Each year, the CLU Alumni Association Board of Directors selects a recipient of the Service to Alma Mater Award in recognition of outstanding contributions made to the life and welfare of California Lutheran University. In honor of CLU’s 50th Anniversary, the Alumni Association has selected the University’s first graduates, the classes of 1964 and 1965, as recipients of the 2010 Service to Alma Mater Award.
Fifty years ago, these students acted with considerable bravery. They agreed to attend a school that, prior to their arrival, did not exist. The very act of their setting foot on this campus, answering the call and believing in the dream of a Lutheran college in the southwest, was the moment CLU, as we know it, came into being.
Even more impressive was the spirit in which these students arrived. Construction of many of those early and vital buildings was still in progress, which meant that these students were traversing a campus that could very easily have been mistaken for a construction site. They made the first walking trails, staged athletic contests on obliging fields, and performed recitals from a garage – all without complaint. They demonstrated a playful, can-do attitude and set about building the infrastructure of a community. That spirit of community still resonates today and remains one of CLU’s greatest strengths.