these events, student
leaders from a variety of campus Christian groups joined together
to worship, share and unify during an Advent chapel series titled,
“The Journey is Made Together.”
Taken from Campus Ministry’s year-long
theme of “2001: A Spiritual Odyssey,” the chapel series focused
on the Advent seasonal themes of unity, reconciliation and hope.
Worship groups including the Upper Room and Jam 62 (formerly The
Well) provided special music; speakers ranging from Marwa Nasser
Metzler, a graduate student from Bethlehem, to PLU Regent Dr.
William Foege ’57, delivered homilies.
“We wanted the music and speakers
to appeal to a greater range of people at the university, and
bring everyone together for a common purpose,” Samuelson said.
Organizers of the series believe
the month was a successful beginning. “The chapel series, along
with several ‘Let’s Talk Community Forums’ that were held, sent
the message that the university was addressing these issues [following
the graffiti incident],” Samuelson said. “It was only a first
step, but it is one which I think set the tone for the journey
Pastor Nancy Connor with sponsored
child, Marvin Barreno
meets sponsored child on Guatemalan mission
A mission trip to Guatemala gave university
Pastor Nancy Connor the opportu-nity to meet a young boy sponsored
by University Congregation.
Connor joined a January 3-12 mission
trip with 12 other women through the Godchild Project, a ministry
started by a group of people in Minnesota who facilitate work
in communities throughout the world.
Using affiliated families, the organi-zation
does everything from helping construct houses, build stoves and
obtain medical help to providing sponsorships and scholarships
for children. In addition, Connor built a chicken coop and vaccinated
“I have quite a few more skills these
days,” she said, laughing.
The highlight of Connor’s Guatema-lan
experience, however, was her opportunity to meet 3-year-old Marvin
Barreno, a child PLU’s University Congregation has sponsored since
fall of 2000. Marvin lives with his parents and two brothers in
a village outside Antigua. His family’s annual income is roughly
“He is just the cutest little guy,”
Connor said of her meeting with Marvin and his family. “It’s wonderful
that we have the opportunity to sponsor him for several years,
and really make a difference in his life.”
University Congregation has sponsored
a girl from the Philippines for a number of years and made the
decision to sponsor a second child in spring of 1999. Fifty percent
of the congregation’s offerings go toward mission programs.
Connor presented the family with
a panoramic photograph of University Congregation members, including
both pastors and President Anderson, telling the family that the
congregation holds them in their thoughts and prayers.
Marvin’s father, delighted with the
opportunity to see his son’s benefactors, replied that his family
would also hold University Congregation in their prayers.
music ensembles travel the globe
PLU’s music ensembles are on the road
again this spring, and the university’s premier choir will perform
in Scandinavia this summer.
The Choir of the West, directed by
Richard Sparks, goes on a major tour through Norway and Sweden
May 29-June 11.
The April tour of the University
Chorale includes Spokane, Wash., with several stops in Montana.
The University Singers will perform in Portland and Salem, Ore.,
in May. Both are directed by Richard Nance.
Choral Union, also directed by Nance,
will travel to a national choral director’s association convention
in San Antonio, Texas, in March (see feature article for more
on the Choral Union).
The University Wind Ensemble, directed
by Raydell Bradley, performs at high schools in Tacoma and Seattle,
the University of Washington and the University of Victoria March
The University Jazz Ensemble, directed
by David Joyner, and the award-winning Park Avenue Vocal Jazz,
directed by Wayne Bliss, performed at the Lionel Hampton Jazz
Festival in Moscow, Idaho, in February.
THERE ARE MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO SEE
THESE OUTSTANDING GROUPS PERFORM ON AND OFF CAMPUS. FOR A COMPLETE
CALENDAR OF EVENTS, GO TO www.plu.edu/encore.
Brian Craig Olson
Brian Craig Olson,
born on April 28, 1961 in Patterson, Calif., died on November
28, 2000 in Seattle. Brian was diagnosed in February, 1999 with
colon cancer, and died from complications following surgery.
Brian earned a bachelor’s degree
in economics from Pacific Lutheran University in 1983 and, after
working for the PLU Admissions Office for a short time, earned
a master’s in management from Southern Oregon State University
in 1987. Brian worked for Hewlett Packard in Boise for the last
12 years in finance, manufacturing and most recently as a marketing
manager. He made a lasting impact at HP through his leadership,
especially with diversity issues, employee recruitment and modeling
the HP way.
Brian was active in his church from
childhood. As a youth he sang in the choir and worked summers
at Mt. Cross Bible Camp in Felton, Calif. More recently, Brian
was a member of the worship band and president of the congregation
at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Boise.
While Brian was passionate about
most things—the two passions that stood out above the others were
his love for Pacific Lutheran University and the game of soccer.
Brian was a member of PLU’s Alumni Board from 1991 until the present,
serving two years as president. Brian’s ability to motivate and
validate each member of the board, to visualize the future, and
to move a group of people to consensus, helped to complete a board
restructuring process that had been in the planning stages for
Brian’s passion for soccer began
at a very young age playing youth soccer, college soccer and playing
in community leagues and pick up games up until the day before
his last hospital stay. Brian was co-captain of his PLU soccer
team and many members of his team and their coach, Arno Zoske,
were present at his Tacoma memorial service.
Brian was a devoted father to his
sons, Daniel, 10 and Benjamin, 6. Brian was the son of Clarene
Osterli Johnson ’56 and Robert Olson ‘57. Brian was one of five
children including Mark, Marianne, Paul, twin brother David ’83
and Knut ‘90.
Services were held for Brian in both
Tacoma and Boise. At the Tacoma service, Brian was honored by
the Alumni Association through comments made by alumni director
Lauralee Hagen ’75, ’78 and at a reception following, hosted by
the Alumni Board. In Boise, Brian’s friend, HP colleague and fellow
PLU alum, Todd Kraft ’84, provided remembrances.
A scholarship has been established
in the name of Brian C. Olson. If you would like to contribute
to that scholarship, please send your gift to the Development
Office at PLU or call either Development (253-535-7177) or Alumni
(253-535-7415) for more information.
GULDIN, professor of anthropology, had his book
“The Saga of Anthropology in China: From Malinowski to Moscow
to Mao” (M.E. Sharpe, 1994) translated into Chinese and
published in December 2000 by the Chinese Academy of Social
Sciences Press in Beijing, China. This book follows the
development of anthropology in China through four distinct
phases, beginning before 1949 and proceeding through the
1980s. Also in December 2000, Westview Press published a
new book by Guldin, titled “What’s a Peasant to Do? Village
Becoming Town in Southern China.” This book is a multi-province
study of the transformation of Chinese society because of