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Unveiling of Boxer III Highlights Pacific University Homecoming 2018 - 10/17/18

FOREST GROVE -- Hundreds of Pacific University alumni are expected to return to campus this weekend for Homecoming 2018.

Among the most anticipated events is the unveiling of Boxer III, the third version of an iconic statue symbolizing one of higher education’s most unique mascots.

Additionally, university alumni will take a look back at their participation in the Tom McCall Forum, one of Oregon’s most high-profile public policy events from 1982 to 2007.

The university will also hold its biennial Alumni Awards Dinner, where it will recognize three distinguished alumni for outstanding contributions to their communities and alma mater. 

Homecoming festivities will also include traditional staples, including:

Golden Guard Induction and Sidewalk Signing - Class of 1968

Noise Parade

Boxer Nation Celebration

Additionally, Pacific University Theatre will present Silent Sky, the remarkable story of female astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, as its fall production. Following Friday evening’s performance, attendees will have an opportunity to learn about the various stars and the night sky through a special telescope viewing session presented by the Physics Department.

Visit pacificu.edu/homecoming for a complete schedule of events.

Journalists and news crews planning to cover the festivities should contact Joe Lang at 503-352-2902 or jlang@pacificu.edu for assistance.

Pacific University alumni and students will celebrate the return of Boxer on Friday, Oct. 19.
Pacific University alumni and students will celebrate the return of Boxer on Friday, Oct. 19.
Welcome Back, Boxer! (Photo) - 10/16/18

Third Version of Statue Depicting Iconic Mascot to be Unveiled at Pacific University's 2018 Homecoming

FOREST GROVE -- The resurrection of an icon representing one of the most storied mascots in all of higher education highlights the 2018 Homecoming festivities at Pacific University.

Alumni, students, employees and friends will receive a new jolt of Boxer Spirit on Friday, Oct. 19, with the unveiling Boxer III, the second replacement to an original bronze statue depicting the university's famed mascot that has been missing for nearly 50 years.

Boxer III will be introduced and dedicated at 3 p.m. on the University Center patio on the Forest Grove Campus to the delight of generations of Pacific alumni, particularly those of the class of 1968, which spearheaded the effort to replace the missing icon.

“Because it was our 50th reunion year, and (the original) Boxer has been gone from campus for nearly that long, we resolved to bring it back,” said Bruce Bishop '68, who led the campaign for Boxer III's creation.

Boxer has represented Pacific's spirit, pride and honor for over a century, ever since the Chinese incense burner statue was gifted to the university in 1896 by the family of Rev. J.E. Walker, a missionary who purchased the statue while in China as a gift for his mother.

Although sometimes mistaken for a dog or a lion, Boxer is a qilin (pronounced chi-lin), a mythical Chinese creature combining several animals that features a lion-like stance, a unicorn-like horn, and deer or ox hooves from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

During the period, qilins were thought to be good omens, and bring wisdom and prosperity to whomever they watch over. The timing of the Walkers' gift to Pacific coincided with the Boxer Rebellion in China, a resistance to foreign influence from Westerners and Christians near the end of the Qing Dynasty. In support of uprising, Pacific's student newspaper The Index, began referring to the qilin as "Boxer" in 1909.

In the early 1900s, Boxer was stolen by a student from its home in Pacific’s chapel, launching a decades-long tradition of “Boxer Flashes” and “Boxer Tosses,” where different student groups and fraternities would take possession of Boxer for a period of time.

In 1969, shortly after the university's adoption of Boxer as the official school mascot, the original statue went missing. In the decades since, rumors have circulated as to where the statue is, and small pieces have been recovered, but no one has seen the full statue in almost five decades. In the 1980s, several Pacific students raised funds for a new Boxer statue, but Boxer II also disappeared after a few flashes.

The new Boxer statue was created by the same sculptor who created Boxer II, but Boxer III will be much more accurate to the original design, thanks to detailed photos and pieces of the original statue that were not available for the creation of Boxer II back in the 1980s.

More information about Boxer's history and legacy at Pacific can be found at pacificu.edu/boxer

                                                                                                                             -pacificu.edu-

Pacific University is a small, but diverse learning community, where students thrive in a personal academic environment. Tracing its roots to 1849, when it was chartered as a school for orphans of the Oregon Trail, Pacific has long been devoted to making a difference in the world. Today, students study in a unique combination of undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business, education, health professions and optometry. Located in Oregon, Pacific serves a diverse population of more than 3,900 students, with campuses in Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Eugene and Woodburn. At Pacific University, students and faculty develop close, nurturing relationships that provide an extraordinary educational experience.

