Messages of Resilience
Via this communication, we asked alumni and friends to write messages of resilience to incoming, current and graduating students. Here are the fantastic responses we received:
Lisamarie Westengard BS ’82
“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” This wonderful quote by Horace Mann (the founder of public education in our country) has been my life mission since graduating from L&C – for years it was posted in my classroom for students to ponder their value to mankind. Remember that a victory for humanity does not mean that you will come up with a cure for cancer or be a renown philanthropist, it means that each day you are a bringing light to the life of another human being and loving yourself as well.
When my existence began at Lewis and Clark in 1978, I had never lived in the United States before. I was a third culture kid who had grown up in Asia, the daughter of a diplomat who only looked and spoke like an American; my heart was that of a foreigner. My father had selected this beautiful small college because he knew that I would’ve been overwhelmed by the size and impersonalness of a large university. My culture shock prompted me to seek out an oversees study program immediately— and!!! I went on the L&C Portugal trip as a Freshman. I was joyously back “in my element”. I am grateful for my four years in Portland, being nurtured in such a beautiful learning environment!
Memory: I had two favorite professors! William Stafford was still teaching poetry- unbelievably lovely man with such a brilliant perspective on writing and words. I feel so blessed to have been in his classes- took every single one he offered. The other professor was Norman Paasche- I loved calligraphy and he was such a perfectionist!
Advice: My advice in these times- Be well, be bold, be you!
You will succeed where your heart really dwells.
Hunter Meece BA ’15
Use this time to start or keep doing yoga!
I was a religious studies major that spent as much time as I could in the Entrepreneurship Center. Whenever I wasn’t working on some new idea and reading an esoteric book for homework, I was trying to get to the coast for a surf. I studied abroad in Ecuador and then spent a few months in Peru exploring and surfing.
Memory: I may or may not have streaked across the stage at a percussion recital in Evans Music Center.
Carl Guess BA ’85
The promised work has disappeared, the way forward is foggy, and feelings of fear and anxiety crop up like weeds in a garden. For the record, I’m talking about me. It’s not a new sensation: I felt the same way after the dot.com bust, 9/11, and Great Recession. Yet each of those experiences always brought with it two things: an ability to recover faster from the initial shock and a new path on which I could make my way forward. Helping to light my path right now is this phrase: it’s all about you…and it’s not all about you. You can’t deny what you’re experiencing – nor should you. Your circumstances are shaping you in ways you may not see for some time. Don’t make the mistake of denying that reality. Tend to yourself as you would a dear friend. Now, at the same time, look up and realize it’s not all about you. The things that brought you to today are unchanged. The core truths you hold dear are still there. The shoulders of the giants on which you stood to reach new heights are as solid as ever. If it feels hard right now, say so out loud and without apology. Then use what has brought you to this time and place to find a new way forward. Look for the path. I promise, it’s there.
John Stadter BA ’79
First of all Congratulations! You have completed a life changing experience that has prepared you for the next step in your journey. It is unfortunate that your college experience has ended the way it has but the disappointment will fade and the satisfaction of a job well done will endure. I am the first in my family to graduate college. As graduation day grew near I was so looking forward to sharing it with my parents. We had plans for a brunch with some of my friends and their parents and a grand dinner after the ceremony. But it was not to be, my Dad was taken ill and was in the hospital on graduation day. I visited him in the hospital and then went to graduation full of disappointment and worry. My parents have long since passed away but when I think of graduation day now I only remember how proud they were of me and how they believed I could accomplish anything I set my mind to do. In the long run the fact we didn’t get to celebrate did not diminish what was accomplished.
Kaleb Aronson BA ’13
Hello fellow Pio, I wish I was connecting with you under different circumstances. With any kind of change there is always grief. There is so much to grieve right now. We’ve lost concrete things already and more may be on the way. The uncertainty can be overwhelming. Inside of the uncertainty and grief, know that this won’t last forever. Know that we have an opportunity to make true, lasting, just changes to our world, to ourselves, and how we move through it. Know that during this time I’m with you in your grief and in your hope.
