Landscape Architecture Class Reunion

Date: May 15, 2015 - May 17, 2015
Location: Various locations, Traverse City area, MI

Hosted by Dr. Jo Westphal

As a part of her retirement roast and in an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for Class Reunions in attendance, we welcome all Landscape Architecture students and alumni to join Dr. Jo Westphal and many other Michigan State affiliates of the LA Program to a weekend reunion on the Old Mission Point in Traverse City, Michigan.

MSU alumni will be able to enjoy multiple venues, get reacquainted with the beautiful outdoors of northern Michigan, design their own Spartan Saga, tell stories about their life experiences at MSU, and meet old and new faces of the LA Program at Michigan State University . . .and of course, roast or toast Dr. Jo Westphal as she retires from the MSU Landscape Architecture program after 28 years! 

Non-MSU alumni are welcome to participate in any or all of the activities listed for the All Class Reunion. But most of all, you are welcome to the Retirement Roast for Dr. Jo. She sincerely looks forward to seeing you at this last formal event relating to her 43 years of university teaching.


Please complete the RSVP form and return it (either submit via email or send it by snail mail) by Friday, May 1, 2015 (deadline extended), so we can accommodate all of you at the various venues. Please Note: Venue locations have been finalized and are different from earlier correspondence. This is because early registration for the various events suggests a larger than expected turn-out. See below for a map, venue descriptions, and updated locations for each event. Please register at the Peninsula Township Hall, 13235 Center Rd (M-37), Traverse City, MI, on Friday, 5-6 pm, and Saturday, 8am-5pm, to sign-in for the Guinness Record to pick up event materials.

Download RSVP Form

Schedule (see Map and details below):

Registration (5-6 pm on Friday; 8-5 pm on Saturday) at Peninsula Township Hall, 13235 Center Rd (M-37), Traverse City, MI. Help us set a Guinness World Record for Class Reunions!

Mixer & Light Food (6-7 pm) and Old Timer’s Night (7-10 pm) Friday, May 15, 2015 at St. Joseph’s Church Hall, 12675 Center Road (M-37), Traverse City, MI. You are the Old Timers. Bring stories . . . tell lies! Professors Duane Mezga, Jo Westphal, and Vanessa Warren (’01) hosts for event. Free

Continental Breakfasts (8-9:30 am Saturday and Sunday) at Peninsula Township Hall, 13235 Center Rd (M-37), Traverse City, MI. Free.

Saturday Activity Venues (10 am-5 pm) at various locations listed below:          

  • Venue A: Design Charette (St. Joseph Church Hall, 12675 Center Road (M-37). Help create a beautiful setting for this beautiful newly remodeled old church. Hosts: Paul Weinberg (’02), Lori Mullins (‘97), Paul Nieratko for event. Bring sketch pads, pencils, markers, etc.
  • Venue B: Great Outdoor/Indoors (locations below) Create your own venue with classmates or friends. Meet at the activity location(s) where your plans take place. Here are some ideas for organizing your class, yourself, and/or your day on Saturday, May 16.  We will not do any of the “leg work” for this.  You need to make your own reservations, based on your interests/inclinations.  We hope that you will gather your classmates in an excursion of sorts. The options are endless, but here are a few suggestions:
    • Rent a bike, kayak. Four outfitters and possibilities:
      • Crystal River Outfitters, 6249 W. River Road, Glen Arbor, MI $$  231-334-4420, Activities: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Bicycle Trail, Kayak/Canoe the Crystal River, Paddleboard rental
      • Grand Traverse Bike Tour, 118 N. St. Mary’s Street, Suttons Bay, Activities: Tart trail @ Suttons Bay, north to light house & south to Traverse City, Bike rental & tours
    • History Tour (check with the Traverse City Visitor Center for availability).
    • Blessing of the Blossoms Wine Tour for tickets and transport info Nine wineries exist on the Old Mission Peninsula, spend part of the day enjoying local food, wine, and entertainment. Buy tickets for this event on-line starting 60 days ahead of the event. Reserve transportation through this website
    • Golf$ Traverse City has an amazing selection of golf courses. The Northwest Region golf card includes 14 golf courses for $99.00 ($7.07/round!) Go on-line to check this out.
    • Manitou Noon Sail (2 hrs)  $$$ Traverse Tall Ship Company, Traverse City, MI Reservations:
    • Charter Fishing $$$  You are on your own for this. Go online and see what is cooking.
  • Venue C: Spartan Sagas Overview; the Grand Traverse Region (Jo Westphal; Dave Lusch) (10 am -12 pm/noon) at Peninsula Township Hall, 13235 Center Rd (M-37), Traverse City, MI. Bring your laptop to participate in this. Maps of the region’s “hot spots” in cultural and geologic landscapes will be presented for “do-it-yourself” field tours. Afternoon: Green Roof Workshop (1pm-5pm) at Dr. Jo’s  LA Alumni Farm, 3688 Bluewater Road, Traverse City, MI. Participate in green roofing a small structure on-site. Free.

Retirement Party and Roast for Dr. Jo (6-7 pm Mixer; 7-10 pm Dinner and Open Microphone) at HAGERTY CENTER, 715 E. FRONT STREET, in Traverse City, MI* Attire is dressy casual. Cost: $40/person. Masters of Ceremony (or mischief!): Professors Tony Bauer, Duane Mezga, and Paul Nieratko. 

StoryCorps Recordings (8 am-5 pm, Friday-Sunday) at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 12675 Center Road (M-37), Traverse City, MI. All are invited to submit a half-page proposal for you and a friend to participate in a StoryCorps recording session; only 18 sessions will take place (six on each of three days—May 15-May 17, 2015). Download these documents to learn what is entailed in this special event: StoryCorps Interview Introduction and DIY Guide.

(Evening events on Friday and Saturday night will be video-streamed; other events we hope you will record on whatever devices you have handy and share with others on our Group Facebook and Link-In sites.)