Annual award doled out during Homecoming Week

Heather McClellan

Review staff writer


Every year, an alumnus is honored for his or her service to Linfield with the Alumni Service Award.

“We give out one award a year,” Director of Alumni and Parent Relations Debbie Harmon said. “We give them to people who have helped with alumni events and have given their time to improve the college through volunteering and hosting events.”

The Alumni Service Award is one of four awards given during Homecoming week. Three are given to alumni and one to a non-alumnus.

“The awards are: the Distinguished Alumnus Award, which is given to an outstanding alum; the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award; the Alumni Service Award; and the Walker Award, which is given to a non-alum for service to the college,” Harmon said.

The program was established eight years ago. The first receiver was Jose Gatan, class of ‘73.

“There is a perpetual plaque in Riley [Student Center] with the names of all the winners on it,”
Harmon said.

Lee Vasquez, a Partners in Progress volunteer, will receive the Walker Award; Rob Owens, class of ‘94, will receive the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award and Rick Pullen, class of ‘67, will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

This year’s service award was given jointly to married couple Erik and Jennifer McLaughlin, classes of ‘96 and ‘95.

“They were selected because they have hosted a number of events for both prospective students and alumni at their Boise-area restaurants,” Harmon said.

The couple has owned multiple restaurants: Richard of Hyde Park, The Bungalow, The Penelton and 8th Street Wine Company,  Harmon said.

Because of his involvement in the wine industry, McLaughlin is presenting a lecture entitled “Oregon’s Wine Industry” as a part of Homecoming week.

“Both of them worked in the wine industry while they were in college,” Harmon said. “I asked him to do it because I thought [the wine industry] is a topic that other alumni are interested in, and maybe some students are, too.”

McLaughlin’s Oct. 10 lecture will be at 3:30 p.m. in the Austin Reading Room of the  Nicholson Library. For more information, visit

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