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Marylhurst Kicks off New Academic Year

Excerpt from an article by Jillian Daley in the Lake Oswego Review, October 3, 2013.

Hundreds of students celebrating the dawn of another year at Marylhurst University on Monday stepped onto a changed campus.

For many students, the first week of fall term featured a first glimpse of a renovated chapel in the BP John Administration Building and the discovery that a different president, Jerry Hudson, has taken the reins. New developments aside, students remained the same as ever, striving for a degree to help reach long-held dreams.

The school has about 1,400 graduate and undergraduate students, including Loretta Jones, who will receive her bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies in June. Jones hopes to use the areas her degree encompasses — communications, business management and leadership — to spearhead an effort to provide goats to African women with AIDS. The goat milk would nourish the women's babies without the risk of transmitting HIV through the breast milk so the babies "have a chance at life," she said.

"If I can make a difference in the life of one baby, why would I not do it?" Jones said.

Nathan Wilkerson is another Marylhurst student who expects to earn a bachelor's next year, and post-graduation he aims to fulfill a longtime dream of joining the Peace Corps, which requires a bachelor's degree for most of its volunteer assignments.

"I'm kind of getting nostalgic for the campus now that I'm about to leave," said Wilkerson, an English literature and writing major.

The student study lounge in the BP John Administration Building, which the four young women were enjoying on their first day, is just down the hall from Marylhurst's freshly remodeled chapel. The painted stained glass windows of the chapel remain as vibrant as ever, although the site now sports better acoustics and sleek wooden chairs instead of stadium seating.

The Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary established Marylhurst in 1893 in downtown Portland and in 1908 bought 63 acres between Lake Oswego and West Linn, which the sisters named Marylhurst. The administration building was among the first structures completed on the campus in 1930.

"There's, I think, a good history here. ... There is a tradition that means a lot," Hudson said.

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