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Celebrating 175 Years by Putting the Future First

To commemorate Willamette's 175th anniversary, our community has the opportunity to celebrate the university’s rich history, while recognizing how much Willamette, Oregon and higher education has changed and evolved over the years. One thing remains true: that a Willamette education can change lives and change the world.

First in the West, First for the Future

Willamette students recognize the hardships faced by generations before them, actively contribute to addressing the issues that face the world today and prepare for the challenges that are yet to come. At Willamette, our community prepares students through a series of firsts:

  • Putting students first - Students are at the center of the Willamette community and our faculty and staff members from all schools and programs make every effort to help students become successful.
  • Putting academics first - Willamette students are involved, busy and unafraid of taking risks.  They are also outstanding scholars who have unparalleled opportunities to work on projects, research alongside faculty members and take initiative to start their own student organizations. Whether through research, the arts, athletics, internships, externships, experiential projects - or a combination of pursuits - Willamette students are active contributors to the community.
  • Putting others first - The Willamette ethic compels students and faculty members to create a community of trust where learning, growth and the free exchange of ideas can flourish. Nowhere is this exemplified more than in the university’s deeply held motto, “not unto ourselves alone are we born.”
  • Putting the world first - Civic engagement is at the heart of the Willamette experience, exemplified by the university’s location across from the Oregon State Capitol, partnership with Tokyo International University and the long history of service and leadership by Willamette graduates from all programs. As the world has become more interconnected and more global, Willamette’s campus remains the perfect launchpad.
  • Putting the future first - We may all be Bearcats, but we all have very different personal stories to tell. A successful and sustainable future for Willamette recognizes that the only constant is change and that our community will welcome increased diversity with greater inclusivity. While we celebrate a significant milestone during Willamette’s 175th year, it serves as a reminder that we must move forward together and make the future of our students our first priority.

Learn more about our 175th anniversary signature events.