Each summer, Edith Duffy Reynolds 51 climbs into a van and road trips with Linfield College alumni and friends.
Reynolds, professor emerita of consumer and family studies, is a regular participant in the alumni trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Its a tradition she started in the 1960s.
Its the highlight of my year, said Reynolds. It's wonderful to go with Ken Ericksen (professor of English). He knows everything about the theatre and Shakespeare.
The trip is one of many activities Reynolds takes part in each year. In the spring, she helps with costuming for the Linfield Opera Theatre. She joined a watercolor class at Chemeketa Community College in 1991 and regularly paints with the same group. She has been a member of the First Baptist Church for more than 50 years, beginning as a Linfield student in the Watchcare Fellowship.
After graduating from Linfield, she went on to earn a masters in textile science from the University of Tennessee. She taught junior high and high school for two years before joining the Linfield faculty in 1953, where she remained until the consumer and family studies department closed in 1990.
In those days it was very hard to find professors, she recalled. I came on a temporary basis to fill in and ended up staying.
Her life has been punctuated by travel. She has been to Europe several times, taking students to England and France as part of a January Term historic costume course. Shes also traveled to New Zealand, Australia and South America, and taken part in elderhostel trips to Texas, Louisiana and Utah.
They have the most interesting lectures, said Reynolds of the elder hostel program. Im surrounded by people who want to learn something. It's like being back in the classroom again.
Reynolds has watched the campus expand, the enrollment increase and students educations broaden.
I've seen a lot of changes, she said. Linfield has more of an international flavor than it did and that is such a great gift to a student. It really helps them grow up and appreciate the rest of the world. Its a valuable part of their education.
Reynolds is a familiar face at many campus events, including music, lectures and sports.
We're lucky in the community to have a resource like Linfield so we can attend interesting events, she said. Living in a college town is a good idea for retired people. You can get the stimulation you need.
And she remembers with fondness the students from her years of teaching.
It was a precious relationship, she said. I don't miss all the reports and committee meetings, but I enjoyed all my students. They were very special.
Tom Meicho '51
When Tom Meicho '51 signed on as a Linfield College admission counselor in 1957, he figured hed stay for a couple of years.
"Suddenly it was 36 years later," said Meicho, dean emeritus of admission, who served at Linfield until his retirement in 1993. "Linfield was a great match for me. I was very fortunate."
Meicho first discovered his affinity for Linfield as a student. A blind date with Jean Woest 53 during his junior year proved life changing. The two were married and served for a time as house parents in Larsell Hall. After graduating from Linfield with a degree in literature and sociology, Meicho went on to earn a BD from Berkeley Baptist Divinity School, then pastored the Lincoln Heights Baptist Church in Spokane, Wash., for three years.
With encouragement from Earl Shipley, former director of public relations, Meicho returned to Linfield, interviewing with President Harry Dillin during a walk around campus. After another 20-minute conversation with Steine Jonasson, dean of faculty, he was hired.
The Meichos raised two children, Grant '82 and Jackie (Meicho) Howard '83, and have six grandchildren, ages 8 to 22.
"I retired at the insistence of my grandchildren to be a volunteer in their school," said Meicho, who helped with reading, spelling, art and other projects at Columbus Elementary School for a number of years. Much of his time now is spent cheering on grandchildren at athletic events.
Meicho, a member of the First Baptist Church for more than 50 years, organized senior tours at the church, leading friends to art shows, Columbia River boat trips, Christmas light tours and a myriad of dinner trips. He has volunteered for the St. Barnabas Soup Kitchen and organized a walking group, which meets each Tuesday and Thursday at 8 a.m. at the Linfield track.
The Meichos are avid travelers and have been to Europe and Canada, and closer to home, they frequent Oregon coast and Sunriver.
"Time just runs long beautifully," he said.
Even with all his involvements, Meicho is never too far from Linfield. He and Jean attend a variety of college events, ranging from sports to lectures, concerts and theater productions. Meicho is pleased to note that many of Linfields key traits have remained the same.
The kinds of friendships fostered when I was a student still exist today, he said. Faculty members are concerned about students.
And though Linfield has had some bumpy times, Meicho said, the college has come through them well.
The Korean conflict took a lot of men, he said. When I came back to the college, one of our first goals was to get the enrollment up to 800 then 1,000. I'm very proud of Linfield. It has served its mission well and is still doing that.