The 2005 Tom McCall Forum featured former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean and assistant defense secretary Richard Perle debating American Foreign Policy Post--9/11.
The 2005 Tom McCall Forum featured former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean and assistant defense secretary Richard Perle debating American Foreign Policy Post--9/11.
CORRECTED: Pacific University Homecoming Weekend Includes Look Back at Tom McCall Forum (Photo) - 10/15/18

FOREST GROVE -- For more than quarter of a century, the Pacific University Tom McCall Forum was a fixture of the Portland political scene, annually bringing high-profile liberal and conservative politicians and pundits to the Pacific Northwest for a debate on public policy issues.

This fall, Pacific University takes a look back at the forum, its impact on thousands of alumni, and the current state of political discourse during a special event during Homecoming. A panel of four alumni and students, moderated by Jim Moore, director of political outreach for the Tom McCall Center for Civic Engagement, will share their recollections and thoughts during the Tom McCall Forum Retrospective. The free public event takes place at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19 in the gallery of the Tran Library.

Panelists include Dan James ‘87, deputy administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration and a current member of the Pacific University Board of Trustees; Jennifer Hudson ‘98, governmental and public affairs manager for Schnitzer Steel Industries; Gina Mattioda ‘88, founding director of Multnomah County Office of Public Affairs; and Giovana Oaxaca ’19, a senior double-majoring in politics & government and economics at Pacific.

The Tom McCall Forum brought some of the country’s most well-known political figures to Oregon to engage one-on-one in a lively and spirited discussion that allowed attendees to better understand the reasoning between distinct philosophical differences about how to approach civic challenges.

Spearheaded by Pacific Politics & Government Professor Emeritus Russ Dondero, faculty and students founded the forum in 1982 as the Annual Politics and Law Forum. The event’s primary purpose was to engage Pacific students and provide them opportunities to connect with political movers and shakers. It was renamed in honor of former Oregon Gov. Tom Lawson McCall following his death in 1983. In 1991, the popularity of the event resulted in its move from Forest Grove to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, where it drew capacity crowds of 2,000.

High-profile participants over the years include former Vice President Dan Quayle and several presidential candidates, including Democratic Party nominee George McGovern, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Ralph Nader, Pat Buchanan, Bill Bradley and a host of other household names, including former Defense secretaries Robert McNamara and Leon Panetta, former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

The forum’s lively and impassioned debates led to several installments being broadcast on C-SPAN, including the 2005 matchup between Dean, then-chair of the Democratic National Committee, and Richard Perle, considered one of the architects of the war in Iraq, in which a spectator threw a shoe at Perle.

The final installment of the McCall Forum took place in 2007, the year of Dondero’s retirement from the university, and featured former Congressman Lee Hamilton and current National Security Advisor John Bolton discussing U.S. foreign policy.

Dondero told Pacific magazine the McCall Forum was always about attracting students to Pacific, giving an opportunity to connect them with political leaders and inspiring them to civic engagement endeavors. “I always viewed the forum as a large classroom, not only for students, but for the larger community,” he said. “It was a chance for people to sit down and think about important topics.”

The legacy of former Oregon Gov. Tom McCall lives on at Pacific today through the Tom McCall Center for Civic Engagement, a host of the retrospective. The center promotes active citizenship by connecting students, faculty and staff with policymakers and partner organizations in the larger community for collaborations that contribute to the common good for the betterment of society.

Student panelist Oaxaca says participation in McCall Center activities has led her to hands-on opportunities, such as a recent internship with the office of local Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici.

 “The internship was the single-most eye-opening political experience I’ve ever had,” she said. “I've taken some of the knowledge I learned from it and applied it to my studies.”

She has stayed on as a member of Bonamici’s reelection campaign staff and intends to pursue a career in public service. She said the McCall Center gave her the chance she needed. “When you have the support and encouragement you need to succeed, anything is possible.”

