Mount Hood

April 2023

Hello readers and happy spring. I know many of us are experiencing less than spring like weather with snow, rain, hail, freezing temperatures, etc. I am hopeful better weather is around the corner and we will start to see and feel the signs of spring. On campus, the daffodils are blooming, the trees are beginning to grow buds and show signs of new life and when the sun shines, it’s a real treat. Our spring athletics are in full swing and both our baseball and softball teams are having great seasons with winning records and at the top of the conference. Our students have returned from spring break and the end of the academic year has begun. There is much to look forward to this season and plenty on the horizon to look forward too.

Last month was full of events, travel, fun and exciting beginnings. Every week was something new and we have lots to recap from our March adventures.

Giving day

March 7 was our annual Giving Day at the university. This 24 hour online giving campaign is run by the Foundation and this year was one to brag about. The day was mega successful, thanks to you and your generous donations and support, we raised more than $250,000! Those dollars benefit our WOU students in various forms. Scholarships, programs, student success, etc. it all goes back to our students. We are thrilled and touched by your support and participation. Thank you for helping us help students and fulfill our mission.

Judy Shepard Lecture

Throughout the month of March, the department of humanities planned and organized three weeks of events to honor the legacy of Matthew Shepard. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s murder. One of these events included Matthew Shepard’s mother, Judy Shepard, coming to campus to speak. We were honored to have her join us at Crush prior to her lecture and meet alumni, faculty and staff members who were gathered there prior to the event. Judy’s lecture was captivating and heartfelt and we were honored to have her on campus.

Board Night Out

The WOU Alumni Board plays a key role in alumni engagement and are pivotal in helping us reach our alumni, friends and community members. They work hard to share the WOU story, champion our goals and mission, and love our university. On Friday, March 10, we gathered as a group to break bread and celebrate the coming year. It was great having us all together and getting to know one another. We look forward to this year and are anxious to see what successes we will have.

After Hours

It was so fun to bring back our monthly After Hours in March! It was the first time in a few months we were able to host an after hours event and we enjoyed our group of alumni and friends who showed up. We met at Sammies in Keizer, enjoyed conversation, drinks, appetizers and built relationships with new and old friends.

Community Meet & Greet w/ Dr. Peters and Katie Wojke

As our alumni and friends community knows by now, we have new leaders on campus and we are thrilled to introduce them to you. On March 16th we started our Community Reception circuit with a meet and greet event at WOU:Salem featuring Dr. Peters and Katie Wojke. We loved seeing and meeting our local alumni, friends and supporters at this event and enjoyed catering from Wild Pear. Dr. Peters and Katie took questions from the audience and addressed the attendees with grace, respect and charm. The next meet and greet event is scheduled for Eugene this Friday night at the Graduate Hotel from 6 – 8 p.m. We plan on traveling to various communities throughout Oregon, Washington, California and beyond and bring Katie and Dr. Peters to your community.

Student, Alumni, and Families Reception

During spring break, we traveled to Oahu to participate in some Admissions events and hosted an alumni, student and family event on April 1. Attendees included prospective and current students and their families, alumni, Dr. Peters and Katie. The alumni in the room shared their stories from WOU and talked with the families to encourage their student to attend WOU. It was a fun, lively event and we loved our time on the island. We look forward to partnering with WOU Admissions for more collaboration events in the near future.

March 2023

WOW! You really knocked our socks off with your generous donations yesterday during Giving Day. We asked and you more than delivered! It was a fun day of comradery with the Foundation team and the campus community, as well as the surrounding communities beyond. Fun fact, by the time Tuesday morning at 8 a.m. rolled around we were already at $100,000 and the gifts just kept coming throughout the day! If you missed your opportunity yesterday (March 7) to make your gift, you can still give at

February was a month spent planning and preparing for Giving Day, events and campus happenings. With so much Happening in March and April, we utilized the month to make plans and get ahead of the game. There are some really great events coming up and our spring sports have officially started as well. Check out to get at he full athletics schedule and check out to see upcoming events and register. If you’re in the area, come by WOU:Salem on Thursday the 16th and meet President Peters and VP Katie Wojke. We will be there with food, treats and drinks and want to meet you.

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you this spring and up coming events!

