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I had been told, upon arriving in Oregon twenty years ago, about the Thaw — a magical week in February, a brilliant island in the vast ocean of winter, when the rains ceased! and the roses bloomed! and the temperature rose sometimes into the seventies! and Oregonians emerged from their holes, blinking and scraping off the moss with special sticks carved from cedar and fir and shaped like magic animals and surfboards, and kneeling in the moist steamy streets and holding up crucifixes with gibbering joy and moaning songs of praise to the Wonder who let the sun out of its dank drizzled dungeon! But it was hard to believe, those first few thrumming winter months, that the rains ever ceasing ever again was even in the least conceivable, the silver drumming of the rain being so insistent, the brooding ceiling looming day after day like the biggest gray blanket in the history of the world, the gray mornings chased by grim metallic afternoons and lowering evenings, week after week, month after pittering plodding precipitous month; but then o my gawd it happened! And the next year it happened again! And over the years I have learned not only to crave The Thaw but to savor every sunny scrap of it: the light pouring clean and crisp over the steaming earth, the tree frogs roaring, the newts making out furiously in their muddy lovers’ lanes, the soggy citizens stumbling out of their homes into their muddy gardens, the first thunder of lawnmowers, the murky thuck of children running across playing fields that look dry but most certainly will not be until probably August for heavenssake but let us not carp and cavil. For a while, in February, a great gift arrives, and it would be a mean and shriveled soul who would complain, perfectly logically and correctly, that the rains will return in March, washing back over Oregon like vast roiling armadas in the sky, until Independence Day (really, has there ever, ever, been a dry Rose Festival?). Yes, the wet tide will rise again after The Thaw, and we will shuffle along mooing in the mist, umbrellas jostling, shoes sloshed, socks soaked, suits splashed, sunglasses sequestered in a lonely drawer, the dog writing muddy music all over the floor again, until that brief weekend we call high summer here in the North Wet; but for a moment, late in our winter, there is a week of shocking and wondrous and generous light that thrills the shivering mammal inside each of us, and makes us mumble happily, and write silly essays about it, and understand why our forebears worshipped the sun before they did the Son, and dig the deep genius of Easter, which is about unthinkable brilliance emerging from the long dark, pure life from sure death, yes? So then, all together now, a salute to the Thaw! and o my god who let the dog in the house without wiping him down! Look at his muddy boots! Am I the only blessed soul in this moist blessed family who does not want to have the whole blessed yard in the blessed kitchen bless my blessed soul? Where is the towel? Don’t use your shirt! I have already done sixty loads of laundry this morning alone! Sweet mother of the mewling baby Jesus! Is it ever going to stop raining so we can stumble out of the house and sprawl in the holy grass and moan happily as we steam redolently like fresh loaves of bread and hoist our crucifixes with a real and roaring joy? Yes, I am talking to you! O my gawd where is the dog?! g Brian Doyle is the editor of this magazine and the author most recently of a novel, Mink River.
PHOTO: JORGEN LARSSON / GETTY IMAGES
F E A T U R E S 16 / Things Seen & Unseen, by Lawrence Cunningham A lifetime of wry, funny, piercing, and haunting notes from a great theologian. 20 / The Hope of a Trail, by Rick Bass “For all I know I am approaching the holiest place in the world. Who can say? Who knows? We know nothing...”
22 / An Ocean of Art, photographs from Hawaii’s Blackburn Collection For ninety years the University has welcomed students from Oceania, that vast scatter of Pacific islands over the gleaming horizon; here is some of those islanders’ loveliest art. 28 / We, by Heidi Naylor The yin and yang of marriage: a note. page 20
30 / How to Be a Sister, by Eileen Garvin The pain and joy of a sister with autism...“I kicked you, you pummeled me, you made my life indescribably different from what I could ever have imagined, but sometimes I can simply absorb the grace of it all...” 33 / WonderLand, by Todd Schwartz Ladies and gents, the University’s ethnobotanist, Dave Taylor... and tree-powered batteries, and Taiwanese food, and discovering a whole new genus of plants, and salsa dancing, and...
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4 / The University (lanky, grinning, bespectacled) in Kenya 5 / Stay together! — a haunting essay by Father John Donato, C.S.C. 6 / Nurses at war: stunning stories from nursing professor Diana Vines 8 / A note on bells and waves, by physics professor Shannon Mayer 9 / Rise! The University sets sail on its (visionary, momentous) Campaign 10 / Literature professor Louis Masson leaves his office, after 41 years 11 / All-American Sophie Schmidt ’10 heads to soccer’s World Cup 12 / Mike Simmons ’58 in the Washington State Penitentiary 12 / Oregon poet Kim Stafford cheerfully explains his nativity 13 / The eloquent new nurse (and former Pilot runner) Sifrash Ademe ’10 14 / Sports, starring the University’s excellent basketball teams 15 / University new and notes: Michael Pollan is here April 16 37 / Rachel Prusynski ’09 returns to (brave, broken, holy) Haiti 48 / January 7, 2011, 3:32 p.m., outside the Chiles Center
THE UNIVERSITY OF PORTLAND MAGAZINE
Cover: a ginger flower; ginger, as of course you know, is a rhizome of a perennial herb indigenous to India’s west coast. There are some 1,300 varieties of the plant, which reveals something of the profligacy of the One, yes?
Spring 2011: Vol. 30, No. 1 President: Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C. Founding Editor: John Soisson Editor: Brian Doyle Aria Addict and Designer: Joseph Erceg ’55 Associate Editors: Marc Covert ’93 & Amy Shelly Harrington ’95 Contributing Editors: Louis Masson, Sue Säfve, Terry Favero, Mary Beebe Portland is published quarterly by the University of Portland. Copyright ©2011 by the University of Portland. All rights reserved. Editorial offices are located in Waldschmidt Hall, 5000 N. Willamette Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97203-5798. Telephone (503) 943-7202, fax (503) 943-7178, e-mail address: email@example.com, Web site: http://www.up.edu/portland. Third-class postage paid at Portland, OR 97203. Canada Post International Publications Mail Product — Sales Agreement No. 40037899. Canadian Mail Distribution Information—Express Messenger International: PO Box 25058, London, Ontario, Canada N6C 6A8. Printed in the USA. Opinions expressed in Portland are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University administration. Postmaster: Send address changes to Portland, The University of Portland Magazine, 5000 N. Willamette Boulevard, Portland, OR 97203-5798.
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L E T T E R S THE NEW LANDS Anita Lehman’s artistic concept of what the new riverfront campus might look like in 2050 was interesting (Winter 2010 issue), but another perspective of what it might look like in the future can be gained by looking at what Reed College did with the pond in a ravine in the center of its campus. Originally, Reed treated the ravine and its pond as a mere obstacle to northward expansion, and the campus was built facing south; over the last 15 years or so, however, the college realized what a treasure this land is, and has worked hard to restore it, with both student and neighbor work parties. The pond is now a state wildlife refuge, huge efforts have been made to remove invasive species and replant with natives, and the pond’s parent stream now has restored fish access to the Willamette River. Herons, mergansers, bufflehead ducks, kingfishers, and various raptors are seen there regularly, and there
are benches for those who wish to find a quiet place on campus. The pond has also become a fully functioning classroom in and of itself; it’s common to see students poking about on various projects (among them reconstructing a small bog as a habitat for native frogs). Similarly, the University of Portland has always been somewhat separated from its natural surroundings; there is the manicured campus, and then there is the bluff, where an assortment of non-native species threatens to strangle the natives. But a close look at the first buildings, Waldschmidt and Christie halls, show them not facing inward, creating a fortress of learning separated from the world outside, but outward, toward what was, when the University began in 1901, the marshy forest of Swan Island and a huge bend of the Willamette River (now filled in). My point is that the new river campus has wonderful possibilities for restoring the
natural connection that was originally envisioned at the University, and might also be the University’s best and biggest new classroom. Glenn Laubaugh ’93 Portland, Oregon Note: Heck of a good point, that. And we observe with interest that this is actually happening rapidly here: Shiley Hall’s new entrance faces out to Forest Park and the river, the new women’s rowing team will get a boathouse on the river, and the University’s gardeners conduct a grim war against blackberry and ivy, planting madrones, oaks, and Oregon grape fast and furious.
LOU MASSON I thoroughly enjoyed Lou Masson’s essay about closing his University teaching career in the Winter 2010 issue, and was both sad (for all the students who won’t be in his classes now) and glad (for him). I was in every class Louis taught, or at least I tried to be, during my years on The Bluff, and I believe
LETTERS POLICY We are delighted by testy or tender letters. Send them to Portland Magazine, University of Portland, 5000 N. Willamette Boulevard, Portland, OR 97203-5798; or firstname.lastname@example.org. he gave me the gift of literature and teaching. I taught high school myself for many years, and now am in my seventeenth year of teaching middle school (eighth grade at St. Michael’s, in Olympia). I’ve often thought of Louis, and how much good writing means to me, every time I read him in the magazine. To use his own metaphor — lots of the tiles in my mosaic were laid down in his classes, largely by his enthusiasm for teaching and learning. Congratulations on a career done very well, and many blessings on retirement. Kathi (Stempel) Rafferty ’72 Olympia, Washington
PHOTO: GLENN MATSUMURA
Letters come in all forms, of course; like this eloquent note about prayer, from the noted San Francisco photographer Glenn Matsumura, who has done lovely work for us in the past. For more of his work: www.gmatsumura.com.
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HUGE cool conference all around campus April 14-16; ‘Food for Thought,’ starring renowned author and speaker Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma, The Botany of Desire, Second Nature), whose talk on April 16 will be shared internationally by Oregon Public Broadcasting. Among other events: Bon Appétit founder Fedele Bauccio talking about antibiotics and hormones in American meat production (followed by a tasting of clean meats); a film festival; sessions on American indigenous foods, water issues, and organic wines; and much more. Among the speakers are guests from Oregon’s Grand Ronde Tribe, the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, the U.S. Agriculture Department, Friends of Family Farms, and Ecotrust. Info on the whole conference: 503.943.8342; on Pollan’s talk, which doth require a ticket: 503.943.7523. ¶ March 26, the annual savory hilarious Hawaiian Club Lu’au, 5 p.m. in the Chiles Center. O my gawd the food alone, not to mention the terrific dancing and glorious music… ¶ March 25 and April 4, admissions visitation days, when prospective students plunge into University life — classes, meals, dorms, frisbee… ¶ April 9 and 10 is Weekend on The Bluff, during which prospective students try out dorm life with a night in the halls…¶
ARTS & LETTERS On campus March 22, reading from his work and visiting classes as a guest of the English department, the fine Irish poet Ciaran Berry, chanting in
THE SEASON True signs of spring on The Bluff: the scent of daphne, the first frisbee from a window in Christie, Shipstad’s sand volleyball court drying out, the faculty being deluged by requests for recommendation letters for grad schools, the clink! of baseball bats on Etzel Field, and Commencement arriving, with a shiver of trumpets. This year’s speaker: The Honorable Diarmuid Fionntain O Scanlainn, a wry witty scholar, and also United States Court of Appeals Judge. The University’s highest honor, the Christus Magister Medal, will be presented to the eloquent Notre Dame theologian Lawrence Cunningham (see page 16); among the honorary doctoral recipients are The American Ambassador to
the Vatican, Miguel Diaz; Franciscan Montessori Earth School founder Mother Francine Cardew, F.S.E., ’67; Catholic Charities director Dennis Keenan ’69; and Doctor Don Romanaggi ’56. ¶ Among spring saints: Joseph the Most Famous Stepfather Ever; Blessed Catherine of Saint Augustine, who sailed for Canada at age fifteen and fell in love with that wild land and swore never to leave it; Matthias, the Thirteenth Apostle (for whom the great American writer Peter Matthiessen is named); Daibhidh mac Mhaoil Chaluim, King of Scotland from 1124 to 1153 (for whom the great American writer David Duncan is named); and Blessed Margaret Pole of England, who had five children (no wonder she’s beatified).
THE FACULTY Among the faculty members finishing their careers on The Bluff this spring: nursing’s Susan Moscato ’68, a nurse during the Vietnam War; sociology’s irrepressible Joe Gallegos; the business school’s Bruce Drake; and the skinny literary energy called Louis Masson, who has written for this magazine in every issue since 1986. Lou, having helped establish the University’s Schoenfeldt Series in 1988, aptly finishes his last semester as the Series’ spring guest, reading from his two books of essays on March 30 at 7 p.m. in Mago Hunt Theater, free as air. Come if you can; it’ll be funny. Info: 503.943.8225. ¶ Arriving in June to teach theology and serve as executive vice president: Father Mark Poorman, C.S.C., who taught and vice-presidented at Notre Dame. ¶ April 5 at the Multnomah Athletic Club at noon, delivering his annual informed and witty State of the University speech, and presenting the University’s
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2011 Alumni Awards: business professor Father Bill Beauchamp, C.S.C., who also has a side job as University president.
FROM THE PAST Among the entertainments born in May (why do we love this stuff so?): David Beckham’s left foot, James Brown’s hips, Pete Seeger’s grace, Bing Crosby’s voice, Audrey Hepburn’s neck, Karl Marx’s brains, Willie Mays’ hands, Golda Meier’s wisdom, Johnny Unitas’ right arm, Johannes Brahms’ ears, Bono’s yowl, Fred Astaire’s legs, Irving Berlin’s wit, Joe Louis’ fists, George Brett’s swing, Pope John Paul II’s courage, Pete Townshend’s nose, Malcolm X’s brilliance, Jimmy Stewart’s grin, Arthur Conan Doyle’s imagination, Bob Dylan’s dreams, Miles Davis’ embrochure, Peggy Lee’s subtle tone… ¶ Speaking of honorary doctorates, we have awarded them to Rosalind Russell, Lawrence Welk, Barry Lopez, Aaron Copland, and Desmond Tutu — names that probably never shared a sentence before. ¶ May 3 in ancient Catholic tradition was the day on which Christ’s crucifix was found by Saint Helena. ¶ May 14, 2008: legendary nursing dean Vernia Jane Huffman dies, age 92. Four days later the great music teacher and composer Peg Vance died, age 82; Peg composed the University's alma mater. ¶ May 22, 1859: the second-greatest Scottish writer ever is born: Arthur Conan Doyle, in Edinburgh. ¶ And born May 31, 1819, on the island once called Paumanok by its first residents, the greatest American poet, Walt Whitman. ¶ Speaking of Doyles, we ask your prayers for the uproarious Roger Doyle. To make a gift in his honor, see rise.up.edu. His campus mail is email@example.com.
ART: MARY MILLER DOYLE
BC 163 at 7:30 p.m., free free free: “We're born and die on the tide's turn, shucked out into the world when water's high…” ¶ Speaking March 24: Sister Christine Athans, BVM, on the Jewishness of Mary. ¶ Speaking March 31: Sister Kathleen McManus OP on women and theology. ¶ Music this spring: Stephen Sondheim’s musical Into the Woods, April 12 through 17; the annual invitational Jazz Festival is April 13-14, all day(s) long in the Chiles Center; University Choir and Orchestra concerts, April 17 and May 1, both in BC Aud; the University Wind Symphony Concert is April 27 in BC Aud; and the seething funny and often moving Best in the Northwest Choir Festival is May 12-13 in BC Aud. Info for all musics: 503.943.7228. ¶ The annual summer Gilbert & Sullivan operetta this year in Hunt Theater: Yeomen of the Guard, from June 3 through 26, complete with dinner on the lawn before the show. Ticket sales open May 9. Info: 503.943.7287.
Taylor Bergmann ’11 in Kenya on behalf of the University’s Moreau Center. He was supposed to chat with 40 children about environmental sustainability and such and was happily startled to be deluged by 400. If you think he and they had a glorious morning you would be totally right.
STAY TOGETHER By the University’s associate vice president for student life, Father John Donato, C.S.C. John has also worked in campus ministry and in the halls on The Bluff, and is famous especially for the jaunty Australian bush hat he flourishes against the rains. Maybe it started the day my aunt, beginning to suffer from dementia, kicked my mother out of her house, right after the dinner she had invited Mom to, the dinner they had enjoyed with my uncle. Mom was devastated. “I am never going back,” she said. Nor did she, in any number of ways. Within months my mom couldn’t find the telephone when it rang, or her car in the mall parking lot. One day children mocked her as a crazy lady. I took her car keys away; she never noticed. My brother and I sold her house and found a place for her in a “senior living” facility. Euphemism of euphemisms… For a year I traveled across the continent once a month to see my mom. She called me all day every day whether I was there or not. Sometimes thirteen times a day. Dementia has good days and bad days, good hours and bad hours. Lunch was a good hour: “There is no problem here,” she says, dignified and elegant. “I am quite fine and really don’t need anyone’s help.” But by the evening she could not find her apartment, or once inside, her bedroom in her apartment. I moved her again, this time without the help of my brother. I moved her to my coast, where I could sit with her often and keep watch at her Calvary. Things grew worse. She forgot to take her medicine, she forgot to turn the coffeepot and stove off, she escaped from the facility into a snowstorm, wearing her pajamas, intent on finding me herself. “He has to be close,” she told the policemen who found her. “You know my son; he’s a priest at the University.” I found another facility for her and things seemed better for a while. Then just as I was to set sail for France, my brother had a sudden heart surgery. I remembered our father’s dying words: stay together. I brought our mom to his bedside. Mom was very disoriented; every time she saw my wan brother again,
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she experienced the shock of discovering her boy was very ill. Nor did she recover from this disorientation; when we returned to the west coast, everything was terror-ridden and I was to blame. She tore up the photographs she had of me in her room and smashed the frames. She cursed at me when I appeared in her door. She shook fists of frustration at me. I felt that she was possessed, as surely as any demon could possess her; and I realized, for the first time, how Jesus must have felt in the presence of those who suffered from such illness. Compassion begins with empathy; we see the shadow of our own crosses. Take nothing with you, only your faith, says Jesus to His disciples — probably because He knew that we will lose everything that we possess, and in the end have only what faith and hope and love we can carry. I moved my mom once more, and this time perhaps Saint Joseph, the saint who cares most about our domiciles, had a hand in things, for she seems happier, and the place seems perfect — large rooms, a new building, immaculate, secure, delicious
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food. She’s been here more than a year. She has company twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, if she desires it. Sometimes I think she has become the house favorite. Everyone seems to light up when they see her. Her elegance and inner beauty are radiant. I’m told she brags about her son the priest. She is utterly delighted to see me when I visit. We sit and look at photographs, we hold hands, we pray, we listen to her favorite music, we stare at roses in bloom and trees losing leaves. She is slowly losing her ability to communicate. In a real sense I am watching my mom recede; I am watching her leave her body altogether. But there are moments still when her light shines through, when her sweet gentleness pokes through the haze, and she says thank you for all you do for me or I need to hug you. And there are moments when she is so weary that she gently puts her head on my shoulder and rests on me, as I must have rested on her shoulder a thousand times, a thousand years ago, when we were young. n — John Donato, C.S.C.