Tom McCall Forum Through the Years                

2007 | Lee Hamilton and John Bolton 
U.S. Foreign Policy Post-’08
                    
2006 | Tom Daschle and Pat Buchanan
Democracy at the Crossroads: Does Our System Work
                    
2005 | Howard Dean and Richard Perle 
American Foreign Policy Post–9/11
                    
2004 | Molly Ivins and William Kristol 
Election 2004: Winners and Losers
                    
2003 | Bill Bradley and David Gergen 
Assessing the Bush Presidency: 9/11 to Enron
                    
2002 | Newt Gingrich and Ralph Nader
Who Rules America? Power in the New Millennium
                    
2001 | Alan Dershowitz and Ralph Reed 
Religion, Politics and the Constitution
                    
2000 | Mary Matalin and James Carville 
Leadership for the 21st Century: Campaign 2000
                    
1999 | C. Everett Koop and Joseph Califano 
Health Care: Right or Responsibility
                    
1998 | Haley Barbour and Leon Panetta 
Money and Politics
                    
1997 | Dan Quayle and Robert Kennedy Jr
Striking the Balance: The Economy and the Environmentalist
                    
1996 | Mario Cuomo and Lynn Martin
From New Hampshire to November: Values vs. Votes
                    
1995 | James Carville and William Safire 
Conservation and the Future of the GOP
                    
1994 | Pierre Salinger and John Sununu
The President and the Press: Who Sets the Agenda
                    
1992 | Jesse Jackson and Peter Ueberroth 
American Cities: An Agenda for the Next President
                    
1991 | Geraldine Ferraro and William Bennett
Leadership in the 1990s: Democracy and the National Conscience
                    
1990 | Carl Bernstein and Michael Deaver 
Media in U.S. Politics: Powerbroker or Pawn?
                    
1989 | Arthur Schlesinger Jr. and Robert Bork 
Law of the Land: Politics in Courts?
                    
1988 | Pat Schroeder and Jeane Kirkpatrick
American Foreign Policy in the 1990s: Who is the Enemy?
                    
1987 | Robert McNamara and Zbingniew Brzezinski 
Preventing Nuclear War: The ‘Star Wars’ Option
                    
1986 | Andrew Young and Arthur Laffer 
Reagan’s Stewardship of the Economy
                    
1985 | George McGovern and James Watt
Economic & Environmental Progress: Is There a Free Lunch After All?
                    
1984 | William F. Buckley Jr. and Dick Clark 
America’s Future: Is Liberal Politics Dead?
                    
1983 | Mulford Q. Sibley, Howard Phillips and Admiral Noel Gayler 
Total Disarmament: Hope, Hoax or Utopia?
                    
1982 | Cal Thomas and Sam Brown 
The Moral Majority: A Debate

                                                                                                             -pacificu.edu-

Pacific University is a small, but diverse learning community, where students thrive in a personal academic environment. Tracing its roots to 1849, when it was chartered as a school for orphans of the Oregon Trail, Pacific has long been devoted to making a difference in the world. Today, students study in a unique combination of undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business, education, health professions and optometry. Located in Oregon, Pacific serves a diverse population of more than 3,900 students, with campuses in Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Eugene and Woodburn. At Pacific University, students and faculty develop close, nurturing relationships that provide an extraordinary educational experience.

Pacific University Weekly News Brief - 10/11/18

A digest of recent news from Pacific University:

Bill James '92 to be Inducted into Pacific University Music Hall of Fame

Pacific University to Recognize Three Outstanding Alumni at Homecoming 2018

Boxers’ Cole Thomas and Milana Ivkovic Named Boxer Club Athletes of the Month for September

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Bluegrass Band Returns to Pacific on Oct. 13

Coming Attractions

Girls Today Conference – Friday, Oct. 12

Gateway Film Festival – Oct. 12-13

Athletics Schedule  (Oct. 12-14 – Volleyball, Soccer home games)

Fall Choral Concert – Friday, Oct. 12

Performing Arts Series: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band – Saturday, Oct. 13

Former State Department Advisor Todd Green to Discuss Islamophobia – Monday, Oct. 15

Rep. Suzanne Bonamici to Discuss Women in Politics – Tuesday, Oct. 16

Rotary Club of Forest Grove Weekly Luncheon – Wednesday, Oct. 17

Homecoming – Oct. 18-21

Senior Preview Scholarship Days – Fridays (Oct. 19, 26)

Cawein Gallery Exhibit – Richard Harrington – through Oct. 26 (M-F, 1-5 p.m.)

