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 wou.edu/give. 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 alumni@wou.edu 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. 

Sendoff 

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. 

May 2022

April showers brings May flowers, right? That’s the old saying at least and so far, it is ringing true. It was a wet April here in the Willamette valley but that’s good news for the mountains, which have record snowpack, the lakes and rivers which are full of water and of course, for nature. How is everyone doing out there? I hope you are all having a good spring so far and have some fun plans for Memorial Day weekend this summer. Speaking of plans, we have quite a few here at WOU and there are tons of fun and exciting events and activities coming up. It’s so good to be back together again and to be able to see each other. Take a peek at what’s coming up including an After Hours on the 10th featuring WOU’s new volleyball coach, the spring game on May 14, the Grand Re-Opening of the ITC building and the Wolves Auction. See the full calendar of events and make your plans to come back. 

April was a very busy month. We hosted a few events, had an alumni Board Meeting, planned for upcoming events and switched into “on” mode for the busy season. Check out the recaps of the month’s highlights. 

Queer Alumni & Ally Reception

On a gorgeous spring day on April 7 a group of folks came together on campus to enjoy drinks, appetizers and each other at the Queer Alumni & Ally Reception. WOU Alumni Relations, Triangle Alliance, Wolf Pride Network and Stonewall Center came together to host this inclusive and fun event for the LGBTQA+ community prior to the drag show. CM Hall ’00 made a few remarks and it was great having everyone together, including our interim president Dr. Jay Kenton in attendance. Thank you for supporting this event, we look forward to more in the future. 

WOU Board Meeting

 The WOU Alumni Board of Directors met for their spring meeting on Saturday, April 9. The meeting was a hybrid style where half of the members called in via Zoom and the others met in person. Discussions included voting on the Alumni Award of Excellence winner, planning for Commencement and summer events, volunteer recruitment and donor appreciation. There are board seats available and we are looking for interested people. If you are interested in becoming a WOU Alumni Board member, email alumni@wou.edu. 

World After WOU:Mentor Mixer 

What’s better than watching people make connections and developing relationships? Not much, especially when it’s students and alumni professionals creating these relationships through mentor opportunities. On April 21, Alumni Engagement and SLCD partnered to put on World After WOU:Mentor Mixer. This event was held at WOU:Salem and included more than 20 alumni/community professionals and 30+ students from WOU. Students were able to find the professionals working in  the careers they are interested in and enjoyed conversation and encouragement. It was a wonderful night of networking and connections. We look forward to the next collaboration event. 

April 2022

Hello, readers! How is everyone in Wolf nation? I’ll tell you what, campus sure is gorgeous right now. The cherry trees are in full bloom and flowers are blossoming all over campus, painting a perfect spring picture on our beautiful campus.  The weather has definitely been a bit warmer and more inviting because there has been a ton of activity on campus and in the community. Students, faculty and staff members have been outside enjoying the sunshine, and I’ve even seen a few classes being taught outdoors when the weather is nice. Baseball, softball, and track and field are in full swing (pun intended) and its been fun spending some afternoons at the fields. Check out the schedules here.  

March was the official kickoff of the “busy season.” This spring and summer is chalked full of events and happenings both on and off campus. Check out the campus calendar for a full list of events and alumni calendar for alumni specific events. For a recap of March activities, keep on reading. 

Giving Day 2022

On March 1, the WOU Foundation hosted it’s annual Giving Day. Morgan Harris is the new Annual Fund Director and came to WOU in November of 2021. She lead the pack in a successful Giving Day and raised more than $220,000 in just one day! Giving Day is a community effort and takes many generous donors to reach goals. We are thrilled to have raised money for student scholarships and programs and can’t thank our donors enough. Thank you, WOU community, for making our Giving Day a success! We couldn’t do it without you. 

Alumni & Friends After Hours

 Tuesday, March 8 was the return of in person Alumni & Friends After Hours. We kicked off the monthly ritual by staying local and went to Chase Bar & Grill in Independence. A fun group of about 15 folks ate, drank and networked. New friends and contacts were made and it was an all around great time. The next After Hours event will be held on April 12 in Salem at “For Tomorrow we Die Brewing.” We hope to see you and a friend there, we’d love to connect with you! Come get some swag and you may have your beverage paid for as well. 