WOMEN AT WAR Adapted from Angel Walk: Nurses at War in Iraq and Afghanistan (Arnica Publishing), by University nursing professor Diane Vines and U.S. Army Colonel Sharon Richie-Melvan. The authors dedicated their book to the three Army Nurse Corps Officers murdered at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009, just before they were to deploy to Iraq: Colonel Juanita Warman, Captain Russell Seager, and Captain John Gaffaney. Our prayers. Let me share some stunning numbers with you. From 2001 to 2008 about 190,000 military women served in Iraq and Afghanistan; women make up more than 11 percent of the veterans of our two current wars. About 20% of the women who served in our wars in this century have post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Military women have at least twice and perhaps three times the rate of PTSD as military men do. Twenty percent of the military women report military sexual trauma. Female veterans are between two and four times more likely to be homeless than civilian females. Do I have your attention yet? Yes? Then let’s listen closely to the nurses themselves. Nadia: I was 25 years old when I went to be head nurse of a 208-bed building. I had twelve nurses. We got casualties right out of the field. There was a horrendous movement of patients in and out, trying to get the stabilized patients back to definitive care in the States. I remember trying to move 85 patients out of that building one day, with 15 to 20 arriving for surgery the next day. That was the average… Helen: When you first get there,
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you’re thinking about how you define yourself — when you get in-country all of that is gone. You don’t have a place, a real job, clothes, anything you remember… Maria: Some people slept in their full battle rattle. Helmet on and vest on. Total weight forty-five pounds. Every night. Brenda: In Baghdad, if the kids were out, trying to sell you movies and watches and candy, you knew nothing was going to happen. But if the kids weren’t there, then you knew that you better walk with a doctor. Marissa: I saw things I’d never seen before. I’d seen amputees before but they were sixty-year-old men with diabetes. These were twenty-year-olds sometimes with double or triple amps. Dolly: I never had to close anybody’s eyes before. Maria: Every person has a breaking point. For the soldiers serving overseas, that point usually involved relationship problems at home, whether it was a Dear John or Dear Jane letter, or confessions of infidelity by the stateside spouse. There was one soldier who escorted his best friend, a fellow soldier, to the ER. The friend died. Turned out the first soldier had just heard from his wife at home that she was leaving him, and she was pregnant with the second soldier’s baby. In two days the first soldier lost his wife and his best friend. He reached for his weapon to kill himself. We stopped him… Maria. Some of the personal burdens they carried into the war…horrible childhood abuse, death, murder…. Vivian: The dark humor…like the Iraqi whose bomb was cell-phone activated and yet he still answered the call from his wife….we had detainees say ‘We’re grateful for your care but if we weren’t here in this hospital, I would kill you.’ Imagine that… Maria: I saw tears flooding the floor when people died. I saw the people
United States Army and Air Force cadets on The Bluff, Veterans’ Day 2009 Portland 6
falling to the floor, hugging each other in grief. I saw people just go blank with grief. That happened to me too. I escorted a patient air-evac to Germany and then sat at the bus stop outside the hospital and I broke down. I never cried so hard in my life. I fell apart. Everything here was normal. There were no mortars coming out of the sky. Nobody knows what’s going on over there. Nobody knows all the pain. I have never cried so much in my life. Nancy: I felt wrong for wanting to go home. I felt like I didn’t do enough during my time. I’m ready to go back tomorrow. I want to take care of my soldiers. Lucille: I saw and smelled so much decaying skin that I lost my senses of smell and taste for a year. Daina: Driving back home has been really difficult. Over there, everybody gets out of your way. If a car coming towards you there doesn’t get out of your way, you shoot them. Here it’s…different. Daina: Best thing I heard at home: my daughter telling me You gave your children something to be proud of. Terri: We were ambushed by fifty Taliban one morning in an orchard. Me, our medic, an American interpreter, and a Special Forces team. We were in five Humvees. Our chief was shot in the spine and I was told to man a machine gun. I started firing. We saved the chief. He’s in a wheelchair but he says he will walk again and come back to his team. * When we were conducting research for this book, we found, in one used book we’d bought, a handwritten note. We quote the note here to provide inspiration to those who are struggling after serving in war: “The past is over and done. It has gone back to nothingness from whence it came. I am free. I have a sense of pride and self-worth. I am confident in my abilities to love and support myself. I am capable of growth and change. I am strong. I am united with all of life. I am one with the universal power and intelligence. Divine wisdom leads me and guides me every step of the way. I am safe and secure as I move forward to my highest good. I do this with ease and with joy. I am a new person, living in a world of my choosing. I am deeply grateful for all that I have and for all that I am. I am blessed and prosperous in every way. All is well in my world. This too shall pass!” n
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A startling three faculty sons graced the University’s autumn production of Thornton Wilder’s haunting Our Town — Chris Morrell, as the town drunk Simon Stimson (his mom Tisha Morrell is an education professor), Charles Lattin, as the urbane editor Charles Webb (dad is communication studies professor Bohn Lattin, five of whose children are or have been students on The Bluff, whoa), and Conor Eifler, as the hero George Gibbs (son of education professor Karen Eifler, who sobbed through three showings of the play, and history professor Mark Eifler, whose shoulder got soaked). Conor, we note with a smile, has been on the University stage since he was eight years old, starting with Waiting for Godot, and then Henry V (in which he died), and Woyzek (in which he died again). George Gibbs, happily, lives on. Spring 2011 7
PHOTO: STEVE HAMBUCHEN
THE BELLS It was a sunny day in August, the last quiet day before a roar of freshmen descended upon campus carrying boxes and refrigerators and hopes and dreams, bringing the University back to life, that I found myself on a pilgrimage around campus, thinking about the University’s new bell tower, contemplating the sound of sound. My husband Steve and I, chemist and physicist by trade, had been talking about the bell tower, thinking that it would be an interesting experiment to map out the intensity of sound that people hear as they wander campus. So, on a summer day when I should have been in my office, I was taking measurements with a sound-intensity meter every quarter-hour as the bells rang out their song, mapping out the level of sound at locations around campus. I learned a number of interesting things about measuring sound that day: It takes a lot of patience to take data on something that rings once a quarter hour; I can run down the stairs from my office in Shiley Hall to the quad and be ready to take a measurement in two minutes flat; the probability of having a friend stop by just as the bells ring is high; the probability of last-minute construction or lawn maintenance machinery running nearby just as the
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bells ring is even higher. But the sound produced by the bell tower is so remarkable: the vibration of air molecules, propagating through space, intercepted by the ear, transformed into music. Mechanical oscillations transformed into beauty! I have spent much of my adult life thinking the oscillations of waves in one form or another. As a researcher in the field of optics, I have spent innumerable hours in a dark room, probing the secrets of rubidium atoms using light waves from a laser. Atoms like light waves — they will gobble them up if you give them a chance — in order to make a transition to a higher energy level. In particular, rubidium adores near infrared light — 780.24 nm light, to be precise. When this specific color of light shines on rubidium atoms thrilling things happen; electrons are excited, light is absorbed. Using light, atoms can be stopped, slowed down, even made to be transparent. Sound travels as a wave also, spreading out from the source much like waves on water. Unlike water waves, which are stopped by the banks of a river, or light waves, which tend to get stopped by buildings, sound waves can travel through solids, bend around corners, and bounce off buildings. This makes it possible to clearly hear the bell tower even when it can’t be seen. Sound travels quickly; the speed of sound in air is 343 meters per second. At that speed, sound can
travel the length of a soccer field in a fraction of a second. Yet like a reluctant traveler who sticks close to home, sound doesn’t travel all that far. Considering the intensity of the sound in the shadow of the bell tower, I was surprised to find that I couldn’t hear the bells beyond the perimeter of campus. Even at points within campus, the sound level was difficult to measure over the murmur of conversations. I find now that my heart has been tuned to the ringing of the bells. I anticipate their song to mark my journey through the day. I reflect on their music as it rings out in glory at noon. I am typically in lecture at that time, talking with a class of freshmen about the principles (and principals) of physics, and we often pause, midsentence, to enjoy the bells together from within the walls of Romanaggi Hall. The glory of the bells illuminates our discussion, bringing the principles of physics most beautifully to life… n Shannon Mayer is a professor of physics on The Bluff, and her husband Steve a professor of chemistry; both Mayers set the mapping of the sound of the bells as a student competition, won by Alistair Rokstad ’12, whose map appears here. To help maintain the bells, or the lovely prayer garden by the tower, or any of the other subtle glories of the physical campus, call Sharon Hogan, 503.943.8677, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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PHOTO: BOB KERNS
If you had to choose one living soul to represent all the grace and wry humor and quiet hard work and selfless commitment and deft creativity and easy generosity of 109 years of men and women on The Bluff, who would you pick? The University, when it formally announced the Rise Campaign in December, chose the gentle and witty Al Corrado ’55, to a roar of applause; and to represent the whole point of the Campaign, the essence of its dream, the final target for all gifts — young people who can change the world! — the University chose gracious young Lauren Harrington (Class of 2025, we hope). What a moment. The $175 million Campaign started with a bang: regent Darlene Shiley added $8 million for engineering, alumna Julianne Johnson joined a student choir for glorious gospel singing, and University president Father Bill Beauchamp was cheerfully blunt: “It’s time for us to bring our extraordinary gifts to the rest of the world. This is about elevation, about soaring visions and vaulting dreams. This is our time. This is our moment. By the grace of God let us seize it…” For more information, see rise.up.edu.
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A ROOM WITH A VIEW One Friday afternoon, many years ago, Mrs. Allen, the secretary of the Syracuse University English Department and the one who really ran the place, handed over the materials I would need to begin teaching my first college class the following Monday. The last item was the key to my office on the third floor of the old, Victorian, sagging, but still proud Hall of Languages, a building with no elevators, high embossed ceilings, and stairs nearly worn through in the middle: stairs that Steven Crane and Joyce Carol Oates had climbed before me. I climbed those old stairs, clutching that key as talisman, passport, and credential to a world that I had only dreamed about entering. At 22, a On campus April 16, for the University’s huge Food for Thought conference: author Michael Pollan. Tickets and info on the whole event: pilots.up.edu/web/ foodforthought.
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fledgling teaching fellow, I had no advanced degree and had spent most of my life on the other side of a classroom desk. The key was my badge of courage. But my office was not really “my” office; it was an antechamber to a distinguished professor’s office, which I shared with two other teaching fellows. I did have my own desk, however, an antique roll-top that I could have slept in. The janitors would sometimes forget to close and lock the professor’s door, so I naturally took the liberty of sneaking a peak now and then, admiring the floor-toceiling shelves of books, books spilled all over the office, his pipe racks, the piles of student papers, the typewriter on which the professor wrote his articles, and the photos of the professor with writers whose works I envied and coveted. Oh, to have an office like that! And the room had one large window, a window with a view across the quad. Forty-six years later, an old professor myself now, I sit in my office on the third floor, one I’ve occupied for twenty years. It is my home away from home, a small space all my own that I like to think of as my cabin by Walden Pond. Like my New England predecessor and literary hero Henry Thoreau, I am given to walkabouts through the campus that has always felt like the small town I grew up in; I teach my classes, attend meetings, visit friends, gossip, pick up books from the library, bow my head in the chapel, and pursue all manner of academic chores. But in all those places, my stay is short, my presence fleeting; not so in my office. One of my colleagues remarked that our offices are reflections of our minds. There is enough truth in this to allow me to see my office as a kind of mirror or perhaps a somewhat battered trunk gathering the stuff of a lifetime for the inevitable attic of a career; which is not far off, since this is my last semester teaching, and I have begun to pack. What do I see in that mirror? What goes into the trunk? The shelves of books, my windows to the world of literature; birds’ nests and mounted butterflies and beetles and pine cones and dried teasels, keepsakes from campus wild spaces I treasure; the cabinets containing the counterbalancing grade sheets of my students and their class evaluations of me (I suspect neither rendering justice to our experience of each other); my family photographs, a collection that has grown to include Portland 10
grandsons; pictures painted by my father and son and daughter; photos of me with famous writers who visited our campus; and even a couple of old pipe racks. My office is not unlike the one I envied all the years ago. And its occupant, if I can surmise as Sherlock Holmes might have from the visible evidence, is a man who is a memoirist, slightly sentimental, a lover of books and the out-of-doors, and a collector of the little things that remind him of place and family. What Holmes might miss are the views invisible to any but me. So many young faces have graced my doorway, so many young souls plopped down in the chair I stole from the drama department years ago. They have brought questions, requests, hopes, fears, dreams, problems, complaints, ambitions, disappointments, smiles, laughter, tears, their papers, their poems, their stories — the ones they wrote and the ones they lived — and sometimes their thanks and appreciation, which I treasure most. Those visits remain in my memory as I look around my office; perhaps the best teaching takes place with students in an office, not in class. Our registrar tells me that the most common complaint registrars hear from faculty is about teaching in rooms without windows, which strikes me as a wonderful description of teaching itself — the search for a window. I gaze out my office window, across the quad to the forested hills across the Willamette River, a view often enlivened by floating hawks. For a moment I seem to see the very years themselves wending their way to classes, to meals, to the chapel. There are many occasions, these days, when time seems to reverse, and the reel runs backwards. Such an occasion awaits me this spring. Soon, so soon, too soon, an old teacher will walk down the stairs to the secretary’s office, where he will turn in his office key, and finish a story that began with a young teacher walking up a stairwell with a key in hand. With a little regret, I will give up the key and the office; but the view I take with me forever. n Lou Masson finishes his career on The Bluff, after 41 years of superb teaching, in April. Send him a note if he made a difference in your life: email@example.com. Or, heck, to make a Campaign gift honoring his grin and grace, call Monica Long, 503.943.7971, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Sophie Diana Schmidt ’10
Life Sciences Major
PHOTO: JERRY HART
And fairly decent soccer player for the Pilots, these last years – four-time All-American, 40 goals (and 111 points!) in 72 games, countless “Sophie moments,” when she did something no one could possibly do; but did. Off to Rome this spring, training with the Canadian national team for the Women’s World Cup this summer, in Germany. Speaks fluent German, having grown up in a German enclave in Paraguay, before her family moved to Canada. “I’d like to play professionally in Germany,” she says, “but after whatever soccer has in store for me, I think I’d like to be a nurse. The most exciting and riveting classes I had were animal behavior and endocrinology, although I loved my ceramics class. It’s all adventure for me now — I don’t know what will happen. But now the national team is much more fun, because we play Pilot style — possession and flow. I love the game — for me it’s about fun. That’s why you started playing as a kid, for the fun of it, and I think that’s one of the keys of Pilot soccer — we have a huge amount of fun. I mean, we work tremendously hard, and we’re in great shape, and we play with terrific passion, but I think perhaps we also have more fun than anyone else. To be inside the game, so to speak— that’s a thrill. Your senses get unbelievably sharp. You can sense defenders before you see them, partly because you can hear them — the thudding of their shoes, their heavy breathing. And so much of soccer at this level is balance and angles; one way to slow someone down, you know, is just to touch them lightly on the arm — you’d be surprised how much that throws you off. And to score! There’s a magic instant, a split second, right after you score, when you know you scored, and your teammates know, but before the crowd even realizes it — and you get the giddiest feeling, you take in a whole bunch of air, and then here come your teammates! That’s one of the greatest feelings there is in sports, I think...”
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THE PEN From a recent interview with Mike Simmons ’58 on KHSS Catholic Radio, 100.7 FM, Walla Walla, Washington (www.khssradio.com). I first walked into the Walla Walla Penitentiary in 1975, at the invitation of a friend from my parish. I have visited the pen most every Sunday since then, more than thirty years. The chaplain then was a Holy Cross priest from the University, and he and I, as Catholics, were both increasingly horrified by executions. The death penalty was reinstated in 1981. I knew the four men whose deaths were paid for by our taxes: Dodd, Campbell, Sagastequi, and Elledge. Currently there are eight men on Death Row: Yates, Gentry, Brown, Stenson, Elmore, Woods, Davis, and Cross. That’s just in the pen here. In 2008, some 2,390 people were executed in 25 countries around the world, and 8,864 people were sentenced to death in 52 countries. Ninety-five percent of all known executions were carried out in only six countries: China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Pakistan, and Iraq. Is that the company we want to keep? The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state — a cruel, inhuman, degrading punishment
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done in the name of justice. It violates the right-to-life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It violates two United Nations resolutions against the death penalty, both of which the USA voted against. It violates the tenets of the Catholic Church. It also costs an unbelievable amount of money. Capital punishment trials cost approximately $500,000 each, while non-capital trials cost about $163,000 each. It also costs a lot of money to stay an execution: Cal Brown’s last-second stay two years ago cost taxpayers $75,000. I think it is becoming clear to most people that the death penalty denies the possibility of rehabilitation and reconciliation; promotes simplistic responses to complex problems; extends suffering to the loved ones of the condemned prisoner; adds to a culture of violence; and is a horrendous affront to human dignity. Not to mention that it is inherently flawed and unjust, liable to mistakes by which innocent men and women are murdered by the state for crimes they did not commit. Does anyone really think that we are smart enough to discern who should die? The American Catholic bishops have been blunt and clear about this issue. We are all made in the image and likeness of God. Being pro-life means from womb to natural death. You cannot abhor abortion and support execution. It’s nonsensical. I believe we sometimes confuse
How I Came to Be The story goes that my father, a pacifist in the Good War, was held at a camp in the California mountains where a minister brought his pretty daughter to help attract the boys to the Lord, but my father asked her to walk into the hills with him. Evening, the lingering decrescendo of the sun, and the moon hung low. They saw dust along a distant road. One began, “I have come upon a stretch of dusty white road…” and the other said, “drinking up the moonlight beside a blind wall…” and both knew the Willa Cather story where this sentence lived, and knowing that, they recognized one another. After a few days, back home in L.A., she sent him a telegram the war censor sent back to her, thinking it code: “After long thirst,” she had written, “a draught of perfect good.” Imagine you are in a war, far from home, very poor, maligned, long at a loss. Someone you have just met offers a few consoling words from home. Would you not say, as he did, “Isn’t this the way it should be?” Would you not say, as she did, “But you don’t know if I can cook?” And in such coded words begin to knit the world together once again? — Kim Stafford
punishment with revenge. Remember that the often-quoted Old Testament principle of an eye for an eye was trumped by Jesus, in the story of the woman caught in adultery who was about to be stoned to death. Jesus asks us to achieve forgiveness, not revenge. As Catholics and Christians, we believe Jesus came to reconcile us with the Father and with each other. The prayer Jesus Himself taught us places a heavy burden on us: “…forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We should also remember that those in prison for serious offenses have a lot of reconciliation to make up for themselves and I believe they should be given the time to do this before they meet their Maker. Believe me, there are men on Death Row who are very sorry for their deeds and have tried to atone in some way. I think a lot of people would agree that our country has lost respect around the world due to our lack of respect for human life: wars, abortion, torture, and the death penalty. Obviously, the death penalty doesn’t cause the millions of deaths brought about by wars and abortion, but if we are to be truly pro life from conception to natural death, let’s include the death penalty as a pro life issue. I personally believe it disgraceful that we can be counted with those despotic dictatorships that still kill their fellow citizens. Recently, New Mexico and New Jersey have shown great courage and leadership and mercy by abolishing the death penalty. It seems to me to be the only just and reasonable thing to do. Let me tell you what happens most Sundays. My friend Denny, who has been visiting the pen with me for 27 years, and I get up real early, pick up the Eucharist at St. Patrick’s, and head for the pen. We try to hold three Eucharistic services at various locations in the penitentiary and then visit throughout. We go out to the hospital and various wings. This is a maximum security penitentiary and believe me we are greeted with open arms. You go through eleven locked doors to get to Death Row. They never have any other visitors except me and they live in six by twelve cells 23 hours a day, so they are happy to see me. Years ago there were a lot of people who came with us to visit the pen, but now it’s dwindled down to just Denny and me. n
“YOU CAN FALL 1,000 TIMES” Sifrash Ademe, Class of 2010, Pilot track star, brand-new nurse in Seattle, softly tells her story. When I dream of Ethiopia, I dream my village. My mom left for America when I was two or three. I don’t remember. They told me I cried hard when she left. My grandparents had a farm and lots of cattles. There’s a forest and a river like the northwest of America. It’s beautiful there. When I was ten a man came asking to marry me but my grandparents refused because my mom said don’t get Sifrash married. She wanted me to come live with her in Seattle. If you stay in my village you don’t really have a choice. The dowry is cattles for the girl’s family. It’s not common for village girls to be educated but my grandfather home-schooled me. I was the only little kid in the family so they raised me with stories and later I realized the stories were from the Bible. I was the lucky one. Who I am right now is because of him and my
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grandma. The way they lived life and their love, that’s what shows you what a real Christ is. You don’t have to be told. I was in a school of love. I was fourteen when I came to Seattle. It was different than I thought. In Ethiopia people said there are robots in America. Everything is provided for you and all you have to do is put on your shoes. Another thing that’s different is how you treat your teacher here. In Ethiopia they can hit you with a stick and you are scared of them. Here the teacher says sit down and the student says why? I appreciate not being hit with a stick. When I came I could read English but I could speak only Amharic. Now with English I am comfortable. But I’m in the middle of two cultures. Arranged marriage might be okay for the guy but not for the girl. For my mom, she’ll be happy if I’m happy. But for the people in the village I just want to respect them in the way I want to be respected. Even though I say no to arranged marriage I think seeing me married and having babies is success to them. They would like it if my husband was Ethiopian, but Christian is what matters most. My dream is to go back to Ethiopia where there is so much need. Sometimes it’s better to stay here and send money. My grandSpring 2011 13
father peacefully passed away and my grandmother is good, thanks God. I miss her. I never thought I would be a runner. I started because I hated waiting for the bus. You feel happy you can pick up your legs. At Tyee High School in Seattle I wasn’t a good runner but at the end of junior year all of a sudden I got better. I went from 75th in the state to tenth. Here at University I had amazing teammates. My running sisters. We talked about everything. They understand me. In 2008 we had our best finish ever [seventh in the West], and in 2010 I got to the NCAA national meet, but I think it’s more fun running muddy in Forest Park than anything else. That makes me feel like a real runner. And we had an amazing coach, Ian Solof, he cares more about you as a person than as an athlete. You can go and cry on him and he listens. My mom and I came for a recruit visit and she said he is the real one. Nursing is for sure I think what God wants me to be. I know because I have peace. There was a time I thought no way. But you can fall 1,000 times and one day you will rise up and your dreams come true. I have a huge heart and you’re there and the patients are vulnerable and all sick and grumpy and then when they get discharged they’re laughing. It’s like the greatest you can do. I don’t want to preach them. I don’t want to change them but to present myself as God wants me. Action is better than words. If I could give something from my Habesha tribe to America, it would be respect for elders. We are humble for the elderly. If you’re sitting somewhere you stand up for them. If I could give something from America to Ethiopia, it would be give opportunity to children. When I’m growing up I’m not supposed to talk with a guest or look into their eyes. In America they let you strive as individual. Children sit at the same table as elderly, am I right? They help you to be confident yourself. I will find someone I love here before I go back to Ethiopia. There are lots of educated Ethiopians in Seattle but it’s the hardest thing to find someone. But I know God wants me to be happy and have a life full of joy. That’s for sure. That I know. n Hob Osterlund (email@example.com) is a writer in Hawaii who has written beautifully in these pages of nursing and witness and courage and prayer.
