The College of Liberal Arts honored its largest class ever, 502 graduates from 30 states and two countries. The most popular majors included economics (48), biology (45), politics and Spanish (both at 39). The College of Law awarded 109 JD and LLM degrees, and the School of Education presented 98 MAT degrees. The Atkinson Graduate School of Management recognized 47 Early Career MBA graduates at their commencement; 18 Professional MBA graduates were honored in January.
Helen Vendler, the A. Kinsley Porter University Professor at Harvard University and a noted poetry critic (top right), received an honorary doctor of humane letters and delivered the CLA commencement address. The Honorable Wallace P. Carson Jr. JD’62, former chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court (bottom left), received an honorary doctor of laws degree.
Oregon Supreme Court Justice Paul De Muniz JD’75 (shown following President M. Lee Pelton and College of Law Dean Symeon Symeonides, below) delivered the law commencement address, and Jack McGowan, recently retired executive director of SOLV, spoke at the Atkinson ceremony. The School of Education commencement speaker was Dean Nakanishi ’98, MAT’00, who teaches at a special education academy near Seattle and has researched and lectured on the history of Salem Japanese-American students sent to concentration camps during World War II.
Visit the Hallie Ford Museum of Art this fall to view a groundbreaking exhibition of historic and contemporary regalia from Oregon’s Native American tribes, some of which is rarely seen by the general public.
“The Art of Ceremony,” on display Sept. 27 through Jan. 19, was chosen by the Oregon Arts Commission as the state’s 2008 National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces project. Tribes consider regalia, the items they wear and use in private ceremonies and rituals, their finest artwork. Regalia is exceptionally diverse between tribes, from the Plateau area’s buckskin and beadwork to the Great Basin’s use of rabbit skins to the coastal area’s abalone shell decoration.
The exhibition opens Sept. 27 at 3 p.m. with a public Procession of Nations from Jackson Plaza to the museum. The procession will be followed by an opening ceremony at the museum and a traditional feast in Goudy Commons. Regalia-makers will give free public presentations at the museum the following day from 1 to 5 p.m. The museum will host numerous other events, including tours, films, lectures and demonstrations throughout the exhibition. Check the website for details: www.willamette.edu/museum_of_art.
The museum also celebrates its 10th anniversary Oct. 3. In just one decade, the Hallie Ford Museum of Art has had numerous accomplishments, including raising more than $4 million toward an endowment fund; publishing 10 major books; creating 14 exhibitions that have traveled regionally, nationally and internationally; and increasing visitation from 10,000–15,000 visitors the year it opened to more than 30,000 annual visitors today. Look for information on the website this fall about an anniversary celebration.
Willamette hosted its third celebration of Africa in late February with a week of films, workshops, displays of African art and presentations by students who studied on the continent. The campus community tasted African cuisine all week in the University’s dining facilities and browsed through an African market on the final day.
In previous years, the University hosted one day of Africa-related events, but with growing interest among students and faculty, the program was expanded to an entire week. The goal of the event is to educate the community about the true nature and diversity of Africa.
The most interactive and visual event was the creation of a 15' by 15' Africa puzzle map. Student groups from residence halls, sororities and Tokyo International University of America each decorated a blank puzzle piece to represent the ethnic makeup, geography, history and culture of an African country.
Undergraduate students and faculty traded places in mid-April for the eighth annual Student Scholarship Recognition Day. College of Liberal Arts classes were canceled that day as students gave oral, performance and artistic presentations across campus.
The student panels represented a wide array of topics, including “Living Sustainably in the Willamette Valley,” “Art: Modern Installations and Traditional Ceramics,” “Social Issues in Modern France,” “Wal-Mart, Justice Movements and Inequality,” and “Cell Signaling Pathways and Cancer Prevention.”
Willamette President M. Lee Pelton is among nearly a dozen college and university presidents who have signed on to the American College and University Presidents Commitment to Civic Engagement.
The initiative recognizes that “voting is the cornerstone of our democracy, the means of a representative government,” and it seeks to encourage higher education leaders to create institutional structures that support and encourage all forms of civic engagement among their millennial generation students, especially voter registration and “get out the vote” programs.
