Notes from Under the Oaks

After many summers working on the Forest Grove campus, I find this is my favorite time of year. There is a quiet beauty in summer. I fell in love with that stillness during my first summer in the Grove as a student and I have never gotten over it.

This year, however, things are a bit noisier on campus with three big construction projects!

The new dorm residence space, Cascade Hall, is flying through the construction homestretch and looks nearly complete from the outside.

Out at the athletic facilities, a crew is steadily working to place a cover over the stands at Hanson Stadium. I think even those steadfast and water-logged native Oregonians who normally turn their noses at umbrellas will relish staying dry during sporting events and other occasions.

I alternate about which project I’m most excited about, but lately I’ve been pretty enthralled by the changes to the University Center – Washburn Hall. The UC was the epicenter of my college life. Almost everything essential to college life happened in the UC at some point.

My first coffee. Studying. Classes. Tutoring sessions. Hundreds of dinners and brunches.  A short-lived KPUR radio show.  Many hours spent in The Index office during the darkest parts of the day. Coffee breaks. ACE Board meetings. ACE Board concerts, which required dragging heavy furniture across the room to make way for a dance floor. Checking the mail for final paper grades or letters from my mom. Too many late night snacks at “The Dive,” an under-water themed sandwich bar and snack shop. Long talks with friends. Invigorating lectures. Naps. More coffee.

Although the UC refresh isn’t an enormous structural change – a few alterations to the exterior and the removal of some walls along with new paint and furnishings – it feels monumental. The UC doesn’t feel like it has changed much over the past 50 years, so the removal of the landscaping to make way for a brighter patio or the destruction of the steps to make way for a more accessible entrance, seem like huge changes.

I hope you’ll consider taking a peek at the construction site if you’re on campus over the summer and I welcome all alumni to return home this fall to see the refreshed space. I also invite you to join trustee and alumna Mindy (Cottrell) Cameron ’65 who shared her UC memories for the summer issue of Pacific magazine --due in mailboxes very soon.

We’d love to hear yours too! You can share by sending an email to .

The fall issue of the magazine will feature additional alumni memories and we plan to place all the stories we receive into a time capsule to be hidden inside the newly refreshed UC.

I hope you have a great summer and look forward to reading your UC memories.

Keep in touch!

Best wishes,

Martha Calus-McLain ‘03
Director of Alumni Relations

Posted by Martha Calus-Mclain ( on Jun 13, 2014 at 9:28 AM

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