January 30, 2008 marks Linfield’s 150th anniversary, and the sesquicentennial committee has planned special events to celebrate it.
Earlier this year during Homecoming, students in the persuasion class, taught by Jackson Miller, associate professor and director of forensics, interviewed alumni about their experiences during their years at Linfield. The interviews, which will contain stories, anecdotes and memories, will be compiled for a spring sesquicentennial performance, “Voices of Linfield.”
Peter Richardson, professor of modern languages and chair of the sesquicentennial committee, said the celebration will be in full swing come January.
To begin the celebration, a group will walk from the First Baptist Church to campus. The location of the church is the original site of the college. When the walk is completed, a ceremony will be held to honor the transition and growth of the college.
At this point, the committee hopes Governor Ted Kulongoski and a representative from the mayor’s office will speak at the ceremony.
A group will also bury a time capsule that will remain buried for 50 years, although it will not be buried until May 9, 2008. The students on the sesquicentennial committee have been awarded the task of coming up with meaningful representations of this generation to put into the capsule.
Director of Alumni Relations Debbie Harmon said the time capsule is about what is important to students and faculty. The list of items to go into the capsule has not been finalized, but it ranges from popular technology to silverware from Dillin Hall.
Richardson said the committee is hoping to put the items on display in the anthropological museum in Walker Hall to allow everyone a chance to see what will go in the capsule.
The capsule will be buried in the new Linfield Sesquicentennial Plaza. The plaza, to be located in front of Walker.
Donors will be able to have bricks, inscribed with their name or the name of a family member, placed in the plaza.
Another event taking place is an Alexander Hamilton exhibit. It will be housed in Nicholson Library and will run from late February until April. Linfield is the only place on the West Coast that will be showing this exhibit.
Guest speakers from colleges such as Princeton University and Willamette University will come throughout its run.
Professor of Philosophy Marv Henberg will also discuss his book, “Inspired Pragmatism: An Illustrated History of Linfield College.” The book traces the 150-year history of the school.
It took Henberg 16 months of reading thousands of pages of student newspapers, board minutes, press clippings, catalogs and bulletins and sorting through hundreds of historic photos to finish the book. It is now on sale in the Linfield bookstore and online.
The sesquicentennial committee said it is excited to reinstate some of the college’s lost traditions and increase the amount of historical information students will be able to learn during the year.
Members of the committee said one of the traditions they are gearing up for is the Spring Sing. It is a campus competition where groups of students come together to write songs related to the college and perform them in front of a panel of judges. Richardson said the singing culture is well established at other schools, and he wants to re-establish it here.
Senior student representative Aaron Larsen said the Spring Sing will be a two-part competition. The first will be a competition between the residence halls and suburbs, and the other will focus on the music composition. The winners will have their song published in a new Linfield songbook.
“I am excited to see everyone get together and sing,” Larsen said. “It is not so much just the Greeks who can participate, but everyone.”
The sesquicentennial events will also teach students, faculty and community members about the roots of the college.
“It is about taking something traditional and bringing it to contemporary times, keeping the passion,” Larsen said.
Harmon wants students to feel like they are carrying on a tradition, and their time spent here is just a piece in much larger puzzle.
“Everyone will get a better feeling for what Linfield is,” Richardson said. “We are what we have been.”
To learn the exact dates of sesquicentennial events, visit the Web site, www.linfield.edu/150