China trip

Graceland Alumni Association Heading to China in May of 2018

With a population over one billion people and one of four ancient civilizations at some 5,000 years old, I have always been fascinated with China. That's why I'm excited to announce this travel opportunity for Graceland Alumni to go to China!

The Alumni Programs office is contracting with smarTours to create both an affordable and memorable experience. We are planning a 15-day trip, May 7-21, 2018 to Beijing, Xian, Guilin, Yangshou and Shanghai. It will include stops at The Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall, Terracotta Warriors, Yuyuan Garden and The Bund to name a few. We will also experience riding the bullet train and a leisurely cruise down the Li River.

Click here to view the trip itinerary and more information.

The cost will be approximately $3,899 per person.  You will be responsible for your airfare to and from Los Angeles.  Travel arrangements will be different for those living in Hawaii.  Please contact me for more information about this.  smarTours also recommends a comprehensive travel insurance plan for $179 per person.  See the website above for more information.

Please let me know if you are interested. Email me at or call 515-202-1867.

This trip will certainly be an experience of a lifetime. Let's go!

Paul J. Davis '77
Alumni Programs Director


Graceland Alumni & Friends Trip to the Holy Land Recap

Forty one Graceland alumni and friends made a historic trip to Israel in January 2015 including President John Sellars, Dean of Students Dave Schaal, and Alumni Programs Director Paul J. Davis. For many it was a “life changing experience” while others called it the “trip of a lifetime.” 

The group began its pilgrimage in Tel Aviv and then trekked north to Tiberias spending two nights alongside the Sea of Galilee. Picture perfect weather during Israel’s rainy season created a majestic landscape that reminded many of Ireland. The Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum and an hour long boat ride on the Sea of Galilee highlighted the first few legs of the trip.

The Graceland group retraced many of the paths, and visited places and locations frequented by Jesus Christ and his disciples. Special stops included the River Jordan, The Garden of Gethsemane, Via Dolorosa, The Dead Sea and on the last day, a communion service at the Garden Tomb of Jesus. How can we forget to mention a Sunday afternoon visit to the Wailing or Western Wall?

Congratulations to all who made the trip and special thanks to former GU Board of Trustee member Bill Pennington and his wife Mary of Baldwin, Maryland who organized the journey for Graceland. It was surely an experience that all of us will never forget!

Past Trips

January 2015 Trip to the Holy Land
Fall 2012 Mediterranean Cruise
Spring 2011 Alaska
Spring 2010 Egypt & Israel
Fall 2009 Mediterranean & Greek Isles
Spring 2009 Spain
Fall 2008 Swiss Alps & Salzburg
Spring 2008 China
Fall 2007 Italy
Fall 2006 Ireland
Fall 2005 Germany & Switzerland