17 notable Linfield stories from 2017

Thousands flock to Linfield to be in the ‘path of totality’

Students, faculty, staff and friends gathered on the McMinnville campus for a once in a lifetime event.

The McMinnville campus went completely dark on Monday, Aug. 21, at precisely 10:15:56.5 a.m. Faculty and staff, a few early-arriving students and hundreds of visitors who flocked to McMinnville experienced complete darkness during a total solar eclipse. The event was free to all, and many received complimentary eclipse viewing glasses. Prior to the eclipse, Michael Crosser, professor of physics, presented a lecture on why solar and lunar eclipses are rare.

Linfield is the #1 Pacific Northwest liberal arts college for ethnic diversity — for the 2nd year in a row

Linfield students at the Multicultural Center open house in McMinnville.

Linfield’s commitment to diversity and inclusion was recognized for a second consecutive year by U.S. News and World Report. The publication ranked Linfield first for “Best Ethnic Diversity” among all liberal arts colleges in the Pacific Northwest and 34th nationally.

Student video perfectly sums up what it’s like to grow as a person

First-year student Kiana Anderson produced this wonderful video for her colloquium class.

Baseball wins the Northwest Conference, men’s basketball returns to the playoffs

Linfield Baseball celebrates a 2017 Northwest Conference championship.

The baseball team finished at the top of the Northwest Conference standings and hosted conference tournament at Roy Helser Field. Everything lined up for a trip to the NCAA Tournament, but a loss to Willamette in the first game meant the Wildcats would have to advance through the loser’s bracket to become conference champions — and that’s exactly what they did.

Men’s basketball earned a playoff berth for the first time since 2010. The Wildcats entered the four-team Northwest Conference Tournament as the third-seed. The ‘Cats’ ‘valiant effort’ wasn’t enough to top Whitworth, the fourth-ranked team in NCAA Division III.

The Linfield community gives back in a big way

Don’t let the $167,066 number fool you. Giving Day, on May 2, 2017, saw Linfield donors continuing to make gifts to support students to the tune of $180,251. This was a 400% jump from 2016. Thank you to everyone to contributed to Linfield students and their education.

Joe Wilkins is the first Linfield professor to win an Oregon Book Award in 28 years

Joe Wilkins, associate professor of English.

Joe Wilkins, associate professor of English, won the Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry for his book “When We Were Birds.” Wilkins is the first faculty member to win an Oregon Book Award since Professor Emeritus Lex Runciman did so in 1989.

Linfield announces a new marching band for 2018

Tualatin High School’s marching band was one of four high schools to perform at Maxwell Field during the 2017 season.

Strike up the band! Linfield’s new marching band will be the first for the Northwest Conference, and one of few among NCAA Division III colleges and universities nationally. Linfield will name a marching band director in early 2018.

President Hellie to retire in 2018

Linfield College President Thomas L. Hellie

When President Thomas L. Hellie retires on June 30, 2018, he will have led Linfield College for 12 years. President Hellie said of his tenure, “This has been the most important and fulfilling experience of my professional life.”

A nursing student’s internship provides an opportunity to work in a lab that researches her disease

Kate Marra ’19 is a nursing student at the Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing. Photo courtesy of Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Nursing major Kate Marra ’19 spent her summer working as a cardiac research intern at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass. She spent time in the MacRae lab, where researchers are studying a rare disease of the heart muscle known as arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). Marra was diagnosed with ARVC at age 15 and has since recovered. She and her family have been researching labs that study ARVC and have fundraised for the MacRae lab.

“Ada and the Engine” receives positive reviews and full houses

Benjamin Bartu ’18 played the role of Charles Babbage, and Melory Mirashrafi ’19 played Ada Lovelace.

Recently, Linfield Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner called Lauren Gunderson “America’s Most Popular Playwright.” Her play, “Ada and the Engine,” was performed by a student cast at Linfield’s Marshall Theatre in November. The final few shows were in front of a full house, and the Linfield Review called it “a stunning performance.”

Internationally known educator and researcher leads wine education program

Gregory V. Jones, director of wine education at Linfield College

Gregory V. Jones joined the Linfield faculty in August as the director of wine education. Jones is known globally as one of the preeminent wine climatologists. When smoke from Oregon’s wildfires poured into the Willamette Valley, reporters looked to Jones for his insights on how it would affect the 2017 crop. Jones was also named one of 48 Top Wine Industry Leaders for 2017 by “Wine Business Monthly.”

Latinx students and families begin a new tradition

21 first-generation students were celebrated at Linfield’s inaugural Latinx Senior Recognition ceremony. The event was conceived and organized by students and honors Spanish-speaking families.

Four from Linfield earn Fulbright awards

Christopher Munjar ’17, Mackenzie Fraser ’17, Grant Cates ’17 and Chandler Collins ’15 are four of more than 1,900 U.S. citizens who will study, conduct research and teach abroad for the 2017–18 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Kelly (Bradstreet) Carlson ‘00 named “Outstanding Young Educator”

Kelly (Bradstreet) Carlson ’00, a social studies teacher at McMinnville High School. Photo courtesy of the McMinnville School District.

A recent streak is developing among Linfield alumni: many are being recognized for their work in the classroom as educators. Jeffrey Crapper ’00 was named Outstanding High School Classroom Teacher by the Oregon Science Teachers Association in 2016 and Michael Lindblad ’94 was named the 2015 Oregon High School Teacher of the Year. The trend continued this spring when Kelly (Bradstreet) Carlson ’00 won the 2017 Young Educator of the Year award for the McMinnville School District. She was honored in May.

“Streak Street” opens and “The Streak” turns 62

Linfield’s game day experience took a turn for the festive this year. This fall, the athletic department closed Lever Street on game days, renamed it “Streak Street,” and brought in food vendors, live music, games, animals and more. Wildcat fans responded, as Linfield led the Northwest Conference with an average paid attendance of 2,852 people per game; more than 300 fans per game ahead of 2nd place George Fox.

Mack the Wildcat made the switch from 61 to 62 in October.

The ‘Cats secured a 62nd year of “The Streak” with a 12–6 win on a wet, windy afternoon in McMinnville. Linfield maintains the lead for consecutive winning seasons for all levels of college football.

Student implements bilingual program for children

Jennifer Moranchel ’18

Jennifer Moranchel ’18 graduated from Dayton High School in 2014. She returned to her alma mater in the fall of 2016 as an intern for the DHS Juntos Program. Moranchel works with children ages 3–11 as part of a bilingual program she designed and implemented.

2016 graduate credits Linfield for preparing her for med school

Linfield alumna, Megan Schwehr ’16 is attending the University of Washington School of Medicine, the #1 medical school for primary care, and her biochemistry degree is a popular major for students entering medical school.



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Linfield University

Linfield University

A university that connects the liberal arts with practical education through collaborative, service and experiential learning opportunities.