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Garfield Street project will enhance entrance to campus

Continuing its efforts to create a more attractive and useful entrance to the university, PLU demolished the dilapidated buildings on the corner of Pacific Avenue and Garfield Street and is moving ahead with plans for redevelopment.

The project goal is to create a pedestrian-friendly mix of services and retail to benefit Parkland, PLU and the entire Garfield Street corridor. PLU owns several properties along the street, which is already home to shops and restaurants popular with the PLU community.

PLU has hired Lorig Associates, an award-winning real estate development company that specializes in retail, housing and office developments in urban settings, to find tenants and develop the site. Several companies have shown interest in the location, said Sheri Tonn, vice president for finance and operations.

One possible anchor tenant is the PLU Bookstore. The university is conducting focus groups to see how people would feel about moving the store off campus. The university is working with the state Department of Transportation and Pierce Transit to substantially improve the pedestrian options and safety around the site.

PLU bought the corner lots last year. Endowment funds were used to buy the properties, and income from the properties will enhance the endowment in the future.

As part of the university’s commitment to recycling, more than 80 percent of the demolished building will be recycled, extending the life of the materials.

For more information on the Garfield Street redevelopment or other projects underway by the university, visit the Finance and Operations Web site at

President, provost outline plans for the year at Fall Conference

Finances and student satisfaction are strong at PLU, President Loren J. Anderson reported in his State of the University address in September.

“Our 2003-2004 operating budget benefited from campaign success, a strong increase in enrollment, as well as sacrifice and spending restraint across the campus,” Anderson told faculty, administrators and staff at Fall Conference.

“Our challenge this year is to reframe and reorganize our fund-raising programs with a focus on increasing annual support, building the endowment and seeking additional funding for the Eastvold restoration project.”

Student enrollment remains strong. This fall, PLU welcomed its largest incoming class in more than 15 years – 701 freshmen and 311 transfer students.

Fall Conference also brought Thomas Brown, a lifelong educator with a record of success in creating academic and student affairs programs that promote increased satisfaction, achievement and retention. He said every person on campus plays a role. From those who answer the phones and clean buildings to those who write grants and teach courses, he said each person a student encounters has the ability to make a difference.

“Students don't interact with institutions,” he said, “but with individuals.”

He encouraged collaboration throughout the university to retain students and to encourage students once they complete their degrees.

In his Fall Conference address to faculty, Provost Jim Pence outlined a strategy to strengthen PLU’s identity as a comprehensive liberal arts and sciences university by strengthening the college of arts and sciences and unifying it under a single academic dean. He pledged to advance the academic distinction goals of PLU 2010, improve the focus on student learning and work to improve faculty pay.

Alumni rate PLU top in national survey about college experience

The proof is in. PLU is a special place. The entire campus community knows firsthand what it is that makes the PLU experience distinctive. But how does that stack up against what others say about their universities?

“The results of a national survey affirm the core claims that we make about the character, benefits and advantages of a PLU education,” said Loren J. Anderson, president of the university. “The findings are overwhelmingly positive.”

An independent marketing firm compared responses of 155 PLU alumni to the responses of graduates of schools similar to PLU, graduates of highly prestigious national universities and graduates of big state schools in the West.

Here is a sampling of the results.

When asked if professors challenged them academically and supported them personally, 81 percent of PLU alumni said yes, compared to 71 percent at other privates, 46 percent at top national schools and 47 percent at state schools in the West.

Surveyed about opportunities for research, independent study or international study, PLU alumni reported more positively than any other alumni group by as much as 27 percentage points difference in some cases.

When asked if there were opportunities for community service, 63 percent of PLU alumni agreed compared to 53 percent at other privates, 42 percent at top national schools and 44 percent at state schools in the West.

PLU fared similarly well in results of questions concerning engaging classes, extra-curricular activities, spiritual growth and overall satisfaction.

“Overall, the survey is powerful evidence that what we say about the distinction of a PLU education is borne out in the experience, perceptions and attitudes of our graduates,” Anderson said.

Plourde takes over role as vice president for development

James Plourde has been named acting vice president for development and university relations.

He oversees the offices of Alumni and Parent Relations, Advancement Services, Development, University Communications and KPLU.

Plourde was executive director of development from 2000 to 2004 and played a key role in the successful $128 million campaign that concluded in May. He replaces David Aubrey, who left the university to pursue a career in consulting.

Before PLU, Plourde was director of development and public relations at Charles Wright Academy in Tacoma and director of corporate foundation and group support at Tacoma’s Franciscan Foundation.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Southern Connecticut State University in 1979 and master’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon in 1985. He lives in Tacoma with his wife, the Rev. Susan C. Cutshall, and their daughter Claire.

Second Wang symposium, Pathways to Peace, set for January

The Wang Center forInternational Programs presents the second in its biennial series of public symposia on issues critical to intercultural understanding and world peace next month.

Pathways to Peace: Norway’s Approach to Democracy and Development will be Jan. 12-14 at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center in downtown Tacoma and on the PLU campus.

