Martha Calus-McLain '03 | Alumni Board Profile

Director of Alumni Relations Martha Calus-McLain '03 answers questions about Pacific University.

What is your favorite thing about Pacific University?
The history. I just love being a part of a place that has been providing educational opportunity for more than 160 years.

What do you enjoy most about being a part of the Pacific community?
My history. This is where I became an adult. I was studying here when I met my husband and many of my closest friends.

Why do you think Pacific is a high-quality place for students to attend? What do you think sets Pacific apart from other Universities?
I could comment extensively about the quality of education, caring environment and dedicated faculty, but everyone who has ever spent any time here knows these things. For me Pacific stood out because from the moment I first learned Pacific existed, as a high school junior in rural Washington state, it felt like the place I was meant to attend.

What is one thing you would change about the University if you had the power to do so?
I love this place with all my heart, but even the best places need some improvements. Rather than fantasize about what could be changed, I’d rather try and help those changes along. This is why, before I worked here, I served as a volunteer and contributed to the annual fund. As an employee I work every day to improve the university and I continue to support the annual fund and look toward a future of continued success for my alma mater.

What do you admire most about the University?
My fellow alumni. In my role as alumni director I continually get to hear amazing stories of the achievements of Pacific alumni and I am proud to be among so many great people who truly want to make the world a better place. 

What do you like to do when you’re not working?
In our non-work hours my husband and I pour every ounce of our energy into our century-old farmhouse. When we’re not working on the house or garden, we love to have adventures locally and travel when we can. Also, I see no shame in a deep appreciation for television!

What do you think are the most important qualities in a person?
Honesty, kindness, integrity and the desire to learn.

What is/are your favorite phrase/words of wisdom?
C'est la vie.
So it goes.
Keep on keepin’ on. 

What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done?
In 2005 my boyfriend (now husband) and I rode our bicycles from Portland, Ore. to San Francisco, Calif. In 2011 we plan to try our hand at parenting. In choosing between the two, I’d say the latter is going to be a bigger adventure.

If you could be born in a different time period, what would it be?
I honestly feel pretty lucky to be born where and when I was born. I often ponder the twist of fate that allowed me to born in a time and place where I was able to overcome all the obstacles life put in front of me and find happiness in life. I try never to take this for granted. If I had been born even 60 or 100 years ago (or in one of many other countries), I would not have had a fraction of the opportunity I’ve encountered and for which I am so grateful.

However, if I had to pick a different time period, I’d say the future. I’d love to see if humans ever find a way to afford everyone such opportunity.

Posted by Stephanie Haugen ( on Mar 9, 2011 at 8:35 AM

Edited by Martha Calus-Mclain ( on Mar 14, 2011 at 1:19 PM

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