Monday, December 03, 2012

Past and Present Dinner

Schreurs '14
By Evan Schreurs '14 

Last month, I was invited to the home Jerry Albright ’94 for this years’ Past and Present Dinner. Having participated in prior Past and Present Dinners, I had an idea of what to expect upon arrival. However I had never met Jerry or knew any information about him so when I visited his home I was surprised. 

I was under the assumption that I was invited to the home of an alumnus who was part of a class who graduated prior to 1970, since this is what my experiences had been before. Also since my particular major is history, a less common degree among current Pacific students, I was not assuming to meet an alumnus who had undergone the same area of research. 

Upon meeting Jerry it was obvious he was a more recent graduate than I had expected. After the standard salutations and handshakes, I learned that not only had Jerry majored in history but had also been taught by some of the same professors that I am currently taking classes from. This was wonderful! Some of the same professors he had worked with and developed great relationships with were the same that I am currently being taught by. 

Jerry was also excited to learn the reasoning for me to attend Pacific was the small school appeal and student/faculty connection. One of my reasons for coming to Pacific was because I had made great relationships with the faculty in my high school and I looked for a place that I could do the same. 

Jerry chose Pacific for the same reasons and as an alumnus who has gone on to work in the professional field, he assured me that having that connection with educators was crucial. Jerry actually roomed on the same floor of McCormick Hall that I was lived on too!

I visited with Jerry and his daughter for about two hours and covered a vast amount of topics relating to Pacific and current events. Something Jerry reiterated to me was how useful his History degree was. Knowing this was reassuring as a soon to be graduate, with how competitive the job market has become this offered a light at the end of the tunnel and motivation that my degree will be worth my efforts.

Before leaving for the night Jerry offered me his personal contact information in the event if I ever needed help or just would enjoy coming and visiting once again. This act shows just how much a personal connection means to members of the Pacific community. I had never heard of Jerry before that evening but after talking with him for a short while we had developed a friendship based on our mutual experiences at Pacific. 

I encourage every student and every alumni to participate in future Past and Present Dinners. I feel that more throughout the year and larger participation by current students and alumni would benefit the Pacific community as a whole exponentially. 

For alumni, it is a nice reminder of their days on campus and why they may have chosen to continue to live in Forest Grove. For students, the home cooked meal and being able to hang around pets is a wonderful feeling that gets overlooked by students, it can only happen during the holidays when returning home. With the Boxer community however this feeling of home can be recreated for an evening. 

Schreurs '14 is a program assistant in the Office of Alumni Relations and is the co-president of Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow.

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