The Postell Picnic

Posted by - - 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, Revelers

Beginning in the mid-1940s, the annual Postell Picnic was a highlight event that brought alumni together to reconnect with one another. Named for the hosts, Alice (Sandstrom) Postell, ’31, and her husband, Sam, the picnic was held at their home in Spokane Valley until 1957, when the Postells moved to Arizona. The event relocated to the Whitworth campus and retained the Postell Picnic name. The picnic garnered attendance nearing 200 and featured ice cream and home-grown cantaloupes from the Postells’ garden. The event lasted into the 1960s, until new alumni events replaced the annual picnic.

After marrying in 1933, Alice and Sam Postell worked in the wholesale produce business in Spokane. Alice served as alumni president for several years, and Sam served as a Whitworth trustee from 1953 to 1970. Alice remained dedicated to volunteering throughout her life. In the 1970s, after separating from Sam, she moved to Sitka, Alaska, to be near her daughter and son-in-law, and she volunteered at the Sheldon Jackson Museum. In 1990, at age 80, she published a book, Where Do the Reindeer Come From?, following 15 years of research that chronicled the introduction of reindeer to Alaska by Presbyterian missionary Sheldon Jackson.