By Ryan Bluebaugh
On Saturday, May 9, the class of 2015 walked across the stage at Commencement and was welcomed as New Hope Christian College’s newest alumni. Welcoming them into the Alumni Association was Karen Bobst, our newly appointed Director of Alumni Relations.
Karen’s first event as Director, the inaugural Alumni Luncheon, took place right after Commencement and was attended by alumni ranging from the class of 1952 to the class of 2010. Whether the alumni were from Bible Standard Institute, Open Bible College, Pacific Rim College, Eugene Bible College, or New Hope Christian College, they all represented a unified family and were warmly welcomed back to campus- a place that these alumni feel like they can call home.
As everyone ate a delicious meal prepared by George and Linda Vrieze, Karen led introductions. Alumni started by telling their name and the year they graduated, which quickly led to many engaging stories spanning the history of this campus. Don Bryan shared how our very own Alumni Director, Karen, was a student who continually pulled pranks around campus- pranks that were directed not only to other students, but to staff and faculty as well. Bobst neither confirmed nor denied the validity of the stories that were shared.
As a recent graduate, it was refreshing to hear the stories of light-hearted fun and how certain individuals came to attend. Alumnus Grace Kater shared how Don Bryan went to the Philippines and because of his ministry and his help, she was able to come to Eugene to pursue an education at Eugene Bible College. Without him, it would never have been possible.
To hear how those whom I consider to be the “legends” came to attend our college, and the influence they have had on others over the years, was absolutely incredible and touched me deeply. The wisdom, real world experience, and knowledge of God was so present and alive in all the alumni that fellowshipped around that table. I could sit for hours listening, taking notes and just laughing with all my brothers and sisters. It also left me with the realization that we, as alumni, really need to find ways make sure this God-breathed knowledge, these stories, are shared with our younger alumni.
I walked away from the alumni luncheon feeling inspired by the stories of the past and very much looking forward to next year’s reception.