                                                                                                                                             -pacificu.edu-

Pacific University is a small, but diverse learning community, where students thrive in a personal academic environment. Tracing its roots to 1849, when it was chartered as a school for orphans of the Oregon Trail, Pacific has long been devoted to making a difference in the world. Today, students study in a unique combination of undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business, education, health professions and optometry. Located in Oregon, Pacific serves a diverse population of more than 3,900 students, with campuses in Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Eugene and Woodburn. At Pacific University, students and faculty develop close, nurturing relationships that provide an extraordinary educational experience.

Steve Dustrude '73
Steve Dustrude '73
Pacific University to Recognize Three Outstanding Alumni at Homecoming 2018 (Photo) - 10/09/18

FOREST GROVE -- Pacific University will honor its 2018 Alumni Association Awards recipients at a special dinner and ceremony on Friday, Oct. 19 as part of the university’s annual Homecoming Weekend festivities.

Among the recipients are Daintry Bartoldus ’88 of Ewa Beach, Hawai‘i, who has spent her personal and professional life caring for those who are homeless or experiencing disabilities; Dr. Peter Ago PharmD ’09, a pharmacist and medical doctor who founded a charity and provides direct care to underserved people in his home country of Nigeria; and Steve Dustrude ’73, a retired teacher and speech-language pathologist who has been a leader in Oregon’s education systems and a passionate supporter of his alma mater at Pacific.

Daintry Bartoldus ’88

Bartoldus ‘88 of Ewa Beach, Hawai’i, will receive the university’s Outstanding Alumni Award, which recognizes alumni who have made significant contributions to their community or profession, and who have made tremendous accomplishments toward their life goals.

Bartoldus, currently the executive administrator of the Hawai’i Council on Developmental Disabilities, has committed her life to improving the health and wellbeing of the disabled and homeless members of her local community, often going above and beyond the parameters of her chosen career of social work.

Bartoldus has served as a caseworker, supervisor of caseworkers and nurses, and as liaison between the Hawai’i Legislature, Congress and the community. Now, as executive administrator of the Developmental Disability Council, she plans, oversees, evaluates and advocates for systems to serve those with disabilities.

In the 1990s, Bartoldus played a key role in navigating Hawai’i through court-ordered changes to its mental health services system. She helped create a model of independent living for adults with disabilities, who previously were forced into group living situations, and doing so, mentored numerous other social work professionals.

Among many additional accomplishments, Bartoldus has helped establish and support a lunch cart staffed by people with disabilities.

Her passion to help others is hardly relegated to her professional life. At just 26, she became the guardian to a disabled woman, who had recently been released from a mental institution with no place to go. The two have been roommates for the past 37 years.

Bartoldus also took in the autistic son of a friend to provide the young man with a stable support structure that eventually enabled him to live independently in an apartment. She has helped immigrants with educational and economic opportunities, and in 2017, she adopted a homeless family of five, helping the adults find jobs and register the children for school and eventually helping them secure their own housing without government assistance.

 “I believe we are servants,” Bartoldus said. “I was put here to be the best I can be.”

Dr. Peter Agbo PharmD ‘09

Agbo will receive the Alumni Association’s Emerging Leader Award, which recognizes Pacific alumni who demonstrate outstanding leadership in their vocation, community service or service to the university.

A native of Nigeria and resident of Smyrna, Del., Agbo is a tireless champion of providing health services for the underserved in Africa. Agbo grew up in Nigeria and earned his doctor in pharmacy from Pacific in 2009. He went on to earn a master’s degree in public health and a medical doctor degree from the American International School of Medicine Guyana. Today, he is employed by Bayhealth Medical Center in Delaware. Each year since 2011, Agbo has traveled back to Nigeria to deliver healthcare services and supplies to underserved people.

He co-founded a charity with a longtime friend and neurosurgeon to deliver medical care and services to people in Nigeria. In December, Abgo and friend Dr. David Asuzu will take a team of physicians and other medical personnel to provide free care to more than 1,000 people during a two-week visit to the city of Ikom, close to the border with Cameroon. This year, they expect many of those served will be refugees fleeing from war in neighboring Cameroon. They will do everything from dispense vitamins to perform surgeries for those who have been injured or haven’t been served by the local medical system.

“They don’t have the resources,” Agbo said of the healthcare system in Nigeria. Poor people in this part of sub-Sahara Africa don’t get regular medical attention. As a consequence, Agbo said, many have diabetes, high blood pressure or aren’t receiving routine care while pregnant. Agbo said he and Asuzu remain committed to the project to bring advanced healthcare to underserved people in the region where they grew up.

