Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

Director's Corner

Denise

With Every Season…

Transitions can be hard: Leaving your friends and moving to a new place, getting used to a new routine with greater responsibility and accountability, balancing the demands on your time and prioritizing a new world of opportunities. Right now, hundreds of soon-to-be college freshmen are facing this transition and wrestling the questions that come with it. Meanwhile, many of their parents stand beside them, prepared to guide them down the path to adulthood while trying to quell their own anxieties.

Every year, hundreds of Willamette alumni help students — and parents — make these transitions. During the past week, alumni and parents of current students have opened their homes in Seattle, San Francisco and Portland to welcome incoming students and their families, helping them feel more comfortable as they start their new adventure. In another corner of the community, several dozen alumni volunteers are beginning to reach out to each graduate in the class of 2010 with a personal phone call and invitation to take part in career networking webinars and events. And at the end of the month, Salem-area alumni will open their homes to first-year students, welcoming them for the annual Opening Days Dinners.

This is only a sampling of the ways you all can, and do, have an impact on Willamette's students and recent graduates. Without realizing it, you unselfishly give back and help to make these major life transitions a little easier. You step up and accept a role in shaping students' successes as they develop their goals and aspirations. And through your kindness and generosity, you teach them the value of a helping hand and the importance of sharing what you've learned with others so that they might have it a little easier than you did. 

These are lessons that will influence their careers, families and civic involvement long after they've graduated from Willamette — probably about the time they are opening their homes to the next generation of Bearcats.

Thank you on behalf of all whom you will influence as we enter this new season!

Not unto ourselves alone are we born.

Denise Crawford Signature

Denise Callahan '95, MBA'00
Senior Director of Alumni Relations