Major: I was a Religious Studies major, English minor, RA, Campus Living intern, and a leader in Agape. I’m a queer transgender person (they/them/theirs).
Stuart Lindquist BA ’57 - ’59
Keep a smile on your face, work hard, and you will succeed.
Memory: Good teachers. Went out of their way to help. I placed my fraternity pin on my girlfriend at Stewart Hall.
Chris Bailey BA ’08
“Resilience stems from hardship, and perhaps loss, but it is rooted in a desire to continue to survive, even thrive, and it is even better when that survival is nurtured by the collective support of others.” – John Baldoni. We are here with you. We will get through this together.
Lee Weinstein BA ’81
There is lots of great life ahead! The world needs you and you will change the world. Do what you are passionate about. I’m impressed by the caliber of people entering pubic service – smarter than ever.
Extracurriculars: Served as ASLC Senator, Vice President and President.
Memory: Jack Crampton was one of the toughest professors at Lewis & Clark who challenged us all to think harder and do better than we ever thought possible. He made us sweat and talked so fast trying to get out all he had to teach. “Faster, faster,” he’d end each class as he had more to tell next class. He also talked about “top of the greasy flagpole-ism.” Let us never forget! Faster! Faster!
Jessica Sweeney, Program Director and Executive Assistant to the Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students
The most challenging times in one’s life often result in increased strength, resilience, and creativity, for it is when things are difficult that we are forced to draw upon aspects of ourselves that, previously, may have been invisible to us. For example, in times of duress, people who had never previously imagined themselves to be a leader may find themselves in a situation where they must take command of a situation in order to effect a positive change because circumstances demand it. That is the moment we are in right now. The creativity, ingenuity, and resilience that I have witnessed in you indicates that we are collectively headed toward a promising future that will benefit from the innovation, passion, determination, and courage that are inspired by this moment. I wish those of you that are graduating an exciting, fulfilling and meaningful life after college. For those of you returning in the fall, I look forward to seeing you, engaging with you, and working together with you.
Jan Etzold BA ‘80
Life favors the tenacious and the adaptable. These particularly interesting times make those qualities especially important. Be creative about maintaining and expanding your contact list. Be disciplined about a routine that includes writing and thinking. Clean out your junk drawers both physically and emotionally. The refreshed, inspired person that you will bring to our future world will be worth all the work and waiting. Until then, love the ones you are with.
Memory: So many happy L&C memories, “country club” days on lower campus, organ concerts in the chapel and meeting people who have become lifelong friends. I was a business major during the heady days of Pierce, Bates, and Egan all titans in their fields before coming to L&C to teach. Outside my major I took classes from John Richards in the education dept. His “ask questions” and “if you can dream it, you can do it” teaching inspired us all to reach for the highest star and follow our passions.
Bill Powell BA ’82
Despite everything that’s happening, try not to worry too much. This will pass, and things will get better. I was a history major, and history teaches perspective. Our country and the world have survived far worse (imagine living in England in 1940-41). Heck, think of what the Lewis and Clark expedition endured! Stay positive, and help others less fortunate than yourself. Bring a neighbor flowers or food, donate money to a food pantry if you can, and reach out to an old friend to see how they are doing. Exercise or meditate. Go for walks and enjoy nature. Be kind, and be grateful for all that you have. Eat healthy food, and don’t forget to laugh!
Memory: Favorite Professors: Richard Rohrbaugh and Eldon Fix. I took a running course (full credit!) my freshman year. Favorite memories: trips to Mt. Hood and the Coast; seeing Eric Clapton and The Dead in Portland.
Hongda Jiang BA ’08
Your first job out of undergrad won’t be your last job. So for those who didn’t get exactly what they want, don’t fret too much. And for those who did, don’t be too complacent.