The coming trip will bring new medical challenges and different kinds of patients, but, said Agbo, “I can’t wait to see them.”

Steve Dustrude ‘73

Dustrude will receive Pacific’s David and Sandy Lowe Outstanding Alumni Service Award, recognizing Pacific alumni for significant contributions of time, service and talents to Pacific.

A resident of Springfield and retired teacher and speech-language specialist within the city’s school district, Dustrude has served as president of the Springfield Education Association and been active in the Oregon Education Association and Oregon Speech and Hearing Association. He also served on the Pacific University Alumni Board of Representatives for many years, including a term as president.

As a board member, he has been a strong advocate for the university’s Alumni Legacy Scholarship, which is given to students who are children or grandchildren of Pacific alumni. Part of this advocacy has been to involve other members in the selection process and work with the university to offer more scholarships to more students.

Dustrude said Pacific has enriched his life in personal ways, from providing the setting for meeting his wife, fellow alumna Cyndy ’74, to being the place where his daughter, Erin Dustrude-Lampert ’05, PT ‘08, her husband, Joel Lampert ’05, MS ’07, PsyD ‘10, and his brother-in-law attended school.

Award Ceremony

The Pacific University Alumni Awards Dinner & Ceremony takes place at 5 p.m. Oct. 19, on the Forest Grove Campus.

                                                                                                                                       -pacificu.edu-

The Pacific University Alumni Association strives to deepen the engagement of alumni and students in a lifelong relationship with Pacific University and to further the welfare of Pacific University. Pacific is a small, but diverse learning community, where students thrive in a personal academic environment. Tracing its roots to 1849, when it was chartered as a school for orphans of the Oregon Trail, Pacific has long been devoted to making a difference in the world. Today, students study in a unique combination of undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business, education, health professions and optometry. Located in Oregon, Pacific serves a diverse population of more than 3,900 students, with campuses in Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Eugene and Woodburn. At Pacific University, students and faculty develop close, nurturing relationships that provide an extraordinary educational experience.

Pacific University Weekly News Brief - 10/04/18

A digest of the week’s news at Pacific University:

Woman of Vision: Pacific University Theatre Highlights Astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, Oct. 18-21

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Bluegrass Band Returns to Pacific on Oct. 13

Coming Attractions

Senior Preview Scholarship Days – Fridays (Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26)

Volleyball vs. Lewis & Clark – Friday, Oct. 5                           All Sports Schedule

Rotary Club of Forest Grove Weekly Luncheon – Wednesday, Oct. 10

Fall Choral Concert – Friday, Oct. 12

Performing Arts Series: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band – Saturday, Oct. 13

Cawein Gallery Exhibit – Richard Harrington – through Oct. 26 (M-F, 1-5 p.m.)

Homecoming – Oct. 18-21

                                                                                                                                             -pacificu.edu-

Pacific University is a small, but diverse learning community, where students thrive in a personal academic environment. Tracing its roots to 1849, when it was chartered as a school for orphans of the Oregon Trail, Pacific has long been devoted to making a difference in the world. Today, students study in a unique combination of undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business, education, health professions and optometry. Located in Oregon, Pacific serves a diverse population of more than 3,900 students, with campuses in Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Eugene and Woodburn. At Pacific University, students and faculty develop close, nurturing relationships that provide an extraordinary educational experience.

Pacific University Theatre presents Silent Sky, Oct. 18-21.
Pacific University Theatre presents Silent Sky, Oct. 18-21.
Woman of Vision: Pacific University Theatre Highlights Astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, Oct. 18-21 (Photo) - 10/04/18

FOREST GROVE -- Strong, steadfast women take center stage in Pacific University Theatre's fall production, Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson, which runs at Pacific's Forest Grove Campus Oct. 18-21.

Silent Sky explores the life and career of Henrietta Leavitt, a human computer at the Harvard College Observatory in the early 1900s. Based on a true story, the play begins with Henrietta’s decision to join Edward Pickering’s team of women computers in studying the stars.

Joined in the office by feisty and fierce female compatriots Annie Cannon and Williamina Fleming, she takes a particular interest in Cepheid stars. We see her, over the course of fifteen years, continue to fight for her work amidst pulls from family and potential romance. It’s that fight that ensures her legacy and cements her name in the history books.

