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.


December 2019

Hello and happy December, alumni and friends! I hope your Thanksgiving weekend was wonderful and you enjoyed time with family and friends. I hope the holiday season brings health, happiness and joy to you. The first deep freeze has happened at WOU, so I guess that means winter has officially arrived. 

Our students, faculty and staff are preparing for the end of an amazing fall term. This week is prep week and next week is finals week, which will lead into winter break. Students and faculty members will return to campus for the start of winter term on Jan. 6. The winter athletic teams are off to a great start. The men’s basketball team is currently undefeated with a 5-0 record. 

The men play at home against Corban University at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 and the women play at home at 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16. For additional information on WOU athletics and upcoming events, visit GO WOLVES. In January, there will be musical and theater performances happening on campus. Be sure to visit WOU to get the latest on performances, happenings and athletic events. 

There are many traditions at WOU and one that I look forward to every December is the Holiday Tree Lighting at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. I will be serving hot chocolate near The Cottage so please stop by and say hello. Here’s a recap of the events that took place in November. 

Alumni & Friends After Hours 

On Tuesday, Nov. 12, more than a dozen alumni  gathered at Gilgamesh Brewing-The Woods for great conversation, delicious food and drinks and trivia. It was the monthly After Hours, hosted by WOU Alumni Board members. These events are hosted at various locations every second Tuesday of the month and all are welcome. Guests enjoyed connecting with one another and meeting new friends, as well as spending time with old friends. Thank you to Gilgamesh for hosting our group and for their wonderful service. December’s After Hours will be held at f/Stop Fitzgerald’s in Salem. After Hours is 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10 and are free to attend. Food and beverage purchases are on your own but each attendee gets entered into a drawing for a fabulous door prize and there are always giveaways for all to take home. Hope you can join us in December!

Senior Kickoff

As the newest batch of soon to be WOU grads navigates their final year at WOU, there is much to learn and know about the steps to take to graduate. On Thursday, Nov. 14, WOU Alumni Relations hosted the annual Senior Kickoff, which included dinner, giveaways and a brief presentation from campus departments about the essential steps students must complete for graduation. Financial aid shared tips and tricks to get debts paid off, The Registrar’s office shared the top 10 things seniors must do in order to graduate and SLCD shared resources available to current students and alumni. Jostens was onsite to share the dates of the grad fair in the spring and to show off some of the trinkets graduates can buy to commemorate their time at WOU. All of the information was shared with students anticipating graduation sometime this academic year and helped them prepare for commencement. **We will host another event like this in the spring, so those who missed the fall session will have another chance to participate. 



November 2019

November 2019 

Greetings alumni and friends. Happy holiday season! Have you had any snow where you’re at yet? We have not had any here yet but it’s been darn cold at night, we’ll see what the next few months bring. All of our trees have basically shed their leaves so our grounds department has been busy blowing leaves, picking up limbs and keeping our campus pristine. They work hard to keep WOU beautiful, shout out to our Facilities team! October was a super busy and super fun month. Read below to get recaps on events and happenings from October.

Hood River/The Gorge Alumni Gathering

It’s always a joy to return to The Gorge to host a WOU alumni event. On Oct. 1, alumni and friends gathered at the Hood River Best Western, where we enjoyed beautiful views of the unusually calm Columbia River, and visited while having great food and tasty drinks. Many of the folks were former or current educators and it just so happens that I am an alum from the Hood River County School District so it was so fun seeing former teachers and coaches. President Rex Fuller and Susan Fuller welcomed guests and President Fuller shared “What’s new at WOU” and answered questions from the audience. All attendees were engaged and energized and ranged in age from 2016 grads to 50 year+ grads. It was truly a fun evening, we can’t wait to come back! Thanks for coming, Gorge folks, we look forward to seeing you again in the future. 

“What’s new at WOU- Eastern Oregon” 

Following the Hood River/Gorge alumni gathering, we headed up the road to Hermiston where we hosted another “What’s new at WOU” event with our alumni. The event was held at Maxwell Event Center on Oct. 3, where more than 20 guests enjoyed an evening of great food, open bar, wonderful discussion, networking, and hearing from President Fuller. The room echoed with conversations from guests and the service we received from the event staff was excellent. This was the second event we’ve held in Hermiston in the last four years and it was so great seeing some familiar faces and meeting new friends. Thank you for coming out on a Thursday night, we enjoyed our time with you and look forward to seeing you again in  the near future.   

Homecoming and Wolves Reunion Weekend 

What a weekend it was! More than 100 people attended Homecoming weekend events and enjoyed laughs, sharing memories, walking down the hallways of their former residence halls and classrooms and so much more. Our Golden Wolves- the class of 1969- had a great time wearing their Golden Wolves gear and looking at pictures of themselves and former classmates. President Fuller spoke at the luncheon and and answered questions from the audience. He also attended the Athletics reunion and the breakfast on Saturday, where he and Athletic Director Curtis Campbell said a few words on the state of our athletics and university. Thank you to all our volunteers who helped make this weekend fun and a huge success and for all of the alumni who returned to campus to celebrate with us. It was truly a treat to spend time with you and see your smiling faces at the Homecoming events. Be sure to check out the videos in the e-news for recaps and more. 


