WU Alumni Weekend

Alumni Weekend FAQs

  1. General Information
  2. Activities & Events
  3. Children & Family
  4. Registration
  5. Lodging
  6. Transportation & Parking
  7. Weather & Comfort
  8. Arriving on Campus

1. General Information

When is Alumni Weekend 2015?

The weekend is set for September 17-20, 2015 (kicking off on Thursday with full days Friday, Saturday and Sunday... and yes, we have a Homecoming football game!).

Who is invited?

You don't need to have a reunion to attend Alumni Weekend! All Willamette alumni—of every school, every class year, degree or non-degree—are invited! This is a celebration of all things Willamette with something for everyone.

What's new this year?

A lot! We are delivering MORE opportunities to engage and dig into the Willamette experience than ever before. Want some examples?

  • Bearcat Lounge. Check-in, connect, chill out. The Bearcat Lounge, located on The Quad in the middle of campus, is your central hub for the weekend. Here you will find the Information and Registration Desk, comfortable seating, refreshments and snacks. 
  • Try the Politics Symposium! Whether you’re a casual observer, community advocate, or political junkie, we’ve got a wide spectrum of offerings to pique your interest. Discussion panels featuring WU alumni and faculty will take on a variety of topics from Oregon’s legislative history to Oregon’s First Nations, campaign finance reform to social justice! You can also dig into a tasty meal served with a hearty helping of discussion about how food gets from farm to table and the political intricacies involved in food. Want more? How about the documentary film, The Gentleman of the Senate: Oregon's Mark Hatfield? We’ll have two screenings, plus a Q&A session with the filmmakers.
  • Take an Alumni inClass session. Return to the classroom and enjoy special sessions designed just for alumni and presented by WU faculty and alumni on a host of topics from the intellectual to the offbeat. Get scientific about the chemistry of beer, learn about the history of slavery in Oregon, explore ‘autotopography,’ give a high five to some pie (see schedule for explanation), and more!
  • Participate in the Peace Corps Salute. Ranking 23rd among small colleges and universities in sending Peace Corps volunteers overseas, Willamette has a large alumni base of returned Peace Corps volunteers. Join us in celebrating WU’s Peace Corps legacy and share stories and experiences from the last 50 years.
  • Homecoming is back! Yes, we have a home football game this year. Enjoy the game day atmosphere at McCulloch and watch the Bearcats take on the Trinity Tigers of Texas.
  • Special Bearcat discounts at local businesses to enhance your weekend experience!

What about reunions?

The undergraduate classes ending in 5s and 0s will have special reunion gatherings.

Do I need to register?

Yes. General registration is just $5 for your Alumni Weekend Access Pass. Registration begins July 1!.

What if I need a hashtag?

We've thought of that! Use #WUAW15 on all of your social media posts about Alumni Weekend before, during and after.

Need more than one hashtag? We feel ya. How about #WillametteU #WUalumni #AlwaysABearcat #WUBearcats #WillametteJamIt (...not sure about that last one).

Share the love.

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2. Activities & Events

What activities and events have been planned?

There are more than 50 events at Alumni Weekend 2014; classes, tours, athletic events, panel discussions, demos, receptions, wine tastings, open houses, celebrations…and so much more. Visit the schedule page to read all the details. You can search and sort this listing by event category or day/time.

Are there Greek activities?

Individual sororities and fraternities are making plans for alumni activities. Sororities are hosing Open Houses from 1:00-3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Kappa Sigma and Alpha Phi will have welcome tents on the Quad during the weekend, etc. We’ll publish Greek plans here just as soon as we have information!

What athletic events are being offered this year?

This is Homecoming weekend, and there are several home games this year including the Homecoming Football game kicking off on Saturday at 1:30 pm. Men’s and Women’s Soccer are also home and games are open to the public on Sparks Field. Plus there's the Student vs. Alumni Volleyball match on Friday evening starting at 7:30 pm.

What about use of campus facilities and amenities?

Alumni have access to a variety of campus  including the Sparks Fitness Center (please check in at the Bearcat Lounge), tennis courts, campus dining services (Goudy Commons, the Cat Cavern, Kaneko Commons, The Bistro), Hatfield Library, etc. A full list will be published in the printed weekend schedule, or call the Alumni Office for more details at 503-375-5304.

What about other things to do around Salem?

You may not immediately think of Salem as a destination, but there is plenty to do in and around town! Check out our Salem Area for Alumni Weekend Participants page for some ideas, plus a list of Bearcat Specials offered by local businesses to enhance your weekend experience!

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3. Children & Family

Can I bring my children to Alumni Weekend?

Yes! Reunion is a wonderful time to share your Willamette experience with your entire family. There are many family friendly events throughout the weekend, and child pricing for certain meals. We’ll also have kid’s corners at some of the class sessions and at the Bearcat Lounge. And there are kid friendly things to do around Salem too!

Are there childcare options?

Willamette University is not able to provide childcare, but you may make your own arrangements using www.sittercity.comThis service is not affiliated with Willamette University.

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4. Registration

How do I register?

Pre-registration closed Friday, September 5. But you can still come! Just come to the Bearcat Lounge on the Quad when you arrive to register. General registration is just $5 for your Alumni Weekend Access Pass.