"We are very excited to share with our audiences, an experience of art and science coming together," director and Pacific Theatre and Dance Department Chair Ellen Margolis says. “Henrietta Leavitt was a woman with a disability, and sometimes the messages she received were, frankly, discouraging. Had she not persisted relentlessly, a major leap in our ability to measure the universe would not have been made when it was. This absolutely speaks to our time, when the voices of women are being heard more clearly than any time I’ve ever experienced.”

In real life, Leavitt suffered from hearing loss. As Gunderson translates that experience into the play with the use of a hearing aid, so too will sound designer Brennan Staffieri '20. He plans to represent, but not necessarily simulate, Leavitt's hearing loss through soundscape design. “As a person with significant hearing loss, it is important to me to get this right,” he says.

Margolis also reached out to professors of physics at Pacific University to help bring to life the scientific concepts Leavitt and her comrades were studying. Professor Todd Duncan spent time with the cast, and has graciously offered to have telescopes available outside the theatre during some of the performances, weather permitting.

“We’ve been thrilled to have Professor Duncan teach us the science we need to understand for the play, and to connect with other faculty, clubs, and classes on campus in a wide range of areas,” Margolis says.

Inside the theatre, scenic and lighting designer Tal Sanders plans to employ specially designed drapes that will allow fluid movement between locations through projected imagery, while maintaining space for the characters to inhabit their world unimpeded.

“I was inspired by the need for creating a view of the heavens that so fascinates our central character, so that the audience too can share her passion for and delight in its mysteries.”

Joining Staffieri and Sanders on the creative team is resident costume designer Melissa Heller, 2018 Broadway World Portland award winner for best costume design.

Silent Sky features an outstanding cast of student actors including Jenna Cady '19, Elise Dixon '19, Annie Doughty '22, Calvin Porterfield '19, and Phoebe Whittington '20.

The show will have four performances in the Tom Miles Theatre (Warner Hall) on Pacific's Forest Grove Campus, with evening performances beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 through Saturday, Oct. 20, and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Oct. 21. Attendees of the Thursday and Sunday performances will have an opportunity hear from the cast and crew following the show.

General admission is $8, and $5 for Pacific University students, employees and alumni. More information is available at pacificu.edu/theatretickets.

For more information, please contact Dr. Margolis at 503-352-2752 or golis@pacificu.edu" target="_blank">margolis@pacificu.edu.

                                                                                         -pacificu.edu-

The arts have been an integral part of Pacific University since its founding in 1849. Today, the university features strong academic and cocurricular opportunities in music, theatre, dance and visual arts, fostering rich cultural experiences for students and the larger community.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Bluegrass Band (from left) - Reginald Rueffer (fiddle, violin, vocals), Dave Walser (lead vocals, guitar), Bach Norwood (double bass, vocals), Gerald Jones (banjo/mandolin)
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Bluegrass Band (from left) - Reginald Rueffer (fiddle, violin, vocals), Dave Walser (lead vocals, guitar), Bach Norwood (double bass, vocals), Gerald Jones (banjo/mandolin)
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Bluegrass Band Returns to Pacific University Oct. 13 (Photo) - 10/01/18

The unique Beatles tribute band opens the silver anniversary season of Pacific’s renowned Performing Arts Series

FOREST GROVE -- Beatles fans are in for a treat on Saturday, Oct. 13 when Pacific University welcomes Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band back to Forest Grove to open the silver anniversary season of Pacific’s renowned Performing Arts Series.

A select number of tickets remain to see the Fab Four tribute band perform some of the greatest songs in pop music history through a unique fusion of bluegrass, jazz and classical styles. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Taylor-Meade Performing Arts Center on Pacific's Forest Grove Campus.

Band founder Dave Walser became hooked on The Beatles’ sound as a youngster growing up in Texas when he first heard the band perform on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964.

“I was nine years old and already playing guitar, but what I heard that day changed everything,” he said. “The Beatles ignored the formula that most pop music adhered to at the time, and sang with a fresh energy that was contagious from the first five seconds! I was hooked and couldn’t put my guitar down trying to learn how they did that.”

Walser started his first “Beatles" band a year later. “We were pretty good for fourth-graders,” he added. As a young adult, Walser paid his way through college playing gigs in Dallas at night and going to school during the day. After graduating from East Texas State University, he continued to play solo gigs and lead worship at several churches.

In 2002, Walser launched Beatlegras, a hybrid of Beatles and Bluegrass music, after seeing Paul McCartney’s Back in the U.S. tour in 2002. The band played throughout the United States and Great Britain from 2004-10.

