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Homecoming Schedule

Registration and ticket pick-up

Thursday, April 26 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 4th floor Administration Building
5:30 - 6 p.m. WEC Alumni Gymnasium; ticket pick-up only
Friday, April 27 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 4th floor Administration Building
Sabbath, April 28 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. University Church

Havstad Alumni Center visiting hours

Thursday, April 26 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday, April 27 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sabbath, April 28 5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Sunday, April 29 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Archaeology Exhibit (Peterson Memorial Library)

Thursday, April 26 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Sabbath, April 28 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Jump to a Specific Day

Thursday | Friday | Sabbath | Sunday | Announcements

April 26


Homecoming Banquet – TICKETED EVENT - $25
Winter Educational Complex, Alumni Gymnasium | 6:00 p.m.
Enjoy an evening celebrating our core theme "Generosity in Service" with special presentations, Alumni of the Year recognition, exotic food, and inspirational music. DOORS OPEN AT 5:30 P.M.

April 27


50-Year Reunion Breakfast – TICKETED EVENT - $12
Kellogg Hall, Alaska Room | 8:30 a.m.
Enjoy a delicious breakfast and a WWU update with your fellow '68 class members.

Student Development Center
Village Hall Lower Level | 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
Visit the Student Development Center to discover how you can support current students in their career path development.

Awards Celebration
University Church, Sanctuary | 11:00 a.m.
Join our WWU family as we honor student scholarship recipients and pay tribute to the alumni and friends who make these scholarships possible.

Eugene Winter Alumni Golf Classic & Dinner – TICKETED EVENT - $150 
Walla Walla Country Club, 1390 Country Club Rd | Shotgun start 12:00 p.m. Registration begins at 11:15 a.m. Enjoy playing at Walla Walla’s own Country Club. Entry fee inccludes green fee, golf cart rental, dinner, and a gift. All proceeds benefit the Walla Walla University men's and women's golf teams.  ENTRY DEADLINE:  April 20 or until full. Register before March 23 to receive a WWU polo shirt.  

Alumni Luncheon & Business Meeting – TICKETED EVENT - $12
University Church, Fellowship Hall | 12:30 p.m.
Enjoy a delicious meal, learn about alumni programs, and hear a report of the alumni activities this past year. You may attend this event without purchasing lunch.  LIMITED TICKETS FOR THIS EVENT.

Family Swim
Winter Educational Complex, Pool | 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Specifically planned for families and children – free swim at the WEC Pool. Life guard on duty; parent must accompany children.

Seminar:  "Nutrition and Exercise for Your Golden Years"
Bowers Hall, Room 201 | Merlene Olmsted '69 and Mary Schwantes, faculty alumna | 2:00 p.m.

This session will be a two-part presentation. Part I will present current information on healthful diets for middle-age adults and seniors. Part II covers how to keep active and independent for life, and it includes tips on exercises after age 50.

Merlene Olmsted ’69 taught at Walla Walla University from 1977 to 1991 where she chaired the now-retired home economics department from 1985 to 1991. After WWU, Merlene taught at Eastern New Mexico University from 1991 to 2007 in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. Merlene is now retired and stays quite busy at her church as a primary and kindergarten Sabbath school teacher, outreach coordinator, and pianist. Merlene also serves the city of Airway Heights, Washington, as Senior Commission president, and as an instructor for S.A.I.L. (Staying Active and Independent for Life program). In 2016, Merlene was named Volunteer of the Year by the city of Airway Heights.

Mary Schwantes taught at Walla Walla University from 1969 to 1984 where she chaired the now-retired home economics department from 1976-1978. After WWU, Mary taught at Washington State University and University of Idaho. Mary retired in 2000, and is now living in the Midwest. Mary and her husband, Carlos Schwantes (former WWU History professor), have two adult sons. Mary enjoys to travel, and has traveled internationally to over 80 countries. She also enjoys fabric arts, papermaking, testing new recipes, participating in health programs at her local church, and volunteering. Mary’s volunteer work with the charity “Wings of Hope” provides her with a sense of purpose and an opportunity to continue to teach.

Seminar: "The Life of a Pot"
Peterson Memorial Library | Jody Washburn '05 and Monique Vincent '07 | 2:00 p.m.

In this lecture, Jody Washburn and Monique Vincent use the visual of an ancient pot to illustrate the myriad avenues of inquiry that come together in archaeological research. Digging into the making, use, and reuse or discarding of a pot brings to life numerous aspects of the socio-cultural framework of ancient societies, and reminds us that the people who handled this pot thousands of years ago shared many of the same concerns regarding life and death that we have today.

