Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Notes from Under the Oaks | July 2013

Burbank '09 rubbing Boxer's nose for good luck. 
By Rachael Burbank '09 
Traditions are precious no matter their significance.
Sometimes they include something silly like grandma always bringing the potato salad to the Fourth of July barbecue. Other times it’s more heartfelt like visiting Uncle Joe’s headstone Memorial Day weekend or returning to your wedding venue every year on your anniversary.
I think we each hold on to the uniqueness of our traditions because they define us. But what happens when we have children, we get married, we relocate for work, we lose a family member or we are stuck in a rain cloud and we have to adjust our plans? We start telling the stories of how things used to be to the next generation in hopes that one day history will repeat itself.
I frequently forget that the Pacific I know, isn't what all alumni know. There wasn't a dress code to eat in the University Center in the 2000s. Old College Hall, the library and the football field have changed locations multiple times. And most importantly, Boxer wasn't always the mascot.
After graduating in 2009, I’ve already seen changes made to the Pacific I know. The ‘PAC’ is now the Stoller Center. There are dorms and academic buildings I’ve never set foot in. And sadly, students are graduating without seeing the Boxer statue on campus nor are they participating in any sort of Boxer tosses, flashes or Olympics!
Times have changed and will continue to change on the Forest Grove campus, but also in Hillsboro, Eugene and Portland. I can already imagine the conversation I’ll have with staff or students at my 30-year reunion. I know it’ll start with “when I was a student here, everything was different.” But will it really be different?
I believe Marsh Hall will still be standing in 2039. I believe the Noise Parade will still be the loudest tradition during Homecoming. And I believe that Boxer will live on by word of mouth if there hasn't been a third statue already made by then.
What was your favorite tradition during your days at Pacific? What traditions do you miss? What do you envision for your 30-year reunion or 50-year reunion?
If you wish to write about your memories, please submit photos and a 400-word piece for the Boxer and Badger Notes blog to alumni@pacificu.edu.
I hope you come back to where all these traditions began for Homecoming 2013, if not before. Give us a heads up and you can stay in the Abbott Alumni Center guestrooms during your visit or we can take you on a campus tour and explore how things have changed since you’ve been on campus.
You can contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 503-352-2057 or alumni@pacificu.edu.
In the meantime, cherish the memories and traditions you made while at Pacific because they define you as alumnus/a of the University. 
Burbank '09 is the assistant director of alumni relations at Pacific University. You can reach her at 503-352-2969 or rburbank@pacificu.edu. 

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