Written by Mark Kemball
Oregon may well be known for its wines, but no vineyards are to be found on the south-facing slopes of Marquam Hill. The tram lacks tie-downs for the transportation of aged oak barrels. The finer points of pigeage–the French wine-making term for the annual stomping of the grapes–are absent from the academic curriculum.
But we do share one characteristic with the grape harvesters and the wine makers: we mark the graduation of our classes by forever identifying them with the year in which they graduated. Each year we celebrate the passage of time for those classes who celebrate milestone anniversaries–those celebrations which end in a ‘0’ or a ‘5’.
Even though it’s early in the year, 2012 is shaping up to be a great vintage for the classes whose graduation year ends in a 2 or a 7. So far this year over 475 alumni and their guests have reconnected through their reunion– and we’re not done yet. Another four reunions are scheduled for the remainder of the year. By the time the 2012 Beaujolais Nouveau is released on November 15 we are confident that we will have broken 500 reunion attendees.
The years following graduation roll by quickly: even the more recent classes experience a significant level of temporal whiplash when they return to the Marquam Hill campus and hear about the changes and advances that have taken place since they left. For the 30-year classes and above the smell of the stacks in the old Library peel back the years, and suddenly they are transported back to the worn carrels by the rear windows, studying for another exam. It is a privilege for us to witness this time travel in action.
Like careful vintners we are already looking ahead to the next vintage–the 3s and 8s. We are expecting another stellar year and are anxious to hear from alums whose class years end in a three or an eight and who might be willing to lead a gathering of their classmates. If you’re reading this and are interested, our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do get in touch.
Mark Kemball and the alumni relations team are proud to count almost 34,000 dentists, nurses, physicians, researchers, technicians and other health professionals as OHSU alumni. The team strives to keep them all connected with the university, with its students and with each other.