Seminar: "Adventist Archaeological Work in Jordan: MPP@50"
Administration Building, Room 116 | Douglas Clark '70 and Kent Bramlett '94 | 3:00 p.m.

The Madaba Plains Project (MPP) is one of the most long-lived, continuously running archaeological projects in the Middle East.  Siegfried Horn (WWU ’47) set this project in motion. In this lecture, Doug Clark and Kent Bramlett focus on findings from the MPP-ʿUmayri excavations, with which WWU has been involved for the past 30 years.  Reception following.

Learn more about MPP@50

Seminar: "Preventing Suicide and Improving Mental Health" CEU available
Winter Educational Complex, Room 209 | Susan Smith | 3:00 p.m.
This seminar/workshop will provide an update on the suicide prevention landscape and an overview of the community education program, Mental Health First Aid, as a resource for preventing suicide, improving consumer literacy, and reducing the sigma historically associated with mental health problems. This presentation will emphasize the role of consumer-informed treatment and recovery.

25th Annual Randy Yaw Pi Contest
Kretschmar Hall, Physics Lecture Hall, Room 107 | 3:14 p.m.
Enjoy a slice of pie and watch students recite digits of Pi. The record for this contest is 1,769 digits! First place winner receives a $314.15 scholarship.

Gadfly Reading
Administration Building, Room 117 | 3:30 p.m.
Alumni who have published art or literature in the Gadfly (WWU's arts journal for the past 90 years) are invited, along with all others, to attend the annual Gadfly reading. Old issues are available for you to read from.

Committee of 500 Appreciation Dinner
Kellogg Hall, Alaska Room| 5:30 p.m.
Executive officers of the Committee of 500 invite members and prospective members to the annual business meeting and dinner. Meal compliments of Alumni and Advancement Services.

Piano Vespers
Melvin K. West Fine Arts Center, Auditorium | 6:30 p.m.
A concert of solo piano music performed by students of Professor Jinhyang Park.

PRISM Vespers
University Church, Sanctuary | 8:00 p.m.
Welcome the Sabbath with a program of sacred music, designed as a PRISM concert by the Walla Walla University Department of Music. Doors close promptly at 8 p.m. No late entry.

April 28


Bird Walk
Rigby Hall Parking Lot | 6:30 a.m.
One of homecomings most iconic and cherished events (first introduced in 1976). Early risers are invited to join biology faculty Joe Galusha '68 for a morning nature walk. 

Sabbath Schools and Worship Services
Various Locations | Various Times (see WWU Church Bulletin at

First Serve | 9:30 a.m.
University Church | Paul Dybdahl '92, WWU Professor of Mission and New Testament.
"The Babylonian Number Blunder" This sermon will acknowledge the challenge of math and explore the benefits of courage.

Paul Dybdahl was born in Thailand and spent the first eight years of his life in Asia before moving to the Walla Walla valley. He graduated from Walla Walla College in 1992 and served as a pastor in the Oregon Conference.  Eventually, Paul headed to Andrews University, where he earned an M.Div and then a Ph.D. in Missiology in 2004.  His academic interest centers on the issues related to the effective communication of the gospel, especially across cultural barriers. He has been teaching in the School of Theology at Walla Walla University since 2001. Paul and his wife, Kristyn (also a graduate of Walla Walla College), have three children: Noah, Alyssa, and Sarah.

50-Year Reunion Sabbath School
Heubach Chapel | 10:30 a.m.
Members of the Class of '68 present a special reunion Sabbath School for classmates and friends.

School of Theology Sabbath School
Village Hall | 10:30 a.m.
Current and former deans of the School of Theology
Enjoy a general lesson study led by current and former deans of the School of Theology.
Dave Thomas (2001-present)
Ernie Bursey (1998-2001)
Doug Clark (1990-1998)
John Brunt (1983-1990)

Sabbath Seminar
Canaday Technology Center, Room 105 | 10:30 a.m.
The Madaba Plains Project @ 50: Reinventing Biblical Archaeology | Kent Bramlett ('94), Monique Vincent ('07), Jody Washburn ('05)

The history of MPP is a story of transitions, significant pivots, major changes. What began primarily with theologians on a quest to understand, even prove components of early biblical history, morphed over time into something quite different. Surrounded and engulfed as it was by an international decades-long debate about the nature and value of Near Eastern archaeology in relation to the Bible, the MPP moved beyond the text-based “biblical archaeology” of W.F. Albright and G.E. Wright to an archaeology of biblical lands and peoples based more on scientific inquiry and empirical results, where the goal was to illuminate the Bible instead of prove it. 

