Alumni Awards Announced

During Reunion Weekend, Pacific University will honor and celebrate its outstanding alumni. This year, the University and the Alumni Association will honor six graduates for lifetime achievements and service at the Alumni Honors Gala on Saturday, June 23.

Please join us on Saturday, June 23 to celebrate the following honorees:


Ambassador Shirley L. Abbott '52, OD '53.
Abbott was a private practitioner from 1953-1965 and then founded and later served as president of Pan American Optical Co., Inc., now Sunland Optical Co., Inc. He is a former Texas legislator and ambassador to the South African kingdom of Lesotho, and has been a key donor for the alumni house, which bears his name. In "retirement" he continues to be active in a number of business and educational interests. Abbott's son, Alan Abbott, serves on the Board of Trustees and is the proud parent of Allison Abbott Kaelin, a graduate student in the Professional Psychology program.

Michael J. McCartney '82
McCartney, a member of the Pacific Board of Trustees, was recently elected as chairman of Hawai'i's Democratic Party. McCartney is a former Hawai'i state senator, president of PBS Hawai'i, and partner, co-founder and president of the Star Telecom Network. He is also involved with several community-based educational, political and athletic boards and foundations.

Calvin L. VanPelt '49
VanPelt began his career as an export trainee with Jantzen, Inc. and eventually became manager of their international division. Later, he held executive positions at Columbia Exporters, White Stag, Sea-Pac International and Martin Sales International. He also worked more than 20 years to establish the World Trade Center in Portland. Van Pelt serves on the Alumni Board of Directors and several other community-based boards, foundations and committees.


Janie F. Stein Kershaw '61
Kershaw works with her husband, Alan, at Kershaw & Associates, Inc., a Portland tax preparation, consulting and accounting company in business since 1976. For 20 years, she specialized in prior year returns and payment plans for small business start-ups and non-profit organizations. She has also been active in local politics and tax accountant associations and is a long-time member of the Alumni Board of Directors. She and Alan have been generous contributors to many University initiatives.

Willard "Wid" B. Bleything '51, OD '52
Bleything officially retired in 2003 as Optometry Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, in Residence, after a long career stretching back to the 1950s as a faculty member and later dean of the School. He also served in the U.S. Air Force, eventually becoming optometric consultant to the Surgeon General, until his retirement in 1986. Bleything also had a private practice for 16 years specializing in pediatric optometry. In 2002 the World Council of Optometry named him its International Optometrist of the Year. Dr. Bleything's step-daughter, Wendy Tuffli Hendricks '89, MAT '95, and step-son Christopher Tuffli '89 both attended Pacific, as did his grand-daughters, Sharon Reilly Olmstead '04 and Michelle Reilly '05.


Christopher T. Veazey '01
Veazey was always interested in science, but really became intrigued in chemistry Professor Kevin Johnson's classes. A later study of lithium ion batteries with Johnson became his senior thesis, and he won an award from the American Chemical Society as one of the region's top chemistry majors. While still in the California Institute of Technology's materials science doctoral program, he caused a stir with the development of an exotic, foaming metal "bubbloy" with glass-like characteristics. He currently works at Novellus Systems in Tualatin and is engaged to be married to Pacific alumna Kristy Drafahl '02.


Contact us to order your tickets for the Alumni Honors Gala on Saturday, June 23:

Office of Alumni Relations
2043 College Way
Forest Grove, OR 97116
(503) 352-2057

Posted by Brian Hess ( on Mar 22, 2007 at 2:38 PM

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