December 2020

Hello alumni and readers. Happy holidays! I hope this holiday season finds you happy, healthy and warm. As we round the corner into a new year I like to reflect on the last year, like many of us do. In the e-newsletter I share some highlights from the year and the success we have had during our virtual events in 2020, be sure to check that section out for some  cool information. As crazy as 2020 has been, there has been a lot of good to come out of it as well. I hope your year ahead is full of happiness, prosperity and health. 

Hard to believe November is already behind us. It was a busy month but full of fun events and seeing friendly faces on the screen. Get the recap of the month’s happenings below. 

Senior Kickoff

On Nov. 10 a group of about 40 eager WOU seniors logged into Zoom to get the scoop on their upcoming graduation. Campus partners such as Financial Aid, the Registrar’s Office, SLCD and others presented to the group to share what needs to be done within their departments to graduate. The students were engaged and asked poignant,  direct questions to make sure they understood what steps to take to graduate. A special thank you goes out to our campus partners who helped make this event happen and to Jostens for logging in and helping us help our students! 

Education Career Connect 

Alumni Relations and SLCD partnered up to present the latest in the Career Connect series on Nov. 18. A fantastic panel of alumni in the education field joined WOU students to answer their questions and share their professional experiences. The students enjoyed hearing from alumni and how their got into their current careers while receiving advice and getting valuable information from alumni. Thank you to SLDC for your collaboration, we look forward to the next Career Connect event. 

November 2020

Hello readers, I hope you are doing well and staying warm and healthy. We have officially entered the holiday season, now that November is upon us. I, for one, am looking forward to time in front of the fireplace sipping a warm beverage, wearing cozy sweaters and scarves, and enjoying all the season has to offer. Do you have a favorite fall tradition when this time of year rolls around? Let us know at, we’d love to hear from you.

As we enter the final two months of 2020 we have lots planned as we say goodbye to what has been a strange year with many twists and turns. November has a few fun events such as an emergency preparedness presentation for the November Alumni & Friends After Hours and the 53rd Annual Holiday Tree Lighting! Both of these events will be virtual and/or live streamed through WOU TV. Make sure to mark your calendars and check them out.

October was a busy month as well. We hosted a few virtual events and enjoyed seeing some new and familiar faces on Zoom. Get the full recap below.

Alumni & Friends After Hours

During the October After Hours event, guests played virtual trivia with WOU Alumni President, Victoria Scholerman. The guest who got the most questions right received a WOU themed gift basket! After Hour events are the second Tuesday of each month and all are welcome to attend. They are currently happening virtually through Zoom but we hope to gather at local bars and restaurants again in the near future. Starting in November, the format for these networking events is changing to lecture style where we will have a guest speaker each month to share expertise and opinions on activities, safety, education, and more. Join us for networking, great conversation and special guest speakers.

Happy Hour with Interim Athletic Director Randi Lydum ’90

On Friday, October 16 a group of about 30 alumni, donors, and friends gathered via Zoom to hear from WOU’s new Interim Athletic Director Randi Lydum. Randi has been part of the WOU family for many years. Randi is a former track and field star who is also in the WOU Hall of Fame, and has been on staff in WOU Athletics for many years as the Compliance Officer and other roles. She was promoted to the Interim position after former Athletics Director, Curtis Campbell took a job in Alabama after being at WOU for several years. During the event on the 16th Randi talked about the future of WOU Athletics, how donors can support the program and asked each coach to talk about their current recruitment efforts and more. It was a fun event, and we look forward to the next event featuring Randi.

October 2020

Hello readers, happy fall! Do you have trees in your yards and neighborhoods that are vibrant in color right now? The first few weeks of fall is my most favorite time of the year. It’s beautiful outside, both weather wise and visually with the changing trees and foliage. 

On campus, things are picking up with the return of classes and students. Although 95% of instruction is online this term, more than 500 students moved into the residence halls and it’s estimated that 1,500 or more students are living in Monmouth and Independence. It’s been great seeing happy masked faces walking around campus and the towns. 

