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WWU / Fairhaven College of Interdiscipinary Studies


Dean's Letter to the Community

Roger Gilman as a Fairhaven student in 1972
Roger Gilman as a Fairhaven
student, 1972

Greetings fellow Alums; Remember the Colon!


“The Fairhaven Experience: Designing my Education, Designing my Life.” Remember the pressure cooker of the Concentration Seminar where you struggled to explain the meaning of the colon in your self-designed major? How it tied everything in the universe together? By the way, can you remember the title of your concentration and the names of those who worked alongside you in designing a major?


Coming up with the answers to these questions might be good preparation for visiting with your former professors and classmates at “Back 2 Bellingham” and the reunion of the Fairhaven College community.


We look forward to seeing you in a few months (May 14-16, 2010) on campus at our 40th Year Reunion of Fairhaven’s graduates and their families.


Have a great time catching up with classmates and old friends. Re-connect with your former professors in seminars and relish again that unique Fairhaven Experience of learning and growing. [By the way, take note of praise for that Fairhaven Experience in the new book, Fixing College Education, posted on the College website.]


In addition to re-connecting with treasured friends and revisiting important ideas, we will take time to re-appreciate how our life and work have been shaped by our time at Fairhaven: Celebrate in a variety of ways – by dining and dancing together; touring the Outback with its new amphitheater, greenhouses, and tool sheds; enjoying a student production of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Michael Burnett; sharing graduate’s art, poetry, music and photography; recording your thoughts and reminiscing with the Fairhaven Memories Oral History Project; by meeting and talking with the new President of the University, Bruce Shepard, tasting the new flavor of Mallard Ice Cream, “Fairhaven College Fresh Berry Crunch” (blackberries, white chocolate, and granola, of course); taking in a slide show and talk by Adventure Learning Grant students; networking with classmates for a new job; seeing what your college boyfriend or girlfriend looks like now, and much, much more. There will also be an opportunity to honor those of the Fairhaven family that have passed on.


Everyone in your family is welcome to come and be part of the party! We’ll have activities for kids and teens as part of the overall University reunion, “Back 2 Bellingham.” There are activity session on dinosaurs and American Indian Lore, and the Zodiac of Stars, and a program called “Sleeping Over with Science, for Kids.”


And plan to self-design some of your own free time during this weekend: revisit some of your favorite things: like hiking on Sehome Hill in the Arboretum, checking out the world famous Sculpture Collection scattered across campus; taking a morning boat cruise of Bellingham and Chuckanut bays on the Snow Goose with bagels from the Bagelry (“bagels on the bay”); sneaking out to Mount Baker for some spring skiing or snowboarding; shopping in Old Fairhaven or on Railroad Avenue, grabbing a drink with a friend at Boundary Bay or the Wild Buffalo; doing the rounds at the Alumni, Family, and Student Golf Outing at North Bellingham Golf Course; sitting in on a yoga class or exercising at the Wade King Recreation Center; kayaking, canoeing, or sailing from Lakewood on Lake Whatcom; wandering the Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning; touring the Mt. Baker Vineyards or the Cloud Mountain Farm; taking in some rocking music at your favorite club, or at End Fair in the Fairhaven College courtyard; checking out the futuristic cars at Western’s Vehicle Research Institute; checking out your old dorm room at the campus wide Residence Hall Open House; taking a botanical tour of the landmark trees and plants on campus and the arboretum; taking in the art show at the Western Gallery. And, if you can show up a few days early, you’ll be able to consider important questions at the World Issues Forum, and contemplate a lecture for Japan Week, both by Ted Bestor (’73), Japanese scholar and chair of the Anthropology Department at Harvard (on Wednesday, May 12th), and join the Distinguished Alumni Awards banquet on Thursday evening May 13th for Ted’s Dintinquished Alumni award. There will be no end of things to do, many friends to hang out with, and a chance to gather a fresh appreciation of your Fairhaven family and experience during this exciting weekend.


Looking forward to seeing you soon, and hearing how the Fairhaven colon has shaped your life,


The Dean, Roger Gilman (class of ’73)



Class Notes

This Newsletter contains extensive Class Notes from you, our Alumni.

See the Dean's update in Alumni Class Notes >