Alumni Currents—Summer 2018
View this email in your browser

Dear <<First Name>>,

Two major events have taken place since our last e-newsletter, homecoming and graduation. In this issue you'll read about our celebrations and browse through pictures from those weekends. I'll also introduce to you a few of your newest fellow alumni—be sure to read about what they'll take with them as they open new chapters in their lives.

Walla Walla University is definitely out and about this summer, so be sure to stop by our camp meeting or NAD Teachers' Convention booths, and plan to attend an alumni event in your area. We want to visit with you and hear your stories!

Claudia Santellano

Alumni and Parent Relations Director

Find resources for alumni like you!
Visit the alumni resource page

Homecoming Weekend 2018, full of celebration

In April, more than 850 alumni attended homecoming, and together we celebrated our core theme, "Generosity in Service." The weekend included more than 50 events, from a reflective Thursday night banquet to archeology seminars commemorating MPP@50 (Madaba Plains Project's 50th anniversary), to our 20th Annual Alumni Car Show on Sunday. With inspiring Sabbath services and fun class reunions in between, it was a wonderful weekend! Watch for honor class pictures in the next issue of Westwind, which should drop in your mailbox in August.

To honor the theme of service, our banquet stage was graced with a stunning replica of the iconic Gateway to Service that still stands strong on College Avenue. The replica pillars were handmade almost entirely out of wood, with great attention to detail. We are so grateful to Merle Rittenbach att., foreman at our carpentry and paint shop, for the many hours of skill, artistry, and service he gave to create these meaningful pieces. Each pillar even included replicas of the small plaques recognizing the Gateway to Service as a gift from the Class of 1918!

(Photo, from left: Pam McVay, Merle and Vedra Rittenbach, and John McVay with the replica "Gateway to Service.")

More than one kind of golden anniversary

At homecoming in April, the Class of 1968 celebrated their 50th anniversary by enjoying a delicious "50-year" breakfast, Sabbath school worship planned by the class, fun class photos, and a 50th reunion gathering full of friends and memories. But for many of the class members, this was the year to celebrate another kind of "golden" milestone—their golden wedding anniversaries. 

Paul and Cheris Jensen took time during homecoming to visit special places on campus that reminded them of how their relationship began. "One of our favorite highlights of the reunion was to eat dinner in Kellogg Hall at the exact location of our first date at 5 p.m. on October 3,1965. We were married June 6, 1968. We have three children and nine grandchildren."

October 3, 1965                 April 27, 2018

Browse through 2018 homecoming pictures

Class of 2018 joins our ranks

On Sunday, June 17, nearly 335 undergraduate and 70 graduate students became our newest alumni, receiving their degrees in perfect weather on Centennial Green.

The class included students from 20 states and 18 countries. This year's youngest graduate was age 19, and the oldest was age 57. As a group, the Class of 2018 received more than $13 million in grants or scholarships while at WWU. Two students from the class graduated with 4.0 grade point averages. Included in this graduating class was Daphne Novak, a seventh-generation Adventist and direct descendant of Ellen G. White. And, the Class of 2018 included two fifth-generation students: Lindsay Salsbery (also a fourth-generation graduate) and Juliana Dill (also a fourth-generation graduate)!

Pastor Randy Roberts, father of a graduating senior, and senior pastor of the Loma Linda University Church, was this year's commencement speaker. Born in South America to missionary parents, Pastor Roberts spent the majority of his life in Latin American countries. He earned an undergraduate degree from Southwestern Adventist University, a graduate degree from Andrews University, and a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Pastor Roberts has served as church pastor, theology professor, dean, and he now serves as the senior pastor of Loma Linda University Church of Seventh-day Adventists. Roberts' commencement address, “Curiouser and Curiouser,” encouraged graduates to continue to be curious and to become life-long learners.

As you may well remember, graduation at Walla Walla University is a full weekend, filled with recognitions, Consecration service, pinnings, receptions, Baccalaureate Sabbath services, and much more. 