September was an eventful month. Our hearts go out to those affected by the wildfires that raged through western Oregon and we thank the first responders, fire fighters, and emergency teams! WOU was closed for 6 days due to hazardous air quality from thick smoke and ash and resumed normal operations on September 18. During the month, we held two virtual events, the Hamersly Library 20th Anniversary Celebration and the After Hours with President Fuller. Get recaps of both events below. 

Hamersly Library 20th Anniversary Celebration 

The original plan was to gather at the library and honor Wayne and Lynn Hamersly and their legacy to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the library. As so much has over the last seven months, those plans had to be modified to a virtual experience which turned into a wonderful afternoon. The event was held on Sunday, September 20, 20 years to the date of the opening of the library. Dean Chelle Batchelor interviewed Wayne and Scott Hamersly and former Dean Gary Jensen via Zoom livestream. Wayne and Scott shared the inspiration behind the Hamersly family donation to the library and how his mom and dad’s giving history has helped and inspired Scott.  Following the livestream, guests attended a Zoom social hour where we chatted, laughed, shared stories and enjoyed one another’s company. You can see the recorded livestream through the link in the e-newsletter. Thank you to all who attended and who have helped the library be what it is today. 

After Hours with President Fuller

This event was originally scheduled for Tuesday, September 9 but was rescheduled to Tuesday, September 29 due to the WOU closures from the fires. President Fuller addressed 20+ alumni, staff members and friends via Zoom and shared how we are opening safely, what we are doing for our students on campus, what our enrollment numbers are and answered questions from the audience. This event was moderated by WOU Alumni President Victoria Scholerman ’04 and was a great, lively one hour. Thank you to President Fuller for spending time with us and thank you the attendees, we hope you enjoyed your time with us and received good information. 

The next After Hours is scheduled for Tuesday Oct. 13 at 5:30 and will be trivia! No registration is required, get more information on the event page at  

September 2020

Hello alumni and friends!  Happy September. September is one of my favorite months. I love the temperature, I love the leaves starting to turn, I love the back to school hoopla and just everything that comes with this season. Especially here in Oregon, we have special falls and there is just something in the air. 

I hope you are all doing well and staying healthy. There have been campus updates available to read here. Fall term will now be 95% online and all fall sports have been suspended until November 30. Read more about athletics here.  We will do our best to keep you informed and engaged as more details are released. 

If you have questions about the plans for fall, university happenings or general questions about WOU and what’s going on, on campus, be sure to tune into the Q & A with President Fuller on Wednesday, September 9 at 5:30 p.m. He will address your questions via Zoom and have a candid conversation about plans, WOU, our students and more. Register for this event by September 8 to get the event link emailed to you. 

Thank you for your continued support and love for WOU. We can’t thank you enough for everything you do and we look forward to the days when we can come together again as a wolf family in person. Until then, stay safe and stay healthy. 

August 2020

Happy summer readers! We have made it to August! The big news from the West Coast was the comet Neowise that was spotted throughout the month of July. If you were one of the lucky ones to spot the bright comet, did you get any photos? I’ve seen some amazing images taken and that has been a nice distraction from all that is COVID. 

July kind of flew by between celebrations on the Fourth, camping trips and family activities. We spent the month planning for the rest of summer (the best we can given the circumstances) and into the fall. We are hopeful some fall events will be in person, in small groups but we will know more soon and will keep you all posted the best we can. For now, there’s plenty to look forward to in August, like the After Hours that will take place on August 11. 

Alumni & Friends After Hours (Virtual)

One event that took place in July was the monthly After Hours event, which are now virtual so people from all over the world can join!  July’s topic of conversation was favorite summer activities. Attendees shared their favorite summertime hobbies and activities in a lively conversation via Zoom. Alums from all over Oregon and other states joined the conversation from the comfort of their own homes! It was so fun to connect with our alumni from their homes, we look forward to many more virtual After Hours. 

