Homecoming brings Lutes young and old to downtown Tacoma

By Christina Reindl
Lutes from every corner of the country came home for this year’s homecoming, October 11-14, for a chance to celebrate, as the theme stated, PLU’s proud past and bright future.
Photo Gallery

Each year, PLU celebrates a different set of class reunion years and an affinity group.  This year’s affinity group, ASPLU, reunited members from the past 75 years to celebrate their common leadership role.  Among the many class reunion years was the Class of 1957, celebrating their 50th anniversary. Class reunions and affinity celebrations such as these help keep the university’s proud past alive and strong. 

With the introduction of the newly remodeled University Center (see page 4 for story) and the Garfield Book Company, PLU’s future is, without a doubt, bright.

 “We all have an affinity to particular class years,” said Jacob Himmelman ’03, assistant director of Alumni and Parent Relations.  “Homecoming is an opportunity to celebrate those affinities, but also celebrate the common connection that brings us all together.”

This year, homecoming also connected the PLU campus and the greater Tacoma area.  A 30-foot banner hung at the intersection of 11th and A streets, and posters hung in local coffee shops and on bulletin boards throughout downtown. “We want everyone to know how proud we are of PLU and the gathering of our whole community for homecoming, so we want to broadcast it every way we can,” said Lauralee Hagen ’75, ’78, director of Alumni and Parent Relations.

On Saturday, more than 400 Lutes celebrated in eight venues. The day began with the invitation extended to all alumni to join students who went “Into the Streets” as part of several volunteer projects. PLU’s Volunteer Center led groups to Point Defiance to assist in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, to participate in planting native plants at a local park and to restore toys at the Toy Rescue Mission.

That evening, the class of 1957 celebrated with a dinner at the Courtyard by Marriott. “The banquet was beautiful, and very well attended. It was great to see people I haven’t seen in 50 years,” said Marilyn Hefty Katz ’57.  “From the fantastic reception at the Nordquist’s house, the cooperative weather and a victory at the football game, to being welcomed into the Golden Club, it was just a great weekend.

The Class of 1977 also gathered at the Courtyard by Marriott for their 30th class reunion and nursing reception. A few blocks away, the Class of 1972 had their 35th anniversary gathering at the Harmon Brewery.

This year, three affinity groups also celebrated their proud past. The 1969-1970 SPURS, a community service group, had a chance to renew their affinity for volunteering at the Varsity Grill. African-American students and friends of PLU also came together. More than 62 alumni and friends met at the Healing Garden Tea Room, a minority-owned business in the Stadium District. Organizers Melannie Denise Cunningham, PLU’s coordinator of multicultural recruitment for the Office of Admission, and Phillip Miner, a past coordinator of multicultural recruitment, were very excited to bring this affinity group together.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to be connecting with this group that plays a vital role in helping us reach our goal to increase multicultural diversity at PLU,” Cunningham said.

Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) gathered at Indochine for a social gathering of their own.  “It is great to be a part of GOLD and to celebrate homecoming as an alumnus for the first time,” said Ellen (Brotherston) Arnson ’07, a member of the homecoming ASPLU reunion committee and the GOLD committee. “I’m excited to be back home and to catch up with friends I haven’t seen since graduation.”

Only a short distance from these class reunions and affinity celebrations was the Tacoma Art Museum, the site of this year’s homecoming gala.  Next door at Union Station, current students attended the homecoming dance.  “This was intentional,” Himmelman said. “We’re all there, celebrating homecoming together.”
From connecting many years of Lutes to connecting PLU with downtown Tacoma, this year’s homecoming was an affair to celebrate the proud past.  And consider this your official invitation to be a part of PLU’s bright future at next year’s homecoming.

Alumni and friends of PLU gathered at several locations around downtown Tacoma to celebrate Homecoming 2007. The 50th Class Reunion took place at the  Courtyard by Marriott (top left), the Homecoming Gala at the Tacoma Art Museum (top center), and GOLD members gathered at Indochine (top right).

Below: The SPURS of 1969-1970 sought the help of Alumni and Parent Relations to organize a reunion at the Varsity Grill in downtown Tacoma. Now is the time to start thinking about which of your PLU affinities would like help in reconnecting at next year's homecoming.

PLU Alumni College 2008

Pacific Lutheran University alumni, parents and friends are invited to attend PLU Alumni College, July 11-13, 2008, as we travel to the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. Nestled in a beautiful southern Oregon valley, the festival will again be a rich and rewarding experience for those who love fine theater and beautiful surroundings.
Visit www.plu.edu/alumni for more details and registration information.   

Career mentoring

Dear PLU Alumni and Friends,

As students at PLU, it is easy to get caught up in the moment. The pressures of classes, clubs and sports, coupled with the random sights and sounds of living on campus with so many other students can leave students easily trapped within what we know as the “Lute dome.”

When we start to think about the “real world,” many fear ending life as a student to follow the career path we all came to PLU to pursue. What can you do to help students in need of advice in preparing for this transition?

The answer is career mentoring. By joining the PLU online community, Click!, you can sign up to be a part of PLU’s Career Mentoring Program. By doing so, students are able to utilize your knowledge and experience to be better directed within their field of study and vocation. Alumni career mentors serve as an important resource for students because they have successfully made the
transition from student to professional.

Please join in this effort to help young professional Lutes become well equipped through your firsthand experience! As Lutes for
Life, we all share the same enthusiasm and pride in PLU. Visit www.plualumni.org and click on “Getting Involved,” to help mentor
a student.

Thank You!
Amanda Hill ’09 and Troy Moore ’09
Student Alumni Association Career Mentoring Co-Chairs


Pencil us in

Upcoming events

December 27-30
Cactus Basketball Jam

January 12
Lute Hoops for Kent/Auburn, PLU

January 19
Alumni Basketball Event, PLU

January 20
Alaska Connections Event

January 24-31
Choral Tour, Southern California

February 2
Lute Hoops for Olympia, PLU

February 5
Lute Hoops for Tacoma, PLU

February 17
Boise, Idaho, Connections Event

February 21-22
Wang Symposium: Advances in Global Health

March 9-11
Montana Connections Events

For more information: www.plualumni.org or call 800-ALUM-PLU.