Majors: IA & Foreign Languages; overseas program: Vladivostok
Activities/affiliations: Model UN, gaming club, IA Symposium, ISLC, TCK
Memory: During my overseas studies program in Vladivostok, I was arrested by the Russian FSB (successor organization to the KGB) on the Russian-North Korean-PRC border. I was in a “forbidden border zone” without proper papers. The FSB agents who arrested us were incredibly kind and polite to me and my two other fellow travelers. They gave us a room to rest for the night in their border outpost, their only available electric heater to stay warm in a cold winter night, cookies and tea in the morning, a tour of their local museum commemorating their victory in the Battle of Lake Khasan, and a free ride to the next town out of the border zone (after we signed legal warnings not to trespass again). My only regret is that I didn’t take down their address, otherwise I would have sent them some snacks from the US just to return their kindness. The border guards and FSB agents had very few creature comforts in their desolate border outpost, but they shared what they had with us. Now that the trilateral border area is more open, I hope to return one day (legally next time).
Anonymous Alumni ’65
Your education will serve you better, more broadly, more satisfyingly the longer you live. I entered LC as a sophomore and majored in economics and minored in music. I served as president of my social and business fraternities. Lived at home to save money. Worked part-time when class was in session and full-time during breaks.
Memory: Paul Wright held office hours in the Flanagan basement from about 1968 til around 1978. He was always available for me. Whenever I dropped in he would say: “So what’s the presenting issue today?” That was his way of saying “what problem brings you here today?” I would talk, he would listen, then recite a poem or a favorite article or simply reach around behind him, take a book off a shelf and say “Here, read chapter so-and-so and get back to me.” Who knows where I’d be without those times.
Kerry Rowand, Executive Administrative Assistant, Law School
The 21-year-old me was not all that receptive to advice. Especially unsolicited advice on the topic of what I should do with my life. There were moments when I was sure of myself; the 18-year-old me was certain that I should go to college far away from home. But the universe is full of irony. The week I left for college, my father was diagnosed with cancer and suddenly far away no longer felt like where I should be. So my plans changed. I changed. Again and again there have been turning points - good and bad - where what seemed important yesterday became nearly invisible. An old friend, now recovering from COVID-19, wrote me a note shortly after my father died that read, “See me on tough days.” I would like to extend that sentiment to you. Go forward, be well, be open, and don’t be a stranger. Congratulations.
Jackson Thein BA ’18
As I made my way through Lewis & Clark (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Major, Pamplin Society) the thing that stood out to me most about LC students was their incredible passion. From volunteering with Operation Nightwatch to conducting scientific research, I have never met a group of people who have had such a steadfast commitment to the aspects of life that they find most important. With uncertainty as to what the future will hold, I would encourage you to find ways to carry these passions into your work. Lewis & Clark has already taught you to think in creative ways. Now you must remember to speak up when necessary, challenge yourself continually, and continue to learn from those around you.
Livia Burgos, Parent
“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.” - Mr. Rogers.
Nick Tan BA ’19
Keep working hard towards your goals. Nothing can bring you down if you persevere and just keep swimming. We are all in this together, so don’t be afraid to reach out to anyone at all.
Memory: Jeff Ely, CS professor. Never took his class but was a TA for a couple semesters. He’s so full of energy and fun, you’d think he’s in his 20s. If you are unsure what classes to take, take CS171 with him. You won’t regret it, and you get to cover one of the general requirements.
Heidi Hu BS ’85
Our planet and the global community need LC students and grads more than ever! LC students make the world a better place—whether that’s from home, on campus, or around the world. The perseverance that gets us through this is the same perseverance that will make the world a better place.
