Willamette University

Willamette University

Infobox University
name = Willamette University
native_name =

image_size = 200px
caption =
latin_name =
motto = Non nobis solum nati sumus
(usually translated as "Not unto ourselves alone are we born")

tagline = The First University in the West
established = 1842
closed =
vision =
type = Private
affiliation =
calendar = Semester
endowment = US$285 million [cite web | title = About Willamette: Quick Facts | publisher = Willamette University | url = http://www.willamette.edu/about/facts.htm | accessdate = 2007-12-05]
debt =
rector =
officer_in_charge =
chairman =
chancellor =
president = M. Lee Pelton
vice-president =
superintendent =
provost =
vice_chancellor =
principal =
dean =
director =
head_label =
head =
faculty = 313
staff =
students =
undergrad = 1810
postgrad = 659
doctoral =
divinity =
residents =
other =
profess =
alumni =
city = Salem
state = OR
country = USA
address =
telephone =
coor = coord|44.935823|-123.031383|type:streetscale:US|display=title,inline
campus = Urban, 69 acres
free_label =
free =
colors = color box|#C41E3A Cardinal
color box|#CFB53B Old Gold
nickname = Bearcats
mascot =
fightsong =
athletics = NCAA Division III
affiliations = Northwest Conference
nobel_laureates =
website = [http://www.willamette.edu/ www.willamette.edu]

footnotes =

Willamette University is an American private institution of higher learning located in Salem, Oregon. Founded in 1842, it is the oldest university in the Western United States. Willamette is a member of the Annapolis Group of colleges, with an undergraduate college and three graduate schools. In athletics, the university is a member of the NCAA's Division III Northwest Conference, with the bearcat as the school mascot and old gold and cardinal as the school colors. There are approximately 2,500 students enrolled combined between the graduate and undergraduate programs. The school employs over 200 full-time professors at the 69 acre campus that is situated across the street from the Oregon State Capitol.

Willamette’s College of Liberal Arts is the undergraduate school on campus. The school was rated 63rd among American liberal arts colleges by US News and World Report for 2008. [cite web | title = America's Best Colleges 2008: Liberal Arts Colleges: Top Schools | publisher = "U.S. News & World Report" | url = http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/brief/t1libartco_brief.php | accessdate = 2007-08-20] The oldest of the graduate programs is the College of Law, founded in 1883 and located in the Truman Wesley Collins Legal Center. Established in 1974, Atkinson Graduate School of Management is housed in the Seeley G. Mudd Building. The School of Education, established in 1996, has an enrollment of 250 students.


The university was founded as the Oregon Institute in the days of the Oregon Country by the missionary Jason Lee, who had arrived in the territory in 1834 and had founded the Indian Manual Labor Institute for the education of the local Native Americans. Lee requested additional support for his mission, and received 53 additional volunteers in 1839, who arrived on the ship "Lausanne". After a series of meetings in Lee's home, the by-laws were adopted and board of trustees elected and the institute was officially established on February 1, 1842. Lee served as the first President of the Board of Trustees, followed by David Leslie after Lee’s death in 1845. Leslie would serve until his death in 1869.Gatke, Robert Moulton. 1943. "Chronicles of Willamette, the pioneer university of the West". Portland, Or: Binfords & Mort.] The original purpose of the institute was the education of the missionaries' children.

The original building of the institute was a three-story frame structure first occupied in 1844. At the time, it was one of the largest structures in the Pacific Northwest. It housed the first session of the state legislature to meet in Salem after the capital was moved there in 1851. The building burned down in 1877. In 1867, a new brick building was finished to house the school and named University Hall. The building was renamed as Waller Hall in 1912 to honor the Reverend Alvin F. Waller, and is now the oldest university building west of the Mississippi River still in use. The first president was Francis S. Hoyt, who served in that position from 1853 until 1860 and was replaced by Thomas Milton Gatch who is the only president of the school to serve as president two different times. [ [http://www.willamette.edu/president/past.htm Past Presidents.] Willamette University. Retrieved on September 13 2007.]

The name of institution was changed to "Wallamet University" in 1852. The following year, the Oregon Territorial Legislature granted a charter to the university. The first graduate was Emily W. York, in 1859. In 1866, the university established the first school of medicine in the Pacific Northwest.Cowan, Ron. Willamette University's first archivist puts a face on history. "Statesman Journal", September 19 2007.] The current spelling of the university was adopted in 1870. In 1883, the university established the first law school in the Pacific Northwest. [ [http://www.willamette.edu/history.htm About Willamette: History of Willamette.] Willamette University. Retrieved on December 5 2007.] The school of medicine then merged with the University of Oregon in 1913 and is now Oregon Health and Sciences University.Horner, John B. (1919). "Oregon: Her History, Her Great Men, Her Literature". The J.K. Gill Co.: Portland. p. 246-7.]

In December 1941, the university's football team traveled to Hawaii to play the University of Hawaii. Many students accompanied the team by passenger ship to Oahu. The game was played was on December 6. The following day, many of the Willamette students witnessed the bombing of Pearl Harbor from their hotels on Waikiki Beach. Their return trip was delayed by many weeks, and some of the students had to return to the mainland by troop transport ships. Many of the team members stayed with football players from Punahou School. The incident has since become part of the folklore of the university.