Browse through Commencement photos

Meet four of our newest alumni

You can't meet them all, but take a moment now to learn about four of your newest fellow alumni. I asked each, "What have you gained from the WWU community that you'll take with you into your future pursuits?" Here's what they said:

"I have gained a sense of community here at WWU. When I first came to college in 2013, I knew a handful of people and being the first child of my immediate family to attend college, it was up to me to pave the road. Since then, I have built up a positive learning, adventurous, and fun filled life for myself by getting involved with programs, events, and jobs on campus. The opportunities I have said 'yes' to have shown me branching out is a great way to happiness. We all need to fill our lives with activities that we are passionate about. This is one thing I will try to always remember as my adventure continues. Life simply isn't as interesting when we aren't excited about something to live for." ~Gabrielle Pahler-Yeager

"WWU has shown me the value of a Seventh-day Adventist community and what it stands for. Going to an SDA university, I've been able to feel that my professors and the administration genuinely care about my future. They've ensured that I've not only learned the necessary things to be successful, but also how to use those things to better the lives of others." ~Jackson Shampo

"One of the things that I will take with me from this community is a sense of belonging and an appreciation for slow small town lifestyle. I will forever leave a piece of my heart in Walla Walla. The beautiful farm community makes my soul sing, and the small local businesses I will forever miss. I discovered my independence in Walla Walla and it taught me to grow into the woman I am today." ~Lauren Epperson

"What I have gained from Walla Walla is a second home. I came here three years ago as a transfer student from Seattle not knowing anyone, and I am leaving here with friends and mentors that I will cherish forever. The memories I have made and people that I have met here, in the middle of nowhere, I will be taking all over the world by the stories I tell wherever I go. In my pastoral training, I have been taught to keep a list of sermon illustrations about different topics like beauty, love, acceptance, community, and even struggles. These topics all have Christ at the core and at Walla Walla, that is what I found, a Christ-centered community that needs to be shared with the world, and I hope I can help my new community be a community like Walla Walla." ~Joel (Joey) Barajas
Read more alum news and notes

WWU employee transitions

Honoring our distinguished 2018 retirees
On June 5 the College Place campus honored four faculty and staff members who have decided to discover jubilee (retirement). Please join us in thanking this distinguished group for their tireless and generous service to WWU! Above, from left: Doug Logan '74, professor of engineering and dean; Lyn Ritz, professor of music; Dallas Weis '74, admissions director; and Marvin Denney '78, professor of health and department chair. (Photo credit: Chris Drake)

New WWU Athletic Director named
Eric Cantrell will join us in July as athletic director for our growing Athletics Program. Cantrell has worked as the athletic director, chair for Physical Education and Health, and head coach of varsity boys' basketball at Pine Forge Academy (Pennsylvania). He received his bachelor of science degree in fitness and wellness from Oakwood University, and a master's degree in public administration-sports management from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. 

Alumni events—join us!

Alumni events are being planned with you in mind—a time to connect with other alumni, share stories, and hear a WWU update from President John McVay!

Click here for the latest updates, we are also sending email updates and postcard invitations.

See us at Camp Meeting!

Be sure to stop by and visit our WWU booth at the following camp meetings. We're bringing treats!

     Oregon Conference
     July 13-14 (Spanish)
     July 20-21 (English)

     British Columbia (Hope)
     July 28 (alumni event)

Let's go to a ball game!

July 18  |  Walla Walla, Wash.

Each year alumni and friends gather for a Walla Walla Sweets Baseball game and alumni evening at Borleske Stadium in Walla Walla. We cheer on our team and enjoy connecting with alumni from around the valley.

Join us Wednesday, July 18, 6:30 p.m., for Alumni Night with the Walla Walla Sweets! Tickets are $3 each, and include popcorn and a free soda. Stop by Alumni and Advancement Services (4th Floor Administration Building) to purchase tickets, or call (509) 527-2631, or purchase online. Invite your WWU alumni friends and family, and share the event on social media! For more information, visit

New this year, ask us how you can receive a discount on Walla Walla Sweets games all season!

Purchase Sweets tickets!