Laura Mundt BA ’91, ENVS Administrative Specialist
Dear Students, This has been a unique semester. The Coronavirus took a lot of things away from you–-fun with friends, direct contact with your faculty, time on this gorgeous campus during its spring glory. But there is one thing this virus cannot take away and that is the community that is built at Lewis & Clark. That will always be something you can rely on, during difficult times and better times. When you meet new people and find out you share a LC connection, something special happens. Suddenly it can feel like you have known each other for much longer than the time you have. Many of my life-long friends are people who also went to LC. Some were my classmates and others I met after college, but that LC bond enabled us to become close. You have also developed special relationships with your faculty and those connections will be with you for a long time. I graduated from LC 29 years ago and I’m good friends with the professor (now emerita) who was my advisor. We go out for lunch every few weeks and it makes me so happy to have that bond with a faculty member that probably doesn’t happen at many other colleges. And, finally, this physical campus will always be part of your home. Every day when I come to work, I get to have reminders of my time in college at this beautiful place and I make new memories of it as well. I don’t think I ever saw the sun rise over Mt. Hood and lower campus when I was a student, but I often race to that view when I arrive to campus just to marvel at the light and the changing sky. So, whether you will be back to LC or you are graduating, keep this LC bond in mind. It will serve you well.
Raiven Greenberg BA ’17
Congratulations to the graduating class of 2020! While this is likely not how you’d imagined your college experience would end, I hope that you are able to look back on your time at Lewis & Clark and smile. I hope that you’re able to keep in touch with the friends you’ve made, the professors and other mentors who’ve guided you, and anyone who has helped or inspired you during your college career. I hope that you’ll think back fondly on the magnificent view of a snow-capped Mt. Hood from above the reflecting pond, of walking to class in the crisp autumn air, of meaningful late night talks with friends in your dorm, of venturing into the city or elsewhere in Oregon and taking in the sheer beauty of the place. I hope that you are proud of all that you’ve accomplished, and know that all the exams you took, papers you wrote, presentations you made, group projects you completed, and opportunities to connect with others that you seized were not all for not. In fact, that is what brought you to this moment–to your upcoming graduation–to the diploma for which you’ve worked so hard for, and which you deserve. I hope that you’ve come to realize how resilient and adaptable you are, realize how strong the connections are that you’ve made, and realize how–although it may not feel this way quite yet–you have it in you to create lasting positive change. I hope you go out into this uncertain world with the certainty that you can help to re-shape it into the world you want to live in. I sincerely believe you can.
Major: I was a Psychology Major and Environmental Studies Minor from southern California; study abroad in Dublin, Ireland; two years on the women’s crew team; human computer interaction lab member; CELS Program mentor.
Memory: Too many to name! One that comes to mind though is reading and drawing on the lawn by the reflecting pool and just feeling a moment of awe at the beauty of the campus and the community I was part of.
I’m so grateful that L&C students have the support of a wonderful administration and staff. Being a part of a small school during this crisis makes a world of difference — the care and concern from campus is unlike that I’ve seen in other institutions. I know it’s hard to have so much uncertainty, but I can see that L&C is as anxious to welcome you all back as you are to return.
Joan Harris BS ’64
Surviving by staying secluded with lots of yard work, garden and harp practicing. No longer substitute teaching because of school closures. :( Being a PCO for my voting precinct we are doing virtual and email meetings.
Memory: Dr. Kosloff was my biology professor in the old green house and I remember being there during the Columbus Day Storm when we lost all electricity for a week. Saga food service barbecued our dinners on big barbecue racks in front of the dinning hall. Trees came down all over the campus.
Carole Mower, Parent
My heartfelt empathy goes to you seniors who are showing such resiliency and vulnerability as you navigate online classes. In addition to suddenly missing out on memorable times with your classmates and friends. I see in my own daughter how the education at Lewis & Clark and it’s wonderful professors have helped you grow and spread your authentic wings and that is a beautiful thing. Take the time to be with your sadness when it arises, we are here for you too when the future is uncertain. Much Love!
Renee Allums BA ’18
Do not let the current state of the world discourage you from making an impact. You have a natural advantage as a liberal art student to find creative, sustainable solutions to the current problems. You are amazing, you have a gift to share – use it!
Major: Rhetoric and Media Studies major / Ethnic studies minor; Entrepreneurship club president, BSU, Track/ Basketball athlete.
Memory: Slip-n-slide on south campus!!!