Can I attend just the events that don’t require pre-registration?

Yes! The Alumni Weekend Access Pass is just $5.00 (registration fee) and can be pre-purchased online or at the registration desk during the weekend. 

What is the Alumni Weekend Access Pass?

The $5.00 registration fee provides your Alumni Weekend Access Pass which will allow you to hang out in the Bearcat Lounge and includes the Politics Symposium and inClass sessions (except for beer session), the Faculty-Alumni Mixer, admission to the Homecoming Football Game, Audit Classes (space limited; sign up at the Bearcat Lounge), access to the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, admission to two screenings of the Hatfield documentary film, and a variety of campus tours, etc.

Discounted registration is available!

Early bird 15% discount through August 1. 10% discount through August 22.

Is there a deadline to register?

Pre-registration (online and by phone) ends Friday, September 5 in order for us to set final counts for meals and prepare registration packets.

What if I miss the pre-registration deadline, can I register/pay when I arrive on campus?

Yes! You are welcome to attend Alumni Weekend even if you can't commit by the pre-registration deadline. You should understand, however, that some events have limited space, and meal counts need to be provided to caterers prior to Alumni Weekend, so some events may be closed by the time you arrive at Alumni Weekend. If at all possible, please pre-register by Friday, September 5 so that we can set our meal counts and ensure your place!

Cash, checks, and credit cards will be accepted at the registration desk in the Bearcat Lounge.

Once I'm registered, how do I make a change or cancel and get a refund?

To make changes or cancel your registration, please call the alumni office at 503-375-5304.

You may modify or cancel your registration for 100% refund prior to August 15, 2014; 50% refund between August 16-29, 2014. Sorry, no refunds after September 1, 2014. Please contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at 503-375-5304 for refund inquiries. The refund will be issued using the same payment method you used when registering (i.e., by credit card or check), but may not be processed until after Alumni Weekend.

I registered and paid online, but my name is not on the "See Who’s Coming" list. What do I do?

Your registration may not yet have been fully processed, and names are added to the Web site manually, so it can take a few days to be updated. However if you feel that too much time has passed, please contact the alumni office immediately; your payment may not have gone through.

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5. Lodging

Alumni Weekend Room Blocks

We’ve reserved rooms at the Grand Hotel in downtown Salem and at the Best Western Plus Mill Creek Inn.

Grand Hotel
Book through Aug. 21, depending on availability
Group code "Reunion Weekend 2014”

Best Western Plus Mill Creek Inn
Book through Aug. 1, depending on availability
Group code "Willamette University Alumni" 

Other places to stay

Click here for a more places to stay; some locations offer a discount if you mention Willamette University.

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6. Transportation & Parking

Getting to Campus

Click here for directions to campus.

Click here for information about the HUT Shuttle service between the Portland Airport and Salem.

Getting around Salem

Salem mass transit information is available on the Cherriots website.

Taxi service around town (as well as to and from the Portland Airport) is available with Amanda's Taxi,503-559-2200.

Where do I park throughout the weekend?

Parking is available in the Sparks parking lot at the southeast side of campus, and in the Atkinson lot accessed from Winter at Mill Street just north of Bellevue.

Limited street parking is available on Winter and Mill Streets, and metered parking on State Street is enforced on weekdays, but is free on weekends.

Those with handicapped placards may park at the meters on State Street for free any time.

What do I do if I have special mobility needs?

See information in the Arriving on Campus section below.

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7. Weather & Comfort

What should I pack for Reunion?

One thing that is predictable about Salem: the weather is unpredictable. While early September weather in the Willamette Valley is usually near perfect, we suggest you prepare for temperature swings and rain. Check the weather forecast here.

What is the dress?

Events are casual; think comfortable. Many will choose to dress up a bit more for the dinners, but there is no time when jeans would not be considered acceptable. Northwest dress is the order of the weekend.

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8. Arriving on Campus

What do I do when I arrive on campus for Alumni Weekend?

Make your first stop at the Bearcat Lounge to check-in, register and obtain your Alumni Weekend Access Pass.

There will also be more information including printed schedules, and you can sign up to Audit Classes and add events to your itinerary (space permitting). See the parking information for more information on where to park.

Where is the Bearcat Lounge?

The Bearcat Lounge is a tent located on The Quad in the heart of campus; south of Eaton Hall, and just north of Smith Auditorium.

From the south (Sparks parking lot) take the path at the Hatfield Fountain to Jackson Plaza, then cross the Mill Stream to the Quad.

When is the Bearcat Lounge open?

  • Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Sunday 9:30 a.m. to Noon
  • For information and to audit classes on Monday, come to the Alumni Office on the third floor of Waller Hall, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

What if I have special mobility needs?

Golf carts will be available for transportation to and from the Sparks parking lot and the Quad, as well as around campus during the weekend. Carts will be continuously circulating.

Call 503-375-5304 if you require assistance.

Campus Map

Click here for a campus map; printed maps will also be available at the Bearcat Lounge and will be included in the printed schedule.

Post Something

Obligatory post (with appropriate hashtag(s), see above) on your preferred mode of social media is a must upon arrival. And throughout the weekend!

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