In 1983, U.S. News & World Report named Willamette the best small comprehensive university in the Western United States. [Solorzano, Lucia, and Barbara E. Quick. Exclusive National Survey: Rating the Colleges. U.S. News & World Report, November 28 1983.] Willamette was one of the last universities in the nation to hold an annual singing and marching competition between the undergraduate classes. The competition, known on campus as "Glee," was held each March. In the late 1990s, the competition came to be regarded as anachronistic and was abolished. Glee returned during the 2006 to 2007 academic year.


The 69 acre (250,000 m²) campus is directly south of the Oregon State Capitol, affording convenient access of the students to internships in the institutions of Oregon government. Much of downtown Salem, including the Capitol, is on land once owned by the university.

In addition to Greek housing, eleven residence halls exist on the Willamette campus. Undergraduate students are under contract to live on campus for two years, after which they may move into private residence or one of the University's apartment complexes. Lausanne Hall, originally home of the university's Musical Institute, is now one of the university's undergraduate dormitories. The building commemorates the ship that brought the reinforcements to Lee in 1839. York Hall commemorates the university's first graduate.

Academic buildings on campus include Eaton Hall and Smullin/Walton Hall, which are primarily used by liberal arts departments. Science classes are generally held in the Collins and Olin buildings. Willamette's music program is housed by the G. Herbert Smith Auditorium and Fine Arts building, as well as the Mary Stuart Rogers auditorium. Administrative offices are found in the Putnam University Center and Waller Hall, Willamette's oldest building. Waller Hall was built using bricks made of clay from the campus quad. Willamette's newest buildings, including the Goudy Commons, Kaneko Commons (a residential college opened in the Fall of 2006),cite web
title =Kaneko Commons - Willamette University
work =Willamette University web site
date =2006-07-21
url =http://www.willamette.edu/dept/campuslife/res_commons/kaneko/
accessdate =2007-04-05
] and Rogers Music Center have all been designed by the Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects.A stream runs through the heart of the campus. Starting across 12th Street and flowing through the length of the campus, it passes by the Martha Springer Botanical Garden, the Hatfield Library, Hudson Hall, the University Center, Smith Auditorium and Goudy Commons. This artificial stream is named the Mill Race, although it is commonly referred to as "the Mill Stream." It forms a "W" shape when viewed from the University Center. Also from this vantage point one can view "the impossible triangle," a metal structure erected at the suggestion of a physics professor, M. B Stewart. As a tradition, undergraduate students are thrown into the Mill Stream on their birthday. Biology and environmental science classes utilize the Mill Stream as an authentic research venue. As part of the freshman matriculation ceremony, new students place a lit candle into the Mill Stream and watch it float downstream.


The University is a sister school to Tokyo International University. Eight of twenty Oregon Professors of the Year recognized since 1989 by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education have taught at Willamette University. [ [http://www.usprofessoroftheyear.org/POY_Display.cfm?CONTENTITEMID=5617 U.S. Professors of the Year: Oregon State Professors of the Year.] Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Retrieved on December 5 2007.] While primarily a liberal arts school, Willamette has two dedicated science buildings and offers majors in areas ranging from computer science to physics.


The focus of the rhetoric major is on classical theory and its application to modern media. The rhetoric department sponsors a program in forensics. Willamette has one of the oldest debating traditions in the United States and has been at the forefront of numerous innovative debate formats.Fact|date=June 2008 Robert Trapp, the director of the forensics program, helped to found the National Parliamentary Debate Association. Trapp has also been instrumental in helping spread debate internationally to places such as Macedonia, Estonia, and Latvia.Fact|date=June 2008 In 2006, the Willamette Debating Union won the NPDA Tournament Sweepstakes and Season Sweepstakes Championships and Robert Layne was named coach of the year by the American Forensics Association.Fact|date=June 2008

Graduate programs

Located on the western side of the campus are the university's three graduate level schools. The College of Law is the oldest and largest of the three programs, with the College of Education as the smallest and newest program. Atkinson and the College of Law offer a joint-degree program that allows students to earn both a MBA and juris doctorate.

Campus life

The University's weekly newspaper, the "Willamette Collegian", began publishing in 1875. Willamette's radio station The Wire is broadcast only over the Internet. The school has over 90 student organizations ranging from sport clubs, political groups, and social clubs to religious groups and honor societies. [ [http://www.willamette.edu/dept/osa/orgs/list/?category=All List of Student Organizations.] Willamette University. Retrieved on November 26 2007.] Willamette University has many active clubs sports on its campus. These include, but are not limited to rugby, lacrosse, crew, and ultimate Frisbee.

Greek life

As of 2007, there are five fraternities and three sororities at Willamette. The sororities are Delta Gamma, Pi Beta Phi, and Alpha Chi Omega, although they are better known on campus, respectively, as D-G, Pi Phi, and Alpha Chi. Each one has its own house, which are all located along sorority row on Mill Street. The fraternities at Willamette are Phi Delta Theta, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Chi, Delta Tau Delta (which is house-less), and Beta Theta Pi, also known as, respectively, Phi Delt, SAE, Sigma Chi, the Delts, and Beta. The fraternities are housed in the Baxter residence complex.

