Happy fall readers! Although it’s been unseasonably warm here in the Willamette Valley and we are experiencing our second wind summer, fall is definitely in the air. The evenings and mornings are cool and crisp and the trees are vibrant with various shades of yellow, red, green, brown, orange and yellow. The best news yet is that students are back and classes have begun for fall term. There is activity all across campus from students, faculty and staff members as classes take place, clubs and organizations gather and sporting events happen. Football has played three home games – Sept. 10, Sept. 24 and Oct. 1. For all three games we have had incredible weather and the tailgate “red zone” has been full with tents, bbq’s, music and games from fans tailgating. Volleyball, and both Men’s and Women’s soccer have played at home also during their home debuts as the seasons get underway.
For anyone who has school aged children, I hope you’ve had a good transition into back to school and managing schedules and new routines. I know it’s not always easy to manage everything so hats off to you folks who are doing it all. Speaking of doing it all, September was a very busy month and October will be even busier with Homecoming, the Hall of Fame, more home sporting events and travel for alumni events. Check out the complete list of Homecoming and Hall of Fame Weekend events and register early to save your Homecoming t-shirt and your spot at the tables.
Let’s recap the whirlwind that was September. It was so awesome seeing so many people last month, we can’t wait to see you again in the near future!
Inaugural Football Hall of Fame Weekend
Smoky conditions and temps close to 100 degrees didn’t stop us from celebrating the first class of inductees into the WOU Football Hall of Fame on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 9 and 10. We were honored to have so many OCE football players and their guests in town to celebrate this milestone. On Friday, the inductees, guests and football staff came together at Arena Sports Bar to kick off the weekend festivities. It was great having some of the football staff on site including head coach Arne Ferguson. The Friday night gathering allowed the inductees to see one another and catch up prior to the Saturday induction event. It was wonderful seeing the smiling faces and hearing the stories from these former athletes.
On Saturday, more than 250 people attended a special tailgate inside the stadium with a premium view of the field. 65 OCE football players took to the field at halftime to receive their medals of honor for being inducted into the WOU Football Hall of Fame. Some of these 65 men were members of teams that were inducted and others were individuals who were inducted. We heard from many folks that of the inductees in attendance had not seen one another in 40+ years. It was such an honor to have these fine men on campus and honor them and their OCE football legacy. We look forward to next year’s event already! Thank you to TJ Beck and Jack Frauendiener for spearheading the Football Hall of Fame and for your work and sponsorship. We couldn’t do it without you.
Alumni & Friends After Hours
The monthly networking event returned in September with a special guest from the Veterans Resource Center, Logan Doerfler, Dir. of the VRC. We met at Parallel 45 Brewing and enjoyed an intimate crew including a short visit from WOU president, Jesse Peters. it was great seeing some friendly faces and meeting a few new folks. These free networking events are on the second Tuesday of the month in various locations. Follow us on Facebook for event details and announcements.
New student tailgate
To welcome our new students to WOU, it’s an annual tradition for Student Programs to offer free activities for all of the students to attend in an attempt to welcome them to campus and familiarize them with programs and opportunities available. This year, Alumni Engagement participated in the New Student Tailgate and helped sponsor that event. We had a table setup with free giveaways for the students and were able to interact with students. All of our sports teams were also there representing their teams and had a game or activity setup for students to participate in. It was the perfect opportunity for new students to meet our athletes, coaching staff, meet one another and have some fun. Alumni Engagement was thrilled to participate in the event and loved meeting our new students.
Football Game Veteran Honor
Carrying on the tradition of honoring a local veteran at each home WOU football game we were able to honor two veterans already this year. On Sept. 24th we recognized Col. Andrew Stewart and on Oct. 1 we recognized Jack Frauendiener. We thank these veterans for their service and dedication to our country and freedom. Thank you for your service. We will honor three more local veterans at the remaining three home games.
President’s Club Dinners
It’s no secret that our donors and sponsors love to support our students and programs. We couldn’t do what we do without donor and sponsor support and thanks to our gracious and generous donors this year, we were able to give out more scholarships and aid than ever before! We were able to help more students afford their education, more programs that help students and aid in assisting in many other ways around campus, all thanks to the donations that came in this year. To honor and say thank you to our generous donors, we hosted President Club Dinners and any donor who gave more than $1,000 over the year was invited to attend one of them. In total we had three dinners – one on campus on the 28th, one in Salem at WOU:Salem on the 29th and one at Stanford’s in Lake Oswego. In total we hosted around 150 donors and guests at these dinners and had a wonderful time coming together. President Peters was present at all of them as was Foundation Chair, Mike Morgan ’70 and some of our amazing Foundation staff members. If you’d like to be invited to one of these fun celebration dinners next year, check out our donation options at wou.edu/give. Thank you everyone for your support, we can’t thank you enough!