Menlo College

On October 19, 2019, over 2,200 alumni and friends of Menlo College honored their connection to the school by playing hard-fought and sometimes hilarious alumni versus varsity games, dining at food trucks, watching student talent at an outdoor stage, and delighting in old and new friendships made through the College.

Menlo College alumna Maya Sewald ’75 summed up the College’s fifth annual OAKtoberFest celebration in two words. “It rocks,” said the founder of Ovation Real Estate.

Featuring “connections across generations,” according to Dr. Marianne Neuwirth, Director of the College’s Oral Communication program, the event found baby strollers parked next to the picnic tables where alumni, professors, students and staff introduced family members. There were ping-pong competitions, toss and pitch games, and a climbing wall.

The College showcased its sense of community across its renovated campus. “The pathways, landscaping and grounds are outstanding and welcoming,” said Alan Fernandez ’04, a music and arts promoter who is now in his second year on the Menlo College Alumni Council. He made these observations at an  alumni brunch hosted at College President Steven Weiner’s campus home.

Fernandez, now 55, attended Menlo College as an older student and says that he continues to serve the College because “Menlo gave me dignity and a sense of accomplishment…especially since I had an academic journey that moved outside a traditional college path.”

John Rohrer ’89, now a strategic account manager at Dell Technologies, invited his wife to the alumni brunch. “The small campus creates a culture of community,” he said, “and what is unique is that even graduates who live far away try to come to OAKtoberFest every year.”

Rohrer, valedictorian of his class, was pleased to see Menlo Economics Professor Dr. Craig Medlen at the brunch. “He was an anchor person for me and I think about what he taught me even now 30 years after graduation.”

Menlo’s most recent valedictorian, Zacchaeus (Ziggy) Beatty ’19, now working in audit assurance at Big 4 accounting firm PwC, warmly greeted his accounting professor and mentor Dr. Janis Zaima. Beatty observed that “the study skills that I learned at Menlo have helped me greatly as I train to be an auditor.”

Afternoon events had a decidedly international and multicultural flavor, reflecting the tastes and talents of Menlo’s community. Food trucks served up Hawaiian, Asian and Mediterranean food, while an outdoor stage show, hosted by Dylan Houle, Director of Internships, Career Services and Study Abroad, included students showing off Hawaiian and hip-hop dance moves. Chinese students Hongyu Luo ’21, Minchen Li ’21, and Qingyi Huang ’20 sang in English and Mandarin to the Chinese hip-hop hit, Made In China, and the Pacific Islander Club performed exuberant Hawaiian dance.

As the afternoon closed, senior Brenda Flores ’20 and her mother, Lilliana Reyes of Castro Valley, chatted with Menlo’s Provost Grande Lum. “I’ve been coming every single year to see Brenda on the dance team,” said Reyes. “Menlo is such a warm, welcoming place. I could not have found a better school for my daughter.”

Photo by Lisa Ann Villarreal

{ Be the first to comment }

“The future of corporate leadership – How transparency is key to innovation” is panel topic on Feb. 27

Menlo Park Rotary Club, Impossible, and Menlo College have put together a panel to talk about how transparency in the workplace is on the rise and why it has never been more important to a successful business model. Several studies have shown that transparency is the number one factor determining workplace happiness which is directly […]

Click to read more →

Dumbarton Bridge collision and fallen tree branch at Menlo College keep Menlo Park Fire personnel busy

Emergency response personnel were kept busy yesterday afternoon (Saturday, Aug. 5) with two almost simultaneous emergencies. The first incident occurred at 2.16 pm 0n the Dumbarton Bridge involving multiple vehicles with one car on fire and injuries. Menlo Fire Engine 77 was actually on Bayfront Expressway headed to a training event with personnel in full protective […]

Click to read more →

Menlo College Provost Terri Givens brings her knowledge of immigration policy to the classroom – and to Kepler’s

Dr. Terri Givens, Provost of Menlo College, is back where her undergraduate education began. She attended Stanford where she ran track for two years, studied international security and arms control under Condoleeza Rice, and graduated in 1987 with a degree in international relations. “To be living back here is a dream for me,” said the […]

Click to read more →

Fundraiser for Syrian refugees at Menlo College on April 13

Victoria Schultz posted this on Nextdoor and asked neighbors to spread the word: “Good morning! I am a Menlo College alumni (and former Oak Knoll Otter! :)) Together with some fellow alumni and Professor Marianne Marar Yacobian I am hosting an event tomorrow, April 13, at 6:30 pm at the Florence Moore Auditorium on the Menlo […]

Click to read more →

Menlo College faculty and students raise funds for Syrian refugees

Menlo College Associate Professor Marianne Marar Yacobian and Menlo College students began raising funds and awareness for the Syrian refugee crisis in 2015. The war in Syria and the ban on immigration in America have increased the need for aid as the numbers of refugees from Syria surge. In response to the current climate, Dr. […]

Click to read more →

Menlo College president Richard Moran is Rotary Club speaker June 1

The Rotary Club of Menlo Park is hosting Rotary Connects on Wednesday June 1, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Allied Arts Guild.  The community is invited to attend and connect with other local business leaders, community leaders and Rotary members. The guest speaker for the evening is Dr. Richard Moran, President of Menlo College, author, CEO, and […]

Click to read more →

Community is invited to hear Dr. James S. Lai speak at Menlo College on April 13

For its last Monday night speaker of the semester, Menlo College presents Dr. James S. Lai, Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Ethnic Studies Department at Santa Clara University. His 2011 book, Asian American Political Action: Suburban Transformations, examines the demographic shifts and the rise of Asian American political incorporation in small to medium size […]

Click to read more →

Bay Area business authors speak at Menlo College on April 1

Six influential business authors from the Bay Area will speak at Menlo College at an author’s roundtable on Wednesday, April 1 starting at 7:00 pm. Free and open to the public, the discussion will be moderated by Dr. Richard Moran, President of Menlo College and the author of several books on CEOs, workplace issues and modern […]

Click to read more →

Discover the history of Menlo College at Kepler’s this Thursday evening

Whether or not you have ever set foot on the Menlo College campus in Atherton, you can learn about its 85-year history when Pam Gullard, author of Through the Gates, discusses the college’s past, present, and future with the new president, Dr. Richard Moran at Kepler’s Books on Thursday, Feb. 19. The event will begin with a 7:00 […]

Click to read more →

Menlo College community participates in Be The Match Registry® today and tomorrow

Menlo College students were sticking cotton swabs in their cheeks this morning, all part of a Be The Match® campaign organized by Kezia Molinsky, the college’s Head Competitive Cheer and Stunt Coach, to raise awareness about the need for marrow donors. “A friend of mine’s daughter’s life was saved thanks to a marrow transplant,” explained Kezia when […]

Click to read more →