Western Oregon University turns 167

Written by: Mirella Barrera-Betancourt

On Jan. 18, Western celebrated its 167th birthday with a small commemoration on the second floor of the Werner University Center.

A table was set up from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., complete with cupcakes and a poster board where students could share a thing or two on what they love about their campus. 

In 2022, Western’s mascot, Wolfie, made his debut appearance at Western’s birthday celebration after having undergone a serious makeover. The change in appearance was enacted in order for Wolfie to more accurately mirror his look in Western advertisements and merchandise.

Although Wolfie could not make it to the event this year, students were nevertheless invited to have their photograph or polaroid taken by a photographer in front of a balloon backdrop.

For a brief history of Western, it was Jan. 18, 1856 — 167 years ago — when 11 Disciples of Christ pioneers signed the charter that established Western Oregon University, then Monmouth University. The founders of Western continue to be honored today; a plaque depicting their image hangs in the lobby of Campbell Hall.

Western’s birthday also brings remembrance to the 24 Presidents in Western’s history, many of whom’s memory remains in the buildings and establishments on campus.

So far in Western history, this is the second birthday celebration hosted by Student Engagement, with more to come in the future.

Contact the author at howlnews@wou.edu