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[Pacific Lutheran Scene]

In Focus...

Alums find politics is their way to serve

Calvin Goings '95 (FAR LEFT) and Kevin Wimsett '96 (FAR RIGHT)
ALUM LEADERSHIP: Calvin Goings '95 (FAR LEFT) and Kevin Wimsett '96 (FAR RIGHT) are PLU alums serving their community as Pierce County Councilmen; pictured with fellow Counsil members harold Moss (LEFT MIDDLE) and Pat O' Malley.

By Drew Brown, Scene editor

Kevin Wimsett '96 grew up in the Parkland/Spanaway area, then stayed local and went to PLU.

Given that, he finds his current position representing the Parkland/Spanaway area as District 3 Pierce County Councilman a perfect job

"It's the neatest thing to directly represent the place I grew up-to see the problems and work toward solutions," Wimsett said.

His interest in politics blossomed when he was at PLU and started volunteering for local political campaigns.

"I recommend volunteering for campaigns-not just people in history or political science, but anyone in any major," Wimsett said. "It gives you a great sense of the challenges in the community. I've lived around this area for a long time, but I learned a lot of new things by working in local politics."

Classmate Calvin Goings '95 helped persuade Wimsett not to wait to pursue his interest in politics. While still at PLU, Wimsett ran for and was elected fire commissioner, a position Goings held from the age of 18 until 1997, when he became Washington's youngest state senator. Goings received one of PLU's Outstanding Alumnus Awards in 2000.

After graduating, Wimsett worked as a high school history teacher until he was elected to the Pierce County Council in 2000. Wimsett works beside Goings, who now is the District 2 County Councilman. He also volunteers with the Spanaway Lions Club, the Chamber of Commerce and his church.

"I learned from my parents that the community you grow up in gives you so much, that you have a responsibility to give back," Wimsett said. "There seemed to be this same expectation of service at PLU-from friends like Calvin to the administration to my teachers. They made you understand the rewards of community service."

When asked about his favorite professors at PLU, Wimsett is reluctant to narrow it down. He cites teachers like Wallace Spencer in political science and Beth Kraig in history for not only teaching him facts, but also helping inspire his interaction with the university and the community.

"It was great being around them. They really encouraged students to take the skills they learned, and go out and help people in the community, " Wimsett said. "You just felt their passion."

He now finds that same relationship with PLU President Loren Anderson, with whom he works on community issues.

"Dr. Anderson, as well as PLU, don't just emphasize community service with what they say, but they back it up with what they do."


Pacific Lutheran University Scene
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