Alumni Rosario Weekend

August 24–26  |  Anacortes, Wash

Join alumni and friends for Sabbath or the full weekend at beautiful Rosario Beach. Programming begins Friday evening at 6 p.m. Dr. Carl Cosaert, WWU's professor of theology and new dean of the School of Theology, will be the weekend speaker. Additional activities continue throughout the day on Sabbath. Plan to attend the weekend and let us worry about preparing meals and programming! Registration is now open!

Reserve your place at Rosario

Family Weekends: Save the dates now!

Make plans now to join us for one of the two Family Weekends offered in the fall:
  • College Place Campus, October 26 - 28: Enjoy class visits on Friday morning; Friday afternoon ice cream; Student Missions Welcome Back Vespers and Apple Fest Friday evening; and Sabbath church services followed by lunch with WWU Administration. The weekend concludes with Evensong as well as a talent program.
  • Portland Campus, November 10: Worship together Sabbath morning, enjoy Sabbath lunch with WWU Administration, then celebrate with junior nursing students at the Nurses' Dedication Ceremony and Reception.
For more information, visit: or call (800) 377-2586
For more information about any of our events,
call Alumni and Advancement Services
at (
800) 377-2586 or visit

Campus update


Oregon Camp Meeting - Spanish
July 13-14

Alumni night with the Walla Walla Sweets
July 18

Oregon Camp Meeting - English
July 20-21

Alumni event at Hope Camp Meeting
July 28

Rosario Weekend
August 24-26

Alumni event at Post Falls
September 8

Fall quarter begins
September 24

The Longest Table
September 29

Family Weekend, College Place
October 26-28

Distinguished Faculty Lecture
November 12

Parent Sabbath, Portland
November 10

Thanksgiving Break
November 19–26

Christmas Break
December 14–January 7



2018 graduate breaks record at WWU Randy Yaw Pi Contest
Read more >

Advancing systemic equity grant

School of Education and Psychology receives state grant to further its mission with CEED.
Read more >

Beautiful music

Matthew Moran '18 and Siena Mirasol (student) impress judges with their musical talent.
Read more >
View the full Walla Walla University calendar online

Get up-to-date and stay involved

Share your news!
Recently married? Did you receive a promotion or an award, change your job, complete a new degree, or have a baby? We want to hear about it! Submit your news now.

Heard of a classic WWU story that should be shared?
We are always looking for those stories that need to be shared with a wider audience. If you come across leads to classic WWU stories, and alumni, please send them my way! Email me at

Know of an internship opportunity for WWU students? 
When you offer an internship with your organization, or refer an internship opportunity, you are helping WWU students secure real-life experience. Start an internship at WWU!

Read the most recent edition of Westwind online at
Look for the summer edition in your mailbox in August!

Support WWU with Amazon Purchases
When you purchase items on Amazon, you can help support Walla Walla University. To get started, go to and use your regular login information. Then enter “Walla Walla University” as your donation choice. Amazon will automatically donate 0.5% of your purchase to the University Fund which goes toward student scholarship, academic innovation and facility improvements. Amazon Smile does not work on the Amazon app.

Give a gift
Thank you for supporting today’s students with your gift, etc.
Give online at

Come for a visit!

Havstad guest rooms: Located in the Havstad Alumni Center and managed by the Alumni Association. Rate: $60/night Make a reservation >

University guest rooms: WWU also offers University Guestrooms that are near the campus for a rate of $60/night. Make a reservation >

Camper/RV accommodations: Camper/RV parking is available behind Sittner, the men’s residence hall. Power, water, and sewage hook-ups are included in the $10 nightly fee. It is a first-come, first-serve arrangement. Contact Sittner Hall: (509) 527-2111.

Lodging options:
Stay connected with what’s happening on campus by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also download our campus app for quick access to the calendar, directory information, and other campus resources.

Know someone who should be at Walla Walla University? Encourage them to visit us!

When they visit they can attend classes, talk to our professors, and connect with our students—plus, meet people who can help with finances, employment, admissions, student life, and more. Their visit is personalized so they will have ample to explore their interests and get their questions answered. We’ll even help cover costs to come visit!

Send them to to schedule a campus visit.


Copyright © 2018 Walla Walla University, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list