February 2023

Happy February, readers. February is here and brings a lot to celebrate. This month we celebrate Black History Month, Valentines Day, President’s Day and more! On campus, we are celebrating the start of the season for baseball and softball, and both Men’s and Women’s basketball seasons are well underway and the Smith Fine Arts Series had their online auction from Feb. 1 – 5. Theater students have been busy rehearsing for “The Laramie Project,” which will debut in March in Rice Auditorium. Things are busy around campus and it’s great seeing all the action happening. To keep up on performances, lectures, events and athletics, check the WOU calendar

It’s gearing up to a busy spring! We are busy planning welcome receptions for the New VP of Advancement, Katie Wojke and President Peters, Giving Day is on March 7 and there’s a handful of other events happening in March and April. On March 14 we will be in Keizer for our monthly After Hours event at Sammies Keizer. Stop in for a beverage and say hello. Welcome receptions for Katie and Jesse are currently planned in Salem, Eugene and Portland and we will also be traveling to Southern Oregon, Eastern Oregon, California, Texas, Hawaii, Washington and Idaho in the near future. If you live in a region you you’d like us to visit, send an email to 

January was wet and cold but full of activity. On January 8th the alumni board welcomed 6 new members to the crew during their winter board meeting and retreat. Please welcome: 

  • Antonia Scholerman ’21 
  • Mike Lynch ’72
  • Don McBride ’85
  • Kathy Martin-Harris ’96
  • Danita Harris ’16 
  • Lisa Cejka ’91 

The annual Men’s Basketball Alumni game and event was on January 21. A big group of alumni from all eras, six decades to be exact, came together to watch a close Wolves win and enjoy a meal, drinks and remarks at the Independence Hotel afterwards. The event was hosted by alum Lance Marr and during the game his brother, Rob Marr, presented Randi Lydum with a check for $96,000 of fundraised dollars to support Men’s Basketball. This annual event is always a blast and it’s wonderful to see alumni from so many decades present. Thank you to the Marr family for keeping the event going and helping our basketball program. 

Just a week later on January 28, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Title XI prior to the Women’s basketball game at New PE. Alumni from Women’s Basketball came back to enjoy beverages, snacks and see one another and celebrate Title XI. Current WOU female athletes joined the festivities also along with coaches, alumni, staff and friends. It was a great day to be a Wolf. 



January 2023

Happy New Year, readers! Here we are in 2023. I hope everyone had a great holiday season and your start of 2023 is going well so far! Campus is starting to get busy again with the return of students and faculty members to start winter term. Winter term starts January 9 and there’s a lot to look forward to this term. Events and happenings this term include:

  • Men and Women’s Basketball alumni nights
  • Introductory events with President Peters and new VP Of Advancement, Katie Wojke
  • Student performances in choir/music and theater
  • Smith Fine Arts shows – see the full schedule here
  • Athletic games and matches – see the schedule of events here
  • Giving day! Save the date for March 7

December was spent tying up lose ends from 2022, planning for 2023, thanking volunteers and board members, celebrating the holidays and taking some time off to prepare for 2023. The holiday season was kicked off with the Annual Holiday Tree Lighting on December 2. It was wonderful to see all the people lining Monmouth Ave. as the parade traveled through campus and delighted spectators and we had a blast serving hot cocoa and hot cider to guests from the alumni tents. It was a great month of celebrating, seeing friends and family, and preparing for a new year.

December 2022

Happy December, everyone! I hope Thanksgiving was a pleasant time for all and you’ve made it through your turkey leftovers. I have to say that I think my favorite Thanksgiving/holiday food is green bean casserole or home made cranberry sauce. Maybe it’s the midwestern in me, I don’t know, but I stand by my choices. What are your favorites? Share a story at and let us know! 

November was filled with football, planning, basketball and holiday cheer. WOU football played their final home game on November 5 and celebrated 11 seniors who are graduating this academic year during Senior Day. Both Men’s and Women’s basketball season’s tipped off in November and both teams are doing well so far. Winter sports are are in full effect! Check out the schedule here. 

On December 2, WOU’s longest running tradition, 55 years to be exact, took place. The annual Holiday Tree Lighting event filled Monmouth Ave. and the magic happened without a hitch. The whole community came out, the parade included all sorts of floats, trucks, sirens, lights and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus. After the lighting, groups gathered in the Werner Center for music, cookie decorating, and pictures with the Claus’s. It really is a magical event and one my personal favorites all year long. Thank you to the city of Monmouth and Public Works for help with the lights and to Facilities for the staff to make everything happen, you are all very appreciated. 

Make sure to watch for updates on events and happenings in the new year. We can’t wait to get back out on the road and see our people and introduce President Peters and Susan. Have a wonderful holiday season, thank you for all your support, see you in 2023! Go Wolves. 

October 2022

Hello, alumni and readers. I hope you are well and staying warm and dry out there. We have officially turned the corner to the holiday season! This means we are gearing up for things like the Thanksgiving basket food drive, the Holiday Tree Lighting on December 2, the end of fall term and much more. Mark your calendars and make plans to come back to campus for the Holiday Tree Lighting event on Dec. 2. All of the festivities we love are returning this year including Santa Claus at the WUC! Stop by the alumni tents near The Cottage for your free hot beverages. We look forward to having everyone back on campus to celebrate WOU’s longest running tradition this December.