Second Service | 11:45 a.m.
University Church | John Cress '78, Executive Secretary Southern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
"The DNA Factor" This sermon grapples with John 13 (comparing it to Philippians 2:1-8) and the “significance of the towel.” There are two symbols of the Christian faith: the cross and the towel. The cross is about sacrifice and surrender the towel is about service. The cross is good news the towel is good deeds. Every Christian who carries the DNA of God, lives in these two realities: surrender and service. What our communities need is not more talking heads, but a people who roll up their sleeves as servants.

John Cress graduated from Walla Walla College in August of 1978. He has been a pastor for 33 years leading churches in Upper Columbia, Northern California, and Rocky Mountain Conferences. In 2011, he moved to Virginia accepting a call to be the Vice President of Pastoral Ministries with the Potomac Conference. In March of 2016 he returned to the west coast becoming the Executive Secretary/Ministerial for the Southern California Conference. His wife Karen (Eigenberg) Cress, who graduated in 1979 class from Walla Walla College, is also a pastor and has served as the Vice President for Leadership Development for Rocky Mountain Conference and the Assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives in the Potomac Conference. She currently operates “Culture Shift,” a strategic planning business. They have two children. Tim who is married to Danielle and has given them two amazing grandchildren, Oceana and Kai. Tim is a pastor in Denver, Colorado. Their daughter Jennifer, who also lives in Denver, who recently married Eric Riley on November 10 last year. John’s passion is to develop healthy disciple making churches who will become an irresistible influence for the Kingdom of God.


Sabbath Dinner – TICKETED EVENT - $12
Winter Educational Complex, Alumni Gymnasium | 1:00 p.m.
Come fellowship with friends and classmates and enjoy a delicious catered Sabbath dinner.

Annual BAWWU Meeting
Winter Educational Complex, Room 139
Black Alumni of Walla Walla University (BAWWU) will meet during lunch. Pre-purchase your meal tickets, then bring your food to Room 139 for fellowship.

Honor Class Reunions & Photos
Various locations | Various times (see schedule below)
Reconnect with your classmates from 1958, 1963, 1968, 1973, 1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2008.

Honor Class Reunions and Hosts              

Vanguards | 2:45 p.m.
WEC Room 226, Ed Norton                             

Class of 1958 | 2:30 p.m.
WEC Room 225, Pat Johnston

Class of 1963 | 3:45 p.m.
WEC Room 217, Ann Weinand-Schnibbe and Pat (Craik) Fackenthall

Class of 1968 | 3:30 p.m.
WEC Room 209, Paul Jensen

Class of 1973 | 4:00 p.m.
WEC Room 215, John and Ann Annholm

Class of 1978 | 2:00 p.m.
CTC Room 128, Bev Foster

Class of 1983 | 3:15 p.m.
Havstad Alumni Center, 1st Floor Reception, Laurens Johansen

Class of 1988 | 3:00 p.m.
Havstad Alumni Center, 2nd Floor Board Room, Curt Schafer

Class of 1993 | 2:45 p.m.
CTC Room 105, Kellie Bond

Class of 1998 | 2:30 p.m.
CTC Room 305, Shelley (Schoepflin) Sanders

Class of 2008 | 2:15 p.m.
The Atlas, Samantha (Sanderson) Wooster

Winter Educational Complex, Alumni Gymnasium

Class of 1958                       2 pm
Vanguards                           2:20 pm
Class of 1968                       2:50 pm
Class of 1963                       3:20 pm
Class of 1973                       3:40 pm
Class of 2008                       4 pm
Class of 1978                       4:20 pm
Class of 1998                       4:50 pm
Class of 1993                       5:10 pm
Class of 1988                       5:30 pm
Class of 1983                       5:50 pm

School of Theology Deans' Hour
Village Hall | 4:45 p.m.
Visit with the current and former deans of the School of Theology as they share their most treasured memories from leading the department.

Home Economics Majors Reunion | Breads and salads potluck
Havstad Alumni Center, 2nd Floor Alumni Board Room | 5:00 p.m.
A special time to celebrate home economics majors and their accomplishments.

Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society Induction 
Heubach Chapel | 5:00 p.m.
Join the School of Social Work and Sociology faculty in recognizing its honor students.

School of Education and Psychology Seminar
Smith Hall Room 100| 5:00 p.m.
"Servant Leader": Oxymoron or Solution. One professor's approach to student burnout. Presented by Dr. Elmar Sakala, '65 and '68. 



Department Suppers – (Locations to be confirmed)
Various locations | 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Art, Communication and Languages, English, History/Philosophy
Administration Building, Room 205

Biology and Chemistry | Breads and Salads
Rigby Hall, Courtyard

School of Business | Dessert Reception
Bowers Hall Lobby

Education/Psychology | Soups and sandwiches
Smith Hall, Lobby and Room 202

Edward F. Cross School of Engineering | Bread and Salad Potluck
Walla Walla Valley Academy, Multipurpose Room

Health/Physical Education | Salad Supper
Winter Educational Complex, Room 142

Math/Computer Science/Physics | Sandwiches and Salads
University Church, Youth Room

The music department invites its alumni to the 7 p.m. Alleluias and Meditations concert in the WWU Church.

School of Nursing | Light Supper
Fellowship Hall, University Church

Wilma Hepker School of Social Work and Sociology | Supper
Winter Educational Complex, Atrium – Davis Street Entrance

Technology | Breads and Salads
Canaday Technology Center, Room 129

School of Theology | Supper
Kellogg Hall, Student Association Center (SAC)


Alleluias and Meditations
University Church | 7:00 p.m.
This year’s concert is inspired by Psalm 150 "Praise ye the Lord. Praise God in his Sanctuary...Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet...Praise Him upon the loud cymbals… Praise Him upon the high sounding cymbals...Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord."

Bowers Open House
Bowers Hall | 8:00 p.m.
Tour the newly renovated and completely updated Bowers Hall, visit faculty from the School of Business, and enjoy dessert.

Thailand Cultural Mission Trip 15th Anniversary Reunion
Havstad Alumni Center, 2nd Floor Alumni Board Room | 8:00 p.m.
A special reunion for all those who participated in a cultural mission trip to Thailand over the last 15 years. A Thai dinner will be provided as well as a Skype conversation with uncle Prasam and untie Nang.

Young Alumni (last decade) Event
Blue Palm Frozen Yogurt | 8:00 p.m.
Graduates from the last 10 years are invited to enjoy conversation and frozen yogurt. 

April 29


Winter Education Complex, North Entrance | 7:30 a.m.
Join Dallas Weis '74 for a 5K run/walk. Early registration at 6:45 a.m. Current WWU students receive free entrance. All proceeds go to worthy student scholarships.

20th Annual Alumni Car Show – TICKETED EVENT - $5 to enter vehicle
Havstad Alumni Center Parking Lot | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 
Enter a unique vehicle or vote for your favorite car from over 100 entries.
To register:, or call Alumni and Advancement Services at 1-(800) 377-2586.


Thursday, April 26                              9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Friday, April 27                                    9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sabbath, April 28                                5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Sunday, April 29                                  10 a.m. – 1 p.m.


Archaeology Exhibit

Peterson Memorial Library lobby

  • Thursday afternoon 4–5 p.m.
  • Sabbath afternoon 2–4 p.m.



Complimentary WiFi
Complimentary wireless Internet is available. Search for the "Homecoming" network within 20 feet of any WWU building.

Service Project Opportunity
To follow with our homecoming theme, you are invited to practice generosity in service by blessing somebody else with a note of encouragement, a favorite bible verse, or an inspiring thought. Address your message to a student missionary, a fellow alum, a university official, or to a local church member, and we'll be sure to deliver it! You'll find special service stations with note-writing supplies at several campus location. You may also leave small care package items—such as new toothbrushes, toothpaste, art of school supplies, devotional or bible story books—that can be sent to our next batch of student missionaries.

Homecoming 2019
Mark your calendars for Homecoming Weekend 2019, April 25-28.

Thank You
A special thank you to current WWU students. From graphic design to assisting with the Fun Run/Walk, weekend staffing, providing trophies for the Car Show, musical talent, and hours of detailed preparation, their contributions have added a special touch to this homecoming weekend.

University Bookstore
The University Bookstore is offering a 25 percent discount on one WWU-branded item during weekend hours.

Page maintained by Alumni | Last update on June 1, 2018