By Jeb Bladine • President / Publisher • 

Jeb Bladine: Important year at Linfield University

September begins an important school year for Linfield University, and in many ways for rekindling long-time ties between Linfield and the McMinnville community. We are reminded from Linfield’s website:

“Linfield University and McMinnville, Oregon, have a special relationship. The institution was chartered in 1858 by the Oregon Territory, only two years after McMinnville came into being. Linfield has continuously offered coursework in McMinnville since that time, while expanding to Portland and online since the 1980s. With a strong emphasis on service learning, Linfield students engage deeply with local businesses, nonprofits and schools to truly connect learning, life and community.”

A large freshman class with a high percentage of first-generation college students has joined Linfield’s diverse student body. They are becoming visible in a welcoming community, and in time will become more connected to local people and activities.

Connectivity with community is a challenge, and important mission, for Linfield. Pandemic years, punctuated by some on-campus controversy, diminished some of that connectivity, as it has at many institutions. Adding to that challenge, the university will have many new top administrators, including provost, vice president of student affairs and admission, vice president for enrollment management and student success, associate vice president for facilities administration and chief financial officer.

We were reminded in August of the importance of connectivity with news that former Linfield President Vivian Bull died in Pennsylvania. Vivian navigated her own early controversy, but 13 years later had become a hugely popular leader at Linfield and friend to the broader community.

President Miles Davis endured early-term controversy while overseeing a complex, future-looking transformation of Linfield College to Linfield University. His administration shows many positive signs of rebuilding community within the university itself — a prerequisite to reinvigorating Linfield’s traditional ties throughout the local community.

One of those longtime connections is Linfield football — first game tomorrow, Homecoming two weeks later, and another season for extending “The Streak” in place since 1956. As the school year unfolds, there will an array of arts and guest speakers available to the community, and long-awaited completion of the new science complex.

It’s been more than a decade since Linfield’s annual Partners in Progress campaign solidified community connectivity, and perhaps a new alternative to PIP could be contemplated.

Meanwhile, it’s great to see so much progress in the life of a local institution that has provided so much positive cultural, educational and financial impact to McMinnville and Yamhill County for 164 years.

Contact Jeb Bladine at jbladine@newsregister.com or 503-687-1223.

Comments

Don Dix

Linfield beat Huntington 41 - 34 yesterday -- Go Cats!