It seems like November kind of just snuck up on us. It was 80 degrees and sunny and suddenly, it became fall overnight. I have enjoyed wearing boots and sweaters though, I am not complaining. Whether you are a cold weather person or a warm weather person, we can all agree that the fall colors are beautiful and campus is radiant right now, glowing with life and luster. As we get into the holidays, we tend to reminisce on what’s important to us and the people in our lives who make it richer and better. Well, alumni, YOU are those people to us. We love hearing your stories, seeing your smiling faces, getting your emails, cards and notes. You make us happy and you are what keep us going. Thank you for your continued support. October was a perfect example of how you continue to show up for us and support our school. Check out the recaps of the October events.

President’s Club Dinner

On Thursday, October 6, a group of about 30 individuals enjoyed dinner, drinks and conversation at Stanford’s in Lake Owego for the final President’s Club Dinner of the season. It was a fun evening, full of laughter, stories, cheers, celebration and coming together to celebrate and thank our donors who make scholarship and programs possible. 

Homecoming & Hall of Fame Weekend 

It was a weekend to remember in Monmouth and Independence. Hundreds of alumni and their families came back to celebrate Homecoming weekend. Visitors enjoyed campus tours lead by Ambassador students, a special happy hour event with President Peters, curated Earth Science events honoring Emeritus Professor, Dr. Ray Brodersen, a special athletic reunion and boisterous tailgates on Saturday. It was great seeing so many alumni and their guests come back for Homecoming events. We also inducted five new members into the Western Oregon Hall of Fame during the Hall of Fame Induction Brunch on Saturday. Alumni inducted this year were: 

  • Cecilia Ward ’77- Softball 
  • Jim Shaw ’85 – Men’s basketball
  • Matthew “Melvin” Haynes ’88 – Men’s basketball 
  • Monica “Smith” Barnhart ’05 – Women’s Track & Field 
  • Grady Wood ’12 – Baseball 

Congratulations to all of our 2022 Inductees! It was so great to see everyone and we look forward to more adventures and fun in the near future.  

WOU vs. MSU 

At the end of October, a few staff members from the WOU Foundation (Morgan Harris and myself) made the trip to Wichita Falls, TX to host a couple of alumni and parent events in conjunction with the WOU vs. Midwestern State game on Oct. 29. We also had WOU Alumni Board President, Doug Ladd ’88 and Scott Polen ’88 in tow to represent WOU and the Wolves Club! We hosted a dinner on Friday the 28th at a local tap house in Wichita Falls and a pre-game function on Saturday. There were about 30 people in attendance at the pre-game event on Saturday, all decked out in WOU gear! Most of the attendees were parents of players and/or Wolves Club members who made the trip to Texas to watch our team. The events were well attended and the energy was great. We are planning to do one trip like this a season and invite all of our alumni family to join the fun. we will be picking the game and date when the schedule for next year is released. Come join us in Texas for a few days of fun!


September 2022

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 Thank you everyone for your support, we can’t thank you enough! 



August 2022

Hello, readers. How is everyone doing out there? Staying cool enough I hope? For any of us who are gardeners, we are finally reaping the bounty of our efforts with fresh vegetables and berries. If you’re anything like me, you’ve over planted squash and zucchini and suddenly have a plethora of both and are frantically finding friends and neighbors to give some away to before they completely take over your tomato plants. As far as campus goes, the grounds crew and Facilities are working hard on keeping our lawns looking pristine and green and keeping hedges trimmed. They do a fantastic job at maintaining our campus and keeping it beautiful. 

Throughout summer, we have enjoyed seeing groups of all sizes and shapes come visit for conferences and sports camps. There has been a constant flow of bodies and activity for months now and it’s refreshing to see people. Soon, campus will be bustling with college students once again as we resume classes and start the ’22/’23 academic school year. Do you have any traditions you do with your family before summer ends? Share some of your stories and photos at and we will share your pictures on our Facebook page.  

OCE Golf Tournament

July was a hot and busy month. I spent the weekend of July 15 – 16 in Hood River visiting with OCE football alums at their annual golf game and fundraiser for the Gale Davis and Bill McArthur Memorial Football Scholarship. It was so fun meeting folks, seeing familiar faces and catching up with former teachers and parents I grew up with. If any of you are reading this, thank you for having me and I look forward to next year! The date for that event has been set as June 23 and 24 in Hood River. Mark your calendars and make your travel arrangements now!

Wolves on the Green 

The Wolves on the Green golf tournament was one for the books. It was a hot, sticky and sweaty day at Cross Creek but more than 100 golfers and 70 student-athletes braved the course through 18 holes in this scramble style golf tournament. We want to extend a special thank you to Cross Creek for hosting us and a very special thank you to Willabys for the amazing food after the tournament. Also, thank you to the planning committee and everyone who donated raffle items for this event. We appreciate you all and look forward to seeing you next year!