In addition to Pelton, leaders who have committed to the initiative include the presidents of Oberlin, Haverford, Bryn Mawr, Kenyon and the University of Colorado.
Runs to Beijing
Nick Symmonds ’06 earned the top spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic 800-meter team by running the second-fastest time ever recorded on American soil. At the final trial in Eugene, Ore., he drafted behind, running most of the two laps in sixth place. Only when he reached the final turn did he suddenly cut to the outside and blaze ahead with his powerful trademark kick, leaving America’s top runners nearly a full second behind. The crowd at Hayward Field went wild as Symmonds crossed the finish line with a personal best 1:44.10. Andrew Wheating from the University of Oregon finished second (1:45.03), and Christian Smith of the Oregon Track Club/Nike finished third (1:45.47). All three will compete on the U.S. Olympic team. View the race online at www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcVN5PjmaDs.
“ I’ve been working on that kick for a couple years now, and I was going to wait until the last 100 meters to flip the switch,” Symmonds says. “It felt so good to burn it on the last 100. I dreamed of this. It just felt amazing.”
The New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and hundreds of other newspapers, television programs and blogs raved about the unknown who came from a small Division III school to lead the Olympic team. A news program in Symmonds’ native Boise, Idaho, said he “has been proving that college size doesn’t matter.” Read the USA Today story online at www.usatoday.com/ sports/olympics/beijing/track/.
Symmonds majored in biochemistry and won four national titles in the 800 meters and three in the 1,500 meters. He helped the Bearcats earn four Top 10 team finishes in NCAA Division III between 2003–06, including a tie for third place in 2004 and fourth place in 2005.
The Olympic Games began in Beijing Aug. 8, with the 800-meter prelims and finals scheduled for Aug. 20–23.
Willamette has produced four Olympians since 1936, including an honorary graduate who served as interim university president.
Andrew Hermann ’93 set an American record in the 25K race walk in 2000 and placed second in the U.S. time trials for 50K race walking, qualifying for the 2000 U.S. Olympic team. He finished 31st in the Sydney Olympics.
Dan Foster ’75 played team handball with the U.S. Olympic team in 1980. Foster was a football player and wrestler at Willamette who went on to work for the Blackfeet Tribe in South Dakota.
Joe Story ’75 was an Athletic Hall of Fame football player who helped organize team handball as a club sport at Willamette. The newly formed team won the collegiate division national championship in 1975. Story played for the U.S. Team Handball squad from 1978– 88, served as team captain from 1986–88, and competed in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. The 1986 U.S. team won the silver medal at the Goodwill Games, and the 1987 squad won the gold at the Pan-American Games. Story was twice named the U.S. Team Handball Player of the Year.
James Corson won a bronze medal in the discus throw at the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam. He was proud of his ties to Willamette, where he served as interim University president from 1972–73. The alumni association named him an honorary member of the Class of 1973, and he received an honorary degree in 1974.
Dean Benson ’56 placed fourth in the high hurdles at the Olympic trials in 1956, missing a place on the U.S. team by inches. He set the Willamette high hurdles record and won an NAIA championship in 1955. As a coach at Medford High, Benson helped lead the football and track and field teams to five state championships.
Rachael Yocom ’37 was invited to participate in the 1936 Olympic trials during her junior year. She placed sixth in the javelin and 5'2" in the high jump. A Willamette Hall of Famer, Yocom participated in every sport available at the University in the mid-1930s, including basketball, softball, soccer, tennis and volleyball. After graduation, Yocom taught dance at schools and universities in four states and trained many noted New York dancers.
The Collegian won the Oregon Newspaper Publishing Association’s award for general excellence in the Collegiate Newspaper Contest. In competition against all college newspapers in the state, the Willamette student paper received what is considered to be the ONPA’s most prestigious collegiate award.
Tatiana Mac ’08 (“New York Times’ Associate Editor Reveals Secrets, Protects Civil Liberties,” “Explore the Unexpected,” “Blind Grading Ensures Objectivity”)
Best news story:
Lauren Gold ’11, “Students Mourn Sudden Death of Kaneko Cook”
Editorial Board, “The Cost of Education”
Tom Ackerman ’10, Opinions section
Best sports photo:
Stephen Scott ’10, photo of rugby club
Patrick Willgohs ’10
Robert Hawkinson, dean of campus life, will step down as dean at the end of the 2008–09 academic year. He will stay on for three years on a part-time basis to teach in the politics department and provide leadership in residential commons programming.
