October 2021

Happy October, readers! It’s the month of Homecoming, Halloween, celebrations, the official kick off of fall. Students have moved back into their residence halls and campus is once again vibrant and full of life. Classes started on September 27 — both online and in person. It’s been so nice having life back on campus and seeing people moving around. The first home football game was last Saturday, on the 2nd and this coming weekend is Homecoming and Hall of Fame Weekend when we play Central Washington University. Get all the information and register today online for Homecoming here

September was great month, full of activities and getting reacquainted with in person events, seeing more people on and around campus and gearing up for the fall. There is lots to look forward to this month, but let’s take a look back at September’s recap. 

President’s Dinner Club 

Annually, the Foundation hosts a celebration for donors in the “President’s Club,” who are people who have given $1,000 or more to the university over the past year. This year, due to Covid-19 we changed from a large, in person gathering, to a series of smaller, more intimate dinners and we named them “President’s Dinner Club.” Our first dinner was held on September 14 at Redhawk Winery. It was a gorgeous evening and 30 guests enjoyed a three course meal provided by Wild Pear Catering. It was delightful to see many people we have not seen in awhile due to the pandemic and we look forward to the rest of the dinners. 

 Fullers Retirement Open House 

Rex and Susan Fuller spent five years in Monmouth and Independence as university president and the first lady. Rex retired in June and he and Susan moved to California to be with their children and grandchildren. On Sunday, September 19 they returned to campus for a retirement celebration. Many members of the community and campus came to wish  the Fullers well and give their final goodbyes. It was a pleasure working with Rex and Susan and they are missed. We wish them well and hope to see their friendly faces in the near future at events. Thank you for your years of service and dedication, Rex and Susan!

September 2021

Hello, readers. Another month has passed and here we are in September. I know all of you fall and cooler weather lovers out there are celebrating the return of all things pumpkin and flannel. September is the month of beginnings. It’s the start of a new school year, the start of a new season and the start of college football season (my personal favorite). Here on campus we are seeing more and more students, faculty and staff members returning to campus for class and work. Coffee shops are getting busier, parking lots are getting fuller, and the sidewalks are bustling with people. The trees are starting to turn radiant colors of red, yellow, orange, green, and brown, indeed, signs of fall are in the air and it feels so good. 

August was spent prepping for fall events and the return of students to campus. There is a ton coming up, check out the WOU calendar of events to see what is happening this month and beyond. For alumni specific events, check out the alumni homepage

Thirsty Thursday After Hours 

A group of about 30 people gathered (socially distanced) at McArthur Stadium on the evening of August 19th for beverages, appetizers and conversation with WOU’s AD, Randi Lydum and some of her staff. WOU hosted this monthly Monmouth-Independence Chamber of Commerce After Hours event and shared information on the upcoming athletics season, plans for attendees, and answered questions from guests. It was a beautiful evening, and so great to see so many friendly faces. We look forward to hosting another event with the MICC in the near future. 

August 2021

Hello, readers. How is your summer going so far? I hope everyone remains healthy, happy and you’re able to see your loved ones. Here on campus we are seeing more activity by the week. Small groups are coming onsite for tours through Admissions, athletic teams are practicing and employees are beginning to make their way back to the office. It is wonderful seeing people on campus and catching up with friends and colleagues. 

July was quite a month and was the first month we felt things were starting to get back to normal. We were able to host a few events, in person, and the energy was vibrant and alive. It feels so good to come back together and see familiar faces. As things continue to open up and people get out more, we are able to plan more events and bring people together. Check out the website and calendar to stay up to date on happenings, events and networking opportunities. For July events recap, read below and get the scoop. 

Wolves Auction Celebration 

The annual Wolves auction was successful again this year thanks to donors, sponsors, attendees and the hard working coaching staff at WOU. We are looking forward to coming back together again this spring for the in person version. To celebrate the success of the auction, on July 8 we gathered coaches, sponsors, donors and others together on the rooftop of the Independence Hotel for an afternoon of celebration, thank you’s and coming together. Thank you for helping make this event happen and for your continued support for Wolves Athletics. 

