July 10, 2019

Alumni Weekend Labyrinth Walk

Alumni returning for reunions and Alumni Weekend 2019 calm their spirits by walking the labyrinth in the Gregg Pavilion

A special evening labyrinth walk in the beautiful Diane Gregg Memorial Pavilion was offered to the alumni attending the annual Alumni Weekend held during the days of June 20-24, 2019.  About fifteen alumni joined Dean of Spiritual Life Mark Duntley for this opportunity to quiet their spirits and experience the peace and calming effects of labyrinth walking on the evening of June 22nd.  

A bit after 9 p.m. that evening Mark provided a brief introduction and offered a few suggestions about walking a labyrinth.  Then those who had gathered spent some time walking the winding and circuitous path of our labyrinth.  Some who came were experienced labyrinth walkers, while others tried it for the first time that evening.  Afterwards a few of the alumni lingered to talk together with Mark about their time at Lewis & Clark and how enjoyable it was to return to campus for the reunion.  Many of them also remarked about how beautiful our labyrinth is in the setting of the Gregg Pavilion.   

Purchased in May of 2013, our 24-foot, 7-circuit Medieval Meander labyrinth is modeled after the famous labyrinth in the Chartres cathedral in France.  It was created by master labyrinth artist Lisa Gidlow Moriarty of Paths of Peace in Stillwater, Minnesota.  During each academic year there are monthly labyrinth walks in the Gregg Pavilion which usually take place from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. when students, faculty and staff are invited to walk the labyrinth.  Labyrinth walks have also been featured in the annual Lewis & Clark Gender Studies Symposium, and in PSI (Pioneer Success Institute).  In September 2018 we held a labyrinth walking workshop for the Lewis & Clark community with the help of some financial support from alumna Sandy Osborne, class of 1972.  

The labyrinth is an ancient archetypal symbol found in many cultures.  Its winding paths are the perfect metaphor for the long journey of life.  Unlike a maze, in which one might become lost, confused, or disoriented, the labyrinth has a single pathway to the center.  The way in is the way out.  There are no blind alleys.  A labyrinth combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path.  It represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world, and as such labyrinths have long been used as spiritual tools for meditation and prayer.