Hawkinson has been instrumental in bringing the residential commons system to life at Willamette. When Kaneko Commons, the first of four commons, opened in fall 2006, he said, “The development of this innovative, on-campus living community will distinguish Willamette from other universities in the West. While the design components are distinctive, it’s the integration of the curricular and co-curricular lives of our students that sets it apart.”
Hawkinson manages the largest administrative unit on campus, one that includes athletics, career services, community outreach, health and counseling services, multicultural affairs, residential life and student activities, among others. He has been dean of students since 1999, previously serving as vice president for student affairs for a year, as associate dean of the College of Liberal arts for three years, and as a member of the politics department for 26 years.
The Willamette Journal of the Liberal Arts will celebrate its 25th anniversary this fall. Conceived in 1983 as an interdisciplinary journal for an educated but not exclusively academic audience, the journal publishes articles from a broad array of fields. The forthcoming anniversary issue will highlight the interests and work of Lane McGaughy, professor emeritus of religious studies and one of the journal’s founders.
The University will host a conference in honor of McGaughy in October. In recognition of his lifelong work on the historical Jesus, the symposium will explore the relationship between the early Christian Gospels and the ancient biographical genre. The Gospels have long been considered a unique literary form, but recent scholarship points to compelling comparisons between the Gospels and ancient biographies of religious and philosophical sages and reformers. Several scholars at the conference will reflect on the implications for such a shift in perspective.
The anniversary issue, due out this fall, will highlight the work of conference presenters. For information on the conference, contact the Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology. For information on the journal, contact Jennifer Jopp, managing editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Japanese-American students at Willamette during World War II were forced to say an abrupt goodbye when federal prosecutors sent them to concentration camps. In February, the University invited them to return for a series of events in their honor.
The families of four students returned to campus on the 66th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt signing Executive Order 9066 authorizing the removal of people deemed a threat to national security from the West Coast to relocations centers further inland.
They were honored with a dinner and an evening of poetry and jazz featuring Oregon Poet Laureate Lawson Inada, who was sent to a concentration camp as a boy. Other honorary events included a visit from author Shizue Seigel, who discussed cross-racial alliances to protect civil liberties during wartime, and the showing of two films related to Executive Order 9066.
Willamette and the Salem community celebrated the 10th annual Wulapalooza, the University’s music, art and Earth festival, in late April on Brown Field.
In addition to performances from local bands and a student art show, the festival featured four performers on the main stage: Mobius Band from New York, and Portland groups The Blow, Blitzen Trapper and Panther.
In the past decade, Wulapalooza has evolved from a small festival providing a creative outlet for students on campus into a community event that attracts nationally recognized talent. As part of the anniversary celebration, Willamette alumni enjoyed a gathering on the second floor balcony of Putnam University Center.
Three guitarists who are exploring the instrument in unique ways performed in April as part of the Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series.
The performances, titled “Beyond Six Strings,” explored significant trends in the development of the guitar, which has a history that often is narrowly interpreted to include only six-stringed instruments.
The series opened with Grammy Award nominee Paul Galbraith performing on the eight-string Brahms guitar of his own invention, which is held upright like a cello. The second concert featured Emmy Award nominee John Doan, associate professor of guitar, performing on the 20-string harp guitar and on a rare 1829 three-necked harpolyre. The series concluded with Ronn McFarlane, considered one of the world’s leading performers on the 13- course (18-string) lute.
A grand opening in April marked the establishment of four new academic centers and the reestablishment of the Center for Governance and Public Policy Research.
“The creation of these centers, rare for a small independent university with a liberal arts focus, will establish Willamette as a place of distinction,” President M. Lee Pelton said. The centers have already promoted cross-disciplinary interaction between departments, schools and institutions; hosted conferences and speakers; and provided new opportunities for faculty and student research and scholarship. Each center will build on already existing core strengths of the University.