Foundation Appreciation Dinner 

On the evening of July 15, Foundation staff, current, past and new Foundation board members plus university administration enjoyed a celebration meal at the beautiful St. Josef’s Winery in Canby, OR. This dinner was to introduce new Interim President Dr. Jay Kenton to our foundation champions, and to celebrate and say thank you to the board members who have served on the Foundation board for many years and who’s terms have now ended. It was a gorgeous evening and everyone enjoyed a delicious meal, fantastic wine and great company. 

July 2021

Hello, readers. Oregonians, how are you holding up with the heatwave we experienced? In Monmouth on June 28, at one point it was 117 degrees, which felt surreal. Luckily, we got some relief with a breeze coming from the ocean and by 8:30 p.m. that evening temps had dipped into the 70’s, a much more enjoyable and normal range for this region, this time of year. Other than the record setting heat we experienced, other news from this region is that the summer music in the park series has returned starting this month! Independence will have it’s River’s Edge Summer Series on Friday nights and Monmouth will have music on Wednesday nights for their Monmouth Music in the Park series. It will be so awesome to have events like this again, we look forward to a fun summer!

We have some really fun activities and events coming up this summer and fall.  Yes, IN PERSON activities and events! It’s an exciting time and there is a lot to look forward to. We do anticipate hybrid events for the foreseeable future, where there will be a virtual component as well so everyone can participate. This month, we will host the Wolves on the Green golf tournament which will support WOU Women’s Athletics. We are keeping the early-bird pricing through July 15 for readers of this e-newsletter so get registered today! For other events and activities, check the website and follow us on Facebook. More will be added soon! 

June kind of went by like a hurricane, fast and fierce. It was a great month with some really fun happenings and events. Read below for event recaps. 

Wolves Athletic Auction 

The Athletic Auction is the biggest annual fundraiser for WOU Athletics. This year, the auction last a whole week and was mostly virtual. May 29 – June 5 was auction week and throughout the week coaches gave “coach chats” on Zoom during the lunch hour, items were in bidding wars online, and donations came in. The week concluded with a livestream broadcast on June 5 which included auctioneer Paul Schultz, Athletic Director Randi Lydum, Wolfie and a few student athletes in the studio performing music, discussing auction items and calling out for paddle raises. Several groups gathered at local bars and restaurants with friends to watch the broadcast and support our athletes. A huge shoutout to the fine folks at Parallel 45, Crush and Rookies for hosting watch parties for us! The auction was a huge success, thanks to donors like you and our incredible committee members who helped get items, invite friends and shared the event on social media. In 2022 we hope to be entirely in person again and look forward to another fantastic event. 

Commencement 2021 

On June 11 and 12, WOU celebrated and conducted Commencement, 2021. On Friday, June 11, students were invited to participate in a virtual ceremony, which can be watched here.  Then on Saturday, June 12, graduates were invited to participate in a drive-through style celebration where they could decorate their vehicles and ride down Stadium Dr. with their friends and families and go into the McArthur Stadium lot. Grads had the opportunity to walk across the stage, have their name read aloud and shake President Fuller’s hand when they received their diploma. Families and friends were allowed to watch from the stands and celebrate their graduate. It was a super fun, rewarding and amazing day. Congratulations, class of 2021! Welcome to our pack. 

June 2021

Greetings, readers. What an incredible spring we have had here in the Willamette Valley. Our sunny and warm days have outweighed the rainy and wet days, which is very uncharacteristic for this time of year, but if you’re a sun worshipper like me, it is a-okay. The fields surrounding campus are blooming with flowers, wheat, peas and onions plus other local crops like hops are starting to grow as well. Did you plant a garden this year? If so, what are you favorite vegetables or fruits to grow? 

June 1 kicks off a series of events such as the Athletic Auction  on June 5 and the Wolves on the Green golf tournament on July 29. The football golf tournament is also in July and aside from athletics related events, we are planning for alumni gatherings this summer in Salem, Monmouth and other regions. It feels good to start to get people back together, safely of course, and see many familiar faces. Registration for the golf tournament and the auction are open now. 

