Office of the President

Willamette's president serves as its chief executive officer, appointed by the Willamette University Board of Trustees. Together with the president and in accordance with the university’s mission, the board sets the strategic direction for the university. The president develops and implements the university’s strategic plan and assesses progress towards stated goals. As ex-officio chair of the faculty, the president has administrative oversight of academic matters and also oversees campus operations and functions.

The president serves as the 'public face' of Willamette University to the campus and Salem communities, the region, the nation and the world, celebrating the efforts and achievements of the university's four colleges: The College of Liberal Arts, College of Law, Graduate School of Education and Atkinson Graduate School of Management. Through development and fund-raising activities, public appearances and outreach locally, nationally and internationally, the president continually promotes Willamette as place of academic rigor and excellence, invigorated by its distinctive motto, “Not Unto Ourselves Alone Are We Born.”

In addition to supporting the president’s daily activities and initiatives and serving Willamette students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, friends and visitors, the President's Office is the primary administrative liaison to the Board of Trustees and coordinates important perennial events such as the Atkinson Lecture Series and commencement exercises.

Stephen E. Thorsett

Stephen E. Thorsett

Willamette's 25th President

"Willamette is special to me for the quality of its teaching and learning, for its mix of a strong liberal arts core with outstanding professional graduate programs, and as a place with which I have a strong personal history and affinity."