Center for Ancient Studies andArchaeology
Lane McGaughy, religious studies professor emeritus, CLA
Center for Asian Studies
Juwen Zhang, Chinese, CLA
Center for Religion, Law and Democracy
Steven Green, College of Law
Center for Sustainable Communities
Joe Bowersox, environmental science, Dempsey Environmental Chair, CLA
Center for Governance and Public Policy Research
Fred Thompson, Atkinson Graduate School of Management
Willamette professors have been visible during this election season, with Law Professor Paul Diller and Politics Professor Melissa Michaux serving as liaisons with KATU Channel 2 television news, covering issues related to state and national politics. Law Professor Steven Green is a regular guest columnist with The Oregonian, offering insights about democracy, politics and religion, while Atkinson professors and students publish monthly columns in the Inside Business section of the Salem Statesman Journal.
Willamette professors have been quoted extensively in local, national and international news outlets, with the University receiving more than 2,450 mentions this year. The University, professors, students and alumni have been featured or mentioned in The New York Times, USA Today, Newsday, Washington Monthly, Boston Globe, Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Sacramento Bee, CNN Money, The Christian Science Monitor, Houston Chronicle, Rocky Mountain News, The Chronicle of Higher Education and CollegeNews.org. Willamette also made MSNBC and ABC national news, ESPN, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Time magazine’s website and the “Today Show.” The University was even the topic of a recent $600 answer on Jeopardy: “For fun at Willamette University, you can take a course on this; foils, masks and protective jackets are provided.” (Question: What is fencing?) Read Law Professor Steven Green’s Oregonian editorials at http://blog.oregonlive.com/.
The School of Education was honored by the Salem-Keizer School District as its “Business Partner of the Month” at the district’s April board meeting. The award recognizes the University’s many contributions to local schools, especially through the School of Education. MAT students have hosted Saturday Exploration workshops on campus and volunteered at fundraisers, in the classroom, and as reading club assistants and mentors.
Debra Ringold, professor of marketing and dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, was named the first holder of the JELD-WEN Endowed Chair in Free Enterprise, effective May 1.
The JELD-WEN Chair, funded by the JELD-WEN Foundation of Klamath Falls, Ore., was established in 2007 to advance scholarship and research opportunities for Willamette students, academic institutions and community groups committed to the study of free enterprise. The $2.5 million gift from JELD-WEN is the largest gift in the history of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management.
“In her 14 years at Atkinson,” says Willamette President M. Lee Pelton, “Debra has earned significant recognition for her exceptional teaching and research and for her leadership skills and community service. With the unanimous support of her colleagues at AGSM, she was the clear choice for this honor.”
Rod Wendt, president and chief executive officer of JELD-WEN Inc., says Ringold received the honor for her work in public policy issues and its implications for target marketing, consumer beliefs about advertising, and health claims in advertising, stating, “Her work has focused on issues that have real consequences for consumers.”
In his annual address in April, President M. Lee Pelton said, “New gifts to the University, effective management of the operating budget, and a prudent and conservative debt management program for capital projects have allowed us to continue to move forward on several important initiatives during the last three years.”
Strong revenues mean a 20 percent increase in CLA faculty and reduced teaching loads. Four new academic centers opened this year, and an existing center was revived. MBA for Professionals programs in Salem and Portland saw their first graduating classes this year, and the School of Education began the process of accreditation with the most recognized teacher education association in the U.S. Applications to CLA were up 35 percent, as were multicultural applications. Applications were also up for AGSM’s two-year Early Career MBA program, with a record 38 percent increase this year.
The president reported that one of the greatest challenges for higher education will be making college affordable and accessible for a changing demographic. “Eighty percent of America’s college students will soon be ethnic minorities, many from low-income families. There is also increased pressure for liberal arts colleges to educate to the competencies 21st century employers need. Willamette must balance workplace readiness with a traditional commitment to core liberal arts values,” he said.
Construction of Ford Hall, the renovation of Carnegie Library to accommodate the new Oregon Civic Justice Center, and the renovation of Kresge Theatre are all on schedule.
Pelton said, “Future goals include full implementation of the residential commons program, expansion of the Hatfield Library footprint, Atkinson and College of Law expansions, a larger facility for the School of Education, athletics facility upgrades, a new or renovated admissions center, and a performance arts center.”