May was a busy month of planning and adapting to the ever changing environment in which we currently live. We didn’t have any events but instead we spent the month promoting the upcoming events and planning Commencement for our graduates. We are about to have a new group of Alumni Wolves on June 12. We look forward to celebrating our new grads and welcoming them into our family. Get the scoop on Commencement here. Congratulations to our 2021 graduates! 

May 2021

Hello readers, happy May! I hope this month finds you well, healthy and thriving this spring. It sure is beautiful out. Gardens are blooming and coming to life, trees, flowers and other flora are in full display with radiant colors and scents and life is all around us. 

Campus has been getting busier by the week and it has been wonderful seeing students in the local coffee shops and restaurants. There are only  five weeks left in spring term before Commencement in June. Time has flown by! Students are gearing up for the end of the year and prepping for graduation. Although we are not able to do an in person ceremony this year, we are planning several activities for our graduates. On June 11 there will be a virtual ceremony for grads. On June 12 and 13 there will be a drive through ceremony, which will allow graduates to follow a route through campus and end at the stadium to walk across the stage for a photo opportunity. Read more about the Commencement plans here

April was a good month, it felt busy and we started doing more event prep for things to come. The biggest news from April is the event we held on campus on the 23rd. This event was an invite only affair and included folks who donated to the Dean Jack Morton Memorial Lobby at the Welcome Center. It was wonderful to see friendly faces (covered with masks, of course) and show off the project a great and committed team had worked so hard on for years. Groups came to the Center in small groups every hour. All health and safety protocols in place by the CDC and OHA were adhered to and we kept people safe by disinfecting after every group, maintaining distance and wearing masks. We look forward to showing off the whole building this fall when we do the grand opening event in October. 

April 2021

Hello readers, I hope you are well and enjoying this lovely spring weather and staying healthy and happy.  I love seeing spring pop up and feeling it in the air. The buds on trees, the cherry trees blooming, the vibrant colors surrounding us from bushes, flowers, trees and other flora. It’s a great time of year and always brings hope of new life and new beginnings. 

Campus has been getting busier as the year goes on and we get further into spring. WOU is the host site for Salem Health and their vaccination clinic in the Pacific Room at the Werner University Center so many people have been arriving on campus weekly to get their vaccination. Student-athletes have been returning to campus to practice and play. Both softball and baseball have had home games, track and field have hosted a number of events, and volleyball has been playing on the road as well. Football is also practicing and prepping for their spring game and fall season. Spectators are not allowed at games and matches just yet but it is great having our student-athletes back and playing. 

March was a whirlwind of a month as we prepped for spring and the return of small, in person events later this year. March’s big news was Giving Day. We are blown away by your continued support and generosity. Through your support and donations we raised more than $200,000 for students and programs on Giving Day! We cannot thank you enough for your donations and helping us surpass our goal by double. THANK YOU, from everyone at the Foundation and on behalf of WOU students. If you’d still like to donate, you may do so though the giving page.  

Upcoming events- 

  • On April 23rd we will celebrate the completion of the Dean Jack Morton Memorial Lobby at the WOU Welcome Center. This is an invite only event for people who donated to the lobby project. Small groups will gather to tour the space and all CDC and OHA regulations will be followed to follow Covid-19 protocols.  
  • The annual Wolves Athletic Auction will be held online from May 29 to June 5. Items are available to bid on for a week. You must register online at wouwolves.com to view and bid on items. Help our student-athletes by supporting scholarships and more. 
  • Do you like to golf? Want to support WOU women’s athletics? Save the date for the annual “Wolves on the Green” golf tournament on July 29. This year’s tournament will be held at McNary Golf Club. Get your group of four together and watch for more details to come out soon. 

We look forward to seeing you this spring and summer! Be sure to check wou.edu/alumni for updates and events and more. Soon the 2021 Alumni Award of Excellence winner will be announced as well. Stay tuned for great things to come. Take care, Wolves. 

