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 (kicking off on Thursday afternoon at Convocation and ending Sunday after brunch).

Who is invited?

You don’t need to have a reunion to attend Alumni Weekend! All alumni – from 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?

The theme Willamette in the World will be woven throughout all programming, including panels featuring faculty who have been Fulbright Fellows, a celebration of our 50-year sister relationship with Tokyo International University, a lunch festival with stations from around the world, a presentation about an archeological dig in Scotland, and a special reunion for alums who studied abroad.

What about reunions?

Those will still go on with the usual fanfare. Along with the undergraduate classes ending in 5s and 0s, special reunions will be held for law classes from 1965, 1990 and 2005; women’s basketball and rowing; study abroad alumni; Sigma Chi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Phi, Kappa Sigma and Beta Theta Pi. Special dinners are also on the docket for law, business and education alumni.

What hashtag should I use to share the weekend experience?

Use #WUAW15 on all of your social media posts about Alumni Weekend before, during and after. Need more than one? You can also use #WillametteU, #WUalumni, #AlwaysABearcat, #WUBearcats.

2. Activities & Events

What activities are planned?

Class reunions will be front and center on Saturday night, but the rest of the weekend will be packed with flavors, festivities and fun. Choose from engaging sessions with faculty; mixers with students; wine and garden tours; the Homecoming football game; a Greek Life panel and reception; an international lunch festival; special reunions for study abroad, rowing and women’s basketball; and a celebration of Willamette's remarkable 50-year sister relationship with Tokyo International University. Visit the schedule page to read all the details.

Are there Greek activities?

Yes! Sigma Chi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Alpha Phi, Kappa Sigma and Beta Theta Pi will have special gatherings for their alumni; Alpha Chi Omega, Pi Beta Phi and Delta Gamma will have open houses on Saturday afternoon; and all of the Greek chapters will participate in a panel discussion and reception on Saturday morning.

What athletic events can I attend?

This is Homecoming weekend and there are several home games this year, including the Homecoming football game kicking off at 12:30 on Saturday. Volleyball and Men’s Soccer will also host home games over the weekend.

What about use of campus facilities?

Alumni have access to a variety of campus facilities, including the Sparks Fitness Center (check in at the Bearcat Lounge), the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, tennis courts, campus dining services (Goudy Commons, the Cat Cavern, Kaneko Commons, the Bistro), and the Hatfield Library.

Are there other things to do around Salem?

You may not automatically think of Salem as a popular destination, but there is plenty to do in and around town! Check out our Salem Area for Alumni Weekend Participants page for some ideas.

3. Children & Family

Can I bring my children?

Alumni Weekend is a wonderful time to share your Willamette experience with the entire family. There are many family friendly events throughout the weekend, as well as child pricing for several meals.

Is there childcare?

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

4. Registration

How do I register?

Online registration closed September 11. Alumni can now only register onsite at the Registration Tent on the Quad, which will be open Thursday, Sept. 17 from 12:00 - 3:00 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 18 from 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Sept. 19 from 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. General registration is just $5 per person and pays for your Access Pass. Space at other events, such as special meals and reunions, will be limited.

What is the Alumni Weekend Access Pass?

A $5 Access Pass is required for all registered participants of Alumni Weekend. The pass gives you access to the Bearcat Lounge; all of the class sessions and panels; the Homecoming football game; and the Botanical Garden, Zena Forest and Hallie Ford Museum tours.

Is there a deadline to register?

Pre-registration ends September 11, but you may still register for events after that date if they are not full. We cannot guarantee that events will be available if you register on-site.

Can I change or cancel my registration?

To make a change or to cancel, call the Alumni Office at 503-375-5304. You may change or cancel your registration for a full refund before August 15, with a 50% refund between Aug. 16 and Sept. 1. Refunds will not be made after Sept. 1. Refunds will be issued using the same payment method you used when registering, but will not be processed until after Alumni Weekend.

I registered and paid online, but my name is not on the "Look Who’s Coming" list. Why is this?

Your registration may not have been processed yet. Allow 2-3 business days for your name to appear on the list.

5. Lodging

Where should I stay?

We’ve reserved blocks of rooms at the Grand Hotel in downtown Salem and at the Best Western Mill Creek Inn. Ask for the Willamette Alumni Weekend group rate. For other choices, visit this webpage.

Also, use to search for affordable rentals in Salem!

6. Transportation & Parking

How do I get to campus?

Click here for directions to campus.

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

Where do I park?

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

Limited metered street parking is available on Winter and Mill Streets, and is enforced on weekdays.

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?

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

7. Weather & Comfort

What should I pack?

While mid-September weather in the Willamette Valley is usually near perfect, we suggest you prepare for temperature swings and rain. Check the weather forecast here.

How should I dress?

Events are casual, but many will choose to dress up for their class reunion dinners. Northwest dress is the order of the weekend.

8. Arriving on Campus

What do I do when I arrive?

Make your first stop at the Bearcat Lounge to check-in, register and obtain your Access Pass. Here you will find friendly faces, printed schedules, and refreshments.

What is the Bearcat Lounge?

The Bearcat Lounge, located under a tent in the Quad, is your central HUB for the weekend. Here you will find the Information and Registration Desk, comfortable seating, refreshments, and almost always, a fellow Bearcat to talk to.

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.

Other questions?

Contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Relations at 503-375-5304 or