Mnemosyne (Nemi) McKay Class of 2025 Major: Art and Design Western Oregon University has a strong culture that allows students to further grow themselves and to thrive in the Creative Arts. One student in particular is Mnemosyne (Nemi) McKay. Recently, Nemi was commissioned to create the front of the WOU Foundation holiday card. The painting depicts the point of view of a person walking down Monmouth Ave. with the giant sequoia tree lit up in time for the holidays. This beautiful artwork accurately captures what this amazing time of year has to offer with the lights reflecting off the street from recent rain. Jennifer Bracy, Professor of Art & Design, shared this regarding Nemi:Nemi has four children and a husband who was a diplomat for 10 years. They have lived in El Salvador, Bulgaria, and Sri Lanka during that time. Having spent the first 20 years of married life raising a family, she plans to dedicate the next 20 years to her education and career. She is devoted to her art practice and the creative process. In the future she would like to make art and teach children, especially those that have fallen through the cracks in the system. Nemi would like to help them find comfort in their ability to generate a different world through art. Hear from Nemi in her own words! What has been your favorite memory at WOU?My favorite memory at Western is taking a full-scale ceramic figure to fire in the shed behind Campbell Hall. The entire class helped to move the piece with the least possible damage. My classmates and professor were there to work and...
About the WOU Foundation
The Western Oregon University Foundation was founded in 1965 and is the fundraising-arm of Western Oregon University. A nonprofit corporation, governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees with IRS 501(c)3 status, the WOU Foundation’s scholarship program includes more than 250 donor-funded scholarships. In addition, the foundation manages nearly 300 funds for academic and student programs. As of 2021, the WOU Foundation has approximately $25 million in assets and a permanent endowment of $16 million.
Our Mission: The Western Oregon University Foundation exists to strengthen relationships and provide resources in order to serve and support the mission and vision of Western Oregon University
Our Vision: Ensuring every student has the opportunity to have access to a quality educational experience that increases their ability to succeed in our ever-changing global economy and society.
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Sierra Ackerman Class of 2024 Major: Criminal Justice Minor: Forensic Psychology Sierra Ackerman is in her first year at WOU after transferring in from Chemeketa Community College. At CCC, Sierra received an Associates of Science, an Associates of Arts Oregon Transfer Degree and an Associates of General Studies. Currently, she is pursuing a major in Criminal Justice and minoring in Forensic Psychology. Sierra is one of five new student assistants at the Foundation. Throughout the year, you may receive a thank you video or letter from Sierra. We are excited to welcome her onto our team! Why did you select WOU?I decided to attend WOU because I heard many great things about the Criminal Justice program, both from my family and staff from the Community College that I attended. I also wanted to come to WOU because of how close it is to my family and the relatively small campus. I like that Western is still active yet has a smaller, tight-knit community. My mom was also very supportive because of how safe Western is! What are your favorite hobbies?I enjoy playing volleyball and video/ board games, anything involving animals (I have 3 Australian Shepherds), and trying new foods! What is your favorite class so far?Being my first term at WOU, I haven’t experienced very many classes yet; however, my favorite classes so far have been Social Problems, Justice, and Policy (SOC305 with Dean Braa) and Introduction to Criminal Justice (CJ213 with Jennifer Moreno). Both of the professors make the class extremely enjoyable and make the subject fun to learn. The professors are very approachable and incorporate humor into...
Tessa Douangaphaivong Class of 2025 Major: Theater Minor: Dance Tessa is going into their second year at Western majoring in Theater with a minor in Dance. Currently they are the student worker for the Smith Fine Arts Series. Between assisting with SFAS events and their studies, Tessa is preparing for the fall production of She Kills Monsters put on by department of Theatre and Dance on campus. Clubs or programs you are a part of? I am a part of the diversity scholars program, a staff member at the Smith Fine Arts Series, and I attend WOU Thespian club meetings when I am able to! Why Western? I came to Western Oregon University for the BFA theater program. What caught my eye was the small class sizes and the specialized attention each student receives in the classroom here. I thoroughly enjoyed the sense of community that Western cultivates, as well as the beautiful campus. Favorite memory on campus: My favorite memory on campus was my first week in the dorms I knocked on every door in my hall and asked everyone to go to Koyotes with me at midnight to get churros! That was the night I met some of my best friends in college! Favorite campus event: My favorite campus event last year was attending Rainbow Dance concert through the Smith Fine Arts Series! It was so amazing to see the way those artist meld technology and dance so beautifully. What does SFAS mean to you? SFAS is a wonderful hidden gem on campus that provides our community with many arts opportunities. We are an organization that caters...