It's hard to imagine what would improve the natural beauty of Albion; yet in its 52nd year, the Pacific Union College field station had evidence of aging that even the lush Redwood trees couldn't compensate for. With camping spaces becoming crowded by shrubbery and building roofs falling apart, Albion was in need of a renovation.
In response to a call for help from the President's Office, nearly thirty members of PUC faculty and staff, along with their families, ventured out to Mendocino from July 2-11, for the Albion Beautification Project. Volunteering their services and vacation hours, the PUC-ites spent the days painting, weeding, cleaning, and reroofing the field study center grounds.
The work day began shortly after an eight-o'clock breakfast and finished up about five or six. Afterwards, the volunteers were free to spend the evening kayaking, canoeing, or taking trips to the coast. While the only compensation for the intense physical labor was free room and board, all found the trip to be worth their while.
"It was great to mingle with people from other departments that you would not see otherwise," said Terry Trivett, professor of biology, who helped with the reroofing. "It was a perfect atmosphere to combine festivities along with good work."
While it would seem that the seaside location and social camaderie would be the biggest draw to working at Albion, surprisingly, it was another event that drew the most response from the work crew.
"Watching Dr. Maxwell brandishing a chain saw and orchestrating the clearing of the camping area was impressive," said Jeff Veness, vice-president of alumni development.
Even Trivett had not failed to notice the feat of PUC's fearless leader.
"He was up on a very steep place, looking very presidential with a chainsaw," joked Trivett. "This was real macho men stuff."
As a result of the machismo of certain volunteers and the sheer dedication of all, Albion has never looked better. Yet this was just the beginning of several projects involving Albion. Next summer the school will be planning another work session in July. The plan is to add bathrooms in every cabin. Albion is also hoping to find sponsors for new Rogue River Canoes. As an extension of the PUC campus, Albion is often used for study sessions through the biology department. But with its rustic cabins and large meeting hall, it has also become a popular choice for conventions and family retreats.