Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Scholar-educators who are well versed in the pedagogy of their disciplines, committed to their students' development, and equipped with the university resources to provide the best training for their students reflect the core ideals of the institution. Learning, however, is a "two way street" and cannot be accomplished at the level to which we aspire without the effort and commitment of learners. An academically well-prepared, inquisitive, conscientious, and culturally diverse student body helps students achieve the most from their classroom and campus experience. These complementary characteristics of faculty and students highlight the fact that learning is the inherent goal of teaching and is a benchmark by which one can judge instructional effectiveness with a given student body and set of circumstances. Thus, this theme emphasizes both teaching and learning.
Creating Knowledge and Art
Across the undergraduate college and the graduate professional schools, Willamette values — and in fact insists upon — faculty who are contributing scholars and professionals in their respective fields, generating new knowledge and artistic creations even as they teach about such human achievements and understandings to their students. Such contributions are made through traditional academic scholarship; artistic work in music, art, and theater; the development and evaluation of new pedagogies; and applications of knowledge in the policy arena. This institutional value placed upon discovery and creation is also reflected in student experiences that emphasize original research, synthesis, and argumentation, as well as in student-faculty collaborative scholarship. Willamette’s commitment to faculty modeling and mentoring creative processes reflects the university’s belief that creating knowledge and art does not compete with teaching but rather augments instruction and thus, supports the intent of Theme 1.
"Living Our Motto": A Culture of Community and Civic Engagement
"Not Unto Ourselves Alone Are We Born" — Willamette's motto — reflects a distinctive component of the Willamette educational experience. It involves the preparation of students who will be active, informed participants in a democratic society and who will positively impact their communities through professional achievement, service, and leadership. This theme is reflected through student and faculty engagement both internally within the Willamette community itself and externally in settings ranging from local to national and international communities. The "Living Our Motto" theme underscores Willamette's commitment to educating and inspiring to action our community in areas as diverse as social justice, sustainability, and vocational service to one's profession and its beneficiaries. Within this theme, the university highlights the critical roles of disciplinary competency and intercultural knowledge in promoting and providing service to others.
Comprehensive Personal Development and Responsibility
The liberal arts tradition addresses all aspects of the individual. Education in its best form is not a piecemeal development of specific attributes but instead reflects an attempt to integrate the various dimensions of human experience and potential so that people can lead satisfying and fulfilling lives. The university structures itself so as to encourage this development and set a trajectory for lifelong growth, combining opportunities for coursework, scholarship, and service with a commitment to nurturing self-reflection, a personally defined sense of purpose and direction, ethical living, and the joyful experience of a balanced life. In doing so, it provides a variety of services and activities to encourage personal exploration and to support the emotional and physical well being of the university community.