The Oregon Trail

May/June 2002

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The Oregon Trail

Charles Kou

The dorm road trip—it’s a Stanford institution. Students pile into cars and minivans and head for one of their favorite destinations: Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, L.A.—or Ashland, home of the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Near the end of winter quarter, Donner House—an all-frosh dorm in Stern Hall—sponsored its sixth annual weekend trek to the festival, and this year’s group was bigger than ever. More than 100 current and former Donner freshmen (upperclassmen and alumni are always invited) took the seven-hour trip to see four plays in two days.

“Ashland is a unique place, and there’s nothing like going back year after year with your friends,” says Alexis Kaminsky, ’01, who flew in from New York for her third Ashland trip. Linda Paulson, associate dean of the master’s of liberal arts program and Donner’s resident fellow, led the first trip in 1997.

When the group headed north in the winter of 2000, the 65 students were joined by longtime Stanford benefactor Helen Bing—who now underwrites the theater tickets to keep costs low for students. Thanks to her, says Paulson, “This year we were able to bring 101.” And counting.

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