PHOTO: U.P. SPORTS INFORMATION
S P O R T S Academic All-American Jessica Tsao and Elli Reed, who graduate this May, and junior forward Danielle Foxhoven were all named Academic All-Americans, Tsao for the second time, the only soccer player in the nation to earn that honor; she was also a Rhodes Scholarship finalist, the WCC Defender of the Year, and earned a 3.97 in biology. Wow. Golf Closes, Rowing Opens Both men’s and women’s varsity golf will cease on The Bluff in May, and a varsity women’s rowing team will begin, the University announced in October. The crew team is a bow to the future, as the University plans a boathouse eventually on its new riverfront property north of Corrado Hall, but losing the long legacy of golf on The Bluff was sad news to many. Our particular thanks to coaches Michelle Murphy and Bill Winters ’88, who spent thousands of hours teaching our students about way more than golf. Women’s Soccer Drafted by Women’s Professional Soccer in January: seniors Keelin Winters (Boston Breakers) and Elli Reed (the Western New York Flash). Away to the Women’s World Cup in Germany this summer: Canada’s Sophie Schmidt and Christine Sinclair (one of the best five players in the world this year, according to FIFA), and the USA’s Megan Rapinoe and Stephanie Lopez Cox.
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The Pilot women open their 2011 season in August; see portlandpilots.com for tickets. Men’s Soccer Drafted by Major League Soccer’s Real Salt Lake in Utah: all-WCC midfielder Jarad vanSchaik. Called up to the USA national team (Under 20): the WCC Freshman of the Year, midfielder Steven Evans, from Portland’s Central Catholic High. Five other Pilots earned all-WCC honors: seniors Austin Guerrero and Ryan Luke, juniors Ryan Kawulok and Connor Barbaree, and freshman Thomas Iwasaki. The men also open in August: see portlandpilots.com. Men’s Basketball The buzz before the season: we lost four starters! The buzz after 18 games: wow! The men were 14-4, leading the country in three-point shooting, and drawing a healthy 2,600 fans a game to the Chiles Center. Senior Luke Sikma led the league in rebounding (11 per game), guard Nemanja Mitrovic led the WCC in three-point shooting percentage (52%), and the Pilots were smoothly seasoning their seven freshmen. Women’s Basketball The Pilots started off 9-3, but the WCC is tough sledding, and they were 9-9 at presstime. Natalie Day led in scoring (13 ppg) and rebounding, and ReZina Taclemariam in assists (and 11 ppg). One highlight: a wild 91-80 victory over Washington State, during which the Pilots drilled a record 12 three-
Coaching soccer in Indonesia this winter: former Pilot stars Cori Alexander and Rachael Rapinoe. “A life-changing trip,” writes Cori. “Some of the kindest and biggest-hearted people I ever met! We showed 300 high school girls that they too can play sports, be successful, be strong, be goal-driven; it's not just for the boys....”
pointers. Coach Jim Sollars, we note, is up to 344 wins for his career, which is a remarkable sentence. Baseball On campus February 5, the Oakland Athletics’ pitching legend Dave Stewart, speaking at the University’s tenth annual Diamond Dinner. ¶ Back for the Pilots on the mound this spring: All-American senior closer Chris Dennis, who posted 14 saves, 51 strikeouts, and a 1.88 era last year. The Pilots, 34-18 last year, also return all-WCC honorees Riley Henricks (.302) and Kyle Kraus (10-3 on the mound, with 89 strikeouts), and outfielder Nick Armenta, who was perfect in the field last year. Track & Cross Country The Pilot men’s cross-country team, winners of 32 consecutive WCC titles, finished 13th in America (their sixth straight top-15 finish), and sophomore Trevor Dunbar earned All-American honors at the NCAA title meet in Indiana. He is coach Rob Conner’s ninth male AllAmerican. ¶ Women’s cc finished second in the WCC and ninth in the West. A lovely running tale: page 13. Volleyball The women finished 1218, and senior Danielle Dupar was named the WCC Defensive Player of the Year. Dupar had the sort of season you dream about: she led the league and was 12th nationally in digs (6 per set) and set the University record in the category. Also earning all-WCC honors: juniors Kati Hronek and Marissa Plummer, and sophomore Ariel Usher. That’s the first time in twenty years four Pilots earned league plaudits; a good sign of “balance and consistency,” says coach Joe Houck. Tennis Athletic highlight of the fall for the women: doubles teammates Valeska Hoath and Lacey Pflibsen (why do tennis players have the coolest names?) finishing in the top 16 regionally; the academic highlight was all-WCC honors for Pflibsen (3.95 in biology), Stephanie Fuchs, and Stefanie Doolittle. ¶ For the men, Geoffrey Hernandez and Evan Schleining also won all-WCC academic honors, and freshman Ratan Gill won a tournament in Seattle. Coach Aaron Gross is delighted with his young club’s progress: seven of the ten players are underclassmen. Sports Camps The Pilots’ various and popular kids’ camps in soccer, basketball, baseball, and volleyball actually begin in late spring; for times, fees, and registration, see portlandpilots.com, or call 503.943.7177. PORTLANDPILOTS.COM
PHOTO: RACHAEL RAPINOE
B R I E F LY RISE! In December, with a soaring gospel choir, a sea of laughter in the new Bauccio Commons, and the witty regent Darlene Shiley making a gift of eight million dollars for engineering (added to the $12 million she and her late husband Donald had already given, wow), the University publicly announced its RISE Campaign to raise $175 million in three years. The campaign’s effect is already evident, mostly in new and rebuilt buildings; the next three years will focus on a new recreation center (replacing the weary Howard Hall), a rebuilt Clark Library, a wide array of Catholic and faculty programs, and — most of all, best of all — scholarships for students. “It’s wrong, it’s a shame, that kids who want to be here, who could be utterly changed here, can’t afford to be here,” said University president Father Bill Beauchamp. “By the grace of God and the generosity of our alumni and friends, we’ll fix that.” Details: rise.up.edu. Campaign Gifts Among the first wave of Campaign gifts: $500,000 from the late Jim Ferneding ’75, for an annual incredible Christmas dinner for every student in the University’s Salzburg Program, at Austria’s historic Hotel Sacher. “Jim would want everybody to share something,” Honored with a scholarship created in his name (how cool is that?): University events wizard Bill Reed ’72, who has overseen thousands of “experiences,” as he calls them, in his 29 years. John Beckman ’42 and his wife Patricia made a $100,000 Campaign gift to celebrate Bill. Got an idea like that? Call Monica Long, 503.943.7971, or see rise.up.edu.
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said his brother Mike, who spoke at this year’s dinner. “As he talked about his brother,” said a student there, “all I could think of was my family whom I love so much I realized again what a gift I’ve been given…” ¶ Another cool gift: $100,000 worth of French paintings, by Jim and Laurel Oziel of Portland. Great idea, gifts of stuff you like but don’t need… Student Feats Jane Strugatsky ’12 earned a Benjamin Gilman Scholarship to study for a year in Ecuador; an environmental ethics major, she is interested in agriculture and justice. ¶ Elle Hoxworth ’12 (in photo), the first recipient of the Molly Hightower Scholarship named for the ’09 graduate who died working at an orphanage in Haiti (see page 37), started a sewing business for Kenyan women… ¶ Students Kenny King and Kurt Berning launched their Alliance for Developing Education, a non-profit fomenting education in Cambodia; “we want to build schools, help people get jobs, find microfinance opportunities, create community centers,” said King. Wow. ¶ Students led the way in persuading the University to ban the sale of disposable water bottles (a vast pollutant) on campus; we were the first West coast school to do so. ¶ Flooding onto campus this year: 885 freshmen, from 12,000 applications, yet another record year for applications. The freshmen averaged 3.67 (gpa) and 1190 (SATs). Whew. First in Fulbrights The nation’s top producer of Fulbright post-grad study-abroad scholarships, among master’s-granting colleges: the University of Portland, this year with six (five to Germany and one to Poland). “We really do think of our graduates as agents of hope and creativity in the world, and this is a particularly refreshing and influential way to bring the University’s mission into play internationally,” said Father Bill Beauchamp. Pithy lad, the president. National Top Ten The Institute of International Education ranked the University tenth in America among its peers for study-abroad opportunities; students can study for summers, semesters, or a year in Europe, Australia, Japan, and Latin America; all told students can study in some 30 countries under the University’s aegis. ¶ Parade Magazine also ranked Spring 2011 15
the University in its national Top 25 for programs in nursing and business. The Lovely Chapel of Christ the Teacher was renovated this winter, courtesy of an estate gift from the late Father Art Schoenfeldt, C.S.C., and his sister, regent Sue Fields; new sound system, lighting, and ceiling, but the same incredible acoustics. Estate gifts, you know, are totally welcome. Call Sharon Hogan, 503.943.7395. Renamed this Fall: The whole School of Engineering and Old Science Hall, as the Shiley School and Romanaggi Hall, respectively, after their generous patrons, the late quiet genius inventor Donald Shiley ’51 and the wry physician Dr. Don Romanaggi ’56. The Spirit of Holy Cross Award, presented annually by the Congregation in America to lay men and women who have poured themselves into helping the University’s order in the USA, was presented this year to this magazine’s founder, John Soisson. John directed public relations, campaigns, publications, and all sorts of other things here in his 29 years on The Bluff. Brilliant, generous guy. Congrats. The New Executive VP, as of July, will be University regent Father Mark Poorman, C.S.C., who has been student affairs vice president and theology professor at Notre Dame. Mark, an exuberant and articulate sort, will also teach theology on The Bluff. Retiring This Year are literature professor Louis Masson (see page 10), sociology professor Joe Gallegos, nursing professor Susan Moscato, business professor Bruce Drake, engineering dean Zia Yamayee, and vice president John Goldrick. Goldrick changes hats and will recruit Campaign gifts internationally; Yamayee, after a year’s sabbatical, becomes the University’s Brother Godfrey Vassallo, C.S.C., Professor of Engineering. Vaunted Visitors Among estimable guests on campus this year, speaking and performing: the great Mississippi songwriter Steve Forbert, Notre Dame law professor Patricia O’Hara, the erudite and confident journalist George Weigel, Air Force General Dana Atkins ’77, Idaho novelist and essayist Kim Barnes, Brazilian activist Binka Le Breton, the tireless Vatican reporter John Allen, Commonweal magazine editor Patrick Jordan, and poet Lucia Perillo.
PHOTO: JERRY HART
Highlights from a great theologian’s lifetime of note-taking. By Lawrence Cunningham
arl Rahner once was asked about his life as a Jesuit theologian. “I did not lead a life,” he answered. “I worked, tried to do my duty and earn a living. I tried this ordinary way of serving God.” Amen to that.
At the shrine in St. Augustine, Florida, one can venerate the Virgen de la Leche y Buen Parto — a statue showing Mary nursing the Christ child — known in English as the Virgin of Milk and Safe Delivery. There is a figure of Mary in the Church of San Agostino in Rome where, it is said, Roman women go to pray when they want to conceive a child. Further: I was once shown a vial in a collection of relics containing some of the Virgin’s milk (was it at the Church of Santa Maria in Via Lata in Rome?). Those kinds of sentiments have deep roots in Catholic piety. We are an older faith than we know. In Jerusalem I notice the “security wall,” a vast tapeworm devouring acreage, groves, farms. It is staggeringly ugly. I see an ancient Arab man tending a flock while helicopters buzz overhead. Tasteless neon lights festooning the tower of a mosque near Bethlehem, flashing on and off as the
The philosopher Susanne Langer says all music is heard against the background of silence. There is a good analogy here relative to God and creation: the world emerges from the silence of God and, finally, will return to God; thus we experience God as Silence against creation. We “hear” God as we hear silence in music. God is elusive as the silence in music. Without silence, music is cacophony; without
Saint Peter Damien: Grammatica mea Christus est — Christ is my grammar. Saint Bonaventure: Christ is the Book of Wisdom, consisting of one Word. Saint Edith Stein reported that she converted, under the impulse of grace, after reading Teresa of Avila’s autobiography. Teresa remarks that reading Augustine’s Confessions was a turning point in her life; Augustine marks his conversion happening after reading Paul’s letters. Conversion ex libris! What a play, Paul to Augustine to Teresa to Edith! Cardinal John Newman: The greatest discipline is “to do well the duties of the day.” Lovely aphorist, Newman: “Religion has never been a deduction from what we know; it has ever been an assertion of what we are to believe.” Right after the murders of September 11, the makeshift shrines were in evidence almost immediately: photos, flowers, candles, messages. Why do we do that? Such a question is profoundly theological, no matter what else it might be.
Reading Saint Thomas Aquinas’s commentary on the Gospel of Matthew. Thomas provides what, for him, is a staggeringly homely explanation of the gifts. He writes that the Magi brought gold because the Holy Family was poor; frankincense to take away the stench of the stable; and myrrh so that Mary could strengthen the limbs of the infant by anointing them. Aquinas understood that the Word really did become flesh; Jesus was a real human being; and the place where he was born probably reeked. The wonderful poet Czeslaw Milosz: “Come, Holy Spirit, / Bending or not bending the grasses... / I am only a man; I need visible signs. / I tire easily building the stairway of abstraction.” Amen to that.
Even though Easter is the great feast of Christianity, in popular culture the great Christian feast is Christmas. Everyone can relate to the innocence of a child, but one can only yearn for life after death. It is flesh that we understand. Paul to the Corinthians: if the Resurrection is not true, we are flapping our lips and wasting our time.
R. G. Collingwood once said this about an Oxford seminar: one of the company reads a paper, and the rest discuss it with a fluency directly proportional to their ignorance. This is a phenomenon not unknown at my university.
call to prayer is blasted out over loudspeakers. In the rose gardens of Tantur, with canes as thick as my arm, the roses are tended by an old sheikh with a green thumb. There are poor Ethiopian monks who live in huts on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. In the nave of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre there is an alabaster vase that marks the ompholos — the navel of the world. Saint Teresa of Avila: the criterion by which one judges the authenticity of spiritual experience is simply an affirmative answer to the question, “Do you love your neighbor more?” Portland 16
Raimundo Panikkar tells the story of a man who for years writes passionate letters to his faraway beloved. She finally answers his letters, after years of silence, with one to him saying that she has married the mailman. A wisdom tale not unworthy of a Sufi. Pilgrim: Are you a god? Buddha: I am not a god. Pilgrim: What are you? Buddha: I am awake! Kierkegaard: “The true man of prayer only attends.” Simone Weil: “Love is a direction and not a state of the soul.” C.S. Lewis: “We do not really see light but only lower things lit by it.” Ignatius of Loyola: “Everything that turns
JACOPO PONTORMO, THE VIRGIN WITH CHILD, ST. JOSEPH, AND ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST, C. 1521-27
Things seen and Unseen
God, creation is meaningless. Be still and know that I am God, as the Psalms have it; or as the late Iris Murdoch observed, the curse of deafness is that one cannot hear the silence.
a person in the direction of God is a prayer.” Bernanos: “The wish to pray is prayer itself.”
certain people, when sexuality is suppressed, avarice seems to grow in its place.”
The description of the Garden of Eden, as Alessandro Scafi shows magisterially in his book Mapping Paradise, triggered hundreds of years of exploration and map making, as attempts were made to find the garden; after all, Adam and Eve were expelled, but nowhere does the text say that the garden was destroyed. The history of cartography is deeply in debt to a few lines in Genesis. When I lived in Florida there was an elderly gent who published books arguing that the original Garden of Eden was near the village of Blountstown because the rare gopherwood tree was found there.
Edna O’Brien: What do you think of God? Samuel Beckett: Nothing. Nothing. The bastard. He doesn’t exist. Levinas: only victims can forgive.
kind of language. Terrorists are driven by an idea without pity, love, and emotion. This is more than insanity — it is the incarnation of the antihuman; it is the evidence of evil in the world. Flannery O’Connor once wrote that when she wrote of the devil she wanted people to understand that she was speaking of the devil and not “this or that psychological tendency.”
Bernard of Chartres: we are dwarves “perched on the shoulders of giants. Thus, we see more than they did and farther than they did, not because our
Thought: one could plunk Mother Teresa down in the Middle Ages and she would be doing exactly the same thing she did in Calcutta. August 13’s saint: Saint Cassian of Imola, who was stabbed to death by his students wielding their styli in rage. He could be the patron of professors, except today the students stab us with indifference.
From his stay in the environs of the Sahara as a young man, the two things that most impressed Charles de Foucauld about Islam were adoration and hospitality. It is good to remember that the distant impulse that led him to faith was the religious example of Muslims.
You would have to use Notre Dame Stadium to house those who have left the Church because of meanness, cruelty, or other failures coming from those who are officially representatives of the Church. Ubi caritas, ibi ecclesia. When students begin to doubt I tell them to go to the Catholic Worker or the homeless shelter and volunteer. It is there that they will be in the company of committed Catholics who serve and pray. It is there that they will meet the true Church. Saint Gregory of Nyssa: “Concepts create idols; only wonder understands.”
The greatest Slavic Catholic thinker of the twentieth century? Not the late lamented pope, but Czeslaw Milosz. John Paul was a saint, but it is the poets who are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.
sight is sharper and our height greater, but because they lift us into the sky and raise us up by means of their gigantic stature.” C. S. Lewis: those who are ready to die for a cause may easily become those who are readiest to kill for it. A fact about the gospels worth remembering: they never use the word “poverty,” but speak of poor people ninety-five times. Perhaps we ought to inscribe the following line over our theology halls, from Meister Eckhart: “If you want to be without sin and perfect, you should not chatter about God.”
Robert Lax to Thomas Merton: Where there is an Oy, there is a Vey.
Billy Collins, when asked about poetry for solemn occasions of tragedy, replied that one could do worse than simply read the Psalms. That is what I did on September 11. In the evening there was a Mass outside on the quad. Seven thousand people were there. I held the hand of a woman who spoke Arabic and was convulsed by grief.
Saint Augustine: “I have...observed this fact of human behavior that, with
There are people who are evil and demonic, and we need to use that
Chris Nugent: Christianity has no koans because it is itself a koan. It is replete with riddles not to be explicated but to be experienced.
Spring 2011 17
Everyone knows those mots by which people both affirm and deny the hold Catholicism has on them: Graham Greene’s describing himself as a “Catholic atheist” or George Santayana’s credo: There is no God, and Mary is His Mother. Norman Mailer said that he was not sure about God but he certainly believed in the devil. The Catechism of the Catholic Church affirms that the common piety of people teaches people to “encounter nature and work, and reasons for joy and humor even in the midst of a very hard life.” One of the few times that anything coming from the Vatican includes a nod to humor. G.K. Chesterton: The madman is not one who has lost the use of reason but the one who has lost everything human except his reason. In all cases of mass murderers there was a careful plan of attack, the element of cool rationality. The Nazis understood this. How else to explain the clerkly demeanor of an Adolf Eichmann? To isolate reason from the human is to create a lethal weapon. A recent trip of Benedict XVI to Brazil got me to thinking about the seemingly intractable problem of the loss
HANS MEMLING, DESCENT FROM THE CROSS, 1480-90
In our own age, heroic people are drawn to the manmade deserts of urban life, and so the Little Brothers and Sisters of Jesus create contemplative dwellings in slums and favelas and other such outposts that stand as a sign of our own failures to care for the neediest. The demon-haunted deserts of our times are called, of course, gulags or concentration camps or inner city ghettos.
Simone Weil: “Whoever uses the sword will die by the sword. And whoever does not use the sword (or lets it fall) will die on the cross.”
The income of the 500 richest people in the world is greater than the income of the 419 million poorest people in the world. The implications are staggering. Thought: maybe we ought to think of the sacrament of matrimony as a series of stages. Let people marry civilly; if they are committed to the practice of the faith, let them marry sacramentally; when a child is born let them enter more fully into the sacrament; finally make the marriage irrevocable
spreads through his blood.”
of these laws.”
Is the Church dying if its children are all the Ashleys, Madisons, and Crystals in my classrooms? Do parents not name their children for saints any longer?
Pope Benedict: “God has a special name for each person in the world,” an idea from Revelation: I will give him a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it... What a dazzling thought!
One of the reasons why our students do not read slowly and sapientially is because their eyes and minds are too accustomed to seeing, rather than contemplating. On a screen you see everything at a glance; it is hard to linger over a computer screen. But perhaps new ways of reading will develop? Johann Metz: “Interruption is the shortest definition of religion.” Lately a torrent of books written by atheists arguing against religion. If there is no God, why such vehemence in arguing against God? Someone this morning asked me what my main goal was as a teacher. Answer: trying to instill love of learning in my students, which is part my subversive strategy to instill a love of God. Abraham Heschel on the three stages of prayer: tears, silence, song. Anger, the old desert dwellers said, is one of the worst of sins since it acts as an internal cancer that eats one up and fogs everything and everyone in sight. Alas, the fire of anger is now easily expressible via electronics.
by the “seal” of the sacrament (after which, no divorce; no dissolution via canon law). Is that unthinkable? Creation is the first sacrament of God; Christ is the greatest. I am opposed to the death penalty for the simple reason that I can think of no person of wealth convicted of murder who has ever suffered the penalty in this country. Only the poor get the death penalty. We should learn to read the scriptures the way Rilke describes the reader of poetry: “He often leans back and closes his eyes over a line he has been reading again, and its meaning
Curiously enough, spasms of antiCatholicism never bother me much.
August 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration. It was on this day that the atomic bomb was exploded over Hiroshima in 1945. Talk about a transfiguration! Think of those bodies turned to ash. On August 9 a second atomic weapon was exploded over Nagasaki; three years earlier, on the same day, Edith Stein was sent to the gas chamber at Auschwitz; her feast day is on that date under her religious name of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Harold Bloom: for America, religion is not an opiate; it is its poetry. Amos Oz: sometimes facts threaten the truth. Orwell: Saints should be judged guilty until proven innocent. Flannery O’Connor: “For me it is the Virgin birth, the Incarnation, the Resurrection which are the true laws of the flesh and the physical. Death, decay, destruction are the suspension Portland 18
What would bother me would be a total disinterest in Catholicism. That would be a sign of irrelevancy. After all, does anyone ever feel the urge to attack Unitarians? Walking across campus I saw a huge copper beech tree. I have passed it innumerable times, but this time I saw it, and it struck me with wonder. Gerard Manley Hopkins mentions the “dearest, deepest freshness” of things, to which Hopkins gave the name haecceitas — thingness. One wonders why one gets that “fresh eye” every once in awhile. Grace? The British critic Terry Eagleton: “No club in the world is as effective as the Catholic Church in allotting honorary status to semi-outsiders.” Once on a plane, when someone found out about my occupation, a pamphlet was whipped out with the opening gambit: “If you accept Jesus as your personal savior you will have peace of mind.” To which I responded frostily: “If I wanted peace of mind I would take Prozac.” Faith should not be mistaken for therapy. When we lose the sense of sin we also lose the sense of forgiveness. This is why counselors and psychiatrists have such a booming business — they can palliate guilt but they cannot confer forgiveness. “Thy sins are forgiven...” is one of the most wonderful lines in all of the New Testament.
CARLO CRIVELLI, MADONNA OF THE SWALLOW, C. 1490-92 / DIERIC BOUTS, THE LAST SUPPER, 1464-67
of Catholics to the Pentecostal sects flourishing all over the continent. One problem is that there is a huge lack of priests who are at the center of Catholic Church life; no Eucharist, no Catholic Church. For the Evangelicals, anyone with a bible and a head upon which someone has laid hands needs only some folding chairs and a musical instrument. The issue of the priesthood must somehow be squarely faced; but alas, it is, at best, only obliquely discussed, if at all.
weight of his goods.”
Pope Benedict: “Before [Christ’s] gaze, all falsehood melts away. This encounter with him burns us, transforms and frees us, allowing us to become truly ourselves. All that we build during our lives can prove to be mere straw, pure bluster, and it collapses...” Irony (or worse): Sitting in a luxurious hotel chatting about liberation theology as someone cleans your bathroom.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “The Church is Christ hidden among us.” Reason to love baseball: you can read between innings. I heard a homily that was accurate but a handful of dust. Walter Brueggemann: “The Church must be a poetic community.” Amen to that. Karl Barth: To clasp the hands in prayer is the beginning of the upris-
Christianity is unremittingly narrative. God created humans, Elie Wiesel once quoted from an old Hasidic quip, because God loves a good story.
Our world is not in Christ, Thomas Merton says, but in thrall to images and pictures of Christ. He’s right, I am sad to say. The Iraq incursion was an act of unmitigated stupidity for which we pay dearly. What a horrendous waste of young life! The late Pope John Paul II was adamant in his opposition to the war in Iraq, even after George Weigel was dispatched to Rome by the Neocons to instruct the Vatican about the rightness of Bush’s War.
Michael Casey, the great Australian Trappist: Nothing in life can put us outside the range of God’s mercy. Karl Rahner, 1937, to God: “You have seized me; I have not grasped You.”
Elderly British woman on getting over disappointments: “a hot bath, a glass of whisky, and the Book of Common Prayer.”
I love the little rites of Catholicism, like the blessing of throats. I think it would be a great thing to multiply these gestures — they are “binders” to the life of faith and should never be underestimated.
Forty bishops here for a conference on preaching. It is very tough being a bishop in these days: their workload is crushing; their flock restless; their clergy overworked.
Today a student asked, “Does everything in the Bible have a deeper meaning?” Answer: yes.
Upset alumni (over the pro-abortion speaker at graduation, the President of the United States) have pledged not to contribute to Notre Dame until the current university president is fired. They claim to be withholding a couple million dollars. I would have been more impressed had they turned in their season tickets for football games.
What I am trying to get across to students is that our relationship to God in whatever way we have managed to do that is an extension of holiness, which is a primordial way of speaking of God: God is holiness itself.
Saint Francis never talked about nature; he had an eye for specifics: sun, moon, water, flowers, fire. His vision was not “natural” — it was sacramental.
When students tell me such things I wonder if I am worthy to claim to be their teacher.
ing against the disorders of the world. And he endured the Nazis. Saul Bellow: God, in France, is not hidden; God is emeritus. When Dorothy Day died, not one bishop came to her funeral. Terence Cardinal Cooke asked that the funeral’s time be changed, but the Workers said no, because doing so would interfere with the morning bread line. Augustine quoting Isaiah: “Unless you believe you will not understand.” At Christmas morning Mass in the Lower East Side, a street person came into church. After Mass my daughter said that she was frightened that he would sit in our pew. I was glad to see him, though; it will be a sad day when anyone would eject an addled street person from Mass.
Freshman’s question this morning: “So, was Jesus a Jew or what?” I allowed that Jesus was, in fact, a Jew.
Matthias Scheeben: In early years, the Holy Spirit was sometimes called the jubilus Patris et Filii — the exhilaration of the Father and Son.
Saint Margaret Clitherow, of her wealthy husband: “He hath too much; he cannot lift up his head to God for
A student told me how, when he runs in the evening, he prays as he makes his way around the lakes on campus. Spring 2011 19
Went to a full-blown Tridentine Mass recently. I thought I would experience a wave of nostalgia for the old ways but truth be told, it seemed like a kind of kabuki play. During the sermon I recognized the priest, who is a convert from Anglicanism. Sign of the times: at a local chain bookstore, next to Religion there is a section called Atheism. Isaiah: “The Lord God has given me the tongue...that I may know how to sustain with a word him that is weary.” Quoted Shakespeare this morning: “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods...” and a student said: “King Lear!” Made my day. Thomas Merton ends his Seven Storey Mountain with the words finis libri sed non quaerendi. My sentiments completely: this little book is finished, but not the search. n Lawrence Cunningham, who will receive the University of Portland’s highest honor, the Christus Magister Medal, in May, is a professor of theology at Notre Dame. He is the author of many books, most recently the delightful and witty Things Seen and Unseen, from Ave Maria Press, from which these snippets are pulled like pearly teeth. Our thanks to Lawrence, and to Amanda Williams at Ave Maria.
PARMINGIANINO, THE CONVERSION OF PAUL, C. 1530
Jean Cocteau: the pope is in Rome but God is in Naples.
THE HOPE OF A TRAIL By Rick Bass he Peace River runs east as it leaves the mountains of British Columbia, and travels in lazy, powerful curves across the plains, toward the Arctic Ocean, some thousand miles away. Within the mile-wide canyon of the river’s hidden valley, there are groves of aspen, spruce, pine, and fields in which farmers grow hay, ranchers raise cattle, and gardeners grow immense crops of berries, carrots, peaches, lettuce. The Peace River valley contains the richest soil in Canada, courtesy of each spring’s flooding, which deposited rich silt for thousands of years before two dams were built here. Now a third dam is proposed, the false lake of which will cover the land, long the ancestral home of the West Moberley tribe, where deer, elk, bears, cougars, lynx, moose, and a hundred hardy families live. To place another dam here — to drown this valley in still more slackwater — would be to kill the wildness that remains, and to foment yet more drilling rigs, pavement, manic boomtown construction frenzy, cranes, mobile homes, and pumpjacks. It’s not just animal and human histories that will be buried forever by a third dam. Already, the first two dams have submerged untold sites of pristine dinosaur track fossils of hadrosaurs and ichthyosaurs, remains of First Nation encampments, and petroglyph sites. Toxic metals are accumulating in the two false lakes, and wells and drinking water are already compromised by rising mercury levels in the sinks of the stagnant and unnatural waters. Drown the river and the wild heart of the valley dies. Today I am climbing to a tiny patch in the forest where long ago an underground seam of coal ignited, and still burns. The explorer Alexander Mackenzie wrote about it in his journals. It’s a small place in the woods, a friend tells me, about the size of the kitchen area in an urban apartment, on a steep cliff high above the second of the false lakes. I walk beneath a massive twin set of transcontinental power lines, which crackle, buzz and sputter just above me, the unending angry hornet’s-nest of our ceaseless demands for power. Cattle have been grazing in the cleared area just beneath the power lines, but all else is dense and dripping lovely green forest. For a while, I walk in the
woods, to be out of the steady downpour, but progress is too slow, and I come back out of the leafy woods and plod in the steady downpour through the grasses cow-gnawed as short as the grass on a putting green. According to my friend’s handdrawn map (on a napkin, the very best kind of map), I am to follow a wild little creek into the forest before finding a faint game trail that bends east. The creek’s there, but what does he mean by a trail? A thin space between trees? A game path? He had suggested it might be difficult to discern, which, coming from him, could very well mean I’m looking for blades of grass bent only that morning by the passing of a fawn. An indecipherable wisp, the possibility of a trail. I proceed on faith. And to my delight I find a tiny, tiny trail, so overgrown with grass that it would be easy for anyone to call it only a continuation of more forest, more growth. But it is definitely a lessening in the growth, a subtle crease in the vegetative uproar, one which, after an hour of bushwhacking, presents itself to me not so much like a trail but like a thought half-formed, or a memory from childhood, buried beneath years of accumulated detritus. It is as if I have pushed blindly into the deep forest only to find this possibility, this hope of a trail. I walk farther. The trail is stippled here and there with the pellets of deer and elk. The forest is thinning. I enter an aspen grove, where the stark white bark is limned with toothmarks from elk and moose and the curved clawmark-hieroglyphics of bears. I reach the edge of a cliff, and far down below me is the dam, and the slender green lake it made, covering a secret world now obscured from us, seemingly gone forever. It was only yesterday, in a sense, that Mackenzie and his companions brought their canoes up over the terrible, beautiful waterfall that blocked their path there, where the dam now squats; although one distant day the dam will crumble and be gone, and the waterfall that lies buried will be revealed again. I pass through another aspen grove, with bunchberry dogwood and paintbrush in full bloom, and suddenly find my quarry in front of me: a modest little garden-sized patch of steam rising from bare soil, like the remains of a campfire from the night before. Portland 20
I can smell the slightest tang of sulfur. I am unsure whether I should approach the spot, feeling somehow that I shouldn’t, that some respect is to be accorded, so I crouch and watch it burn, as it has been burning for perhaps thousands of years. There are no flames and yet it burns. It is no fire lit by man. It may have been lit before there was such a thing as man. I’m glad the steam vent wasn’t submerged when the second dam was built. I’m glad there’s no clear trail to this secret place here in the violent and beautiful mountains. I walk carefully toward the vent; for all I know the crust of the earth here has thinned from the ceaseless burning, and I might fall through and be reabsorbed into the fires of the earth, never to be heard from again. For all I know I am approaching the holiest place in the world. Who can say? Who knows? We know nothing. At the edge of it I notice a small circle of rocks, smooth stones sunk now nearly beneath the surface, encrusted with black lichens. Someone placed these rocks here, a long time ago. Someone came here for spiritual purposes, perhaps. I back away out of respect. I am of a place and time that needs so much, uses so much, expects so much, that my tribe has dammed the valley below and the valley above, and now we are coming after the next one, and I suppose the one after that, and the next. It’s nothing more than chance that this little spot was not erased. I stand silently by this holy place, and imagine the kind of men and women who used to come here, across the millennia. The way they approached was surely nothing like the way I came: I walked among cowpatties, beneath the hissing electricity of power lines. They walked through the ancient silence. There is the profane and there is the sacred. A long time ago something lit a fire here, and it has been burning ever since. Surely, at the very least, we are still capable, in our profanity, of witnessing the sacred, and protecting it, and preserving it beyond our hungry reach. Surely we are capable of that. Are we capable of that? n Rick Bass was the University’s Schoenfeldt Series Visiting Writer in 2007.
PHOTO: TOHOKU COLOR AGENCY / GETTY IMAGES
Fiji Islander, 1870s
Ocean of art Photographs from Hawaii’s Blackburn Collection. For ninety years now the University has welcomed students from Oceania, that vast scatter of Pacific islands over the gleaming horizon; today some ten percent of our freshman class every year is from Hawai’i alone, we have hundreds of alumni and students in our Guam master’s in education program, and biology students do field research in the Samoas, Hawai’i, and Australia. From the uncountable islands of Oceania has come stunning art of every description, especially creatively made implements and instruments of daily life, and we are honored here to present some of the absolutely lovely work collected over many years by Mark and Carolyn Blackburn of Hawai’i. These photographs are drawn from the book Polynesia, just published by the University of Hawai’i Press, and a more massively beautiful book you have never seen. Our thanks to Maureen Liu-Brower and Barbara Pope for their help, and especially to Mark and Carolyn for permission to be the first magazine ever to show this sweet and wild creativity.
Hawaii, photographer and date unknown
The Rise Campaign seeks oceanic support, so to speak, for its students from Hawai’i and the rest of Polynesia; generous readers can contribute to the Hawai’i Scholarship, the Guam Master’s in Education Alumni Scholarship Fund, or the Guam Chamorro Scholarship Fund, designed by University alumni there to help students from that island. Or, of course, you can be creative in endless ways with your gifts – a music scholarship named for Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, maybe; or a scholarship for students studying the incredible wilderness of the ocean; or a fund named for Captain James Cook, for students inventing new ways to navigate by and among the stars...call Diane Dickey, firstname.lastname@example.org, 503.943.8130.
Patuone, Chief of the Ngapuhi, Aotearoa [New Zealand], 1906
Hinekura of Te Reinga, Aotearoa, by Gottfried Lindauer, 1901
Hand-club, Aotearoa [New Zealand], circa 1750
Water bottle, Hawaii, 1700s
Ancestor figure, Nukuoro
Stilt steps, the Marquesas, circa 1800
Memorial head, Aotearoa, circa 1790
Chief's staff, Aotearoa, circa 1790
Virgin of the Marquesas, by Charles Le Moine, 1913
Samoan Canoe, by Joseph Strong, 1893. Strong was Robert Louis Stevenson's son-in-law.
The Washer Women, by Charles Le Moine, Society Islands, 1903
Yin and yang: a note.
e likes cats. I prefer dogs. He was raised on a dairy farm in a wide western valley. I grew up on the south side of Pittsburgh. He is short and I am tall. When we go out, I ask him to wear his cowboy boots. He comes from a long line of harddrinking farmers and laborers. My father’s a teetotaler with a doctorate and twenty white button-down shirts. Spending money bothers him. When he discovers what I have paid for things he becomes sullen. Me, I have no trouble spending, even money not yet received. Because he knows horses he says horses are nothing but prance, fart, and no sense. I have daydreamed and doodled hundreds of horses in my lifetime since the third grade. When we were first together, he named his cow for me. I wrote his name in my notebooks and in the fogged-up mirror after my shower. At our wedding, years ago, I was pale and slender and willowy. He was compact and sun-bronzed and muscular. My hair is getting gray and coarse. His remains a wonderful copper color, soft to the touch and wavy; but it is falling out. I have spent many hours perfecting my handwriting. The first time I watched him sign his name I almost corrected his spelling. He’s a rotten sleeper. He moves from the bed to the sofa and back to the bed all night long, and in the light of morning he squints like a wrinkled frog. I sleep like a log. He is warm and I am freezing. I lay alongside getting warm until I drop off so smoothly our conversation becomes my dream. I fall asleep first. On the rare night he falls asleep first, I feel bereft and alone, and I want to wake him up for company. But I have learned this is a mistake. He used to write poems for me. I keep them in a leather book. They are spare and lovely and evocative. Twenty years after our wedding, I started to write poetry and he stopped. When he is angry, his voice becomes subdued and intense. His mouth becomes a thin line that makes me feel tender and sorry. So for a time the issue is tabled and we are at ease with one another. But later I revisit the quiet words he said and I become hurt or angry in turn, I can see no position but my own, and we have
grieving silences that last for hours. My anger is a razor tongue. It wields blame in thin blades of hate. He won’t listen. He walks away. When we come together again and I apologize he seems able to forget the poisonous words. But I do not trust that he has forgotten, because I could not have forgotten. When his father and mother died, he accepted my presence and embraces as matters of course and courtesy, though I suspect he found no comfort in them. So much of him is carried inside. But the night our first daughter left, in a gunning car, with a bony, hunched-over boy, gone much too early, in anger and without warning, we sat all night on the sofa, crying and holding one another, aggrieved by mistakes of both ignorance and overvigilance, unable to imagine for her a safe passage, or any reconciliation. On rare occasions we can still become waylaid like this. When I am beaten down by life, he is ready with kind words of belief in me. When he is discouraged I try to be good to him, but secretly I am impatient for him to become himself again. I suppose it is a form of faith; or selfishness. My background is full of people for whom religion is a daily solace and taskmaster. He did not grow up in any church. Yet he has read the Old and New Testaments, the Koran, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Book of Mormon. I have not. Though not a conventional believer, he goes to church with me. When I become upset, my impulse is to call him at work and get his take on things, never mind the bother. In turn, his habit is to keep to himself. It has taken me years to learn that this habit of his is not about me. Sometimes still I have to relearn it. I read poetry and fiction. He reads history and politics. We sit together on the sofa, in separate worlds. If I come across an article I think will engage him, I provide it and then ask repeatedly if he has read it yet. I can feel his displeasure, but I don’t care. I’m anxious to know what he thought and to take the opposing view, for nothing more than the spirited conversation. I exasperate him and rarely do I feel badly about it. Afterwards I am likely to suggest we see a comedy, or, better, a movie about war, Spring 2011 29
by Heidi Naylor one I know will interest him, and when we discuss it I manage to be less combative. Tears are most often my response to troubling stories in the newspaper. I sometimes eat breakfast in a misty silence of disbelief, and I wonder how the world will survive the day. He has learned to let me cry. I think he finds it useless and temporary and possibly dramatic. He drives away to work. At his urging we climbed Idaho’s Mount Borah together, but I was afraid and had to stop at the icy ridge. I insisted he go on ahead to the summit, which he has reached many times. The following week, one of the young female hikers from the summit discovered our address and brought him a plate of cookies. I teased him about the attention. He took a big bite of cookie and kissed my forehead, leaving a wet crumbly mark. If I play Barbra Streisand he leaves the house. Once he gave me an anagram of her name: Satan Sired R Barb. But it’s also true that years ago he bought me the soundtrack to Yentl. Worst gift he ever bought me: a skimpy red non-maternity swimsuit for my birthday. I was seven months pregnant with our baby daughter. Of course he was anxious that I get my figure back, but still. Worst gift I ever gave him: a library book at a Christmas when we had spent all our money on a car repair. Best gift he ever gave me: a piece of jewelry once; he had skipped meals for weeks. I have noticed, though we don’t speak of it, that he will not offer his body if his work is going badly, or if I make him laugh too hard. If I wear the flannel nightdress my mother sent, the one he said was an injunction against more grandchildren. I was the orkie, the somber violist in the third chair, the art student with chalk on her face and paint in her hair. He ran gillnets in Bristol Bay. But we married, despite our immaturity and the hesitation of our parents, the trend of our generation, the facts of our leaky bank accounts and childish tempers and unfinished educations and the incongruity of our paths to that point. All of which is now to say there may be reasons to take heart. n Heidi Naylor teaches literature at Boise State University in Idaho.
DAPHNE AND CHARLIE, BY WILLIAM KING, 1954. COURTESY OF THE ALEXANDRE GALLERY, NEW YORK CITY. OUR THANKS TO ELLEN ROBINSON.
sister The pain and joy and pain and grace of a sister with autism. By Eileen Garvin
e are standing together, naked, our small toes curling against the cold floor of the linoleum in the bathroom. I am three and shivering. You are six and silent. I hug my arms to my chest as we stand there waiting outside the high gleaming white sides of the bathtub. I bounce on my toes. You just stand there, impassive. Here comes our sister Ann. Ann the Beautiful. Ann is almost nine, a celebrity in my small universe. I love her so much it hurts. Too bad she hates me. Hates both of us. For being babies, for not being able to do anything, not even turn on the bathtub faucets for ourselves. And yet it doesn’t bother me that she treats me with the scorn of the oldest child burdened with four younger kids. I love her all the more for being superior. Grumbling to herself, she wrenches the taps open. The door slams and she’s gone. Steam rises and clouds the mirror. I move toward the tub, clamber up. But it’s a high climb for short legs, and for a moment I hang stuck, highcentered on the cold porcelain. Then I reach with one toe, tip, and I’m in. You climb right over the side. You are tall and gangly, like a monkey. I sit in the front, closest to the spigot. Wonderful hot water. You sit in the back because I can make you. Even though you are older, you do it because I tell you to. Just like later, when I make you get out and sit on the side of the tub so that I can lie down and let my hair stream out like Ann does. When we three bathe together, she makes us get out of the water and wait shivering in the cold air so that she can stretch out in there. Her golden hair looks like seaweed. She’s a mermaid. She closes her eyes, and I think she looks like Sleeping Beauty. You never want to lie down in there. At least you never say you do. You never say anything to me. Not a word. We pass a bar of Jergens soap back and forth; we share a worn washcloth, like we always do, you and me. We are the youngest girls, clumped together in this nighttime ritual as in so many other things. But this night is different from the others, because at some moment during this bath it dawns on me that something is wrong with you, that you are different from the rest of us. Because you are pretty much a big girl, like Ann. But you can’t do anything, like me. You are tall enough to reach the faucets, and you are probably strong enough to turn them on, but you don’t know how. Or maybe you know how, but I have never seen you try. I don’t question any of this or even judge it. I simply acknowledge it. You are different.
PHOTO: SHARON MONTROSE / GETTY IMAGES
How to be a
The next thought follows so closely behind, right on top of the first, that it’s like the same thing: Because you are different, I’m different, too. Somehow my small brain makes this leap and it stays with me, always. My sister is different because she is autistic, so I am different, too. They gave you the label “autistic” when you were three years old. I was still in our mother’s belly when she drove you to Seattle for weeks of tests. Was that why I came early, trying to claim what I could of our crowded childhood? Soon you were in intensive speech therapy, ferried to and from a university by our mother five days a week for two years. I waited at home for both of you with our grandmother. The smell of soap on our grandmother’s neck when she held me, coffee on her breath. The diaper pins she wore like a badge on her sweatshirt over her heart. I’d take your hand and bring you into whatever game the rest of us were playing. But mostly you screamed and screamed and wouldn’t stop. Or you wandered off on your own and had to be looked for. The panic in our mother’s voice when she called your name into the big, dark woods or down an empty, darkening street made me afraid. But then we started school and the secret was out. You were my weird big sister. My first and last childhood birthday party was a painful lesson in how others would see you. The girls from my second-grade class trooped into our kitchen for the party, which consisted of a homemade cake prepared by Mom and streamers and balloons tied to the light hanging over the table. Mom hadn’t planned any games like the other mothers always did. Perhaps she didn’t think of it or didn’t have the time. Whatever the case, there was nothing to distract my classmates from you — sitting at the table all by yourself, staring at nothing. Most of them didn’t know you, because you went to a special education class at a public school. The rest of us went to the Catholic school down the street, and my classmates had seen our brothers and Ann. But here you were, the big birthday surprise. You didn’t look up at any of them as Mom urged them to sit down. Nobody moved. I was used to your staring silence, but the looks on their faces shocked me. They were afraid of you. No one wanted to sit next to you. Not even tall, awkward Daria, who’d always earned a certain tenderness from me because she reminded me of you. I felt a burning in my chest. A mixture of shame, anger, and
guilt. I fled the kitchen and started trying to organize a last-minute treasure hunt. I had to make my party better so that they would stop looking at you like that. In our dark and cluttered basement, I collected a pile of small toys, thinking I could hide them around the house and then put a list of clues together while everyone ate cake. I could do it if I hurried. Tiffany Greco had had a treasure hunt like that at her party the previous month. It was all I could think of. But then Mike saw what I was doing, and we got into a fight over a Big Bird finger puppet, his favorite. He kicked me in the stomach, and I spent the rest of the afternoon locked in the bathroom. Did you notice any of this? Were you glad when everyone went home so you could go back to your records? Was it upsetting to you to have so many strangers in your house? At school that year we learned about Lourdes Cathedral in France. The holy water there was said to work miracles, cure afflictions. The blind could see, the lame could walk. It was a miracle blessing from Jesus’s mother, Mary. I started saving my money, thinking that if I could go there and bring some water back, you could be healed. Our grandmother’s smile was sad when she told me it wouldn’t work. “Keep praying for your sister instead,” she said. Bottled magic seemed like a much better idea, but I didn’t make it to France for twenty years. I prayed every night that you would wake up one day and be normal. Ta-da! “I was just kidding around,” you would say. I always felt like I had to make you be quiet. Why can’t you shut up? There is the rocking and wailing for hours, the screaming and banging. You can’t tell us what you want. Maybe it is a small piece of plastic you’ve treasured for days and dropped somewhere. Maybe your skin hurts, or the noise is bothering you. We’ll never know. And we’ll never be able to do more than wait it out. At the lake you scream and scream, and none of us can get away, because there is no road and no neighbors and no way to make you stop. Dad is so angry, again. Why can’t you shut up? And I’m angry and afraid and helpless. For a few minutes, I hate you. I imagine how satisfying it would be to slug you in the stomach. I imagine the look on your face after my small balled-up fist punches you there. And then I do it. And you’re stunned, the wind knocked out of you, and when your breath comes back, you cry even harder. Then I hate mySpring 2011 31
self more than I ever hated you. Later, much later, you come to visit me in Seattle with Mom. We’re at a restaurant, and you won’t stop laughing, spraying water across the table in my face. I wanted to bring Mom here, and Mom brought you, and now you are ruining everything. I know how much it will hurt you, my heavy shoe slamming into your delicate shin, before I kick you. And I do it anyway. Now your laughter has turned to wailing. And I am sickened by my own nature. It’s been almost fifteen years, and I can still see you, open-mouthed and sobbing as you clutch your shin. What kind of a sister am I? You shoved me, pinched me, spanked me, smacked me on top of the head, pulled my hair, grabbed my neck, kicked me for decades. A couple of years ago you kneed me in the face when I hunched down next to your chair, trying to calm you down. I fell and hit my head on the tile patio. But all of that was different coming from you. You couldn’t control yourself. Sometimes you were trying to be funny. Other times you wanted me and everyone else to get the hell away from you as you grappled with some nameless anxiety; the last thing you needed was someone in your face. The physical struggle leaves an imprint. It’s a violent intimacy that we carry in our history. The pain in my neck, I can feel it now. The red tattoo of my teeth on your arm. Your stomach, my face. Your shin, my heart. I want to heal that history and replace it with a gentler one. That is the challenge, then, the desire to make whatever future we might have as a family different from the past. Your disorder — autism — brought so much sadness into my life. It took away the sister I could have had and replaced her with you, locked away inside yourself. Sometimes you’d show yourself, waving at me from behind the bars. But mostly it was battle. Autism took away the family we could have had and replaced it with seven struggling individuals alienated from each other by the same enemy. I always thought I just needed to try harder: If I only try harder, I will find Margaret in there somewhere. If I try harder, we will get along and be happy. I’m just not being patient enough, smart enough, diligent enough. I’m borne forward on the false hope that you will get better someday. Somehow there will be a measurable improvement if I just keep trying. Be a better sister. Help your sister. Take care of your sister. You’re not trying hard enough. Just the other day, you sat on my
couch here in Oregon listening to a record for the fifth time in a row. You were calm. My dog was asleep with her head on your lap. I looked at you and thought, This is it. This is you, and here I am. This is what we’ve got. And it’s got to be enough, because it’s all there is. I’d always wanted to believe that there was some magic to your disability, some deeper meaning in the barrier that separates you from the rest of us, like opaque, wavy glass on the principal’s office door. For years I held on to the notion that this obstacle and my constant, fruitless attempts to overcome it somehow made our lives more important, gave our suffering a spiritual dimension. I was waiting for the Disney ending when the Virgin of Lourdes would walk down off the stained-glass window in the church, bless you with the holy waters, and call you healed. Then one day I realized that I had been completely wrong about all of it. Your autism was nothing special. Nor was the chaos it brought into our family. It was just life. We had it worse than some, better than others. There was nothing to wait for. This was it. Considering how long I’d clutched that other flag, I surrendered it with surprising ease, tossed it aside like an old newspaper, brushed my hands together, and got on with things. In my case, getting on with things meant claiming my life for myself, the life I’d put on hold for so many years while I was waiting for the grand finale. I’d spent years worrying about what I was supposed to do to save you, never realizing there was nothing I could do. I kept a corner of my mind so busy with worry that it felt like I was doing something important, but it was just static. I wasn’t actually doing anything for you. Just worrying away the time, my life, yours. I had to face the fact that whatever became of me would come from me and nowhere else. My interests, talents, and inclinations finally claimed my life for their own and began to marshal my days and years with meaning. I’ve had to sort out my desires and motivations to construct my own compass, replacing what had been there before — an empty sense of obligation — with the everyday reality of my own, ordinary life. I find that if I trust myself and take my time, I tend to move in the right direction, and I don’t seem to keep running off three ways at once. And then here you are. Now that I don’t have to spend all that time worrying about you, I have begun to see you more clearly. There is our
history — your life, my life, and the interwoven patterns of our shared past with its joy and pain. But mostly there is just you — very alive and in the present. You are a living, breathing woman, who is also trying to make her own way in the world. It has become apparent that there is this opportunity, this new endeavor. After all this time, I have the strange and simple challenge of trying to learn how to be your sister. We are riding together in the car. I’m thirty-five and driving. You are thirtynine and silent. We are traveling at top speed down the Columbia River Gorge as I drive you back toward your home in eastern Washington. We have water on one side, cliffs on the other. We are racing east. I look at you, my big sister, your short brown hair the exact color of mine. As I’ve aged, my brown eyes have lightened to match your hazel ones. We can’t offer each other much. I’ve always wanted to make your life better, but I don’t know if that is even possible. I have no idea what you would want for me or if you are even capable of such an estimation. But I do know at least that you wanted to come visit me, that you wanted to stay, and you are happy, now, to let me drive you home. My heart is full of all I can’t say to you, because you wouldn’t understand, because you would rather ride in silence. Still, I see you there. You point to the radio. That’s Aerosmith, Eileen. This makes me laugh. What would Steven Tyler say? You can’t call me on the phone or tell me you love me. You can’t even tell me what you did last week, but you can recognize Aerosmith anywhere. Yep, that’s Aerosmith, Margs. That’s Aerosmith. Yes, that’s Aerosmith. You’re listening to Aerosmith, Eileen. Yes, Margaret. We’re listening to Aerosmith. We pass this piece of information back and forth between us like a bit of magic. It’s a piece of treasure, a soap bubble catching all the colors of the rainbow. And, working together, we keep it up in the air. I’ll think of this moment in years to come when we are suffering through a rough spot brought on by one of your moods. When you don’t want to talk to me, or when you want to go home early even though I just drove three hundred miles to see you. During the times when you are quiet and happy, when you reach out to take my hand as we walk up to the house, when you sit next to me in a bar lisPortland 32
tening to music, when you call good night to me from my guest room. I will feel it reverberate — our own hardwon and fragile joy, the thrum of the undeniable bond that links us. It’s a fragile borderland between hope and change. I cling to that and try to believe that it might bleed over into the rest of my life. You have made my life indescribably different from what I could ever have imagined. I may have given up expecting much from you, and I know things could fall apart at any moment. But I’ve come to understand that you are making an effort to let me into your life, just as I am creating a place for you in mine. Sometimes I can simply absorb the grace of it all — the simple fact that we are sitting next to each other sharing the same moment. Last fall during your visit, we climbed a steep flight of stairs from downtown to my neighborhood and were both winded when we reached the top. As the ground flattened out you reached over, twined your slender fingers in mine, and asked me if we were going to have dinner. I assured you that we were. You looked worried, your eyes searching mine. I know you just wanted to know what came next. So do I. n Eileen Garvin is an Oregon writer who has twice visited the University to talk to psychology and special education classes. This excerpt is from How to Be a Sister: A Love Story with a Twist of Autism, published last year by The Experiment (theexperimentpublishing. com). Our thanks to Eileen and Matt Lore for their help.
The University’s Rise Campaign delves into ways to grapple with autism through the research of education professor Ellyn Arwood, a noted scholar of language and thinking in people with autism; through its special education program and psychology projects; and more. The University also very much welcomes scholarship funds for students intent on exploring and understanding ways to elevate the lives of people with autism and their loved ones. To make a gift, call Monica Long, 503.943.7971, email@example.com.
WonderLand The University’s ethnobotanist, Dave Taylor...and tree-powered batteries, and a whole new genus of plants, and... By Todd Schwartz
t killed the cat. It solved the mystery. Millions of them. It cured the disease, unflattened the world, left bootprints in moondust. ‘It’ would be curiosity, the pull that carries us forward, the fuel that powers a fine university. First there is curiosity, and then knowledge, and then perhaps wisdom. Curiosity is the heart and soul of the University enterprise, in students and professors alike; it is the flow of questions and ideas from person to person, classroom to lab to library and back again. The University exists, essentially, to ask. And if there is one professor among the two hundred on The Bluff who lives to ask, it would be the cheerful and exuberant young biology professor Dave Taylor, for whom a sense of wonder is not just a gift, but a thirst. He grew up in Hartford, Connecticut, a city with a large and thriving Puerto Rican community, and he was one of the 20 percent of the kids in his school who weren’t part of that community. It never for a second occurred to him that he couldn’t fit in. When he visited his friends’ homes, he wanted to know what they were saying, so he learned to speak Spanish. When he ate dinner with them, he wanted to know what all the exotic dishes were, so he learned about yucca and cassava and breadfruit and malanga and plantains and huge thirty-pound true yams. Later, when he met his friends’ sisters, yes, Taylor wanted to know
what would win their hearts, so he learned about salsa dancing and writing poetry de la corazón. For as long as he can remember, he just wanted to know. When he explored the wooded park near his home he wanted to know about everything that was around him, from the grasses to the trees. Even as a little boy, even when he simply picked up a horse chestnut to throw at a playmate, Taylor wanted to know what led Aesculus Hippocastanum to manufacture that wonderful little projectile. Later on Taylor combined his wild sense of wonder with an insatiable love for the outdoors and a desire to explore and understand other cultures (plus the uncanny ability to say phrases like “starchy crops” with the same verve and excitement others reserve for “multimillion-dollar inheritance” or “Angelina Jolie”) and so became an ethnobotanist, studying the complex relationships between cultures and the various plants they use for food, medicine, clothing, tools, currency and more. It was a perfect fit for his limitless curiosity and unique skill set — small is the number of ethnobotanists who can undertake field research in the most farthest corners of Latin America, then go to the local salsa dance on a Saturday night in Guatemala or Cuba and corte una manta with the best of them. “I’m fascinated with the world around me,” he says. “I always want to know what’s happening and discover why things are the way they are — Spring 2011 33
where plants come from, where words come from. It still amazes me that my job is to learn new things and teach them to others. It’s just tremendous fun to make discoveries.” Those discoveries can be large: early on, Taylor was working on a plant classification project for his doctorate when he discovered and named a new genus of plants in the family that includes coffee and gardenias, among many others. Living and fossil organisms are classified using a system called binomial nomenclature, dating (for plants and animals) back to the mid-1700s. Under this hierarchal system, a single species is the most specific classification, and various species are contained within a genus within a family within an order, all the way up through class, phylum, kingdom and domain. A lot of Latin is involved. Taylor was studying the genus Chione in Cuba and Grenada and elsewhere in the Caribbean when he realized that several of the specimens he’d collected didn’t really match the accepted physical description of the members of the genus. Something about oversized resinous glands. After further study and several research papers, Taylor was able to erect and name a brand-new genus, Colleteria, containing two species and named for those same resin glands, or colleters — it turns out that, in the realm of natural science, it is very bad form to name a new genus after yourself, so Tayloria was out of the question. And sometimes those discoveries
What shapes the heart and soul of a University of Portland education? Most of all: curiosity. he is still connected happily to his hometown and his longest continuing research interest: the role of viandas (meaning “staples,” or the starchy subsistence crops like cassava and malanga) in the diet and the cultural heritage of the immigrant Puerto Rican community in Hartford. “What’s so interesting,” says Taylor, “is that these starchy crops which have become so central to the identity and celebrations of this community, were originally the survival crops from the Caribbean and Africa that fed people through hard times, when there was no meat or fish. Now they have become a delicacy, and the Puerto Rican community spends more money to import and buy these items than it often costs for meat or fish! What was once about survival has been transformed into a vital element in their cultural identity.” One of Taylor’s University botany students is working with him on research in the alpine zone of Hew Hampshire’s White Mountains, measuring the abundance and distribution of plant species, preparing to monitor these plants for changes traceable to climate warming trends, trail usage, and other human impacts. Alpine plants are the caged canaries of botany, extremely sensitive to climate warming when their specialized cold environment rises above the mountain peaks. “The student will learn a lot about the flora of the Northeast, where she has never been before,” Taylor says, “and will be able to compare it with the flora of the Northwest, to which she has been introduced in our class. Through this summer research, she will also be helping to promote the botanical education of her fellow students, because the specimens that she collects will be sent back here, where they will form part of our new botany teaching collection.” And, after witnessing the effect of his visiting lecture to a classroom full of Puerto Rican students in a community college biology class in Connecticut — where he began with the phrase “Let’s talk about plants,” and was met with silence, then continued with “And let’s do it using malanga,” whereupon the room was immediately energized by something they could relate to — Taylor plans to create culture and crop-specific lesson guides for biology teachers who serve immiSpring 2011 35
grant communities. “It was great to see these usually disconnected and somewhat alienated students become the experts in the room,” he says. “They went from caring not at all about botanical concepts to ‘Hey, my mom cooks that,’ to real engagement. They went from thinking it was really strange for someone to be interested in plants to thinking it was cool to know more about their food. Everybody loves to talk about food! And everybody should understand that in all of life, from science to languages to people, there are so many flavors to discover, so many things to know, and so much fun to be had learning those things.” Or, in terms our salsa-dancing, Mandarin-speaking ethnobotanist would appreciate: curiosity moves throughout the phloem of the university, providing nourishment and generating electricity as it travels. The current is felt every time a student chases an idea, makes a discovery, makes a habit of wonder, and realizes that the possibilities are, in fact, endless. How does a university and its students, teachers, graduates and supporters change the world? First, foremost: by asking...n Todd Schwartz is an Oregon journalist who has written of grocery stores, nurses, surfing, brain science, and much else in these pages.
...is particularly intent on drawing gifts from alumni and friends to support faculty research and travel, student discovery and travel, and scholarships of every shape and sort for students to be able to enroll and stay enrolled on The Bluff. Among the science scholarships, for example is one for the late legendary biology professor Becky Houck, and one was just born to celebrate Dave Taylor’s predecessor in botany, the cheerful and patient Mike Snow, who retired last spring. Want to help boost the Houck or Snow Funds? Call Monica Long, 503.943.7971, firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTO: NICHOLAS RIGG / GETTY IMAGES
can be very, very small — nanotech small. Recently, Taylor has begun research as the botanical consultant with a team of electrical engineers from the University of Washington exploring the use of maple trees to power batteries measured on the nano scale (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter). “Suppose,” says Taylor, “that you have installed some remote environmental monitoring equipment in a very wild and distant forest location — very hard to get to. Perhaps wind or moisture or temperature sensors. Obviously, changing the batteries in these sensors is a major effort — so why not use the trees themselves to provide the power through the phloem stream?” The innermost layer of tree bark is called the phloem, and it carries organic nutrients made during photosynthesis to all parts of the tree. The movement of these ions, mainly sucrose, creates a tiny electric current in the phloem — not even enough to ruffle the feathers on an amoeba, but enough to charge a nanobattery which could power a nanoengine, which in turn could power the sensors. This is very early research, and you won’t be plugging your iPad into a tree anytime soon, but the possibilities are fascinating. Fascination is as natural for Taylor as respiration. But life as an ethnobotanist brings with it some occupational hazards. Dinner, for example. Sometimes it’s hard to separate the meal from the morphology. Taylor has made three research trips to Taiwan — he wants to know what’s happening around him, so naturally he’s learning to speak Mandarin. But eating is the issue. “The amazing diversity of plant products in the Taiwanese diet absolutely blows me away,” Taylor says. “Every time I eat a meal, I feel like ‘Oh my gosh, I haven’t adequately documented these plants! I have to take some pictures of this food!’ There’s always some new bulb or root or flower in the meal, usually with the leaves and tendrils and all. I’ve ordered take-out sometimes just so I could go back to the lab, tease open the leaves of something and get a good photo for study.” Taylor has the same problem — or pleasure — in a Latin American or Asian market: “A trip to an unfamiliar ethnic produce market is like a big thriller detective movie to me!” And
TRIVIA NIGHT: JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM
REUNION 2011: 100 YEARS OF RESIDENCE LIFE ON THE BLUFF Students have been living on the UP campus for over a century, and what better way to celebrate this incredible milestone than with a return visit? Save the date and make plans to return to the University for Reunion 2011, June 23-26. Since we are hosting a Luauthemed barbeque at Reunion this year, we are hoping to see many of our Hawaiian alumni. Graduates from the classes of 1986 and 1961 will be observing their 25th and 50th anniversaries. Christie Hall will celebrate its 100th anniversary, and all former men of Christie are invited to stay in Christie Hall. Other Reunion 2011 events include the NAB Golf Tournament, an alumni bike tour, a reunion of the Mitchell Rifles, and a field trip to the farmer’s market with Bon Appetit’s Kirk Mustain. We welcome all of our alumni and their families and hope that they’ll return to campus and participate in a weekend full of exciting memories!
Our Trivia Night on Saturday, March 12, on campus in The Cove is open to all alumni, family, and friends. The game consists of ten rounds of ten questions, each round featuring a different theme. The top two teams win cash prizes, and everyone will have a chance at door prizes throughout the night. Teams are welcome to bring snacks and nonalcoholic drinks. A dessert buffet is included with the entry fee and a wine and beer cash bar will be available. Trivia Night is suitable for adults 18 and older. Contact the Office of Alumni Relations for more information.
NATIONAL ALUMNI DAY OF SERVICE: APRIL 30 Tough times call for kind actions. Please consider giving a little of your time to the UP National Alumni Day of Service. Join fellow Pilots and their families and friends across the country to donate time and energy to various charitable causes. Each alumni chapter organizes a different volunteer activity. Mark your calendar for Saturday, April 30, 2011 and watch your mailbox or check the alumni website at alumni.up.edu for information about activities in your neighborhood.
ALUMNI AWARDS/STATE OF UP LUNCHEON Seating is limited at our annual State of the University and Alumni Awards luncheon so mark your calendars for Tuesday, April 5 and join fellow alumni and friends at noon at the Multnomah Athletic Club. University president Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C., will deliver his annual State of the University address and we will also honor the three 2010 Alumni Award winners and recognize the student recipient of this year’s Gerhardt Award. Watch for your invitation in the mail and please join us.
BLOW IT UP: SCIENCE FOR THE FAMILY How do laser pointers work? What happens when dry ice melts in a sealed plastic bottle? Join university professor Steve Mayer and members of the chemistry department for a family-friendly science lab session, where we'll create a compound of learning and fun. Suitable for children aged 8-12, this hands-on afternoon
will take place on Saturday, May 14 and will feature experiments and explanations that will entertain and enlighten both children and adults. The $12 per family fee includes all supplies and safety equipment. Contact the Office of Alumni Relations for more information or to RSVP.
WILLAMETTE VALLEY ALUMNI WINE TOUR Join us for an alumni vineyard jaunt on May 14 and leave the driving to us! The tour will offer several delightful wine tastings all within an hour of Portland. We’ll visit Alloro Vineyard as well as Medici Vineyard, owned by Hal Medici ’55, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the spring wine production for Medici Vineyards and Ferraro Cellar wines (produced by alumnus Dick Ferraro ’64). After visiting the vineyards we will drive to their tasting room in Newberg and sample several delicious wines. Lunch will be included on our tour.
SUMMER IN SALZBURG The University of Portland’s Salzburg Center will be available for alumni and families who wish to visit during summer 2011. Come soak up the unique history and culture of Salzburg when you work with the Office of Alumni Relations to choose your own activities and site visits, all while using the University’s Salzburg Center as a home base. This trip is highly recommended for individuals and families wishing to explore central Europe on a budget. $75 U.S. per person per night (single occupancy), includes breakfast. Double and triple occupancy rooms are also available. Contact the Office of
Alumni Relations for more information.
DESCHUTES RIVER RAFTING ADVENTURE Join fellow alumni on Saturday, June 4 for a 15 mile, day-long, class III rafting trip beginning in Maupin, Oregon and heading down a section of the lower Deschutes River. The route travels through a beautiful desert canyon filled with sagebrush, osprey, incredible basalt rock formations, and plenty of exciting rapids. The Deschutes River is great for all kinds of rafters from first-timers to seasoned paddlers. Cost is $99 per rafter. The shuttle bus to Maupin leaves The Bluff at 7:15 a.m. Contact the Office of Alumni Relations for more information or to RSVP.
MEN OF COLUMBIA PREP RETURN TO CAMPUS Remember trying to conjugate verbs in Latin class with your mind focused on football? Remember when The Bluff had more trees and fewer buildings? Remember the friendships you knew would last a lifetime? Or how about Holy Cross brothers and priests strolling the campus in their long black robes? Please plan to share memories and those friendships when you return to campus for the Columbia Prep All-class Reunion on Sunday, May 15. This year’s celebration commemorates all Columbia Prep alumni, but special recognition will be given to the classes of 1951, 1946, 1941, and 1936. Reunion begins at 10:30 a.m. with a Mass in the Chapel of Christ the Teacher followed by a served brunch at St. Mary’s Lounge. Plan to enjoy brunch, raise a toast, and sing the fight song with your fellow Preppers. The cost is $15. For more information or to RSVP, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at email@example.com or 888.UP.ALUMS (888.872.5867).
A L U M N I
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Back in Haiti in January: Rachel Prusynski ’09, at the Friends of the Orphans orphanage (400 children!) where she and her pal Molly Hightower ’09 were volunteering when Molly was killed in last year’s earthquake. Rachel, now earning a doctorate in physical therapy, has already raised nearly $10,000 herself for the orphanage (see her helloagainhaiti.blogspot.com site) and is working with University regent Joe Allegretti to create a scholarship to bring Haitian students to the University. The University’s Class of 2010, we note with awe, raised more than $100,000 to create the Molly Hightower Scholarship here. Wow. To make a gift see rise.up.edu.
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School of Nursing alumna Joan Van Hoomissen O’Neill ’52, who passed away in September 2009, has left a $61,728 gift to the University through her estate. The gift is designated to the School of Nursing’s Harriet Jeckel Osburn Endowed Scholarship Fund. Joan’s gift will benefit deserving nursing majors, both undergraduate and graduate, especially those in teaching or leadership tracks. We are humbled and grateful for the generosity of Joan and her late husband, John O’Neill, and that of her family. Our prayers and condolences for their loss. 50 YEAR CLUB Dr. George Nicolas Corti ’41 passed away on September 3, 2010, in Milwaukie, Ore. He had recently suffered the loss of his wife Marie on April 12, 2010. Survivors include his daughters, Kathleen M. ’74 and Susan M.; and sons Tom ’77 and William. In lieu of flowers, contributions would be welcome to the Corti Family Scholarship established by Dr. Corti at the University of Portland. Our prayers and condolences to the family. Colleen Stupfel, wife of Frank J. Stupfel ’44, passed away on April 2, 2010, in Portland, Ore. Survivors include Frank, her husband of 63 years; children, Pat Zepp, John Stupfel, Anne Fernando, Jeffy Stupfel, Meg Griswold, Mark Stupfel, Irene Lavelle, and Matt Stupfel; brother, Jerry Heideman; 21 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and many, many nieces and nephews. Our prayers and condolences to the family. We heard recently from Peter Van Hoomissen ’46, who wants to take a guess as to the identity of our autumn 2010 mystery faculty member: “This is not a ‘best guess’ but actually a fact that the man in the photo on page 40 is Paul Wack, Ph.D., Notre Dame. He certainly deserves the recognition for all his efforts on campus over the years. I should know as he is my brother-in-law.” Hmm, well, we didn’t say family were excluded, so yes, you’re right Peter, it’s Dr. Wack, and you’ll get no argument that he deserves the recognition. Thanks for writing. Robert Charters ’46 passed away on August 15, 2010. Survivors include his wife, Patricia; sister, Jean Van Hoomissen; brother, George Charters ’40;
children, Bill, Robin, Jean, John, and Chris; and 14 grandchildren. Our prayers and condolences to the family. Catherine M. O’Donnell O’Keefe ’48 passed away on August 2, 2010, in Fairview, Ore. She specialized in geriatric nursing throughout her life. Survivors include sons, Michael, Kevin, Terrence, Patrick, Daniel, and Eugene; daughter, Margaret; 17 grandchildren; and nine greatgrandchildren. Her husband Gene and daughter Teresa Anne predeceased her. Our prayers and condolences to the family. Lee Thomas “Tom” Witty ’49 passed away on September 9, 2010. Tom was a teacher for many years at Wilson High School. Survivors include his daughters, Sharan Lee Farley and Nancy Jean Brownlow. Our prayers and condolences to the family. Frank E. Taylor ’49 passed away on October 10, 2010, in Vancouver, Wash. Our prayers and condolences to the family. Michael W. Tichy ’50 passed away on October 31, 2010, in Portland, Ore. He was drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers but had to forgo his dream to serve his country in World War II. In the 1950s he was hired by the University of Portland and served as director of health and physical education, and coached baseball and basketball. From 1952 to 1956, his men’s tennis team won a record 79 straight match wins. Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Anna Mae ’54; daughters, Marie and Theresa Ann ’84; son, Paul; three grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. His sons, Eugene and William, predeceased him. Our prayers and condolences to the family.
N O T E S Max Freshley ’51 writes: “There is no mystery here. Without a doubt, the mystery faculty photo for autumn 2010 is my physics professor, Dr. Paul Wack. I would like to wish him the best.” Thanks Max, that’s him for sure, and we’ll pass along your regards. James Thomas Hartford, M.D. ’51, passed away on August 10, 2010, at his home in Portland, Ore. Orphaned as a child, James excelled in academics and athletics through a succession of orphanages, and attended the University of Portland on a full football scholarship. After military service and medical school he began his 40-year career as a pediatrician in Beaverton and Tigard, Ore. Survivors include his wife of 31 years, the Rev. Christine Riley; children, Ruth, Joyce, John, Molly, Timothy, Ryan, Nathan, and Elizabeth; and siblings, Nadine, Howard, Daniel, Mary, Patrick, and Geri. Our prayers and condolences to all. John Becic ’52 reports that the 17th annual Croatians and Friends golf tournament—the legendary Adriatic Open—in July at Portland’s Broadmoor golf course raised some $10,000 for Saint Patrick’s Church in the city’s Slabtown neighborhood, from which so many University men came. Thanks, John. The Slabtown Boys, we observe with admiration, meet monthly for breakfast, often at the McMenamin’s tavern on 23rd Street. Call Doug Hansen at (503) 943-8008 in the University’s development office for information if you want to pop in. The more the merrier, say the Slabtown Boys, and they mean it. Keith Caldwell ’52 passed away on January 6, 2010, in Fremont, Calif. An accomplished poet, Keith had a long career as a teacher in Idaho and California. Survivors, all of whom deeply miss his unparalleled wit and bottomless stories, include his wife of 56 years, Joan; children, Lesli, Christopher, Mitch, Mark, Kevin, Lisa, and Laura; brother, Larry; and 19 grandchildren. Our prayers and condolences to the family. Kenneth T. Underdahl ’52 ’63 passed away on May 24, 2010, in Lake Oswego, Ore. His long career as an administrator included a stint on the staff of Governor Tom McCall in the 1970s; the committees he served included the Law Enforcement Council, the Governor’s Commission on Organized Crime, and the Governor’s Management Council. In 1974, he was appointed by McCall
as the administrator for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, serving for five years. Survivors include his wife of 58 years, Audrey; brother, Herbert; children, Sally, Dana, Louise, Gretchen, Randi, and Rees; and 17 grandchildren. Our prayers and condolences to the family. Forrest “Frosty” A. Siemroth ’54 passed away on August 17, 2010, in Coos Bay, Ore. After serving during the Korean War, he taught for 20 years in the Portland Public Schools system, and in the summers he would run a charter fishing business, Frosty’s Charters. Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Rose; daughters Martha and Clare; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Our prayers and condolences to the family. We heard recently from Gil Frey ’54, who is 100 percent committed to preserving Portland’s Memorial Coliseum—a building erected as a veteran’s memorial, he points out, honoring those who have served and died for their country. Diane Schafer ’55 passed away on September 24, 2010. She worked as a nurse in Portland and then owned and operated a printing business in Seaside, Ore. Survivors include her husband Joe; daughter, Maureen; brothers, Ray and Paul; stepson, Joseph; and beloved cat, Duncan. Our prayers and condolences. Theodore Arnold Peterschmidt ’55 passed away on October 8, 2010 in Silverdale, Wash. He was the son of longtime University of Portland controller Arnold Peterschmidt. He was an Air Force fighter jet pilot from 1955 to his discharge in 1958, then worked for Keyport Naval Station until 1988. Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Joanne (Welp) ’57; children, Arnold, Caroline, Teresa, Timothy, Mark, Alice, and Christopher; 16 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; sisters Ann Brooks and Mary Jo Levy; and big brother, William. Our prayers and condolences. Raymond John Arrigotti ’56 passed away on May 31, 2010, at his Portland home, surrounded by his family. Raymond served in the U.S. Air Force and reserves for 20 years, retiring as a major. He worked at the Bonneville Power Administration for 31 years, and was a Scoutmaster for 16 years. Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Marylu; brother, Martin; son, George; daughters, Raemarie, Laureen, and Coralynn; nine grandchildren; and two great-grandchil-
C L A S S dren. Remembrances to St. Vincent de Paul at Holy Family Parish. Our prayers and condolences. Ferdinand C. Engesser ’56 passed away in April 2010 in Redwood City, Calif. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He had a 32-year career as a nuclear physicist. Survivors include sons Victor and David and two grandchildren. Our prayers and condolences to the family. We heard recently from Roy E. Herman ’57, of Marsing, Idaho: “The summer 2010 mystery photo is of Dr. Paul Wack...a wonderful professor and the finest of men.” Correct on all counts, thanks for writing, Roy. Joe Baresh ’57 writes: “The mystery photo (Autumn issue) is of none other than Dr. Paul E. Wack, professor of physics who, with Dr. Starr and Brother Godfrey in the mid-1950s made my study of physics so enjoyable. One day in ’57 it was my turn to present a topic for our periodic mini-seminars. I chose wing air flow technicalities, touching briefly on birds’ wings, specifically on a tuft of feathers called ALULA. Being somewhat nervous and hoping to interject some humor in my talk, I stated that ALULA spelled backwards is still ALULA. To which Dr. Paul broke in with ‘Does it allow the bird to fly backwards?’ That helped me finish my talk in a much lighter mood. Thanks, Dr. Paul, you did good!” And thanks to you for your correct guess and anecdote, Joe. Harold Kempster ’57 passed away on September 21, 2010, according to his stepdaughter, Kristen Wise. Our prayers and condolences to the family. Thomas Bricher ’58 passed away on September 30, 2010, in Salem, Ore. He spent 33 years as a civil engineer with the Oregon Department of Transportation. Survivors include his wife, Lou; children, Stephen, Marie, and Terri; five grandchildren; nine sisters, and one brother. Our prayers and condolences. Dr. Loyal Francis Marsh ’59 passed away on August 29, 2010. He spent 40 years as director of St. Mary’s Home for Boys and was in private practice as a psychologist for 30 years. Survivors include his children, Douglas, Kimberly, Kellee, Daniel, Michael, Patrick, and James; and seven grandchildren. Our prayers and condolences to the family. David Kehrli ’59 passed away on May 25, 2010, in San Jose, Calif. Survivors include his
wife Carrie and children Alison, Julia, Steve, and their families. Our prayers and condolences to the family. Please keep DeAnn (Goslin) McMurtry ’59 in your prayers after the death of her husband of 50 years, Jack Gene McMurtry, on August 5, 2010. Other survivors include son Michael; daughter Judi; three granddaughters; three greatgrandchildren; and brother, Normand. We received the following note from Dominic Bregante, husband of the late Madalene Bregante ’60, and its poignant message makes us count our blessings. “This is to notify you that my wife has passed away on May 1, 2010, at 2:15 a.m. I was so lucky to marry her. For she was a saint. Personally, I miss her. We had a great 50 years. Thank God.” Thanks for letting us know, Dominic, and our prayers and condolences on your loss.
’63 A VERY NICE MAN Bob Candello knows the identity of our summer 2010 mystery faculty photo: “This man taught physics at the University: Paul E Wack. I still have the Experimental Physics book he gave to me when I was one of two math majors in the science department many years ago. A very nice man.” Yes, Bob, that’s Paul Wack, and we would have to agree. Fr. Frank J. Knusel writes: “The mystery photo for autumn 2010 on page 40 is Dr. Paul E. Wack Sr., who was one of my favorite teachers of all time; I was in his physics classes in 1961-1963. I am presently a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Portland; however, I’m not completely retired. I have been appointed pastor of St. Irene’s Byzantine Catholic Church in North Portland; it was formerly Blessed Sacrament Church. I wish also to offer my condolences to Dr. Wack for the death of his son, Paul E., Jr.” Yes, Fr. Frank, that’s Dr. Wack, and sadly you are correct about Paul Jr., who passed away after a battle with cancer. Please remember Charles Binder in your prayers, on the loss of his wife, Sharon, on August 23, 2010. Other survivors include daughter Christina Kailea and sons Ken, Michael, and Scott. Our prayers and condolences to the family.
’64 FOR THE BIRDS We heard recently from Phyllis DeSoto, who writes: “Here in Stanwood we enjoy bird
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Jim Horace ’55 paid a visit recently, and shared news of the latest gathering of former St. Joe’s Hall residents, which took place at Sunriver from September 10-13, 2010. He also shared the photo above from the 2009 gathering, their 25th anniversary. “In the front row are Ann Uphoff, Janet Cobat Hyland ’57, Ilo Kangur Berger ’58, Mary Dugan, Mary Lou Busch Daltoso ’58, and Donna Jean Lussier. In the back row are Richard ‘Nubby’ Uphoff ’56, myself, Richard Berger ’57, Pat Dugan ’58, Dante Daltoso ’56, and John Hyland ’57. All of the guys met while living in St. Joe’s Hall at U.P. All are members of the Fifty Year Club, as well as alumni of the ‘University of Portland Annex,’ otherwise known as the Twilight Room.” Now there’s a bunch of guys who stick together through thick and thin. In fact they’re just putting the finishing touches on an endowed scholarship, to be announced soon. Thanks so much Jim, you and the St. Joe’s gang are helping us rise to new heights here at U.P.
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Al Vanderzanden ’65: King of the Tractor Pull The tractor pull, says Al Vanderzanden cheerfully, “goes back to the days of one farmer saying to another, ‘I bet my John Deere could out-pull your Case;” and Al should know — thirty years ago he invented the mechanical ‘sled’ that today is the key to competitive (and often hilarious) tractor pulls. The sled is basically a very large weight transfer system; a large weight starts out directly over the sled’s rear axle, allowing for it to roll easily on its wheels. As the sled is pulled forward by the tractor, however, the weight is moved steadily to a skid pan at the front, generating the necessary friction to eventually stop the pull. Initially he built this first sled for fun, to “see if he could do it,” like many of his engineering projects. But the demand for a mechanical sled was such that Northwest Pulling Sleds was born, Al began to finetune the design, and eventually the sleds gained onboard computer systems to measure the precise distance they had been towed. Vanderzanden has also built tractors (there are two at his house, one with twin Chevy 427 engines, generating 1200 horsepower, and the other with a 1940 Allison aircraft V12 engine, the engine found in old B-1 bombers, generating a whopping 2,000 horsepower), and endless numbers of other inventions, but it is the Vanderzanden sled that makes him a famous man in America from April through September, the tractor-pull season. —Peter Soisson watching on a black polyvinyl chloride (PVC) frame like a swing set with suspended bird feeders and suet feeders and plants. The local deer eat the critter food, they have little fear until we are almost upon them. Burpee has a calendula plant which works as a deer repellant for our tulips and apple trees—deer like the taste of those too. We are an hour north of Seattle and the same to Canada. The Skagit Tulip Festival is what we enjoy up here. I’m also enjoying Facebook, where I can connect with my distant cousins in Finland and Sweden in real time on the Internet. Those of
us who do not post our birth year, since I'm still working, skew the numbers to suggest everyone who uses Facebook is under 40.” Thank Phyllis, and good luck in your battle with hungry deer. Prayers, please, for Diana Allen, on the loss of her husband, Jack H. Allen, on July 22, 2010.
’65 KEITH TAKES A GUESS Keith Schray would like to take a crack at guessing the identity of our autumn 2010 mystery faculty member. He writes: “Well it looks like I imagine Dr. Wack would have looked in college. My wife, Jeanne Maher
N O T E S Schray, and I took two physics courses from him and if it is him he must be up in his nineties. We’re already old ourselves! Congratulations to him. He was a very kind man and I remember him and his class for two reasons. One is the humbling experience of being unable to understand Maxwell's laws though I tried mightily. The other is that Jeane and I solidified our budding relationship working on physics II lab reports down in the library of the science building—the first time either of us got something done so far ahead of time. I went on to become a professor in chemistry at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., and Jeanne went on to be the mother of our nine children.” Thanks Keith, you hit the nail on the head. Bob Yeend writes: “One of the most memorable teachers I’ve ever had, Dr. Paul Wack, remains my image of physics at UP. His knowledge of physics and concern for students was evident in every class I had with him. Let him know that, having retired from the Marine Corps some 20 years ago, I am now teaching physics at a Catholic high school in Napa, California. He may find that a bit of a shock!” Bob, we surmise, is referring to our autumn 2010 mystery faculty photo, which is indeed Dr. Paul Wack. Portland archbishop John Vlazny ordained Craig Casey and three others as permanent deacons on Saturday, November 6, at St. Mary’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland. Deacons are ordained to be a sacramental sign in the church and in the world. and can proclaim the gospel at Mass, preach, and teach in the name of the church. Their sacramental ministry includes baptizing, conducting prayer services, serving as an official church witness to marriage and conducting funerals and wake services. Congratulations, Craig, sounds like a perfect fit.
’67 RANDY’S UPDATE Randy Lowe has been appointed chairman of the board of the Golden Rainbow CenterSAGE-Palm Springs, a community center for lesbian, gay, and bisexual seniors in the Palm Springs area. The Center provides food for the needy, counseling, social activities, and legal advice to seniors, especially those on fixed incomes. We heard recently from Suzanne Montgomery, who writes: “Since last being in touch,my father, Thomas B. Montgomery, has died as of
this past May. I now live in New Bern, NC; my e-mail is suzannemontgomery86@yah oo.com. As to future plans, I hope to relocate back to Portland in the summer. Best to everyone on the Bluff. Go Pilots!” Thanks for the note, Suzanne, and our prayers and condolences on your loss.
’68 SAD NEWS Prayers are in order for Robert Crater and his family, who mourn the loss of his wife, Kathleen Ann Crater. She passed away on September 17, 2010, in Portland, Ore. Survivors include Robert and their children, Annie and Nathan; parents, Doris and Thomas Snodgrass; sisters, Sherry, Marylee, and Suzanne; and brother, Patrick. Our prayers and condolences.
’69 REMEMBER CHARLOTTE Prayers, please, for Terry Pollreisz and his family on the loss of Terry’s mother, Charlotte Mae (Clapper) Pollreisz, who passed away on January 14, 2011. Survivors also include daughters Sharon McLarty and Karon Allen. Our prayers and condolences.
’70 MAKING MUSIC Beth Donnelly Feller has an extensive executive background of more than 20 years in the advertising, marketing, and communications industry, and is now president of Jeremiah Productions, a concert and music firm based in Tualatin, Oregon. Beth has help from her husband Doug Feller and their son, Jeremy Feller. Beth is also an accomplished singer known for her versatile interpretations of opera, jazz, and gospel music, and she regularly performs concerts with her husband. For more information, see their webpage at www.jeremiahproductions.com. Terryl M. Asla has been named the winner of the Doctoral Paper Award for 2008-2009 by Charles Sturt University, AU, where he is currently completing his doctorate in information studies. The paper, which he co-authored with Dr. Kirsty Williamson, “Information behavior of people in the fourth age: Implications for the conceptualization of information literacy,” appeared the peerreviewed journal, Library and Information Science Research, in 2009.
’71 PRAYERS, PLEASE Mary Lou Kurt passed away on August 31, 2010, according to a letter we received from her
C L A S S husband, Kenneth. Our prayers and condolences to the family.
’72 MANOLO’S FAN CLUB We’re still getting messages about our autumn 2010 mystery faculty photo. This one is from Diana Foran Storer, who writes: “What can I say about dear Dr. Macias? Since my fledgling freshman Spanish lit classes, through Don Quijote’s Mancha, and over the miles of ocean, Manolo has been an integral part of my life: we have spent many a Spanish night tomando cervezas in Madrid; and he has always had a kind and generous moment for my children, treating them to a meal or two or three. Fortytwo years have flown by, and Dr. Macias has always been there. I just came from his condo; I always pay him a visit when I am in town. My children do the same. He is my friend and I am grateful that he considers me amongst his. Gracias al trasgo de Toral de los Vados!” Patsy Gix Hunt writes: “Thanks so much for printing my recent entry in Class Notes. Now that I submitted it I have been made aware that I missed naming a few more UP alums from my family. So, in addition to myself, family attendees also included Gerard Gix ’52 and Ron Grimm ’74.” We heard recently from John Ritter, who writes: “Well, last night, on October 22, I spoke to 300 people, in groups of 20, on the underground tunnels, vaults, and chambers of Salem, Ore. If you google ‘Salem’s Underground, John Ritter’ you will get three pages of sites, from the Zeitung news of Germany to Pakistan world news. Click on KATU’s story, that’s ABC in Salem, and you’ll see the video they shot of me talking in front of an underground vault I discovered, covered with 50 years’ worth of debris. So far I have found, old guns, pistols, bottles , a sword, a beaver trap, and many other interesting artifacts, and yes, I am seriously thinking of writing a book.” Thanks John, you be careful down there.
’74 BRIAN’S POETRY CORNER Brian M. Biggs has one remarkable poetry blog going at brianmbiggs.blogspot.com/20 10/09/poetry-corner.html. His nutshell profile: “Played football at the University of Washington, BA in Theatre, 1964. Four years in the Marine Corps (one tour in Vietnam). University of Portland, MFA in Theatre, 1974. Retired from teaching theatre in Portland
(1998). Retired after 22 years as executive director of Young Musicians & Artists Summer Arts program, 2007. Currently writing and gardening on Chestnut Pinto Ranch.”
’77 HONORING VETERANS Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, senior military officer in Alaska, was the featured speaker at the University’s annual Veterans Day ceremony on Thursday, November 11, 2010, at the Praying Hands memorial. The ceremony, sponsored by the University’s Air Force and Army ROTC programs, recognizes campus members who have served during times of war, including WWII, Korea, and Vietnam veterans. Atkins is commander of Alaskan Command, Alaskan North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, Joint Task Force Alaska, and Eleventh Air Force, with headquarters at Elmendorf Air Force Base. We heard recently from Tom Corti, who writes: “My father, George N. Corti, recently passed away. He was a doctor and a 1941 graduate of UP. At his death I suggested to well wishers that in lieu of flowers the funds go to the Corti Family Scholarship that my father had established at UP. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me or e-mail me. I too am an alumnus (class of 1977) and my father served as the honorary grand marshall at my graduation. I’m also a recipient of the Alumni Association’s Thomas Gearhart Memorial Student Leadership award. (I’m looking at it now on my office wall here in New York.)” Thanks Tom, and our prayers and condolences on your loss. Capt. Lawrence D. Morderosian passed away on April 29 2010, in St. Louis, Mo. A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, Lawrence was a recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart. He served as an agent for the Office of Special Investigations (OSI) with the U.S. Air Force and later operated his own investigations agency. Survivors include his wife, Donna; daughter, Kim; two grandchildren; brother, Ralph; and many nieces and nephews. Our prayers and condolences.
’78 OUR CONDOLENCES John M. Barnes Jr. passed away on September 22, 2010, with his wife and daughters by his side. Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Lynda; daughters, Tracy and Trish; four grandchildren; mother,
N O T E S We were saddened to learn of the death of the one and only Peggy Haggerty ’75, who passed away on Monday, December 6, at her home in Wauwatosa, Wisc. She had received four heart bypasses and a mechanical mitral valve replacement in August and was keeping her many family and friends updated on her progress at www.caringbridge.org/ visit/peggyhaggerty, where more information can be found. Rest in peace, Peggy, we know Heaven now has a new life of the party. Barbara; sister, Jane; and numerous extended family members. Our prayers and condolences to the family. Jim Kopp passed away on August 5, 2010, after a struggle with cancer. Jim served as the director of Aubrey R. Watzek Library at Lewis & Clark College since 1999. He was the director of the PORTALS library consortium and the Clark Memorial Library at the University of Portland from 1994 to 1997, and held numerous additional leadership positions in academic and special libraries during his career. He was a respected scholar in utopian and communal studies, and had recently published Eden Within Eden. He was active in the Oregon Council for the Humanities’ Chautauqua program and lectured at libraries and organizations throughout the state. Survivors include his wife, Sue; daughter, Lucy; sons, Peter and Joe; siblings, Bill, Annabelle, Barb, Irene, and Judy; and many, many friends and colleagues. Our prayers and condolences.
’80 PRAYERS FOR GREG, PLEASE We were shocked to hear of the death of Gregory Scott Hampton on August 4, 2010, after being struck by a car. He died at the scene of the accident with his wife, Kathy, at his side. After earning his degree in electrical engineering Greg went on to work for Hewlett-Packard, spending time in Amsterdam with his
Spring 2011 41
growing family and serving as an unofficial European travel base for friends and family. For at least one of his years on The Bluff, Greg was a long-suffering R.A. in Kenna Hall, a position which tested his limits as a patient, understanding man with better things to do than babysit a bunch of neanderthals, this writer included (Kenna was an all-male dorm at the time). Greg was always cheerful, always fair, always respected by his charges, even if we did cause him a grey hair or two. Survivors include Kathy, his wife of 29 years; children, Max, Sam, Katy, and Kristine; mother, Terese; siblings, Douglas, Anita, Eric, and Teresa; and eight nieces and nephews. Prayers, prayers, prayers please for Greg’s family on their tragic loss. “That has to be Dr. Paul Wack,” writes Jane Harding Pluemke, no doubt in reference to our autumn 2010 mystery faculty photo. And she’s right. “I've got a new job working as a medical technologist at the Legacy Central Lab that I absolutely love,” she goes on. “My youngest child, Jason, just started as a freshman at Corban University; my middle child, afflicted with cerebral palsy (Joe by name) keeps busy with his part-time job at McDonald's and Special Olympics events. The oldest, Suzanne, will start at PCC shortly to pursue becoming a dental assistant. My husband Chester is a farrier (aka horseshoer, and yes, you CAN do that for a living!) keeps busy
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N O T E S cancer. While here on The Bluff she played goalie for the first U.P. women’s soccer team, and loved any and all sports and outdoor activities throughout her life. She married her husband of 28 years, Earl, on October 17, 1982. Survivors include her mother, Adeline; sister, Kathleen (O’Connor) Niehus ’82; three nephews; one niece; and her beloved dog Mindy. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Church of the Good Shepherd. Our prayers and condolences to the family.
spare time, and read a lot. I do plan to travel when I’m feeling well again, and I do miss University life.” Thanks for writing, Debra, we hope you’re well soon and the prayers should arrive in a veritable avalanche before long.
’93 DENNIE GETS AROUND Hey, here’s a photo of Dennie Wendt (with his back standoffishly to the camera) and his kids, Justine and Desmond, 8 and 10, at a soccer match dur-
’86 A GREAT CHOICE
Our very own Kitty Harmon ’98, made a run for the Oregon State House of Representatives, District 44, nominated by both the Republican and Independent parties, in the November 2010 elections. Her campaign slogan: “It Takes a Mom to Clean Up the House.” Ultimately she was unable to unseat incumbent Tina Kotek, but anyone who thinks Kitty won’t give it to you straight doesn’t know her too well. Congratulations on a campaign well run, Kitty. You can check out her YouTube videos at www.KittyForOregon.com. Kitty, of course, has been a program counselor and den mother to countless students in the Shiley School of Engineering since 1993. She is excitedly awaiting the birth of a grandchild (to her son James Tilton ’98) in May 2011. Photo by David Pickett in his spare time volunteering with a local Boy Scout troop. I make a trip to the Bluff at least once a year just to walk into the old Science Hall and breathe deeply the weird aroma of the place—it always takes me back in time to the gloriously wonderful days spent there soaking up knowledge from the likes of Drs. Moore, Houck, and McCoy. I would never have guessed it possible to be so in love with a school; my educational experience there was truly transformational (a nod to Dr. Moore's farewell address), and I value the knowledge and memories of that magical campus and point in time daily.”
’81 DAVE’S LATEST David Van Hoomissen writes: “I love the old photo of my gentle Uncle Paul, better known as Professor Wack, in your autumn 2010 mystery faculty photo feature. My guess doesn't count, of course,
but at least you know that I’m reading each publication. Both my wife and I enjoy Portland Magazine and look forward to its arrival each quarter. Keep up the good work.” Thanks David, and your guess counts as much as anyone’s—your uncle Peter Van Hoomissen ’46 has his guess on page 38. Richard Keegan writes: “I'm working part time as a family nurse practitioner in a Sacramento clinic. I have one more year to go at the University of San Francisco and then I should have my doctorate of nursing practice degree. I still teach part time at California State University, Sacramento. Cheers and keep warm, I’m looking forward to reunion in June 2011, my 30th! Whew! Time does fly by!” That it does, Richard, that it does.
’85 PRAYERS, PLEASE Joanne O’Connor-Rowell passed away on September 7, 2010, due to complications from
Julie (Hannon) Johnson has been named as principal of Holy Cross School in North Portland, according to pastor Rev. John Wironen, C.S.C. She had been teaching fourth grade at the time of the appointment. Before that she taught for nine years in public school in St .Helens; after graduating from The Bluff in 1986 she went to law school and worked as an attorney with Multnomah County. She and her husband Greg are parishioners at Holy Cross and their twins are third graders at the school. Air Force colonel Gregory E. Schwab has assumed command of the 95th Air Base Wing at Edwards Air Force Base in Rosamond, Calif., the second largest base in the Air Force. As commander, Schwab is responsible for operating the air base’s infrastructure, communication systems, security operations, medical and fire protection services, transportation systems, supply lines, financial management, contracting operations, legal services, personnel and manpower support, housing, education, chapel and quality-oflife programs.
’89 KEEP ’EM FLYING! Steven Metschan was the subject of “Portland-born man aims high to keep U.S. space program in orbit,” a story by Margie Boule in the March 15, 2009 Sunday Oregonian. Metschan, a former Boeing engineer, founded TeamVision in 1997 with a grant from NASA and now works tirelessly as an advocate for the U.S. Space program. We heard recently from Debra Parsons, who writes: “I have an M.M.Ed. from the University. I will miss Roger Doyle. I am seriously ill and cannot work at this time, so I would certainly appreciate prayers from any and all alumni. I write poetry and give music lessons in my
ing a little thing called the World Cup last summer in Africa. We heard recently from Stephanie Evans-Wondra, who writes: “First off let me give a bit of back story. Laurie Marbas and I roomed together during our freshman and sophomore years at UP. We still stay in contact, and I wanted to let you know what an amazing woman she is. Laurie has three great kids and a wonderful husband, and decided some time ago that she really needed to follow her passion and become a doctor. She just finished serving four years in the Air Force with one or two trips overseas to serve her country. She is a published author with a book or two under her belt (they are used as study aids); she is a contributing author for Lance Armstrong's Livestrong website; and has her own blog. She is awesome and just an all-around hard worker and great Christian woman. She is back to civilian life and works in a family practice in Rifle, Colorado.” Thanks for the tip, Stephanie, we expect great things from Laurie.
’94 ESTEBAN’S UPDATE Esteban Delgadillo writes: “I just learned that Brian Doyle has a new book out and we will be looking forward to reading it. My wife Jennifer and I read Portland Magazine every issue and love it. It has been a long time since I have been to campus. My five kids are keeping me from socializing too much. My oldest is in high school and I am now an
C L A S S associate principal at Hudson’s Bay High School in Vancouver. My wife is a school librarian at Franklin Elementary. The kids trickle down to 1 year old from 14. We live a quiet (well, not with all those kids) suburban life in Vancouver but still keep track of our Pilots; it’s great to see the Pilot men back in the rankings.”
’96 GONE MUCH TOO SOON Kenneth Wicher passed away on July 10, 2010, as a result of head injuries sustained in an accidental fall. Ken played baseball at U.P., becoming an all-conference player, team captain, and MVP while earning his degree in business. He moved back to Portland in 2007 to take a position with Adidas. Survivors include his former wife, Angela; children, Brock, Ashley, and Eva; parents, Gordon and Sandi; sister, Julie; and a large extended family. Our prayers and condolences to the family. Rev. Dan Parrish, C.S.C., was featured on the back cover of the October 2010 issue of the Knights of Columbus Magazine, according to the ever-vigilant Rev. Ed Obermiller, C.S.C.
’97 OOOOH...AHHHH... Bob Kessi has wonderful news to share: “Hi Everyone! Emily Lynn Kessi entered the world on Monday, August 9, at 8 lbs.
7 oz., 20 inches long and ready to go! Everyone’s doing great and she's busy training us.”
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food as well, featuring dishes my father made at our Swiss restaurant in Honolulu. Aloha!” Find out more at www.martinsswissdressing.co m/cafe.html. Prayers, please, for Erzsebet Eppley, whose father, Joseph Boczki, passed away on August 17, 2010. Survivors include his wife Erzsebet and son Joseph. Our prayers and condolences to the family.
’99 BABIES, BABIES, EVERYWHERE! Jennifer (Anthony) Vasicek writes: “Just wanted to let everyone know that Joe ’01 and I are proud parents of a new son! Desmond Anthony Vasicek (pictured below) was born at 5:51 p.m. on June 27,
2010. He weighed 9 lbs 15 oz and was the biggest baby born at St. Vincent that day. We are very proud of this little guy and think he's pretty darn cute. Here’s a photo; what do you think?” Thanks Jen, congratulations to you and Joe, and you definitely know a cute baby when you see one. And speaking of cute babies: Julia (Beckner) Covert and her husband, blubbering new firsttime Dad and class notes editor Marc Covert ’93, welcomed little Oliver James Covert (pictured below) to the world on Sunday, December 12, at 12:12 a.m. (12/12 at 12:12 for you numerologists). He weighed 9 lbs., 9 oz. and was
’98 SWISS DELIGHTS Jennie Wyss writes: “Hi, I have been meaning to write to the alumni office about a new restaurant we opened called Cafe Hibiscus. The name is a little misleading; it is a Swiss Cafe and restaurant off of NE Alberta. I was born and raised in Honolulu but my father is from Switzerland and was a chef in Honolulu. I never imagined having a cafe and cooking Swiss food but it all fell into place and now my nursing and massage careers are on hold for a while. It started because we were manufacturing my Dad’s Swiss salad dressing; the space we found on Alberta street allowed for more than just manufacturing so we decided to serve a little
21 inches long. “Little Ollie is the sweetest boy ever, even if I may be a bit biased,” according to Julia. “Marcus and Oliver and I just love being a family.” At last check Oliver was up to 13 lbs., 8 oz. You can hear that kid grow. We heard recently from Rusty and Maria Williford: “After four-plus eventful years
Film Producer—that was the calling card for Melissa Marsland ’01 for twenty years. She helped create Blashfield Studios, made some of the first MTV music videos (featuring the Talking Heads, Joni Mitchell, and Paul Simon), won Emmys, produced shows for Sesame Street. But eventually money and power jostled aside art and passion for her, and “I looked around for what had been an ongoing passion in my life: Spanish had always been a passion…” She moved to Oaxaca for a year, teaching English, soaking up Spanish, and then earned her master’s in teaching on The Bluff. She started teaching in 2001, and this afternoon she is gently corralling her second-year Spanish class at Roosevelt High, Portland’s most diverse high school. Two-thirds of its 750 students get free or reduced meals; many are foster children, homeless, have gang connections, and are of Hispanic, Hmong, Tongan, Somali, Russian, and Asian descent, among many other ancestries. The last few years have been rocky for Roosevelt: after splitting into three small “academies” to comply with the No Child Left Behind Act, it is transitioning back to one school because it is the city’s only school in President Barack Obama’s education reform program, Race to the Top. Marsland’s classes are now much bigger (150 students a week), and she’s shifted away from grammar and more toward oral storytelling. “It’s more natural learning for language,” Marsland says, and her students were ready and willing. And how lucky that their teacher has been a nationally renowned professional storyteller for many years… —Amanda Waldroupe of working in the Pentagon, the Air Force is graciously sending me to Oregon State University to get my Ph.D. in nuclear engineering,” writes Rusty. “Our time in the nation's capital was wonderful, mainly because of the addition of our two kids, Brooke
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and Austin, who were both born at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. We are very excited to move back to Oregon to be closer to family and friends, not to mention beginning a new challenge.” Thanks for writing, Rusty, and welcome
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’02 PLAYING CLEAN
We have yet to be able to pull one over on our alumni when it comes
Bryan Dearinger, a trial attorney with the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., was recently awarded the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of General Counsel 2010 Bronze Medal for Commendable Service. Bryan earned the award for the results obtained as lead counsel for the EPA in two cases involving the city and county of Honolulu’s wastewater treatment plants. He is also one of a handful of attorneys to receive the Department of Justice Civil Division Outstanding Mentor Award for 2010. Meagan Perjessy Hare and husband Gavin Gabriel Hare ’01 welcomed their first baby boy, Callahan Hare, on April 30, 2010.
to mystery faculty/staff photos, and the autumn 2010 issue was no exception. Many of you wrote in to guess (correctly) that the dashing young professor in that issue was retired physics professor Paul Wack, and while you were at it, you had lots of nice things to say about him. He definitely made a good impression in his many years on The Bluff. This time we’re featuring a photo of a former student who went on to join the University staff in 1997 and has enlivened and brightened the campus ever since,
’03 BRAD’S BLOGS
doing just what and in which office we shan’t say, since that would be too easy. The way she handles that saxophone should speak volumes of her musical prowess, which is nothing short of astounding, and we’ll leave it at that. Best guesses to mcovert @up.edu. back to Oregon. The Willifords sent a picture of Brooke and Austin, below. Boy, those are two cute kids.
Green Jr. ’01 and Kimberly Green ’98, for the loss of thier mother, Lillian V. Green, on August 20, 2010. Survivors also include Lillian’s husband, Charles Green; sons, Michael, Solomon, George, and Daniel; and daughters Allegra Lillian, and Tamar. Our prayers and condolences to the family.
’01 HELLO, PEYTON & DREW!
Cathrina Pereira Speer passed away on August 5 2009, at her home in Portland, Ore. Survivors include the love of her life, husband Eric Speer; children, Erica (6) and River (2), and her parents, Barbara and Delano Pereiera; and brother, Andrew Printha. Our prayers and condolences to the family.
’00 REMEMBER THE GREENS Prayers, please, for Sarah Green and her siblings, Charles
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Holly Crace Briscoe and her husband Schuyler Briscoe just welcomed their first baby girl: Peyton Betty Briscoe. Congratulations on the new addition to your family, Holly. Heather (Lingbloom) Skene just welcomed her second child, a healthy baby boy, Drew Thomas Skene, just two days before their daughter Isla Ryan Skene turned two. Sara Moran practices physical therapy in Spokane, Wash., and married Robert Kenney in July 2010 in Sandpoint, Idaho. Five of her seven bridesmaids were friends from U.P.
Brad Myers has a blog at http://mynotesfromthefield.b logspot.com/ and another at www.mercycorps.org/bradmyers/blog; be sure to check in and follow his adventures as he serves overseas with Mercy Corps and, most recently, living at Shakespeare and Co. bookstore in Paris. “No idea if any of this could morph into something befitting of your magazine,” he writes, “but I thought at the very least they might give you an idea of what this long lost pilgrim is up to these days.” Casey White writes: “I’m the communications coordinator/ PIO for the Umatilla-Morrow Education Service District (ESD) in Pendleton, Ore., where I’ve worked since 2006. Since then, my little department of one (me) has grown into a department of seven, providing public relations, marketing, graphic design, web design, and video communication services to school districts, government agencies, and non-profits. My boyfriend of seven years and I went through a life-changing experience this past May when he was severely burned by an exploding propane-assisted fireplace. He received second-degree burns over 48 percent of his body and spent three weeks in the Oregon Burn Center. Thanks to the prayers, love, and support from our friends and family, he’s recovering and we’ve been able to get back into some form of normalcy back home in Pendleton.” Thanks for writing, Casey, we’ll keep both of you in our thoughts and prayers. Cameron and Ali (Boesenberg) Jackson welcomed Aubrey
Paige to the world on January 9, 2010. “It has been a year full of babies,” writes Cameron, “we became parents and an aunt and uncle (Aubrey’s first three cousins were born this year) over 10 months.” Congratulations, Cameron and Ali (and Aubrey)!
’04 WELCOME BACK! David and Stacey ’05 Sheridan moved back to Portland after David graduated medical school in Wisconsin. He matched for residency at Oregon Health and Science University in pediatrics. Stacey accepted a job at St. Vincent's hospital in the adult medical/ surgical ICU after working in the neuro ICU in Wisconsin for the past five years. They bring with them their two beautiful daughters, Brooke (3 yrs.) and Katelyn (18 mo.).
’06 AN AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST Ben McCarty writes: “After writing for The Beacon for three years, I took a job as sports editor at the Hood River News in Hood River and have been there ever since. Over the summer I received an award for first place, best feature from the Society of Professional Journalists Oregon-Southwest Washington Chapter. The award was for a story I wrote about a local woman discovering her father's history in WWII. It can be viewed online here: www.hoodrivernews.com/Ne ws%20stories/2009/030_news _kaleidoscope.htm.” Thanks Ben, and congratulations on your award. Not much escapes the attention of Rev. Art Wheeler, C.S.C., who writes: “Nicole Chalupa (Fulbright winner to Germany) married Andrew Czisny on August 14, 2010 in the Chapel of Christ the Teacher. I presided. The bride’s sister Julianne Hesterberg ’04, also recently married, also graduated from U.P. Julianne is now doing her residency. The bride’s mother Anne ’78 and uncle Stu Watson ’73 also went to Salzburg. Also at the wedding: David ’07 and Nicole ’07 Auxier, Valerie Watrous, who is now working in the computer game industry, Stephanie Ritter ’07, and Susan Tower. Music was provided by Maureen Briare ’92, who was celebrating her 17th wedding anniversary on the same day. Also doing music: Ernest Yago ’97 and Jeanette (Heli) Ehmke ’00.”
’06 WEDDING BELLS Andi Ham married Tyler Sanborn ’08 on July 17, 2010,
C L A S S at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Portland. The reception was at Holy Names Heritage Center in Lake Oswego. We had U.P. alumni spanning the years 2006 to 2010 in attendance. To give you an update on our lives, Tyler completed undergraduate pilot training with the U.S. Air Force, earning the Distinguished Graduate award. He will be flying C-17s out of McChord Air Force Base in Tacoma, Wash. Last year, I earned my CPA license and continue to work at Ernst & Young in Portland. We plan to attend the reunion in 2011.” Thanks Andi, and congratulations on your marriage.
’08 A TALENTED YOUNG MAN Mohammad Hassan Alwan has entered a Ph.D. program in Ottawa, Canada, according to U.P. business professor Howard Feldman. “I wrote a letter of recommendation for him and as a gesture of thanks he sent me a book entitled Beirut 39,” writes Howard. “Mohammad is one of the featured writers in the book, contributing a short story, ‘Haneef from Glasgow.’ He has also published two novels and a collection of short stories and is quite a talented young man, helping to run a family business, writing for a newspaper, and other pursuits.” Thanks Howard, and good luck to Mohammad, who is clearly going places.
Valerie Silliman writes: “I've left Portland for graduate school at the University of Chicago, working on a master of arts in social service administration. Since graduating with a degree in English I've served at the Downtown Chapel Roman Catholic Parish as the Br. Andre Fellow and then at the Macdonald Center and Residence as the activities director for adults with disabilities. I also have news for some of my classmates and friends who might not tell on themselves: Anne Richards finished her library science degree and is working for a parish as a youth minister and as the head librarian at a school for orphans in South Carolina. Megan Duley returned from a year-long tour with the Army in Iraq. And my good friend Kelsey Davis is here in the Windy City as well; she plays for WPS in Chicago as well as going on a mission trip to Kenya and being involved with Green Laces. She will begin her second season here in spring.”
’09 A MAN BORN TO SERVE Prayers, please, for John Aylor on the loss of his father, Floyd I Aylor, on August 7, 2010. Charles was a well-known man in Dundee, Ore., where he served as mayor; Newburg, where he was president of the Rotary; and in the larger community, thanks to his service
Waaaaay back in October we heard from Ben Hays ’02, who had this to say for himself: “A new present is coming this Christmas. The tallest little man in Taiwan...let the fun begin!” We’ll just let the photo he sent of himself (and wife Shuyi Hsieh) speak for itself. Hey Ben, how about an update? We got our update, actually: “Our son, Leonard Hays, was born on Dec. 26, a little late for Christmas but a welcome gift nonetheless. It’s been a very exciting and tiring month, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
N O T E S Well, we all hoped it wouldn’t happen, but Rev. Chester Prusynski, C.S.C., left his beloved University of Portland to move to Holy Cross House in Notre Dame, Ind., on August 24, 2010. He handled it as cheerfully as he could, much more cheerfully than those of us who love him did, which was not cheerfully at all, more like tearfully, really, now that we think of it. But Fr. Pru is all settled in and has let it be known he would loooove to hear from his many friends, who are welcome to write him at Holy Cross House, PO Box 1048, Notre Dame, IN 46556-1048. “We are having very bad weather and I hardly leave the house,” he wrote recently. “I hope spring will be a joy.” on the committee of ministers for Presbytery of the Cascades for the Presbyterian Church. Survivors also include his brothers, John and Robert; sister, Mary Ann Jenkins; and his Corps of Cadets brother and best friend, Dr. Robert B. Pamplin, Jr. Our prayers and condolences to Floyd’s family, friends, and community.
’10 ONWARD AND UPWARD We got a note from Andy Matarrese, who writes: “I've been accepted to Northwestern! Classes started in January 2011.” You haven’t heard the last of the ridiculously talented Andy Matarrese, mark our words. Molly Thivierge writes: “I got a job at The eventBuilders in SE Portland as a project coordinator. Caitlin MacMillen in UP’s alumni relations office referred me, and I started on September 13. It’s a fabulous job with fabulous people, and I think it will be a great fit.” Gina Stack has joined La Salle Catholic College Preparatory School’s advancement office team as an advancement assistant. Stack was a student worker in our development office, raising more than $25,000 as a TOP caller for the annual fund. We heard recently from Christy Clute-Reinig, mother of Zachary Clute-Reining: “We have a son who graduated from
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UP in the spring and we certainly do enjoy receiving the Portland magazine. Both Zachary and his girlfriend Emily Sorenson have been chosen as Teach for America corps members, quite an accomplishment if you read the statistics on corps members. They are (amazingly) both teaching at the same school in rural Louisiana. I thought it may make for an interesting article, not just because it is my son, but because the excellent education at UP undoubtedly played a major role in Zachary and Emily’s accomplishments.” Two recent UP graduates are serving through Jesuit Volunteer Corps: Rachel Jones is serving at the New York City AIDS Housing Network, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Laura Masterson is working with the YWCA in El Paso, Texas.
’12 SAD NEWS Please keep current student Kevin Duffy-Greaves in your prayers following the death of his mother, Sandra Noreen Duffy, on October 2, 2010. Sandy had a 23-year career as a highly respected attorney with Multnomah County Counsel. Survivors besides Kevin include her husband, Robert; children, John, Terry, Michel, and Greg Hart; seven grandchildren; her mother, two sisters, and three brothers. Our prayers and condolences.
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We heard recently from Rev. James Gallagher, C.S.C., who writes: “Greetings from South Bend. Recently, four of our guys professed their first vows in Colorado, one of whom, Nick Senz, is a U.P. grad. I gathered up all the U.P. alumni who were there and took a picture, in case you would be interested in such a thing. So here are Jessica (Gaston) Supinski ’08, Will Supinski ’06, Nick Senz, C.S.C. ’06, and Paul Senz ’10.” Fr. Gallagher is director of the Office of Vocation for the Congregation of Holy Cross. PICKING ALUMNI BRAINS Here’s a question for U.P. alumni, most likely those from the 1960s and 1970s. In Jim Covert’s 1976 University history, A Point of Pride, he writes on page 259 in Chapter 7: “...local pubs, such as the TRoom, Don and Pat’s, and The Zero Inn served as popular watering holes for students.” The T-Room we know quite well, and it buzzes with activity on North Lombard to this day, as it always has and seemingly always will. Don and Pat’s we remember as well; located a few blocks east of the T-Room on Lombard, it was sold in the early 1980s and was renamed Bubba’s Inn, a small, dingy, friendly place with shuffleboard, cheap beer, and mind-numbing gutbomb burgers. Sadly, a Taco Bell parking lot now besmirches the ground upon which Don and Pat’s/Bubba’s once stood. But the Zero Inn? Nobody around here remembers anything about the Zero Inn. Where was it? What happened to it? What was it like? Please enlighten us by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
FACULTY, STAFF, FRIENDS Barrett MacDougall passed away on April 24, 2010, in
Portland, Ore. A longtime Pilot women’s soccer fan, Barrett was a college instructor and economic development specialist for many years, and retired from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality in 2000. Survivors include his former wife and close friend, Meg Lynch; and the extended Lynch family, not to mention family members in British Columbia, other parts of Canada, and Australia. Remembrances may be made to St. Vincent de Paul, Oregon Food Bank, or the University of Portland women’s soccer program. Our prayers and condolences to the family. Longtime University friend Harriett LaVonne Sully passed away on July 31, 2010, in Vancouver, Wash. Survivors include her husband, Gordon (“Gordie” to just about everyone), son Jay, and sister-inlaw Phyllis. Preceding her in death were her brother, John Robertson; and son, the oneand-only John “Johnny Rotten” Sully. Our prayers and condolences to the family. Roy Lehman, who worked for 33 years in the University’s maintenance (now physical plant) department, passed away on September 22, 2010.
N O T E S He worked here from September 2, 1969 to July 12, 2002. Roy served as a paratrooper in World War II, earning two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star. During his time on The Bluff, Roy made it his life’s mission to keep all campus cars, buses, vans, lawnmowers, tractors, and other mechanical devices running, never mind their various ages or states of deterioration. The Holy Cross priests and brothers in particular depended on Roy to keep them mobile, a job he shouldered cheerfully and faithfully. Survivors include his daughter, Penny Kellogg; granddaughters, Jodi Gilliam and Amy Esnard; brother, Don Lehman; sister, Naoma Edel; stepdaughters; a stepson, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome to Hospice of Redmond or Sisters. Our prayers and condolences to the family. Sandra Tierney (Harris) Stanley passed away on November 15, 2010. She taught in the University’s School of Education until 1997 and most recently worked as a curriculum consultant at the Donald E. Long Juvenile Correctional Facility in Portland. Survivors include her husband, Kenneth; daughters, Karlyn Byham and Mary Tierney; and three grandchildren. Our prayers and condolences. Norma (Schiffer) Wilson passed away on May 20, 2010, at the age of 85. Norma and her family spent many years
as University of Portland neighbors; Norma often took on major sewing projects for the University as well as her family and friends. Survivors include her children, Robert, Steven, and Susan; two grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Our prayers and condolences to the family. Frances Claire Avina, wife of legendary Pilot basketball coach Jack Avina, passed away on September 21, 2010. Claire and Jack were married for 57 years after meeting as students at San Jose State University. Survivors include Jack and their six children, including Jodelle ’75, Joel ’79, and Michele ’82; thirteen grandchildren; and two greatgrandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations by made to Doctors Without Borders in Claire’s name. Our prayers and condolences to the family. Rev. Harry Bride, C.S.C., passed away on August 8, 2010, at Holy Cross House in Notre Dame, Ind. He was 90 years old. A native Oregonian, he was born in an area called “High Heaven” in the foothills of the coast range in Yamhill County. He completed his freshman year at the University of Portland in 1940 and must have liked what he saw of the Holy Cross life; by the following year he transferred to Holy Cross Seminary at Notre Dame and was ordained to the priesthood in 1949. He then spent 20 years teaching at Notre Dame College in Dacca, East Pakistan, before contracting
Married in December: Pilot soccer assistant coach and former headlong superb midfielder Lisa Sari ’07 and Dominic Chambers, a Gonzaga man, we report with a sigh. The celebrant was former University vice president Father Tom Doyle, C.S.C., much missed on The Bluff since he became a veep at Notre Dame.
Photo by Cori Alexander ’05
C L A S S tuberculosis and returning to Holy Cross House for treatment. He first came to the University of Portland in 1972, teaching business courses and serving as pastor to parishes in Scio, Astoria, and Jefferson, Oregon. From 1978 through 1989 he worked at Portland’s de Paul Center while residing with the community at Holy Cross Court. He was a familiar sight on campus, always cheerful, always tinkering with bicycles, parts of which took up nearly every available space in his apartment. Our prayers and condolences to Fr. Harry’s family and colleagues. Rev. Nicholas R. Ayo, C.S.C., who taught at the University in the 1960s, celebrated his fiftieth anniversary of ordination in April 2010. Rev. William Hund, C.S.C., who taught philosophy on The Bluff from 1971 to 2002, celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood in April 2010. Although retired, Fr. Hund is a familiar sight on campus today, often sitting under the massive oak tree near the Pilot House, conducting philosophical debates with his good friend and colleague Franz Mayr. Rev. John F. Kurtzke, C.S.C., who taught mathematics at the University from 1985 to 2004, celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood in April 2010. Health issues have forced him to retire to Holy Cross House in Notre Dame, Ind.; “I now live in Fatima House,” he writes, “and wait for the next door that God wishes to open for my further service.” We heard recently from Gabriel Boehmer, son of the late Bob Boehmer ’47, who writes: “I think we're close to getting my daughter, Amélie
novel’s setting alone.” Thanks Gabe, we’d be happy to have Bob’s granddaughter carry on the Boehmer legacy here on The Bluff. Barbara Stallcup Miller, who worked at the University for 17 years and began the planned giving program here, was honored by the Northwest Planned Giving Roundtable at the group’s annual conference. She was the third recipient of the Distinguished Service Award given annually to the deserving professional in gift planning that exemplifies outstanding service and leadership to the profession of planned giving. We received the following message from Sir Thompson Faller, of the University’s philosophy department: “Having been at U.P. since the dawn of time, I can easily identify those you honor with ‘Best Guess’ and therefore seldom write. However, I am compelled to write regarding the autumn 2010 honoree. It is Prof. Paul Wack, one of the most learned, humble, gracious, humorous, and prayerful people to ever grace the campus with his presence.” Well said, Thom, and absolutely correct on all counts. Mac Kieffer, who as the owner of Ash Creek Press has been printing the University’s Buckley Gallery announcement cards for the past 20 years, passed away on September 16, 2010. “He was a true University friend,” says Pat Bognar of the performing and fine arts department. “He was so helpful and always did incredible work with our cards. I relied on his talent especially when I began the curator position, and he held my hand trying to help me understand the process of putting the card info together. In his spare time, he was a member of the Sartori Chorus, a group of men who sung for Peace. He had such a wonderful spirit, and so many people will miss that spirit.” Thanks Pat, our prayers and condolences.
Gabrielle Boehmer (pictured above with three explorer types), to sign a letter of commitment to the University of Portland, if there’s a D-1 statue team she can join. I picked up a copy of Brian Doyle’s new novel, Mink River, at the campus bookstore in honor of my dad. He would have given his stamp of approval for the
Dr. George Nicolas Corti ’41, September 3, 2010, Milwaukie, Ore. Colleen Stupfel, wife of Frank J. Stupfel ’44, April 2, 2010, Portland, Ore. Robert Charters ’46, August 15, 2010. Catherine M. O’Donnell O’Keefe ’48, August 2, 2010, Fairview, Ore. Lee Thomas “Tom” Witty ’49, September 9, 2010. Frank E. Taylor ’49, October 10, 2010, Vancouver, Wash.
N O T E S Heartbreaking, that’s the only word we can use to describe the death of Judy Richter, who passed away on November 2, 2010. Judy retired from the University after 24 years of service as an instructional media coordinator on May 31, 2010. She is survived by her sons, Scott and Justin, and her husband, Paul. She had just welcomed her first grandchild, a baby girl, in September. Judy was the daughter of the late Carl Schefsky, who founded and oversaw the University’s Instructional Media Center (IMC) for many years. Please keep Judy and Paul and their family in your thoughts and prayers. Michael W. Tichy ’50, October 31, 2010, Portland, Ore. James Thomas Hartford, M.D., ’51, August 10, 2010, Portland, Ore. Keith Caldwell ’52, January 6, 2010, Fremont, Calif. Kenneth T. Underdahl ’52, ’63, May 24, 2010, Lake Oswego, Ore. Forrest “Frosty” A. Siemroth ’54, August 17, 2010, Coos Bay, Ore. Diane Schafer ’55, September 24, 2010. Theodore Arnold Peterschmidt ’55, October 8, 2010, Silverdale, Wash. Raymond John Arriogotti ’56, May 31, 2010, Portland, Ore. Ferdinand C. Engesser ’56, April 2010, Redwood City, Calif. Harold Kempster ’58, September 21, 2010. Thomas Bricher ’58, September 30, 2010, Salem, Ore. Dr. Loyal Francis Marsh ’59, May 25, 2010, San Jose, Calif. Jack Gene McMurtry, husband of DeAnn McMurtry ’59, August 5, 2010, Crescent City, Calif. Madalene Bregante ’60, May 1, 2010. Sharon Binder, wife of Charles Binder ’63, August 23, 2010. Jack J. Allen, husband of Diana Allen ’64, July 22, 2010. Thomas B. Montgomery, father of Suzanne Montgomery ’67, May 2010. Kathleen Ann Crater, wife of Robert Crater ’68, September 17, 2010, Portland, Ore. Charlotte Mae (Clapper) Pollreisz, mother of Terry Pollreisz ’69, January 14, 2011.
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Mary Lou Kurt ’71, August 31, 2010. Peggy Haggerty ’75, December 6, 2010, Wauwatosa, Wisc. Capt. Lawrence D. Morderosian ’77, April 29, 2010, St. Louis, Mo. John M. Barnes ’78, September 22, 2010. Jim Kopp ’78, August 5, 2010. Gregory Scott Hampton ’80, August 4, 2010. Joanne O’Connor-Rowell ’85, September 7, 2010. Kenneth Wicher ’96, July 10, 2010. Joseph Boczki, father of Erzebet Eppley ’98, August 17, 2010. Cathrina Pereira Speer ’99, august 5, 2009, Portland, Ore. Lillian V. Green, mother of Sarah Green ’00, August 20, 2010. Floyd I. Aylor, father of John Aylor ’09, August 7, 2010. Sandra Noreen Duffy, mother of Kevin Duffy ’12, October 2, 2010. Barrett McDougal, April 24, 2010, Portland, Ore. Harriett LaVonne Sully, July 31, 2010, Vancouver, Wash. Roy Lehman, September 22, 2010. Sandra Tierney (Harris) Stanley, November 15, 2010. Norma (Schiffer) Wilson, May 20, 2010. Frances Claire Avina, wife of Jack Avina, mother of Jodelle ’75, Joel ’79, Michele ’82, September 21, 2010. Rev. Harry Bride, C.S.C., August 8, 2010 Notre Dame, Ind. Judy Richter, November 2, 2010.
L E S S
T R A V E L L E D
January 7, 2011, 3:32 p.m., outside the University’s Chiles Center. The University was honored to host the memorial service for Ralph Painter, chief of police in Rainier, Oregon, who was killed apprehending a thief. Young Riley Painter holds the flag that draped his dad’s coffin. Our prayers for him and his six brothers and sisters and their mom and all the men and women who protect and defend us.
R O A D S
Boy, here’s a great Campaign story: John Beckman ’42, the quiet courtly genius who invented superspeed cameras (here in the woods of Oregon in 1936), and his gracious wife Patricia, having been engaged with the University for many years, saw how the cheerful efficient Bill Reed ’72 totally takes care of every and any event on campus without the slightest flap or fuss, and the Beckmans wanted to honor and celebrate Bill, and hold him up as an example of deft creative patient grace, so they gave us $100,000 to start The Bill Reed Scholarship, which (a) will directly help students and (b) always sing a terrific pillar of the University’s life. Now isn’t that cool? That’s what the Campaign’s about — grace and creativity and respect and reverence and helping students. C’mon — jump in. Call Monica Long, 503.943.7971, email@example.com.
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THE GLORIOUS GRIDIRON
PILOT FOOTBALL, PART ONE The gridiron game was played on The Bluff even before the University was born, in 1901; the “Portland University” team fielded by the short-lived Methodist college that built Waldschmidt Hall won the Oregon college state title in 1894, beating both the University of Oregon and “Oregon Agricultural College,” which would change its name to Oregon State University in 1961. The University of Portland’s football teams played many games against Oregon State before the demise of the Pilot program in 1949, and the two universities still tilt annually in various sports. We note happily that both the Beavers’ baseball and women’s soccer coaches are Pilot alumni – Pat Casey ’80 and Linus Rhode ’96, respectively. Casey’s two-time national champs are on The Bluff for a game on April 5 – see portlandpilots.com for tickets and information.
University of Portland's quarterly magazine featuring "The Thaw" by Brian Doyle; "Things Seen & Unseen" by Lawrence Cunningham; "The Hope of...
Published on Mar 28, 2011
University of Portland's quarterly magazine featuring "The Thaw" by Brian Doyle; "Things Seen & Unseen" by Lawrence Cunningham; "The Hope of...