March 2021

Happy spring, friends. A lot has happened since last month’s edition. I hope everyone is safe and now has power from the winter storm we experienced in February. What a wild start to 2021! Campus was closed on Friday, February 12 due to ice and snow and then over the weekend freezing rain came in and caused a lot of ice damage. Unfortunately, many trees were damaged and broken in the ice storm. Fortunately we have a dedicated and talented staff of facilities workers here on campus who have been busy clearing and cutting and fixing everything.  Thank you to the WOU Facilities Services staff! You are heroes and we love you! 

In other news, it’s lovely to see flowers coming up and buds on trees. The smell of spring is in the air and you can catch glimpses of new life budding all over. The track and field teams have been practicing at the track, the choirs have gotten creative and are also utilizing the outdoor space at McArthur Stadium to practice their songs and the sports teams are working out regularly. Campus feels busy and that is a wonderful thing. 

Tomorrow, March 2nd is Giving Day. In this special edition of PawPrints you can find information on how to give, matches and challenges happening and more. If you know what you want to give to just click here and make your gift. Thank you for helping us help WOU students and for your donations, we appreciate you! 

February 2021

Hello alumni and friends. How is everyone doing with their New Years resolutions? It’s hard to believe we are in the second month of 2021, yet here we are. I hope your year has started off well and you have been able to enjoy the great outdoors and/or do whatever makes your heart happy. Here in the Willamette Valley we are starting to see some signs of spring popping up like daffodils and buds on trees. It’s the promise of new life coming soon and changes on the horizon, my favorite things of all. 

January was a month full of planning and prepping for the new year. We enjoyed a great After Hours event on the 12th that featured alumni board member Griffin Bates ’00 sharing tips and tricks to make and keep New Year’s resolutions and goal setting. It’s been great having people from all over the US and beyond join us for our After Hours events. We hope you will join us this month on the 9th. 

On the 16th the WOU Alumni Board of Directors met virtually via Zoom for their winter meeting. They enjoyed hearing updates and having a conversation with WOU Foundation Executive Director, Erin McDonough. The next board meeting will be on April 10. If you are interested in learning more about the WOU Alumni Board, contact Emily at 503-838-8710. 

There are two great virtual  events coming up this month. We have a new Wolves Teaching Wolves class and a fun After Hours event that will include sharing your WOU love stories. Check them out in the newsletter and I hope you tune in. 

January 2021

Happy New Year alumni and friends! I hope this year treats you well and has started off on a good note for you. Here on campus winter term started yesterday on January 4. 95% of instruction will be done online for winter term, just like we did in the fall.  A decision for spring term instruction will be made later this term. 

What plans do you have for the new year? Here in alumni relations we are planning for virtual and hybrid events and look forward to seeing some familiar faces in the very near future. We are continuing with our monthly Alumni & Friends After Hours events on the second Tuesday of the month and we are have introduced a new monthly series- “Wolves Teaching Wolves” which features alumni volunteers showing off their skills and teaching virtual classes for fellow alums. There is a lot to look forward to indeed, but before we get to far into 2021 let’s take a look back at December. 

Holiday Tree Lighting 

We hope you were able to watch the Holiday Tree Lighting in November but if you missed it, you can watch it here. Special thanks to the Monmouth-Independence Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center for their sponsorship of this very important annual community event.

Wolves Teaching Wolves- How to Make your own Holiday Centerpiece

On December 14 WOU Alumni Board member Betty Crawford ’80 hosted a group of alums via Zoom from her home in Cairo, Egypt. Betty’s class was teaching people how to make centerpieces for the holidays and the results were great! Everyone had a great time and each centerpiece turned out beautifully. Thank you to those who participated and we look forward to seeing you all again at future events. 

Alumni & Friends After Hours: Holiday Cheer 

The December edition of Alumni & Friends After Hours featured a how to on making one of my favorite holiday cocktails, the cranberry margarita. A group of alumni and friends logged into Zoom  on December 15th to watch the cocktail tutorial and share their favorite holiday traditions. It was a pleasure seeing some familiar faces and meeting new people as well. if you want the margarita recipe contact Emily at lafone@wou.edu.



Emily Lafon Alumni Relations Coordinator

(503) 838-8710 | or e-mail: lafone@wou.edu  | Location: The Cottage