Pathways to Peace will explore the Norwegian approach to achieving world peace through conflict resolution, economic development and relieving global poverty.

The Norway symposium, which is the first major event marking the centennial of Norway's independence, is designed to further PLU’s efforts to educate for a just, healthy, sustainable and peaceful world.

Symposium participants will join scholars, business and government leaders and policy experts in conversation and study about topics including Norway’s behind-the-scenes peace brokering efforts undertaken in areas of the world such as the Middle East, Sri Lanka and Sudan. They will also consider the leadership roles Norway has played in the United Nations and NATO.

Keynote and plenary speakers will include Knut Vollebœk, Norwegian ambassador to the United States;

Svein Ludvigsen, Norwegian minister of fisheries; Tom Vraalsen, United Nations envoy to Sudan and former Norwegian ambassador to the United States; George Russell, chairman of the Threshold Group and chairman emeritus of Russell Investment Company; and Leonard N. Iipumba, the Namibian Ambassador to the United States.

In addition, many experts will present their views and lead discussions in concurrent sessions on topics including establishing the conditions for peace, ensuring the conditions for peace and ongoing work for peace.

The first Wang Center symposium, China: Bridges for a New Century, drew more than 700 participants from the Asian, business, academic and other communities.

“It confirmed PLU’s position as a leader in global education – recognized for innovative academic programs and exceptional participation in international study,” said Janet Rasmussen, director of the Wang Center.

In addition to a gala banquet and celebration of the centennial of Norway’s independence as a modern democracy, other events at the upcoming symposium include performances by Hedmark University College Choir, PLU’s Choir of the West, African entertainment and a premiere organ composition by university organist emeritus David Dahl. Various exhibits representing Norwegian and Namibian visual arts will be displayed.

For more information and for online symposium registration visit

PLU welcomes new faculty in many different divisions

A new group of distinguished professors are teaching, researching and learning at PLU this fall.

They are:

Geun Ahn, visiting assistant professor of economics; Andrea Arai, visiting assistant professor of anthropology; John Paul Avila, visiting assistant professor of art; Daniel Bloomingdale, visiting assistant professor of communication and theater; Gillian Boice, professor of military science;

Kirsten Christensen, visiting assistant professor of languages and literature; James Clapper, dean of the School of Business; Kristin Cloyes, assistant professor of nursing; H. Evren Damar, visiting assistant professor of economics; Paul Davis, assistant professor of chemistry;

Martiné Fortune, visiting assistant professor of languages and literature; Fredericka Gilje, visiting associate professor of nursing; Neal Johnson, Ph.D., visiting assistant professor of economics; Bret Keeling, lecturer of English; Louis Komjathy, visiting instructor of religion;

Rebecca LaFond, visiting assistant professor of biology; Wendy Leedom, clinical assistant professor of nursing; G. Don Maloney, visiting associate professor of psychology; Alison Mandaville, visiting assistant professor of English; Cherie McCann, clinical assistant professor of nursing;

Kenneth Ngwa, visiting assistant professor of religion; Lisa Norton, visiting assistant professor of English; Barbara Olson, clinical assistant professor of nursing; Jeffrey Staley, visiting assistant professor of religion; Linda Wang-Stewart, visiting assistant professor of communication and theater.

Rock The Vote

Hundreds of students turned out to express their opinions about the presidential race, the war in Iraq and domestic issues at a forum moderated by Syrus of MTV’s “The

Real World-Boston. ” Rock the Vote is a national organization that aims to get young people involved in their communities and the political process.

Crew team restores special wooden boat

A wooden boat that holds a special place in PLU crew history hit the water again, rededicated in honor of a longtime supporter. The wooden boat Marjory Anderson was built in 1980 and used for 20 years, during which it won women’s titles in 1984, 1985 and 1986, the club championship in 1984 and the 1988 men’s lightweight title.

Unlike many current shells that are molded from fiberglass and manmade fibers, the wooden boat is reminiscent of earlier days.

“The restoration of The Marge is a piece of PLU history, and a strong symbol of the pastaccomplishments of the alumnwho built the program up,” Coach Tone Lawver ’95 said. “My first outing as a member of the crew team was in that boat.”

A 1977 fire destroyed all the team’s equipment, and it took years of hard work and donations from friends of the team to build a new boathouse and buy new shells. The Marge, as it’s affectionately known, was one of those boats. It was named for Anderson, who helped pay for it and whose son Tim ’76 was a member of the team.

But it had fallen into disrepair, so the team sought the guidance of Rat Island Rowing Club in Port Townsend, Wash. It took nearly 250 hours of student labor and 40 hours of professional restoration work to complete. The beautifully refurbished boat was rededicated in April and went out for a row. Anderson was ill at the time and could not attend the ceremony. She died in July.

Lawver, who said the team has raised nearly $7,000 by gathering sponsors, hopes to display the boat on campus somewhere.

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© Scene 2004  •  Pacific Lutheran University  •  Winter 2004

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