January 2020

Happy New Year to you! We are grateful for the support of WOU alumni and friends. Thanks to you, we accomplished a great deal in 2019, and we are eager to do even more to celebrate the university’s achievements and its alumni in 2020. I am amazed how the time has flown as we say goodbye to 2019 and welcome 2020. I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. If you would like to share your family or pet photos from the holidays, we would love to see them and add them to our Wolves in the Wild album on Facebook. Just send your photos to me. 

As we start a new decade, I wonder if people still make New Year’s resolutions? If so, what are your resolutions and how do you plan on keeping them? My resolutions are to be more engaging and inclusive while also connecting with more alumni through various events and activities in 2020. If you have an idea for an alumni event, please contact me at lafone@wou.edu. 

December was a bit of a blur with so much happening at work and on campus. Students completed their fall term finals in mid-December, and then they were off to celebrate winter break. Many university faculty and staff vacated campus following finals to enjoy a long vacation until winter term started on Jan. 6. 

2020 is already shaping into an exciting year as more and more events and activities are confirmed and planned. The first three months will be busy including:

  • Alumni Appreciation Night at WOU Basketball on Jan. 23
  • WOU Night at the Winterhawks and What’s New at WOU: Portland on Feb. 21
  • WOU Choral Alumni Gathering on March 10. 
  • Alumni and Friends After Hours events will continue to be held on the second Tuesday of the month in various locations. 

I am excited to announce a new event in 2020 – WOU Learning Labs! I look forward to seeing you at WOU alumni events. It’s going to be an exciting 2020.

As we wrap-up 2019, let’s take a look at what happened in December.

Holiday Tree Lighting

The holiday spirit was shining bright as hundreds of people gathered on Dec. 6 to celebrate WOU’s longest beloved tradition, the annual lighting of the giant sequoia in front of Campbell Hall on Monmouth Avenue. The ceremonial lighting of the sequoia was preceded by a parade. There were more parade entries than ever before and the floats were fabulous! There were lots of lights, sirens, cheers and waves from the crowd, especially when Santa Claus was spied riding on a fire truck. WOU Alumni Relations staff members provided hot cocoa and cider to families, and collected donations for WOU’s Food Pantry. Thank you to the volunteers from the WOU Board of Directors for staffing the beverage tents and filling cups of hot cider and cocoa for the crowd! We couldn’t do it without your help! Following the tree lighting, the crowd flocked to the Werner Center to enjoy performances of the local choirs, decorate cookies, and visit Santa Claus. Gentle House hosted its annual “Wine, Music and Warmth” event where people enjoyed live music, wine tasting featuring Chateau Bianca, cookie decorating and food. It was truly heartwarming to visit with so many cheerful people celebrating WOU’s holiday traditions.