WALLA WALLA, Wash. – About 250 Whitman College alumni and their guests will visit campus for Spring Reunion Weekend April 28-May 1.

The Whitman Class of 1965 will hold its 40th reunion, while the classes of 1974, 1975 and 1976 will gather for a “cluster” reunion.

Activities on Thursday, April, 28, include a presentation, “The Accidental Attorney,” by 1965 graduate Marily Muench, currently a deputy assistant general counsel for the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Given as part of the Alumni Career Series, her talk is open to Whitman students and alumni visitors. It begins at 4 p.m. in the Reid Campus Center, room 207.

From 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday, the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance will give a history of local wine production and host a wine tasting. The event, open to Whitman alumni only, takes place in the Young Ballroom of the Reid Campus Center.

Activities on Friday, April 29, include tours of Harper Joy Theatre, hosted by theatre director Nancy Simon, Whitman Class of 1963, and the new Science Building, hosted by professor of chemistry Chuck Templeton. Following the Science Building tour, senior geology majors Martin Bevis and Jo Nissenbaum will give presentations on research they conducted last summer in Mongolia with professor of geology Bob Carson. Their presentations begin at 2 p.m. in the Hall of Science, room 151.

From 9 to 11 p.m. Friday, the 30th Anniversary Show of Whitman’s Coffeehouse will feature the musical talents of Mike Cregan (’75), Deni Herrmann (’76) and Bob Baker (’76). Coffeehouse, which Herrmann founded as a student, is a weekly Friday night musical program that primarily showcases the music of Whitman students.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, April 30, the Bob Burgess Round-Robin Mixed Doubles Tournament gets underway at the Bratton Tennis Center (advance registration required). The 14th Annual Sweet Onion Crank, a wall-climbing competition, begins at 9 a.m. at the outdoor climbing wall and continues through mid-afternoon. Climbing competitors from throughout the Northwest are expected.

The 27th Annual Renaissance Faire Fun Run, sponsored by the Whitman Student Health Advisory Committee, also begins at 9 a.m. Saturday. The run is open to the public, and registrations will be taken in front of the Memorial Building from 7:45 to 8:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, the 35th Annual Renaissance Faire, a festival of traditional costumes, theatrical and music performances, artisans and food, begins at 10 a.m. Saturday and continues through 5 p.m. It is open to the public.

From 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Whitman President Tom Cronin will give interested alumni a state-of-the-college talk and lead a walking tour of campus.

After class reunion photographs are taken from 1:45 to 2:30 p.m. on the steps of the Memorial Building, alumni can take one of three 2:30 p.m. excursions (advance registration required):

* “Some New Thoughts on an Old Controversy: The Whitmans.” G. Thomas Edwards, professor of history, emeritus, will summarize recent interpretations of Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, and discuss the significance of the Whitman myth to the nation and college, missionary history and American Indian policy, and expansionism (manifest destiny). The group will travel by bus to the Whitman National Historic Site.

* Exotic Soils and Erratic Rocks: Geologic Influences on the Terroir of the Walla Walla Valley’s American Viticultural Area.” Kevin Pogue, associate professor of geology, will discuss local geology and its profound effect on the region’s thriving wine industry. A bus tour, after visiting vineyards and classic geologic localities, will conclude with a wine tasting at Woodward Canyon in Lowden, Wash.

* “Five + Five = Seven.” This group will visit Seven Hills Winery, located in Walla Walla’s historic Whitehouse-Crawford Building, to view the work of five local artists -- Leslie Williams Cain (’75),  Elizabeth Harris Matschukat (’71), Hans Matschukat, Jeanne McMenemy (’71), and Ian Boyden, director of Whitman’s Sheehan Gallery.

At 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Whitman’s Class of 1965 will gather at the Walla Walla Country Club for a social hour and reunion dinner. At the same time Saturday, the classes of 1974, 1975 and 1976 will hold its social hour and reunion dinner at the Marcus Whitman Hotel.

A no-host “good-bye breakfast” for alumni is set for 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sunday, May 1, in the Reid Campus Center’s Whitman Café.

Sheehan Gallery’s Senior Thesis Exhibition will be open from noon to 5 p.m. from Thursday through Sunday. The exhibit features the work of Whitman’s graduating studio art majors.

The Maxey Museum’s “Plantation Days” exhibit will be open from 1 to 4 p.m., Friday through Sunday. The exhibit examines the lives of the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who traveled to Hawaii in search of a better life. It traces their reasons for immigrating, their daily struggles in Hawaii, and the labor strikes that crippled the plantation system.

Both Sheehan Gallery and Maxey Museum are open to the public.

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Complete Spring Reunion Weekend Schedule

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CONTACT: Dave Holden, Whitman News Service

509 527-5902; holden@whitman.edu