July 2022

Summer has arrived and it feels so good! We waited a long time for the good weather to arrive and boy did it ever arrive. The end of June was in the upper 90’s and then mellowed out to low 80’s and upper 70’s, it’s been beautiful. Campus is quiet but there are still quite a few friendly faces wandering around. It’s a beautiful time to visit campus if you are in the area. All of the rhoddies are in full bloom, trees are vibrant with color, birds are chirping and people are smiling. If you haven’t been back in awhile, you should check out the local scene as well. There are great restaurants and bars in both Monmouth and Independence, art galleries, coffee shops and more. There is just something magical and special about this place, especially this time of year around Independence Day.  

We are busy planning summer and fall events and look forward to welcoming our new President, Dr. Jesse Peters in August. There is a lot to look forward to and some really exciting times ahead. Before moving too far into the future, let’s reflect on the past and look at all that we accomplished in June. 

Wolves Athletic Auction 

It was so good to see so many familiar faces on June 4 at the Wolves Athletic Auction. This year was the first year in two years since we have had the auction in person and the evening did not disappoint. Student-athletes were present selling raffle tickets, golden tickets and sharing their WOU experience with guests. Our student speaker, Maya Hopwood, shared her story of going from an orphan in Namibia to ultra success at WOU with the help of her adoptive family and support from scholarships. People showed up big time and we fundraised more than $70,000 for our student-athletes and athletic programs. Thank you for your support, we can’t wait to see you future events. 


On the evening of June 10, a fun and energetic group of about 300 soon to be graduates and their families gathered at Gentle House to celebrate their graduation from Western Oregon University. They enjoyed lawn games provided by Playground Sports, local beer from Parallel 45, awesome raffle prizes provided by local shops, and had a fun night commemorating their time at WOU. This event was planned by WOU students in the Comm 410 class in conjunction with Alumni Engagement. The students did an amazing job planning this event and I can’t thank them enough for their support. We look forward to next years event and congratulations graduates!  

June 2022

Greetings, readers. It seems that summer continues to evade us here in the Willamette Valley, but with all the life and activity on campus it is hard to notice the unseasonably wet and cool weather. Over the past several weeks campus has been full of excitement as the end of term nears. For many students, it will be their last term forever as they leave college and enter the workforce as college graduates. It has been amazing to see many seniors out taking their graduation pictures around campus with all of the flowers in bloom. This is an exciting time in all of their lives as they prepare for their future careers. 

Although the term is coming to an end and commencement is this weekend, we are far from slowing down. May was full of activity and events. The whole month was kind of a whirlwind, check out the event recaps below. 

After Hours with WOU Volleyball Coaches 

Our volleyball team has  a new coaching staff and they are eager to get things started. On May 10, coach Kaiao Nahale-a and assistant coach Becca Holtgeerts met a group of alumni and former athletes at Arena Sports Bar in Independence at May’s After Hours event. The group was lively and excited to meet our new staff. Coach “K” and Becca are off and running with our volleyball team and look forward to this summer’s  Magic Island Classic tournament in Honolulu this August. Looking for a reason to visit the islands? Come on over! We will be there also and are planning an alumni and family experience for any guests attending the tournament. Check out details on the tournament here and mark your calendars for a welcome reception at the Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu on August 25 from 5 – 7 p.m. Welcome to the staff, coaches! We look forward to the season. 

Spring Game 

It was a mostly beautiful day on Saturday, May 14 when the Spring Game took place at McArthur Stadium. The football team played in an inter squad game and fans took to the parking lot to tailgate and enjoy a football game day experience. Arena and Rookies were the premiere sponsor and treated fans to complimentary beverages and food. (Thank you, Miranda and Julia! We appreciate you!!) WOU Alumni Engagement was setup with giveaways and Wolves Club Memberships and more fans setup tailgates in their parking spots. It was a great kickoff to the season and we look forward to September.  

ITC Open House 

The ITC Building, also known as the former campus elementary school, recently underwent a major renovation. The building was secured to become earthquake resistant, art was added to several locations, common areas were renovated and created and more. On May 18, we hosted a special reopening event and enjoyed beverages, snacks and tours by computer science students. Daniel Tankersly, a staff member who works in the building and has been involved in the renovation process, gave some remarks and answered questions. Next time you’re on campus, swing by the building and check out the new additions and updates. 

Other events that took place in May included the Hamid bench dedication ceremony, the Academic Showcase of Excellence, many school and prospective tours, baseball and softball games. It was a busy, yet fun and full month. June holds some fun activities as well, especially as we prepare to welcome our new president, Dr. Jesse Peters. More to come on welcome receptions for Dr. Peters. Check out the e-newsletter for information on Commencement and more.