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. 

December 2021

Happy holidays, readers! I hope this holiday season finds you healthy, happy and warm with loved ones. Here we are, the last month in 2021, and what a year it has been. My favorite part of the year has been the continuous momentum of having real life humans back on campus and at events as well as well being creative in event planning and engagement. It has been wonderful connecting with alums all over the world via Zoom and social media. Although I am thankful we are getting back to a place of “normalcy” I do appreciate the fact that the last two years has taught us how to be resilient, creative and shown us that anything is possible, it might just look a little different than we initially envisioned. WOU has been at the forefront of Covid-19 testing in Polk county and has done a great job and managing any positive cases. Students have been attending in-person classes since the start of the term and it’s been great watching WOU sports and other performances in person. 

This month is the special holiday edition of PawPrints. Some normal sections will be missing but to stay up to date on events and news, check the alumni website at wou.edu/alumni. This month, we will feature celebrations and stats from the year. The regular edition of PawPrints will return in January. 

Before we turn the page to another new year, let’s recap November and take a look back on events and happenings. 

November Virtual After Hours 

For the first time in a few months, we held a virtual After Hours on Tuesday, November 9. It was great to see some familiar faces and check in on folks we have not seen in awhile. In January, we hope to return to in person After Hour events at local eateries and bars. These will be held on the second Tuesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. If you have an idea of a location for one of these events, let us know! Send an email to Emily at lafone@wou.edu.  

Senior Kickoff 

One of our main goals is student success and on November 16 we hosted an event aimed at doing just that. The Senior Kickoff event was a virtual seminar for our seniors. The event was hosted on Zoom and guest speakers from The Registrar’s Office, Financial Aid, SLCD, Jostens, Grad Programs and Alumni Engagement presented the importance of their departments and explained the services offered. The Seniors asked great questions and received the information they need to be successful for graduation in June.  

What to look forward to in 2022- 

As we begin planning for the New Year, here are some things you can look forward to: 

  • Regional “What’s new at WOU” events in Southern Oregon, Central Oregon and on the coast. 
  • A theater night on campus (date and show are TBD). 
  • Men’s and women’s basketball alumni nights (dates are TBD). 
  • Homecoming and Hall of Fame weekend in October.
  • And more to be planned! 

We look forward to seeing you and being together again in the New Year. Happy New Year and happy Holidays!  

November 2021

Hello, readers. How is fall treating you so far? I hope everyone is healthy, safe and thriving. Campus has been full of life with students, faculty and staff members, and people from the community heading to and from class, attending sporting events and utilizing campus resources. In early October, the food pantry was reopened in its new an improved location in the Welcome Center in a much larger, more inviting space than before. Admissions has been busy giving tours daily to prospective students and their families and the dining hall has been bustling with activity all month. School is back and in full force and it is so great to see people in person while also taking the proper precautions against Covid-19. 

October was a very busy month in alumni engagement. We hosted three home football games, Homecoming, had a board meeting and started a new tradition at home games. For a recap of October’s events, keep reading below. 

First Home Football Game and Alumni Board Meeting 

On a sunny day on Saturday, October 2 the WOU Alumni Board of Directors met during a hybrid meeting under the leadership of the new president, Doug Ladd ’88. Half of the attendees joined via Zoom while the other half were on campus together. At the meeting, goals for the year were set and updates from Foundation Executive Director, Erin McDonough were presented. We also enjoyed meeting new potential board members! Following the meeting, we enjoyed a tailgate in the McArthur Stadium Parking lot and the football game against a Texas team, which we won! 

Homecoming and Hall of Fame Weekend 

After missing last year due to the pandemic, Homecoming returned to campus on October 8 and 9. Part of Homecoming this year was the return of the WOU Athletics Hall of Fame, which had been on a four year hiatus. This year, we honored three inductees – Duke Iverson (coaching), Kurt Davis ’71 (wrestling and football) and Katie Torland-Hein ’11 (women’s BxB). Duke passed earlier this year so long time family friend Shane Hendrick accepted the award on Duke’s behalf. The ceremony was held on Saturday morning in the Pacific Room at the Werner Center. Prior to the induction ceremony, guests enjoyed a plated meal from Forks and Corks Catering, coffee and mimosas. Congratulations to our inductees! 

Other Homecoming activities included a class of 1970 and 1971 reunion at the Welcome Center, campus tours, an all athlete alumni reception under the stadium, tailgating and the football game. The weather was amazing- brisk but sunny and warm in the afternoon. People were happy to be on campus and come home to Western Oregon University. It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces and meet people who haven’t been on campus since graduation. Thank you all, for helping to make Homecoming and Hall of Fame Weekend special and memorable!

Final home football game

The final of four home football games for WOU is on Saturday, November 13. WOU will play Lincoln University for the first time. Kickoff is at 1:05 p.m. Tickets are available at the gate and we will be ready to welcome alumni and families at the alumni tents in the parking lot starting at 11 a.m. Come by the tents to grab a beverage, a snack and check out our giveaways. We will be honoring another WOU alum veteran at the break between the first and second quarter and we look forward to an afternoon of fun.  

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. 




Emily Lafon Alumni Relations Coordinator

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