Alumni Connections: Winter 2009
Author: Kathryn Kirkland
Posted: January 20, 2009

Viking love and marriage

ORK AND SCHOOL are two common places for people to find love, and for couples Andrea and Bob Shunk and Dianne and Brian Black their Portland State romances led to marriage. Did you find love in the halls of PSU? We would like to put your story on our Web site in February; e-mail it to us at

Bob and Andrea ShunkAS STUDENTS, Robert "Bob" Shunk '02, MS '05 and Andrea (Barnum) Shunk '01, MS '08 worked for the Vanguard, Portland State's student newspaper. It was a defining experience, says Andrea. As a new couple, "we had to learn to balance our personal and professional relationship, and agree to keep our relationship out of the newsroom."

Both applied for the job of news editor in 1998, and Bob got it. When he left a year later, Andrea was his replacement. The couple attribute much of their success as students to their mentor, Judson Randall, adviser and executive secretary for the Vanguard and namesake to their two-year-old son, Jud.

Bob and Andrea married in August 2003. Today Andrea teaches language arts at Fir Ridge, an alternative high school in the David Douglas School District. Bob is an academic adviser and site coordinator for PSU's School of Extended Studies. The couple are also PSU football season ticket holders, and "we love attending Young Alumni Events," says Andrea.

"I'm a big PSU booster," says Bob. "It's easy for me to tell people about how great the school is. We made lifelong friends at Portland State."

Brian and Dianne BlackYOU MAY NOT believe in love at first sight, but the story of Brian Black '69 and Dianne (Erickson) Black '70 may convince you of love at first step.

Brian first saw his wife-to-be walking down the stairs in Shattuck Hall. He knew immediately he'd like to meet her, and arranged through a mutual friend for them to be introduced. After that chance encounter, things moved fast. Brian and Dianne's first date was January 21, 1966, they were engaged in July of the same year, and married in September 1967.

The Blacks had two daughters and went to work in banking in Portland. Dianne is now retired and has more time for their five grandchildren.

The couple still enjoy their connection to Portland State and have been involved in PSU Weekend and participated on the Alumni Board. They remain avid fans of Portland State athletics and are both members of the PSU Alumni Association.

"We couldn't have afforded to go to college if it weren't for PSU," says Dianne. Brian adds, "We feel it's important to support the University that gave us so much. That's why we became members of the Alumni Association."

PSU Day in Salem

SHARE YOUR PSU story with Oregon legislators and let your voice be heard March 12 during our unofficial but well-attended PSU Day.

"Our collective voice for higher education can be a powerful catalyst for change and understanding," says Angela Wykoff '72, MS '75, '80, chair of PSU Advocates.

Alumni are encouraged to spend the day at the capitol, says Wykoff, reminding legislators that PSU is an outstanding institution, providing a quality education, and deserving of continued support through the state budget.

Join the PSU Advocates, an informal network of alumni and friends of Portland State started in 1989. Year round, Advocates contact legislators, write letters to the editor, and attend town hall and other meetings with community leaders and elected officials.

PSU Weekend highlights

  • PSU Weekend, held October 17-18, sets a new record for sponsorships received. (Thank you!)
  • President Wim Wiewel delivers a knockout introduction of keynote speaker and travel author Paul Theroux to the delight of the audience and Mr. Theroux.
  • Paul Theroux personally signs more than 200 books for appreciative fans.
  • Students talk with Paul Theroux and receive insight into the author's world.
  • The Preview Night Party is held in newly renovated Shattuck Hall.
  • Professor Melody Rose talks politics with her lecture on the masculinization of the 2008 election.
  • Seminar presenters include a train historian, Portland culinary expert, and Northwest Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.
  • A "global marketplace" is introduced, bringing together fair trade goods, PSU Capstone students, and their educational work in developing countries around the world.

Meet the president

The Alumni Association is pleased to introduce President Wim Wiewel at the following events:

February 26 PSU Salutes Awards Ceremony Portland
March 12 PSU Day at the State Capitol Salem
March 12 Alumni & Friends Reception Salem
April 9 Alumni & Friends event with OSU Corvallis
April 16 Alumni & Friends Reception Beaverton
May 12 Alumni & Friends Reception Astoria
May 21 Alumni & Friends Reception Bend

We also are planning Portland get-togethers for young alumni—those of you who graduated in 2000 or later—on March 3, International Career Networking with the World Affairs Council; and May 14 for a networking happy hour. Watch your e-mail for more information.

Stay in touch!

To attend an alumni event, learn more about the PSU Alumni Association, or update your own contact information, visit the Web site or e-mail