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Board chair impressed with PLU’s commitment to mission

When Dr. Cynthia Edwards was first asked to join PLU’s Board of Regents, she didn’t know much about the board’s function.

“But I felt really close to the university because of the personal mentoring I received here,” said Edwards ’76, who earned her degree in biology and met her husband, Terry ’77, at PLU.

“I knew the university and felt good about this place. It’s been an honor to be involved in a more intimate way.”

Edwards, a family practitioner with MultiCare, became a regent in 1987 and has seen the university make great strides since them. Now in her final year of service, she is serving her second year as chair of the board.

“It’s wonderful to be involved in a place that is an investment in our future and is committed to stewardship for our whole world,” she said.

Her fellow board members are highly committed and talented, she said.

“They give their time, their talents and their energy and they’re always asking what else they can do,” Edwards said.

She has been consistently impressed with President Loren Anderson’s leadership and vision.

“He carries out the mission in his personal life,” she said. “I think he is more excited with each passing year than the previous one, which is infectious.”

During her tenure on the board, Edwards has seen PLU take great strides in capital projects, development and global education. She has watched as Rieke Science Center, Mary Baker Russell Music Building and the Morken Center for Learning and Technology grew from total commitment and forward thinking.

PLU completed a record-breaking fund-raising campaign last year that significantly increased its endowment and paid for several capital projects.

Edwards, who earned her medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis, is pleased with PLU’s increased focus on academic distinction, student-faculty research and international programs. The university has seen the creation of the Wang Center, and has reached out in its commitment to diversity.

2005-2006 Board of Regents
  • Loren Anderson,Tacoma, Wash.
  • Dale Benson,Portland, Ore
  • Bruce Bjerke, Seattle, Wash.
  • Dr. Cynthia Edwards, Tacoma, chair
  • Dr. William Foege, Vashon Island, Wash.
  • Robert Gomulkiewicz, Redmond, Wash., vice chair
  • Roberta Goodnow, Medina, Wash.
  • David Greenwood, Monte Sereno, Calif.
  • Roe Hatlen, Apple Valley, Minn.
  • Richard Hildahl, Longbranch, Wash.
  • Bishop Robert Hofstad, Tacoma, Wash.
  • James Hushagen, Tacoma, secretary
  • Kathleen Jacobson, Bend, Ore.
  • Darcy Johnson, Mercer Island, Wash.
  • Katherine Johnson, Seattle, Wash.
  • Estelle Kelley, Portland, Ore
  • Rev. Michael Keys, Anchorage, Alaska
  • Anne Long, Bellevue, Wash.
  • Michelle Long, Castro Valley, Calif.
  • Rev. Kathleen McCallum Sachse,Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
  • Donald Morken, Bellevue, Wash.
  • Rev. Dr. Larry Neeb, Fenton, Mo.
  • Kim Nesselquist, Kenmore, Wash.
  • Knut Olson, Lakewood, Wash.
  • Bishop Richard Omland, Great Falls, Mont.
  • Lisa Ottoson, Spanaway, Wash.
  • Karen Phillips, Mercer Island, Wash.
  • Martin Pihl, Ketchikan, Alaska
  • Carol Quigg, Spokane, Wash.
  • Jeffrey Rippey, Portland, Ore.
  • Jim Stauffer, Missoula, Mont.
  • Susan Stringer, Bellevue, Wash.
  • Eileen Tellefson, Gig Harbor, Wash.
  • Andrew Turner, Seattle, Wash.
  • Peter Wang, Pebble Beach, Calif.
  • Bishop Martin Wells, Spokane., Wash.

She looks forward to the university’s expanding role in the community with the Garfield Street redevelopment project and the revitalization of Eastvold Hall.

“Garfield Street will be a gateway to the university, and the Eastvold project will liven this place even more,” she said.

She hopes to see the university’s fiscal strengthening continue as it works toward the goal of being less dependent on tuition for operating costs.

And while the future will inevitably bring more changes at PLU, Edwards said core values will preserve and shape those changes.

“The one thing that will not change is our mission to educate for lives of service.”


leadership & service

© Scene 2005  •  Pacific Lutheran University  •  Winter 2005

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