Pacific will celebrate another golden tradition as the 1965 alumni will make the walk from the Multi- Purpose Room to Old College Hall with congratulations of current students and faculty to sign their names in concrete for the initiation into the Golden Guard.
In 1965 the idea was put forth to form a group of alumni who had graduated from Pacific University at least 50 years previously. In 1966 the first members were inducted into the Golden Guard. A tradition that started in 1993 and has continued ever since is the signing of names into concrete to be placed outside Old College Hall. “When [Alumni] come back for their 50th reunion and get their chance to make their mark on the sidewalk, I really hope the message they’re hearing from the university is that they matter. They matter to us so much,” said Senior Director of Alumni and Community
Engagement Martha Calus-McLain ’03. “[The Golden Guard Initiation] gives you a sense of permanency with Pacific University,” said alumnus Clark Peters ’65 who met his wife, Aurora “Rae” (Salvador) Peters ’65, while at Pacific University. The couple will celebrate both their 50th wedding anniversary and 50th year reunion together this year.
Alumni make many contributions to Pacific University and the student community such as setting up scholarship funds, volunteering for Senior Projects day and being advocates of the university throughout their lives and during their adventures.
“They are the living expression of Pacific. There’s no better way to tell the story of what happens here than to tell the story of what happened after here,” said Calus-McLain.
With the Alumni Student Dinner, the Noise Parade and the many other Homecoming events, the returning alumni will have many opportunities to talk with current students, share memories of their time at Pacific University and give advice for the future.
“We would encourage students to get acquainted with their faculty,” said alumna Rae Peters. The Homecoming activities offer many opportunities for Alumni to reconnect with each other.
“I’m looking forward to talking to my friends,” said Fran O’Brien ’65.
For many alumni they haven’t seen their classmates since their graduation and often the reunions are emotional ones.
“I have seen alumni walk into the room and have every person in the room drop what they’re doing, turn and look at that person, and then run over and hug that person that they haven’t seen in 50 years,” said Calus-McLain.