A well-stocked dinner table has been the image of peace and hospitality for centuries. Everyone loves a good dinner party, welcoming hosts and good food. It was four years ago Pacific University’s Alumni Relations got the idea in their heads that building a strong network of alumni and students could simply happen over a big plate of food.
“We want the kids to feel the hospitality in a very personal manner. We have the alumni open up their homes and kitchens to the current students for the evening,” said Denise Banh, head coordinator of the Past and Present Dinner. “The dinner provides a very casual but valuable connection between students and alumni. The alumni really want to see what students are doing and this dinner gives them the chance to catch up.”
A wide variety of alumni participate with putting on the dinner, serving an even wider variety of food.
“We’ve had people dish up pasta, Mexican, barbeque, etc.” said Banh.
The alumni hosting students have freedom in deciding what they would like to serve, some getting quite experimental in their selections.
This year more than 13 homes will be open with at least 30 students eating; the chance to get away from the U.C. for a night welcomed warmly by the appetites and stomachs of all the hungry youth.
The Past and Present Dinner is an annual event, but since it has been received with such popularity in the last few years, plans for expanding the event’s dates have been considered. This year the dinner will be taking place on the evening of Sunday, Nov. 11.
“I’m excited to see how it all goes this year, its always fun meeting the kids who sign up and which alumni choose to host students,” said Banh.
A good dinner is enough to keep any college student happy, and having a great host makes things even better. The Past and Present Dinner is a great way to meet and eat and enjoy the wonderful gift of free food.

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