Two other sororities, Chi Omega and Alpha Phi, and two fraternities, Kappa Sigma and Delta Tau Delta used to have chapters at Willamette. In 2006, Kappa Sigma lost its charter. In the mid-1990s, Delta Tau Delta lost its charter. However, after a year-long campaign by students interested in revitalizing Delta Tau Delta, the fraternity regained its charter as a house-less Fraternity. The sororities lost their charters after their move to sorority row. Their on-campus houses are now residences known as WISH and Shepard House.


The Willamette University Bearcats compete at the NCAA Division III level. Willamette fields teams in baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, football, rowing, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. Willamette is a founding member of the Northwest Conference league. The football team plays home games at McCulloch Stadium south of the main campus, while basketball, swimming, and volleyball teams use the Lestle J. Sparks Center for home events. At or adjacent to McCulloch are the Charles Bowles Track used for track meets and Roy S. "Spec" Keene Stadium where baseball plays its home games. [ [http://www.willamette.edu/athletics/facilities/ Athletics: Facilities.] Willamette University. Retrieved on November 26 2007.]

In 1991, the university started the Willamette University Athletic Hall of Fame. In 1993, the school earned its only team sport national championship when the men's basketball team earned the NAIA Division 2 title.Gibby, Susan. [http://www.salemhistory.net/education/willamette_university.htm Willamette University.] Salem Online History. Retrieved on January 21 2008.] The football team finished its best season in 1997 when they lost in the national championship game, and that year Elizabeth Heaston became the first woman to ever play in a college football game when the Bearcats beat rival Linfield College.

Noteworthy faculty

*Olympia Vernon
*Symeon C. Symeonides

Noteworthy alumni

*Jim F. Albaugh, Boeing IDS CEO.
*Mark O. Hatfield, former Governor and U.S. Senator from Oregon
*Willis C. Hawley, former Congressman
*Richard Laymon, author and former Bram Stoker Award Nominee
*Cal Lee, American Football Coach
*Lisa Murkowski, United States Senator from Alaska
*Bob Packwood, former U.S. Senator from Oregon
*Ron Saxton, two-time Republican candidate for Governor of Oregon
*Victor Snyder, Congressman of Arkansas's 2nd district since January 3, 1997
*Nick Symmonds, 2008 Olympic Trials Champion, 7-time NCAA Div. III 800 m champion, US indoor track and field champion
*John B. Waldo, the 13th Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court (1884-1886)
*Marie Watt, artist


External links

* [http://www.willamette.edu Official web site]
* [http://www.salemhistory.net/education/willamette_university.htm Salem History site on Willamette University]
* [http://www.salemquarterly.com/site.php?site_id=6 Salem Historical Quarterly site on the buildings of Willamette University]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Willamette University — Vorlage:Infobox Hochschule/Logo fehlt Willamette University Motto Non nobis solum Gründung 1842 Trägerschaft privat Ort Salem, Oregon, USA Präsident …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Willamette University College of Law — Infobox Law School name = Willamette University College of Law established = 1883 type = Private endowment = parent endowment = US$285 million [cite web | title = About Willamette: Quick Facts | publisher = Willamette University | url =… …   Wikipedia

  • Willamette University School of Education — Infobox University name = Willamette University School of Education established = 1996 type = Private dean = P. Maureen Musser (director) city = Salem state = Oregon country = USA students = 250 staff = 10 campus = Urban website =… …   Wikipedia

  • Willamette University College of Medicine — Infobox University name = Willamette University College of Medicine native name = latin name = motto = established = 1867 type = Defunct as of 1913 city =Salem state =Oregon country =USA campus = free label = Fate free = Merged with University of …   Wikipedia

  • Art Building (Willamette University) — Infobox building building name = Art Building native building name= former names = Science Building caption = Exterior in 2008 map type = building type = architectural style = Beaux Arts structural system = cost = location = Salem, Oregon, USA… …   Wikipedia

  • University of Oregon — Latin: Universitas Oregonensis Motto Mens agitat molem Motto in English The mind moves the masses …   Wikipedia

  • Willamette — can refer to:A toponym of the U.S. state of Oregon: * Willamette River, a tributary of the Columbia River in northwestern Oregon * Willamette Valley, a region in northwest Oregon that surrounds the Willamette River * Willamette Valley forests, an …   Wikipedia

  • Willamette Valley — This article is about the geographic feature. For other uses, see Willamette Valley (disambiguation). Willamette Valley Valley Farmscape in northern Polk Cou …   Wikipedia

  • Willamette Law Review — Infobox Journal title = Willamette Law Review editor = Sara Cassidey discipline = Law review language = English abbreviation = Willamette L. Rev. publisher = Willamette University College of Law country = United States frequency = Quarterly… …   Wikipedia

  • University of Puget Sound — Coordinates: 47°15′45″N 122°28′54″W / 47.2626°N 122.4817°W / 47.2626; 122.4817 …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.