After taking a year off, Walser relaunched the group as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Bluegrass Band. “I thought it would be fun to get some great musicians together and play all acoustic versions of Beatles songs,” Walser said. “It’s truly The Beatles’ music - we just choose to play it from our own hearts and style rather than try to impersonate them. Each of us adds a little something different to the mix.”

Those who attended Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band’s first appearance at Pacific four years ago can expect to hear some additional Beatles favorites this time around.

“We continue to rotate new songs into our shows, but always do a few of the favorites like Here Comes the Sun, All You Need Is Love and others,” he says. “A couple of new ones we will do for sure are A Little Help From My Friends and Penny Lane. We love those songs!”

Walser added that each band member brings a distinctly different style that maximizes the band’s flavor.

“While we all love The Beatles, we each bring what we love to do and are fortunate enough make a living as a group and through our individual ventures," Walser said. "Reggie Rueffer is a classically trained violinist who played bass in a local Alt Rock band before joining us. Gerald Jones is a very well known bluegrass player and teaches banjo at various music camps throughout the United States. Bach Norwood is a true jazz genius who plays classical for the Dallas Symphony occasionally, and has toured many times with Polyphonic Spree.”

In addition to his role as lead vocalist and guitarist, Walser has a successful solo career that features his original music in addition to the best of The Beatles and James Taylor.

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Bluegrass Band performs about 30 shows each year, and the Oct. 13 performance at Pacific rounds out the band’s fall season, following shows in suburban Dallas (Oct. 5), Palo Alto, Calif. (Oct. 11) and The Dalles (Oct. 12).

“All four of us are full-time musicians, but not full-time Sgt. Pepper's members,” Walser said. “This band is a very energizing thing for us, and we have no desire to change that. It's always fun for us to take a three-to-five day trip, play Beatles songs to others who also love The Beatles, then come home to our families. If we look like we're having fun on stage, we are! I'm not sure we could pull that off if we did a couple hundred shows a year.”

Walser fondly remembers the band’s last appearance at Pacific. “We had a wonderful time, loved the town, the audience, and the venue. We can’t wait for Oct. 13!”

The Performing Arts Series has been an entertainment staple of western Washington County since 1994 and has featured performances by some of the most recognized names in America over the years, including Ed Asner (2013), John Sebastian (2010), Judy Collins (1995), the Harlem Gospel Choir (2005) and more.

A limited number of tickets are available for $25 apiece and can be purchased in advance by calling 503-352-2918. In addition to individual performance tickets, a variety of season ticket packages remain available. For more information, visit pacificu.edu/pas.

The 2018-2019 Pacific University Performing Arts Series is sponsored by Tuality Healthcare - An OHSU Partner, R.B. Hornberger Company and U.S. Bank, with additional support from Wauna Credit Union, Diversity Café and Best Western University Inn & Suites (Forest Grove).  

                                                                                                           -pacificu.edu-

The arts have been an integral part of Pacific University since its founding in 1849. Today, the university features strong academic and cocurricular opportunities in music, theatre, dance and visual arts, fostering rich cultural experiences for students and the larger community. The Pacific University Performing Arts Series has been a highlight of the university's commitment to the arts for the past 25 years.

Pacific University Weekly News Brief - 09/28/18

A digest of upcoming events at Pacific University:

TEDxLatino101 – Friday, Sept. 28

Women’s Soccer vs. Puget Sound (Friday, Sept. 28) and Pacific Lutheran (Sunday, Sept. 30)               All Sports Schedule

Football vs. George Fox – Saturday, Sept. 29

Pacific University Press Book Launch Reception: Textbook by Assistant Professor Tal Sanders (Theatre) – Wednesday, Oct. 3

Old College Hall monthly open house - Wednesday, Oct. 3

Cawein Gallery Exhibit – Richard Harrington - opens Wednesday, Oct. 3

Volleyball vs. Lewis & Clark – Friday, Oct. 5

                                                                                                                                             -pacificu.edu-

Pacific University is a small, but diverse learning community, where students thrive in a personal academic environment. Tracing its roots to 1849, when it was chartered as a school for orphans of the Oregon Trail, Pacific has long been devoted to making a difference in the world. Today, students study in a unique combination of undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business, education, health professions and optometry. Located in Oregon, Pacific serves a diverse population of more than 3,900 students, with campuses in Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Eugene and Woodburn. At Pacific University, students and faculty develop close, nurturing relationships that provide an extraordinary educational experience.