Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

Director's Corner


The view looking in

Sometimes it takes the perspective of someone far removed to remind you how good you’ve got it. This past week I had the opportunity to travel to New York to meet with a number of Willamette constituents. One component of these visits included parents of freshman students.

One of the questions that always comes up is how their son or daughter heard about Willamette and what led them to a university on the opposite side of the United States. The answers are inevitably a reminder for those of us in the Northwest, and Oregon in particular, about just how lucky we are to live here.

People talk about the access to nature: the mountains for hiking and skiing, the coast for walking and meditating, and of course the amazing wine country and sustainable farm-to-table dining options that rival pretty much anything on the east coast. All of this surrounded by a lifestyle that feels a little more relaxed, and a willingness to explore the path that might just take a bit longer.

In a nutshell, it's nice people in a beautiful place. People are willing to help one another out, folks say, and take a minute to learn about one another. They'll ask what makes you tick, where you want to go with your future and how they can help you get there.

These same values are embodied by Willamette – and have been since before Oregon could claim statehood. They’re the reasons why students seeking an amazing education with strong support and room to think and grow find us. They’re the reason we continue to recruit top-rate faculty who stay for decades and remember each of their students’ names regardless of the number of years since they sat in the classroom.

The opportunity to see this through someone else’s eyes is always refreshing and a good reminder to me that it's a privilege to get to be a part of this amazing place every day. It’s a place like no other, and that’s worth all of us remembering.

Denise Crawford Signature

Denise Callahan '95, MBA'00
Interim Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations