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Volunteers bring the fun to Alumni Weekend 2014

July 23, 2014

  • Joe Mitter at the Class of '74 Reunion.

Volunteers Katie Weil Byrnes BA ’79, Maggie Koening Englund BA ’79, and Joe Mitter BA ’74, share their memorable moments from Alumni Weekend 2014. Read on—it sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Then learn more about attending or volunteering for your class reunion. 

Why did you decide to volunteer for your reunion at Lewis & Clark?

Englund: I live in Portland and have just naturally kept in contact with Lewis & Clark.  The alumni office makes it easy to volunteer. 

Mitter:  To encourage others to come who I wanted to see.

Byrnes: I wanted to reconnect with my classmates and I had enjoyed volunteering with Lewis & Clark staff members for previous events. 

What is the most memorable moment you had at a reunion?

Englund: Reconnecting with friends I hadn’t seen in a long time.

Mitter: Singing in the dorm with folks late Saturday night.

Were there any formative experiences, courses, or faculty that helped shape the path you took after graduating?  

Englund: Education courses with professors John Richards, Zaher Wahab, and Vern Jones made me first consider becoming an educator.

Mitter: While my most of my working life has not been in theater, I used the same organizational skills as a director to have a career as a project manager. A variety of professors were key to developing a process of critical thinking and problem solving.

Byrnes: John Richards, an education professor, fanned the flames of my passion for teaching. He taught great teaching methods because he was an amazing professor.

What do you think surprised your classmates about what you’ve done with your life since graduation?  

Englund: I’ve taken service trips to Kenya, Africa.

Byrnes: I’ve recently taken up horse show jumping—it’s a challenging and rewarding sport.

What do you think makes Lewis & Clark special and inspires you to stay connected?

Englund: The emphasis on not just academics, but relationships, educating the whole person, and caring faculty and administrators (former Director of Campus Life Michael Ford comes to mind). The current alumni office also understands that it’s relationships that count.

Mitter: A smaller school with the chance to have formed lasting bonds and connections.

Byrnes: One of my college roommates is my best friend, and I treasure my connections with her and all of my college friends.  I stay connected because I want to honor the professors who shaped how I taught in my classroom, the lessons I learned about myself while on the Turkey overseas program, and the lifelong skills of learning to achieve whatever goals I set for myself.

If an alumnus is trying to decide whether or not they should attend reunion, what would you say to him or her?

Englund: It’s a blast! Seeing old friends and picking up where you left off is easy given the shared experiences we had as students.

Mitter: Maintaining and creating connections with people is a very important part of life. The era reunion setting allows for reconnection with old friends, and new connections with folks you didn’t know in college, but who have a common background and point of reference.

Byrnes: Go! Go for the connections you already have to the college, for the connections you will make with other alumni attending reunion, and the connections with older and younger alumni and current students. Go to develop a deeper knowledge of the college, and learn what is happening on campus now.