Parents look back on 4 years at PLU

By Jan (Swanson ’70) Praxel
Around this time four years ago, we knew that our youngest daughter, Kaarin, would soon be heading to Pacific Lutheran University to spend the next few years on a campus with which we already felt a true connection. Her sister, Kristin Rue, graduated from PLU in 1997; I am a 1970 graduate.

Yet, Kaarin’s experience has been unique to her and to us. As a result, PLU—a place we already valued—has become even more important to us. When Kaarin visited campuses as a high school student, preparing to make that momentous decision, PLU became the clear choice: Kaarin recalls President Loren Anderson taking the time to get to know so many prospective students. “He called me by name,” she recalls. Hearing a young graduate speak about preparing for “lives of service” also made a big impression.

Her choice was definitely correct. Four years ago Kaarin threw herself into campus life with gusto and she hasn’t stopped learning and growing from the day we left her at Pflueger Hall.

It is hard to find things Kaarin hasn’t liked about PLU: we hear of challenging and inspirational professors, of the joys of marvelous work partnerships in her on-campus job, of laughing with friends, of late nights talking philosophy and religion, of study sessions with her fellow “math nerds,” of times spent at games, plays and at musical performances. We hear of frustrating, challenging, growth-provoking conversations in International Core classes. We relish the pictures sent via e-mail of campus dances, crazy times in the dorm, days spent at PLU courses in Norway and in Costa Rica.

Through all of this we have watched a confident high school graduate mature into a self-assured, aware, contributing citizen of the world. Her father and I can’t say enough good things about PLU.

Parent Council has provided us the opportunity to continue a new type of involvement in our daughter’s educational experience. We’ve appreciated the chance to get to know a group of parents who care as much as we do about the university and its future. The council provides an excellent opportunity to get involved, learn about campus life, see Kaarin during an extra visit and give back a little to a place that has given us so much.

The Parent Council meets twice a year to serve as a sounding board for the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations as it tailors its program to help keep parents informed. The council recently got a sneak peek at the new “parents” page of the Web site, and was able to provide feedback on changes that parents would like to see. For instance, we suggested placing vacation dates front and center so parents would be able to plan holidays and family gatherings easily.

As an aside, this group now meets in the new Morken Center, the “green” building on campus. In creating this structure, PLU has taken a stance concerning the environment that speaks volumes to me regarding the university’s awareness of pressing issues in society.

Kaarin graduated in May and our immediate family’s connection with PLU has changed, but we’ll continue to send friends and acquaintances to this marvelous place of learning. Thank you, PLU, for all our family has gained during our 40-year connection with this institution.

Parent Council 2007-08

Karl and Nancy Cambronne
Minneapolis, Minn.

Susan Davis
Hoquiam, Wash.

Jill Elliott
Poulsbo, Wash.

Wilt and Ann Feider
White Bear Lake, Minn.

Jerry and JeanMarie Foss
Fircrest, Wash.

Dave and Kim Guinn
Arvada, Colo.

Roy '78 and Peggy '79 Hammerling
Fargo, N.D.

Gail Hashagen
Sammamish, Wash.

Robin Kalohelani
Aiea, Hawaii

Mike ’79 and Melinda ‘80 Meyer
Renton, Wash.

Rob and Jackie Ogan
Salem, Ore.

Jeremy (chair) and Susan ’76 Stringer
Bellevue, Wash.

Gene and Jef Twiner
University Place, Wash.

Photo top: Jen (Swanson '70) Praxel and her husband, Jack Praxel, visited with daughter Kaarin during a visit to campus for a Parent Council meeting this spring.