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A tournament that golf lovers love

Marylhurst Classic to celebrate 30 successful years on Aug. 18


Stephen Zimmer and Dr. Melody Rose, new Marylhurst University president, pose against the beautiful backdrop of the golf course at Oswego Lake Country Club, home of the Marylhurst Golf Classic on Aug. 18.Stephen Zimmer helped make the Marylhurst Golf Classic a success by thinking big.

The school wasn’t exactly a hotbed of golf tradition when Zimmer arrived on the scene. Marylhurst once had a small golf tournament, although the university did have a three-hole golf course on campus back in the days when it was an all-girls school.

In 1984 Zimmer brought his proposal to former long-time Marylhurst president Nancy Wilgenbusch, then the school’s new president.

“I told her we used to have a golf tournament to raise money for charity,” Zimmer said. “Nancy said, ‘WE need the money. But the faculty and the alumni wouldn’t like a golf tournament.’ “

Zimmer proved to be just the right guy to start get the ball rolling

“I wanted to have a real tournament,” he said. “Not just a hit and giggle event. It would be enjoyable and fun but a real golf tournament for people who love the game of golf.”

Zimmer’s second great idea was to seek a high entry fee.

“We charged $2,000,” Zimmer said. “I told everyone they could either just write a check or write a check and have some fun.”

This argument was so convincing for golf lovers that the Marylhurst Classic has always had a full field of 120 golfers. Even today, with the entry fee boosted up to $4,000. This has made the classic a huge moneymaker for Marylhurst, raising $3 million over three decades.

“We’ve been able to help hundreds of students,” Zimmer said. “A little money can make a lot of different in getting an education.”

For the 30th anniversary, Zimmer and his friends plan to do something especially special for this year’s tournament on Aug. 18 at Oswego Lake Country Club. The tournament will give away great prizes, especially golf trips to beautiful golf courses, and put on a terrific banquet at the conclusion of the tournament, catered by Bon Appetit.

“The Marylhurst Classic is a tournament that golf lovers love,” Zimmer said. “Because it is a real golf tournament we’ve had a lot of repeat participants over the years. There is no nonsense, although it is a lot of fun.”

The Marylhurst faculty and alumni have also come to love the Marylhurst Classic, providing many volunteers that make golfing in the tournament such a pleasure.

Zimmer was also proud to note that Oswego Lake Country Club has been the site of the tournament for the past four years, after many years of moving from one course to another.

“As far as I’m concerned, this is our permanent home,” Zimmer said.

There are still some open spots in the field. For information about forming a team call Sandy Pittenger at the University Advancement Office at 503 699-6251. Online registration will soon be available.



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