Spring 2008 Edition
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Crawford Appointed New Leader

Denise Crawford

Denise Crawford ’95, MBA’00 has been appointed senior director of alumni relations at Willamette. She previously served as director of development and alumni relations for the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, responsible for securing major gifts to reach AGSM’s portion of the Campaign for Willamette, as well as developing and maintaining relationships with Atkinson alumni through communications, events and volunteer involvement.

Crawford began her career in nonprofit management with the Liberty House Child Abuse Assessment Center in Salem, where she volunteers and serves as president of the board of directors. She works in development and marketing with the Oregon Governor’s School, the Oregon Economic Development Department and a number of small local organizations. She returned to Willamette in 2001 as director of annual giving and development services, then moved into her role at AGSM in 2003. As the first to hold that position, she created and implemented a new development strategy, securing the largest charitable contribution in the school’s history.


Bearcats Abroad!

Alumni and friends recently enjoyed a spectacular tour of the Canadian Rockies from Vancouver to Jasper and on to the Columbia Ice Fields, Lake Louise, Banff and Calgary. Larry ’54 and Mary ’54 Standifer marveled at the natural beauty of the region, and Jean ’51 and Jack ’51 Brown especially enjoyed the camaraderie of the group, saying it was “one of the most fun trips we’ve ever taken.” Start planning now to take part in the cultural enrichment and learning opportunities available in 2008:

Bearcats Abroad!
  • Tuscany and Florence with Professor Roger Hull
    May 28–June 5, 2008
  • Shakespeare in Ashland
    June 27–30, 2008
  • Coeur D’Alene Golf Tour with Jim Booth ’64 and Mike Bennett ’70
    July 27–Aug. 2, 2008
  • Castles Along the Rhine and Danube
    Sept. 25–Oct. 9, 2008
  • China and the Yangtze River
    Oct. 22–Nov. 3, 2008

Sneak Peek 2009:

A nine-day Galapagos tour in January 2009, with six-day Machu Picchu add-on available!

Jim Booth ’64, senior director of alumni relations, will be your host for many of these trips, so contact him at 503-370-6746, 800-551-6794 toll free, or jbooth@willamette.edu for more details, or visit the website.


Recent Graduates Help Shape The Future

While Willamette recently celebrated 166 years since its founding, a full 50 percent of our living alumni have graduated in just the last 15 years. Since the late 1980s, class sizes have been nearly twice that of those graduating in the previous 50 years, with the largest class ever in 2007 with 470 graduates.

The University and the Alumni Association have invited recent graduates to get involved and share their perspectives in various capacities, including service on the alumni board and search committees for key positions.

Melissa Wilmot ’03Melissa Wilmot ’03 joined the alumni board of directors in 2007 for what she called “a fun side activity,” but it has become a passion. “Staying involved with Willamette is important to me not just because of the fun times and good memories, but because I value my degree. Success in my career is connected to my degree.” Melissa has brought experience in marketing and communications to the board from working at Gard & Gerber, an advertising and marketing firm in Portland. “I want to see Willamette continue to increase its visibility and credibility as the exceptional university it is.”

She recently served on the search committee for a new senior director of alumni relations and will continue her work on the alumni board for at least two more years. “Ensuring that alumni are informed and engaged is a critical mission of the alumni board of directors, and I’m pleased to see that Willamette continues to embrace that mission. It’s important that the new leader continue the good work Willamette and the alumni board have already set in motion.”

Leah Daniels MBA’07Leah Daniels MBA’07 also sees her success being directly connected to the University. “Willamette will be on my resume for the rest of my life,” she says, “so I’m committed to its success.” After a number of years as a paralegal at a top law firm in Portland, Leah chose the Willamette MBA for its focus on organizational analysis. “Leadership is a passion of mine, as is helping the school. I got a lot from the professors, and it’s my duty to give back.” Leah is working on a venture project with Professor Lisbeth Claus and serving on the search committee for the AGSM dean. Though Debra Ringold has been appointed dean through the 2009 academic year, the search for a permanent dean continues. Leah believes AGSM is at a critical point in a competitive and constantly changing MBA market, and she values her role on the committee. “For me it’s about helping the school become the premier place to get an MBA in the Pacific Northwest.”

Leah has not only stayed in touch with classmates and professors, she has also connected with some current students. “It’s really helpful for young professionals to talk with current students about their experience and how they got where they are. It’s a pretty simple thing, but it has a big impact. If I need help later in my career, Willamette is a great network of people to have in my life,” she says. “I care about the people who helped me get where I am, and I care about the school.”


100 Years and Counting

Loise (Benjamin) Gardner ’30Loise (Benjamin) Gardner ’30 joined the elite group of Willamette centenarians June 12, 2007. Born in Hibbing, Minn., Loise and her family moved to southern Idaho when she was 3, and she was always active, enjoying horseback riding, swimming and ice skating. She thrived in church and school.

While a scholarship took her to Gooding College for one year, she donned a mortarboard at Willamette after the family moved to Salem. Equipped with a degree in English, she married Everett Gardner ’29 and moved to Boston, where she worked at the Church of All Nations while he earned a degree at Boston University Theological School.

Loise (Benjamin) Gardner ’30When the couple returned to Oregon, they served Methodist and United Methodist congregations in logging camps, small towns and cities from Portland to Eugene for 40 years. Loise’s devotion to children and young people flourished during this time, as she served on the church’s children’s committee, writing curriculum and leading workshops for camping programs, and writing and producing a Sunday school radio program.

Retirement brought the Gardners back to Portland. Life for Loise continues to be filled with church, travel, friends, children and grandchildren.


Young Alumni Pre-Funk at Wulapalooza

Join us April 26 for the 10th anniversary celebration of Wulapalooza with a GOLD-only hour at the beer garden. Details to come.