Alumni Association News
Author: Kathryn Kirkland
Posted: June 15, 2006

PSU: Weekend Edition

The Alumni Association is excited to announce that Scott Simon, popular host of National Public Radio’s Saturday Weekend Edition, will be the keynote speaker for the 16th Annual PSU Weekend October 20 and 21.

Simon will speak at a Saturday brunch as part of a new format for PSU Weekend, which includes free seminars given by PSU professors and area luminaries. An exclusive Preview Night party and a pre-football game reception is planned for Friday, Oct. 20.

Known as one of the best writers in broadcast journalism and winner of the Peabody Award, Simon’s participation in this year’s event continues a tradition of outstanding, nationally-recognized PSU Weekend speakers. Past speakers have included Frances Mayes, Robert Kennedy Jr., David Halberstam, and Ursula Hegi. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

For more information, contact Jim Turner at 503-725-8210 or For a PSU Weekend schedule, visit the PSU alumni Web site.

Longtime staffer retires

Myrna Duray, administrative assistant in the Office of Alumni Relations, and compiler of PSU Magazine’s Alum Notes section, is set to retire June 30.

Duray, who has greeted alumni and been the office’s sole support staff for the past 12 years, is retiring from a 21-year career at Portland State, nine years of which she spent at the Athletics Department.

“Myrna has been our frontline person and the face of the Alumni Office to many of our alums,” says Pat Squire, assistant vice president for Alumni and Constituent Relations. “The entire community will miss her positive and friendly attitude and her knowledge of the campus.”

Duray plans to spend time in her garden, volunteer for pet causes, and do some traveling.International alumni comprise a significant portion of Portland State’s 105,000 graduates, and this year the University got reacquainted with many of them in Thailand, South Korea, Japan, and in the Middle East.

Alumni Association goes international

Making a first major alumni trip to Asia were President Dan Bernstine, Provost Roy Koch; Michael Reardon, professor emeritus of history and humanities; Cassie McVeety, vice president for University Relations; and Gil Latz, vice provost for International Affairs. The group met with foundations and university representatives, business leaders, and prospective students.

More than 80 alumni and friends gathered in Bangkok, Thailand, February 11 at an event organized by alumni Thuchchai “Ake” Piyakulchaidej ’04 and Toryos “Och” Pandejpong ’97. University officials also met with Ministry of Science and Technology representatives, visited a Nike contract factory outside Bangkok, and signed a formal cooperative agreement between PSU and Dhurakij Pundit University for exchanges and joint projects.

In South Korea, alumni and friends met February 15 at Sangmyung University, which co-hosted the event. Professor Jin Hwan Lee of Sangmyung made all the arrangements for the alumni event as well as the ceremony between the two universities. Visits were arranged with the Korea Foundation and the Korean Broadcasting System. Ma-Ji Rhee, PSU professor of foreign languages and literatures, was instrumental in the event.

The Oregon Bar and Grill in downtown Tokyo was the setting for the Japanese alumni event attended by more than 120 alumni and friends, including a number of dignitaries and PSU’s own Patricia Wetzel, professor of Japanese and director of the Institute for Asian Studies. Organized by Hideo Uratani ’79 and Hiroyasu Ejima ’95 in Japan, along with Yoko Sakurauchi ’04 from the PSU Alumni Association in Portland, the event featured speeches, awards, group photos, and a special prize of one round-trip airfare from Tokyo to Portland, courtesy of Northwest Airlines. Other activities in Japan included visits with the Tokyo and Nippon foundations, meetings with officials from Waseda University, and informal alumni meetings.

Some 50 PSU alumni and friends held their third annual reunion at the Hilton Kuwait Resort in Kuwait City March 16. Alumni and friends from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Kuwait attended the event hosted by Abdullah Al Saleh ’03. Also present at the banquet was Richard LeBaron, the U.S. ambassador to Kuwait, and Rasha Al Sabah, Kuwait undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education. Joining President Bernstine from Portland State were John Damis, Middle East Studies Center director; Marvin Kaiser, dean of the college of Liberal Arts and Science; and administrators Linda Morrell and Pat Squire.

Upcoming events for alumni and friends

  • 2006 Intel alumni event; join fellow alums for socializing and mingling; place and time to be arranged
  • Pendleton alumni event, September 14, 5 to 7 p.m., Pendleton Center for the Arts, 214 N. Main Street
  • Northern California alumni event and Viking football, September 14 to 16, location and details to come (PSU vs. University of California – Berkeley, September 16)
  • PSU Weekend, October 20-21, speakers and details to come
  • Vikings vs. Ducks road trip to Eugene, October 28, details to come

For additional information, go to the Alumni Association Web site or call 503-725-4948.

Old yearbooks wanted

Do you have old Portland State University, Portland State College, or Vanport yearbooks? Don’t throw them out. Donate them to the Alumni Office by calling 503-725-4948.