Notes From Under the Oaks
As I write this, the Forest Grove campus is being prepared for one of the largest groups of students in the history of the University.
Not only is the freshmen class an astounding 481 students, we’ll welcome 121 transfer students, 35 students in the new Speech Language Pathology program and 23 in Audiology. And of course the rest of the graduate and professional programs are full.
As I write I am also reflecting on my own experiences with Pacific as an undergraduate. It was on this day, ten years ago when I got the news that my father had made a rather abrupt and unexpected exit from this life.
Quick math can tell you I was still a student at Pacific when this happened. Sparing all the sad details, the thing I keep thinking about today is how the community at Pacific rallied around me in this hard time.
Of course my friends were there with hugs and kind words, but I also received overwhelming support at every level of the University. Everyone I encountered was kind and helpful and committed to doing everything it took to keep me going through what has proven to be one of the toughest years of my life.
Now when I talk with alumni about how the University has grown, the question I am inevitably asked to answer is “has it changed?”
When alumni ask about this kind of change they’re not inquiring about buildings or faces among the faculty. We all know those things change. They’re asking about the soul of this place.
They are asking “does nearly doubling the number of students in just over a decade take away the sense of community we all treasure?”
I report with no small amount of pride that Pacific is every bit as much the family it has always been. This is still the kind of place where every single person, from the President to the students, rallies around anyone in need of support.
Although we’ve grown, we are still not so big that one can get lost. There’s still no anonymity here.
This is evident on a walk across campus as you hear the students shout each other’s names across Trombley Square.
It was evident over the weekend in the words of the commencement speakers as every one of them thanked their fellow students and the faculty and staff.
It is evident in every classroom, dorm room and lab as students support each other’s success and the idea of cut-throat competition is unconditionally foreign.
It is evident on Facebook as alumni, students and employees all make comments and giggle about Boxer on Mars.
One thing has changed in a big way. The cheers at sporting events are much, much louder.
Speaking of sporting events, don’t forget to register for Homecoming, which coming up in a mere 43 days!
As always, please keep it touch! Send us your stories and don’t hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance.
Martha Calus-McLain ‘03
Director of Alumni Relations
Posted by Martha Calus-Mclain (firstname.lastname@example.org) on Aug 14, 2012 at 9:09 AM