July 2020

Hello Alumni and friends, I hope you are doing well and enjoying the summer weather. With summer seeming to finally be here, what types of activities are you doing to stay cool, have fun and get out of your house? Personally I am enjoying the Oregon outdoors by hiking, motorcycling, boating and enjoying patios at local restaurants. Do you have photos wearing WOU gear doing your favorite summer activity? If so, we would love to see them! Send them over to 

Things are winding down some for Just and August but we will still have virtual events monthly and will be adding more for the near future. Be sure to follow us on our social media @WOUalumni.  June sure was a busy month! Catch up on the happenings from June and we look forward to seeing you in the near future. 

“Howl From Home Virtual Wine Tasting Event” 

On Wednesday, June 3 about 60 people gathered from the comfort of their homes, patios, and back decks to enjoy some Redhawk Winery wine and participate in a virtual wine tasting fundraising event for the WOU Foundation. The Howl From Home initiative raises funds for the Emergency Student Aid fund, a fund that students can use to pay for unexpected expenses like travel, food, lodging, gas, etc. The money borrowed from this fund is current use and does not need to be paid back, ever. At the virtual event we enjoyed hearing from Redhawk owners John and Betty Pataccoli talk about their delicious wines as we sipped with them through the tutorial. We also heard from President Fuller, Erin McDonough, Foundation board President Cori Frauendiener and a wonderful student, Antonia Scholerman. The whole event was just an hour and we enjoyed laughs, cheers, wine and snacks. Overall the event raised $6,000 for the fund. If you’d like to donate to the Emergency Student Aid fund you can do it online here. Thank you for your support!

Commencement 2020 

The 2020 Commencement Ceremony was not what anyone expected at the beginning of the year. Due to COVID-19 the whole event was virtual and graduates had slides showing their accomplishments with their photos. Dr. Fuller and the student speakers were recorded in their regalia and played on WOUTV at 10 a.m. on June 13. This year, WOU graduated more than 1,200 students and we welcomed the class of 2020 into the Alumni family with open arms. We can’t wait to see you at events- both virtual ones and in person ones when the time comes. If you missed the Commencement ceremony and want to see the class of 2020, click here. Congratulations grads, we are proud of you and welcome you as alumni!

June 2020

Hello loyal readers and friends. I hope this blog finds you well and thriving. What a whirlwind the last few months have been! Most of WOU has been working remotely from their homes with the exception of several departments like our mail room, facilities services, president’s office (half days on campus), and our housing and dining folks.To those workers who have been on campus daily and caring for our essential activities and students, THANK YOU! We all look forward to returning to campus and seeing everyone in person, versus through a computer screen. How are you all doing? We’d love to hear from you, send us an email anytime at

We look forward to returning to campus and seeing everyone in person, rather than on a computer screen. How are you all doing? Any good news to share? We’d love to hear from you. Please send us a note at

Living in a virtual world hasn’t prevented us from hosting a couple of great events in May. I believe this moment in history has taught us that we are resilient, and if there is a will, there is definitely a way! In June, the WOU Foundation is hosting a virtual wine tasting event for a fundraiser for our Howl from Home initiative to raise money for Emergency Student Aid. Learn more about our fundraising initiatives here. Celebrate the success of WOU graduates by attending the virtual Commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 13.

What’s new at WOU- Virtual Events

WOU Alumni Relations and the WOU Alumni Board hosted two virtual interactive events in May. President Rex Fuller was the guest of honor and talked about the current construction projects happening on campus and took questions from people via Zoom. The questions were insightful, interesting and great conversation topics. Most of them were in relation to what WOU is doing with the COVID-19 pandemic and what campus, athletics, classes and more will be like in the fall. Other questions asked about budget, caring for our students, faculty and staff and how everyone is doing. We had alumni join the conversation from Texas, Egypt, California, Alaska and other locations! It was wonderful to see so many smiling faces and have great discussions with our alumni, friends and supporters. We will host more of these events in the future. If you missed the May events, you will have another chance this summer. Thank you to those who tuned in and for your great questions. We enjoyed speaking with you. 

