Search PLU
George Skanes, a PLU groundskeeper, didn’t mind looking a little silly as a volunteer during an act by the Gentlemen Jugglers at the June Strawberry Festival.

Frosty will hang up the cleats, retiring in June after 32 years

Frosty Westering, the head coach of PLU football for 32 years, has announced this will be his last season. He will retire from the gridiron and the classroom in June.

Westering, 75, came to PLU in 1972 and established his unique coaching philosophy: players are challenged to reach their potential by competing with their “best self” rather than their opponent. He detailed the approach in his book, “Make the Big Time Where You Are.”

Westering is among the 10 winningest coaches in college football history. His teams won national championships in 1980, 1987, 1993 and 1999. In 1995 he was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame.

He is also known as an inspirational teacher, advisor and motivational speaker who is highly regarded by generations of PLU graduates.

A national search for a successor will begin this fall.

Westering’s announcement came just as Scene was going to press. A full report on his remarkable career will appear in December.

$100,000 grant from Cheney Foundation will support Morken Center

A $100,000 grant from the Ben B. Cheney Foundation will help PLU reach its goal of integrating business and technology with liberal arts to best train the business and community leaders of tomorrow.

The grant will support construction of the Morken Center for Learning and Technology, which will house the School of Business with the Depart-ment of Computer Science and Computer Engineering and the Department of Mathematics. The 53,000-square-foot building will include classrooms, faculty offices and state-of-the-art laboratories.

“We appreciate so very much the commitment from the Cheney Foundation, which has provided more than $1 million over the years,” PLU President Loren J. Anderson said. “The foundation’s generous support of PLU’s mission to educate for lives of service is invaluable.”

So far, about $12 million of the $19 million needed for the center has been raised. PLU plans to complete fund raising by May 2004 and construction by fall 2005.

“Pacific Lutheran University educates and enriches students who truly make a difference in their careers and their communities,” said Brad Cheney, executive director of the foundation.

Chinese House stresses immersion in language and culture

Even though they’re not abroad, Chinese Studies students are surrounded by the language and culture right in their residence hall.

At the new Chinese House, located on the first floor of Hinderlie Hall, students speak Chinese in hallways and lounges 24 hours a day as a way to integrate their studies into their lives.

“As students, we want to engage each other outside the classroom,” said James Kozak ’04, who returned from China last spring and lives in the Chinese House.

The Chinese House is a pilot program for a future International House on campus. The vision for the International House is to have a wing for each language taught at PLU and an English-speaking wing for global/international studies students.

“From a language perspective, immersion in the target language is invaluable,” said Mike Sosulski, assistant professor of German, who spearheaded the International Hall project.

“The opportunity to use it is key.”

Sosulski is part of a task force including three students and staff of Residential Life and the Department of Languages and Literatures.

The task force had three requirements for students: language immersion; sponsoring events to further their integration; and sharing Chinese culture by planning events for the campus community. Other major decisions, like when and where to speak the language and hold the events, are up to the students.

Along with creating an environment in which international retention is stressed, the idea is to empower students to put their mark in international education at PLU.

“They’re very ambitious and opting for the max,” said Sosulski. “International at PLU is rapidly becoming the hallmark of what a PLU education means.”

Record-breaking seven graduates win Fulbrights for foreign study

Seven 2003 PLU students won prestigious Fulbright Scholarships to study abroad after graduation. That’s the most Fulbrights PLU has had in one year and brings the total number of recipients to 63 since 1975.

This year’s winners are Fredrick Kilcrease, Natalie Gulsrud, Sarah Trask, Denise Thompson, Sarah Harmon, Elise Erickson and Courtney Berner. Kilcrease, Gulsrud and Trask will go to Germany, where Kilcrease will study economics, Gulsrud will pursue environmental studies (particularly global warming) and Trask will do a teaching assistantship. Thompson will study geology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Harmon, Erickson and Berner will do teaching assistantships in France.

The Fulbright is the U.S. government’s premier scholarship program, sending 800 scholars and professionals each year to more than 140 countries. The scholarship covers the students’ educational, travel and living expenses for the year.

PLU has had more Fulbright scholars than comparable universities. Professor Emeritus Rodney Swenson has been credited with encouraging applicants and shepherding them through the process. It has been his crusade to encourage this life-changing international study. Now, three years after he formally left the faculty, Swenson is turning over the Fulbright program to German professor Michael Sosulski.

“PLU has been remarkably successful in getting Fulbrights, and Rodney deserves praise for his support of the program,” biology professor Bill Teska said.

Swenson said he’s confident the program will continue its strong tradition at PLU, and he continues to encourage people to apply for the scholarships, which were created after the end of World War II to foster mutual understanding among nations.

“The thrust of the program is an investment in peace,” Swenson said. “One of the best ways to do that is to have young people live and work in another culture.”

Pierce County stages disaster on campus to prepare for emergency

Law enforcement and emergency management agencies staged mock disasters in Seattle, Chicago and on the PLU campus in May to prepare for the unthinkable.

PLU allowed portions of campus to be used in order to help Pierce County with its drill and to test its own communication system. The drill involved an explosion on a bus near South Hall, and a fake hostage situation in the Plant Services area. SWAT teams, fire engines and police cars swamped campus, but the community was well warned of the drill, and there was no confusion when it finally took place. Classes continued uninterrupted, and action was confined to areas of campus that didn’t have planned activities.

A drill started the same time in Seattle. There, agencies spent three days responding to a fake “dirty” bomb.

Life of the Mind: Rare fellowship will take student down the international path


Photo Credits

By: Jordan Hartman ’02
George Skanes, a PLU groundskeeper, didn’t mind looking a little silly as a volunteer during an act by the Gentlemen Jugglers at the June Strawberry Festival.


 Back to top  Fall 2003 Scene Copyright 2003 Pacific Lutheran University  Credits ~ Last Updated 09-05-2003 ~ Comments