Garfield Commons groundbreaking marks first step in area revival
The ceremonial shovelful of dirt lifted by PLU and Lorig Associates marked one of the first visible steps in a planned renaissance of the Garfield Street area.
Ground was officially broken on Garfield Commons, a retail center that will house the new PLU bookstore, on March 15. Slated for completion this December, the building will be located at the corner of Garfield Street and Pacific Avenue.
By moving the bookstore off-campus, foot traffic should increase on Garfield Street, with students walking from campus to Garfield Commons and shoppers moving from Garfield Commons towards campus. The building is part of a plan to reinvigorate area businesses with increased pedestrian traffic and provide opportunities for further economic development of the area.
The PLU bookstore will be the anchor tenant of the building, occupying 15,000 square feet of the 32,000-square-foot complex.
“It will have a foundation of serving the campus and students, but it will also now serve the community,” said Mark Mulder ’93, ’00, director of auxiliary services and a leader of PLU’s involvement in the greater revitalization of Garfield Street.
The new store, which has yet to be named, will feature a community room for campus, as well as community programming.
Renowned writer and environmentalist visits for Earth Week
Terry Tempest Williams spoke as part of PLU’s Earth Week celebration to a packed house in Lagerquist Concert Hall.
Tempest Williams is one of the most powerful voices in the country on environmental issues and the necessity of civic engagement. During the day, she held a forum with the campus community to discuss vocation and the environment and met with students from environmental studies, women’s studies and English.
Student Rachel Esbjornsen penned the letter inviting Tempest Williams to PLU. A fan since high school, Esbjornsen said Tempest Williams’ writing advocates for the protection of wild areas and encourages people to discuss their views about nature.
“The way she advocates is through an open dialogue, inviting people to come to a conversation about nature and how we view it,” Esbjornsen said.
A native of Salt Lake City and a Mormon environmentalist, Tempest Williams is passionate about matters of spirit and faith, women and the environment and social responsibility. She is best known for her book, “Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place,” in which she explored the relationship between cancer in people and the degradation of nature.
Princess Märtha Louise of Norway visits during heritage festival
Princess Märtha Louise of Norway visited PLU as part of a national speaking and promotional tour for her children’s book “Why Kings and Queens Don’t Wear Crowns.”
The princess spoke in Lagerquist Concert Hall about growing up as royalty in today’s world and why she wrote her bestselling children’s book. Following her remarks, she greeted festival-goers and signed books in the UC.
Her book centers on events in 1905, when Norway's union with Sweden was peacefully dissolved and Norway needed to find a new royal family. The tale begins there and is based on the childhood of her grandfather, King Olav V. Little Prince Olav wants to play just like the other children, but every time he leaves the palace something bad happens to the crown on his head, and the king and queen are not amused.
The princess’ visit was part of the annual Norwegian Heritage Festival, which featured booths offering Norwegian products such as sweaters, jewelry and Hardanger fiddles. Freshly baked Norwegian cookies and pastries, live entertainment and special children’s programming were also part of the event. A favorite booth of the festival demonstrated how to make “lefse,” the traditional Scandinavian flat bread.
Service-learning trip takes student volunteers to New Orleans
When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, the world was stunned by the devastation. Over spring break, 16 students and four staff members jumped into the recovery effort, spending their vacation volunteering at local non-profit organizations in New Orleans.
The Campus Ministry-sponsored trip sent the group to St. Bernard’s Parish, one of the areas hardest hit by the hurricane, gutting houses and cleaning up trash and debris. Emergency Communities, a grassroots organization, housed the group at its tent city.
Emergencies Communities’ main operation, the Made with Love Café and Grill, provides hot meals to volunteers and victims three times a day, seven days a week. In addition to helping serve meals and sorting food donations, the group was able to sit down daily and talk with hurricane victims.
“Each meal we could sit down with local residents and actually talk to them and hear their stories,” said Joel Zylstra ’05, program coordinator for Student Involvement and Leadership and the trip’s organizer.
The interaction was one of the most powerful parts of the trip, he said.
The trip focused on service learning, and Zylstra said the group concentrated on the value of the experience, not merely volunteering their time and energy. When they returned, the group held a forum to share their experiences, hoping to connect others to the reality of the disaster.
Senator Murray rallies campus on student-aid issue
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., addressed the campus in February at a “Rally for Student Aid,” imploring students to mobilize on the issue of federal student aid.
At the time of her speech, the Deficit Reduction Act had just passed Congress, eliminating over $12 billion in federal student aid for this year, and President Bush had unveiled his budget for 2007. According to Murray, his budget featured the largest cut to education in 26 years.
“(Federal student aid) is under attack in Washington, D.C., today. Why? Because nobody’s fighting back at the local level,” Murray said. “This bill means every one of you will pay more.”
President Loren Anderson opened the event with brief remarks, followed by student Kimberly Kreitel. Kreitel, a junior from Yelm, said without federal student aid she would not have been able to attend PLU. In a national political atmosphere steeped in talk of values, Murray said the principle that “every person, no matter where they sit, should have access to education” is also an important value.
“Don’t sit back and say ‘Gosh, I wish this wasn’t happening,’ ” Murray said. “Say ‘What can I do?’ ”
Commencement moved to Tacoma Dome
The commencement ceremony took place at the Tacoma Dome for the first time this May, a more spacious and spectator-friendly venue that eliminated the need for tickets.
Bill Foege '57, an internationally recognized global health expert, gave the commencement address. He is an advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Carter Center, and a member of the PLU Board of Regents. (See “Perspective,” back cover.)
Students Tyler Hildebrand ’06 and Derice Grass ’06, both philosophy and economic majors, gave reflections of their PLU education.
The Dome can accomodate an audience of 6,000, more than twice what Olson Auditorium can seat, and allowed graduates to invite all their friends and family to participate.
The larger space eliminated the need for a separate summer ceremony. Students graduating in August could choose to participate in either the May or December ceremonies.
The change of venue did not disrupt commencement traditions, which included performances by the University Symphony Orchestra and Choir of the West, the faculty procession, university banners and the university mace.
Lifting the ceremonial shovels at the groundbreaking for the new PLU bookstore were Terry Lee of the Pierce County Council; Elizabeth Johnson of the Garfield Business Association; President Loren Anderson; Pastor Nancy Connor; and Hal Ferris of Lorig Associates, PLU’s development partner on the bookstore project.
Princess Märtha Louise of Norway
Princess Märtha Louise of Norway visited PLU as part of a national speaking and promotional