October blog post

October, 2019

Happy fall alumni and friends! How beautiful is it it outside right now with those vibrant colors? These crisp mornings and evenings with warm days makes for a nice, gradual transition into fall. Here on campus we’ve been enjoying student activities for New Student Week, welcoming our faculty, students and friends back to campus for the new academic year and prepping for the start of the year. As always, our Facilities Services team have been working hard to keep campus looking pristine and welcoming. We welcome all of the new and returning students to campus and wish you a fantastic year! 

September was a very busy month. There were multiple events, the start of home football games, the President’s address, and much more. For a full recap of September’s happening, keep reading. 

Alumni & Friends After Hours- 

On Tuesday, September 10 a small group of alumni and volunteers gathered at Heroes Taphouse in Salem to enjoy beverages, food and conversation at the September After Hours event. These events are great for networking and inviting friends to, to help them learn more about alumni programs and offerings. The new After Hours events will be held on October 8. Locations are TBA! Mark your calendars for the second Tuesday of each month. 

Forward Together Celebration –

Independence has a new boutique hotel called The Independence. This project has been a long time in the making and we were thrilled to be the first group to host a party on the rooftop. The venue offers beautiful views of the Willamette River and surrounding area. On Friday, September 13 the WOU Foundation hosted a cocktail party to celebrate the first phase of the “Forward Together” campaign by inviting all of the folks who participated in the research phase to the party. The hotel staff did a phenomenal job with their service and all attendees enjoyed a wonderful evening. We look forward to celebrating more events at The Independence in the near future. 

What’s new at WOU Brunch- 

A great group of alumni, students, friends and Wolf fans enjoyed a delightful brunch buffet, mimosas, coffee and presentation by Dr. Rob Winningham, Provost on September 14. Dr. Winningham presented on “What’s at WOU” and gave a very comprehensive review on what is happening on and around WOU. Topics included WOU becoming an HSI (Hispanic serving institution), General Education reform, new buildings and more. Thank you to Dr. Winningham for his wonderful presentation and thank you to our wonderful alums and friends for coming to this great event. 

First home game, Community Appreciation Day- 

WOU Played their first home game on September 14 against Texas A &M M- Commerce. For the first home game of the season and for the second year in a row, WOU Athletics opened this game up to the public and community members to attend for free for “Community Appreciate Day.” The parking lot was full of eager tailgaters, laughs, sounds from the drum line and cheers. The team played well and lost in the end by just one touchdown. The next home game is Saturday, October 5 and kickoff is at 1:05 p.m. If you come to game be sure to stop by the alumni tents to say hello and great a snack and some swag. 




September 2019

Hello alumni and friends! I hope your back to school transition has been smooth and easy and people are in their routines now. WOU students start classes on September 30 and then just a few short weeks after that is Homecoming! September marks the start of all the fun fall activities such as New Student Week, football (both college and professional), ceremonies such as the President’s Club Concert and Homecoming. Fall is a really wonderful time around here and it’s beautiful watching the leaves turn vibrant colors as fall approaches. If you haven’t been back to campus in awhile, fall is the perfect time to come back. There’s a lot happening and campus is gorgeous. 

August was another slower month for alumni events. We hosted two Alumni & Friends After Hours events, including our first one at the coast (read about them below)! Coming up, we’ve got a lot on the calendar and we hope you will join us for events in your region. Make your plans now to come back for Homecoming & Wolves Reunion Weekend. Check out what else is coming up in the e-news and read more about August’s After Hours events below. 

Alumni & Friends After Hours- Astoria

WOU Alumni Board President Victoria Scholerman ’04 hosted an Alumni & Friends After Hours event in Astoria, OR on the evening of August 13. A group of six local alums gathered at Fort George Brewing and enjoyed beverages, food, conversation and fun giveaways. Attendees enjoyed seeing one another and discovering what other WOU alums lived near them. We plan on coming back to Astoria in the near future, thank you for being a great host!

Alumni & Friends After Hours- Salem

The second After Hours event that was held on August 13 was held in Salem at Vagabond Brewing. The Salem events are becoming more popular and on average there are 10 – 12 attendees at each. This one was hosted by WOU Board Vice President Evan Sorce ’10. It was a hot day but the beverages were cold, the food was tasty and the conversations were great. The next Salem After Hours will be held on September 10 at Heroes Tap House from 5:30 – 7:30. Come check it out!

Other events for your calendar-

**The next What’s new at WOU events will be in Monmouth on September 14, Hood River on October 1 and Hermiston on October 3. Hope to see you at one of them!

*Are you part of the class of 2019 and want to make sure you stay connected? Fill out this contact form so we have your updated email address and home address. Also let us know what you’d like to see offered for alumni!*



Did you miss some of the summer events and want to know what’s coming up next? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.



Emily Lafon Alumni Relations Coordinator

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