Doug Freeman BS ’78
Times of great change and disruption of business-as-usual, present big opportunities to those with an entrepreneurial mindset. For example, I’m part of a startup in the learning and development technology field. Our business plan identified profitable target markets and the functionality of our product to address clear needs. The prototype was designed for this business case. Coronavirus-19 changed the playing field. We certainly could have continued our development path with a focus on the post-virus ecosystem. The target markets would still exist. But… the current need for physical distancing presented a different use case for our product. We shifted direction with our intended beta testers and adjusted our value proposition to frame our solution in terms of current and virus recovery period needs. In other words, we were open to an opportunity even though it meant changing the direction of our startup—at least temporarily. It’s a way for use to provide a solution to an urgent need and establish a foothold in a market. Who knows, it might turn out that this is a better direction than our original one. We’re willing to experiment. One of the greatest advantages of lean startups is the ability to be flexible, adaptable and innovative very rapidly. And a powerful advantage you have with the assets you developed with a liberal arts education combined with an understanding of entrepreneurship is that you are equipped with the right tools and thinking to act like a promising startup as you move forward in your early career. Look for the sweet spot out there at the intersection of your interests and opportunities that others might miss. Your ideas, energy, passion and ingenuity are needed more now than ever to solve new and legacy problems in responsible ways. After graduating from L&C having decided not to pursue a medical career, I definitely felt a bit lost as to a career direction. It took several years for me to connect the dots between my interests and skills/knowledge. Looking back, I see how I acted like an entrepreneur looking for the right startup to build—experimenting with different types of career type work (not just jobs). The paths of least resistance were tempting. But I did my best to be patient and persistent. I ended up landing on a direction that has played out well for over 34 years. There have been good times and very challenging times, but that’s the reality of most careers. I learned that the real story of our lives is in the quality of our journey and being present to experience life.
Memory: John Crampton, professor of political science, was the best writing instructor I ever had. He was extremely demanding but always provided detailed, constructive feedback so I could improve. His passionate and demonstrative teaching style was entertaining yet highly effective. I suppose he is at least partially to “blame” for me pursuing a career in the communications field. Maybe it’s revealing that my two classes with John were way outside my science major, yet they were so influential long-term.
McKenna Teigland BA ’18
I graduated a couple years ago and since that time, I have continued working for the Conferences and Events Office at the College. We see a lot of students, and a lot of ideas, come through our doors every year. But the hardest thing that I’ve been grappling with is that there was a last idea from the Class of 2020 that we worked on, and we didn’t even know it. That’s the funny thing about “lasts.” Almost everything has one, yet we often don’t even think about it, and sometimes we don’t even see it happening right in front of us. If there’s one good thing that can come of this whole thing, I hope we can learn to look for those more, together, and appreciate them for what they are. I wish you all nothing but the best as you enter the world at such a curious time; please know that your network of alumni are waiting to help you.
Major: Double majored in English and Psychology; studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland for a spring semester on the General Culture Program; Intramural Soccer; Literary Review; Platteau Arts Studio ceramics manager; senior staff writer for the Pioneer Log.
Memory: Karen Gross’s love for medieval English literature; Tom Schoeneman’s feathered fedora; Kurt Fosso’s care and attention to his abroad trip students; Suzanne Bauer’s restorative Pilates classes.
Larry Mellum BA ’72
Congratulations to the Class of 2020! I wish you much success in all of your future endeavors. You graduate at an interesting time that no one could have predicted. Don’t let it get you down, it is times like these that bring opportunity. And believe me, opportunity will come your way. It may be in a field you never dreamed you would become a part of. It may inspire you in ways you never thought possible. Embrace this time. Approach it with all of the excitement and enthusiasm you can find. Then one day, you can look back at this time and with a smile on your face, take some measure of pride in what you accomplished during the age of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Varsity Football–four years.
Anonymous Alumni ’92
“Life is an improvisation. You have no ideas what’s going to happen next and you are mostly making things up as you go along.” – Stephen Colbert. Good luck to the Class of 2020! May you share your gifts and talents to make the world a better place.
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