By Russ Baglien '57
For many of us Western Oregon University (WOU) alumni it is difficult to tell people that we are graduates of WOU. That’s because when we graduated in the mid-1950s, WOU was Oregon College of Education (OCE). We consider ourselves OCE grads. And we are pretty loyal to the college and to each other.
Since l987, a gang of 20 or more OCE grads has gathered in such diverse locations as Canada, Hawaii, Spokane, Fort Worth, Black Butte Ranch, Bodega Bay, Sunriver, Portland and the Oregon Coast to renew our friendships and relive old times. Most of us were athletes, some of more repute than others, but all “willing to accept” accolades from each other which transform our athletic deeds into something memorable. The wives just have to ignore the bragging sessions or go shopping or sight-seeing, or maybe take a walk.
The 2010 edition of the OCE reunion took place September 12 to 14 at Coronado Shores on the central Oregon coast. It’s a rerun of last year’s gathering that proved so enjoyable that the reunion clan wanted to come back again. Last year’s reunion was co-hosted by Russ and Janice Baglien and John and Virginia O’Donnell. Hosts this year are Pat and Wanda McManus and Larry and Joyce Buss. Larry and Joyce were inducted into the Fresno State Baseball Wall of Fame for their efforts on behalf of the Fresno State Baseball Dugout Club, which both have served tirelessly since 1982. They will no doubt receive additional recognition from their peers at the coastal gathering that may be in a humorous vein (perhaps not in the eyes of the Buss’s). Laughter isn’t hard to come by at these gatherings.
The reunion participants have been generous to the college over the years and funded an athletic scholarship a few years ago. Most are more than 75 years of age and have had marriages lasting more than 50 years.