Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

Director's Corner

DeniseCASE in point...

The Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) is the international professional organization for those of us who work in development, alumni relations and communications for higher education. I’ve enjoyed serving as a member of our district’s board, which covers Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Washington, Alaska and all of Western Canada — and the process provides me with the opportunity to meet and learn from our advancement colleagues across the region. There are some amazingly creative and smart people at these institutions!

Most recently, we all gathered in Vancouver BC for the district’s annual conference, where we saw one of the highest levels of attendance in years. It was wonderful.
Why am I telling you this, you ask? 

Because one couldn’t turn around at the conference without running in to Willamette. I was so proud!

Right out of the gate, our own Stacey Lane, director of the alumni career network, presented a master session on professional development. This was followed by some unsolicited recognition in the opening keynote by Andy Goodman for the great story-telling aspect of Willamette’s website. As the conference progressed, Scene editor and WU News master Erik Schmidt and I each did a presentation to colleagues; after that, WU football Coach Mark Speckman presented an amazing keynote address. To top it off, there were WU alumni on the volunteer conference committee, attending as representatives from other schools and one was even the top winner of the Newcomer’s Scholarship!

All this is to say that our Willamette network is broad, engaged and impressive, and I thought of the university motto - Not Unto Ourselves Alone Are We Born - multiple times. Everywhere I turned, I was met by an alumnus or someone who knew one and wanted to share their positive experience. 

It was such an amazing showcase of Bearcats. And I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t flaunt them to my colleagues at every opportunity. Who could resist?

Denise Crawford Signature

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