March 2022

Hello, readers. I hope this month has started off well for you and you had a great February. March is a great month. There’s college basketball playoffs, the start of baseball season, the end of winter term, the beginning of spring and much more. It’s a month of new beginnings and celebrations, what’s not to like? 

Campus is starting to show signs of new life with buds on trees, daffodils blooming, the scent of springtime and people making their way to and from classes and meetings. It’s a wonderful time of year indeed. Winter term officially ends on March 18 and spring break is the week following. If you have travel and vacation plans for Spring Break, I wish you happy and safe travels and look forward to hearing about your adventures upon your return. 

February was a busy month full of planning, meetings, and prepping for Giving Day and spring happenings. Giving Day has been the main priority of the Foundation for the last few months as we gear up for tomorrow’s big day. Other planning happening includes making plans for regional events, planning the Wolves Athletic Auction, Commencement and other spring and summer happenings. There weren’t any alumni events in February, but we have some coming up in March and May. Be sure to check out the alumni home page for events and opportunities and wou.edu for a full list of events and university happenings.   

February 2022

Hello, readers. Happy winter! How is everyone doing out there? We have been through pretty much all the winter weather possible here in the valley – ice, snow, rain, sun, so who knows what the rest of the season has in store. What’s your  favorite part of winter? Have you been sporting your WOU gear on the mountains while skiing, snowboarding or snow shoeing? If so, send us some pics! We’d love to see our Wolves in the Wild.

Campus has been busy with classes, athletics events, extracurriculars and community events. It has been wonderful seeing people and students on campus and feeling the robustness that all of that brings to the environment. Winter will end in the next month or so and spring will arise, bringing new life once again in the form of flowers, leaves, students and more. 

January was a month of planning, reflection and goal setting. The WOU Alumni Board of Directors met on January 8 for their winter meeting. At that meeting, three new board members were voted in: Bobby O’Donnell ’88, Corey Meisch ’99 and Shelia Lorance are the newest Alumni Board Members. There are still seats available, if you are interested in learning more, contact Emily at 503-838-8710 or lafone@wou.edu. 

The Foundation is busy gearing up for Giving Day, which is Tuesday, March 1. The new Annual Fund Officer, Morgan Harris, has been working hard to make the day successful and raise awareness. Giving Day is the 24 fundraiser for WOU. You can give to anything you want, or to the Fund for WOU, which covers multiple areas. To make your gift visit wou.edu/give. 

Watch the calendar for updates on events and campus happenings. Things change quickly and often so be sue to check the calendar and wou.edu before coming to campus or attending an event. We hope to see you soon and wish you well.  

January 2022

Hello, readers, Happy New Year! I hope your holiday season was joyous and filled with fun, food, family and friends. As we begin 2022, we have the opportunity to reflect back on the last year and set goals and priorities for the year in front of us. This year we look forward to seeing more of you in person at events and around the university and hopefully having more of you from around the globe tune into our virtual After Hour networking events. We plan on hosting more alumni events in regions outside of Salem, Monmouth and Portland and will be introducing the new president later this year as well. There is a lot brewing for WOU in 2022 and we can’t wait to see you. 

Regions we plan on visiting this year include: 

  • Albany 
  • Central Oregon 
  • Eastern Oregon
  • The Gorge 
  • Idaho 
  • Central coast 
  • Texas (with the new move to the Lone Star Conference) 

Events to look forward this year include: 

  • A campus musical or theater performance 
  • The Wolves Athletic Auction 
  • Wolves on the Green Golf Tournament 
  • What’s new at WOU receptions in many regions 
  • Monthly After Hours events in various regions 
  • Homecoming and Hall of Fame Weekend 
  • Giving Day 
  • Much more to come! 

Cheers to starting a new year and to new adventures, we can’t wait to reconnect with you this year. 

 

CONTACT US

Emily Lafon Alumni Relations Coordinator

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