Career Connect Event 

On May 13, Alumni Relations and Service Learning and Career Development teamed up to host “Finding a Job During an Economic Downturn” virtual event. Three alumni who graduated in 2007 and 2009 during the last recession were guest panelists and shared their experience in finding a job during a recession. WOU students tuned in and submitted their questions to the panelists regarding what they wanted to know and to receive some advice. The conversations were great, and the participants left feeling encouraged and excited for their future. Thank you to our fantastic panelists and thank you to the students for your insightful and fun questions. We look forward to hosting more events like this in the future. 

April 2020

Hello readers and happy spring! How is everyone fairing in the new normal? Have you found unique and fun ways to stay connected with others and continue to be occupied while staying home amid the pandemic?

Personally, I am enjoying learning new technology skills on various virtual platforms to connect with colleagues, friends, board members and others. Let us know what creative ways you are connecting with people or using your time. We love knowing what our alums are doing.

March events update- 

Thank you to everyone who attended the alumni choral reception and the Art and Wine Walk in March. Both events allowed us to show our support for our amazing students.

Alumni and choir fans gathered on March 10 at Crush Wine Bar for food, drinks and conversation with Dr. James Reddan, as an assistant music professor and director of choral activities, prior to attending the spring concert, “We Shall Overcome.”

WOU’s choral ensembles–Concert Choir and Chamber Singers– were nothing short of fantastic. WOU’s music program is truly incredible and not to be missed. Reddan is looking forward to his three choral ensembles attending the World Choir Games in Europe this summer – pending quarantines have been lifted due to COVID-19.

More than 300 people attended the Art and Wine Walk, hosted and sponsored by the WOU Foundation on March 11. The weather was amazingly perfect for March – sunny with blue skies. Guests enjoyed walking to the six venues to view the artwork by the late Alfred Maurice, a WOU benefactor and honorary faculty member. The proceeds from the event go to the J. Dolores and Alfred P. Maurice Endowed Challenge Prize, a contest for undergraduates who complete a year-long project in quest for a $5,000 prize. For more information on the event and Maurice Challenge, click here

Supporting our students and friends- 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the university has kept students, faculty, staff members, visitors and alumni informed with what’s happening, including the plans for spring term and Commencement, Learn more by visiting this website. 

This is a challenging time for everyone as we learn together how to navigate the normalcy of our lives. What truly helps is when we provide one another encouragement. At a time when everyone is searching for ways to make a difference, we have a suggestion. Send us your bits of wisdom or positive stories that we can share on WOU’s social media platforms. If you have something small or big that will bring smiles to people’s faces, send us an email at Follow WOU’s social media accounts including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.


March 2020

Happy spring, alumni and friends. Not to be too cliché but spring has definitely sprung on campus. The cherry trees are dazzling pinks and whites, the daffodils are brilliant yellows and the aroma of all the flowers means spring is definitely in the air! I encourage everyone to visit campus and see how beautiful it is here.

We’ve been blessed with some amazing early spring weather and sunshine. It’s fun to see students, faculty, staff and visitors soaking up the rays on the patios, plazas and lawns. There’s definitely a spring in everyone’s step as winter term winds down. In March, student have final exams, spring break plans and the start of spring term.

Although February was a short month, (Happy Leap year!) there was a lot packed in it. We enjoyed meeting new alumni and seeing familiar faces at events and had some great evenings together. Read below for recaps of February events and happenings. Be sure to check out March and April events and register early to save your spot! 

Alumni & Friends After Hours 

On Feb. 11, a group of alumni and friends took over the Westside Taphouse in West Salem for our monthly gathering of networking with friends. More than 20 people enjoyed great conversation and pizza, courtesy of WOU Alumni Board members, and beverages. This was the largest group we’ve had at an After Hours event since its inception in 2019. Thank you for helping to make these monthly gatherings successful and fun! We look forward to seeing you at the next one Tuesday, March 10! 

**We are looking for alumni to host After Hours events! If you are interested in hosting, contact Emily at 503-838-8710 or send an email to

What’s new at WOU- Portland & Alumni Night at the Winterhawks

On Feb. 21, we enjoyed two great events in Portland! The first event was a “What’s new at WOU” reception at the Doubletree Hotel. At this reception, guests enjoyed an open bar and great food. There was a drawing for fun prizes, and WOU President Rex Fuller shared with guests “What’s new at WOU.” He answered questions and visited with alumni who had not been to other events. It was a fun event, and we enjoyed visiting with all the guests. The second event that evening was an alumni adventure to the Winterhawks game! A group of 35 alumni and friends sat center ice at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum and watched a super fun hockey game between the Portland Winterhawks and Seattle Thunderbirds. The Winterhawks won the game, but it was a hard fought battle until the end. There was plenty of checking and even a fist fight among two players! We were welcomed to the game with Winterhawks rally towels for each guest and an announcement on the big screen. We will definitely do this event again! 

Thank you for attending alumni events and supporting WOU! 

February 2020

Greetings alumni and friends. Here we are a month into the year 2020. Did you have a good January and follow through with some of your goals and/or resolutions? I know for me personally it took a few weeks to write ’20 on my dates instead of ’19. Campus was quiet for the first week while the students and some faculty and staff were away for break. When classes started on January 6 it felt busy, full and boisterous- it was great having everyone back and things back to normal. January was a busy month aside from welcoming students, faculty and staff back to campus. We hosted a few events and held the first alumni board meeting of the year. Check out the event recaps below and be sure to check out what’s coming up this month and beyond. 

WOU Alumni Board of Directors Winter Meeting 

On Saturday, January 4 the WOU Alumni Board of Directors met on campus for their first meeting of 2020. Topics of discussion included upcoming events, past events, committee reports, goals and outreach strategies. We also welcomed a new member to the board, CM Hall ’00! This year we will continue to host the monthly After Hours events on the second Tuesday of each month in various locations and we will also focus on outreach and engagement with alumni in and beyond our communities. It’s going to be a great year, be sure to check out a local After Hours in your neighborhood! 

**Interested in hosting an After Hours event? Reach out to Emily at and we’d love to share the process with you! We’re always looking for new locations and new, fun hosts. We will hook you up with swag and instructions. 

Alumni Appreciation Night at WOU Basketball

It was a rainy and wet evening in Monmouth on January 23, as many January days are. Starting at 4:45 p.m. fans gathered in New PE for the women’s game which tipped off at 5:15 p.m. and the crowd grew as the men’s game drew near for a 7:30 tip-off. WOU Alumni Relations was onsite handing out free tickets, t-shirts, swag and connecting with alums who attended the games for “Alumni Appreciation Night at WOU Basketball.” Overall there were 36 alumni who attended either the men’s, women’s or both team’s games that evening and it was fun seeing new and familiar faces. Both teams unfortunately lost that evening but both games were played hard and came down to the last few minutes of the game. 

Family Weekend

WOU hosted it’s annual Family weekend on January 24 – 26. More than 180 families registered for the weekend’s activities and it was fun seeing all of the families around campus and in the community. On The evening of January 24 WOU Alumni Relations hosted a dessert bar at the Family Weekend trivia show in the Pacific Room. We had a table and offered free swag items to both family members and students and had a chance to talk with parents. It was a fun evening and great seeing the smiles, laughs and hearing stories from families. 

Men’s Basketball Alumni Night 

On Saturday, January 25, WOU Alum and former Alumni Award of Excellence winner Dr. Lance Marr ’90 worked with WOU athletics to host the 9th annual Men’s Basketball Alumni Night. Lance has worked on this evening for many years and does w wonderful job getting alumni to come back and contribute to the Bradshaw basketball Scholarship. We are thankful for Lance and all of his hard work. This year the event raised just over $91,000 which will all be used for men’s basketball scholarships and operations. Thank you to those who contribute and for your continuous support to WOU athletics. 




Emily Lafon Alumni Relations Coordinator

(503) 838-8710 | or e-mail:  | Location: The Cottage