Oregon travel guides rave about Willamette University’s natural beauty, and The Oregonian named the campus one of the most beautiful urban walks in the state.
New grounds manager Jim Andersen and crew are pioneering a greener way of caring for Willamette’s landscape. Adjacent lawns served as large-scale test plots last year. One received the traditional treatment of synthetic fertilizers and weed killers; the other was sprayed with organic compost tea. “The natural lawn is more lush now,” Andersen says. “Traditional fertilizers work quickly, but they may not be as good for the long-term health of the soil. Now crews mow higher, leave lawn clippings as natural sources of nitrogen, water less and let some corner lawns go dormant in the summer. We want lawns that take care of themselves.”
The natural approach extends to flower gardens, where pesticide use was reduced more than 80 percent last year. Weed treatment includes applications of vinegar and mulch rather than chemicals, and when time runs short, stray weeds in corner areas of campus are tolerated with mindful neglect. “It’s important to preserve the history of the place, including the history of the plant life,” Andersen says, “but sustainability gives us an exciting new avenue to explore.”
United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will deliver the fall Atkinson Lecture Friday, Sept. 12, at 5 p.m., in Smith Auditorium. The Willamette University Board of Trustees will present her with an honorary doctor of laws degree prior to the lecture.
Appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1993 by President Bill Clinton, Ginsburg has spent a considerable portion of her career advocating for equal citizenship status for women and men as a constitutional principle. She previously served as a professor at Rutgers University School of Law and Columbia Law School, and as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Ginsburg’s visit coincides with the College of Law’s 125th anniversary celebration and annual reunion weekend, Sept. 12–14. The justice will join other dignitaries for the Sept. 12 ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the law school’s new Oregon Civic Justice Center. Located on the corner of State and Winter streets, the building served as Salem’s first public library until it was purchased by the YWCA in the early 1970s. The University bought the building in 2003, and the law school has spent more than a year renovating the structure.
The Willamette community lost a notable and popular member June 8, when former interim president, AGSM dean and professor Bryan Johnston died suddenly. He was 59.
Johnston was elected Oregon state representative twice from 1995–99 and served as a strong advocate for human service legislation, leading to his most recent appointment at the Department of Human Services.
At Willamette, Johnston served as interim president from July 1997 to August 1998, then as dean of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management from 1998 to 2001. He was a founding faculty member and director of the Center for Dispute Resolution at the College of Law, where he served as a professor in addition to being a professor of conflict management resolution at AGSM.
“Bryan approached his life and work with passion and vigor, humor and warmth,” said President M. Lee Pelton. “His enormous generosity of spirit, his razor-sharp wit and his infinite capacity to lead and inspire others were the hallmark of all he undertook as husband and father, college professor, Atkinson dean, interim Willamette president, mediator, legislator, and the top administrator of some of the largest and most complex agencies in state government.”
“He was very versatile in the areas of education and public service,” said Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem. “Those are two of the highest callings you can aspire to, if you’re chosen, and he was chosen time and again.”
Just weeks before his death, Johnston had accepted the position of president of St. Martins College in Lacey, Wash., and planned to relocate there over the summer. He cited his love for higher education as his reason for stepping down from his position with human services to return to academia.
In response to requests to share thoughts and memories with Johnston’s family — including wife Anne and their four children — a forum has been set up on the Willamette MBA website. The site also includes information on the Bryan Johnston scholarship fund. See www.willamette.edu/mba/forum/johnston.htm for details.
MBA students participating in PACE (front-back, left-right): Andrea Cantu MBA’09, Benjamin Crop ’08, MBA’09, Tai Nguyen MBA’09, Elizabeth Ross JD/MBA’11, Katie Rayfield MBA’09, Sara Ciardiello MBA’09, Gabriella Pop MBA’09, Raution Jaiswal MBA’09, Christopher Tenney ’08, MBA’09, Daniel King MBA’09, Oswaldo Simental ’07, MBA’09, Majed Alharbi MBA’09, Daniel Miley MBA’09
Six local nonprofit and government organizations benefited from special business consulting courtesy of Willamette MBA student teams participating in the Public, Private and Community Enterprise experiential learning program. PACE provides MBA students with the opportunity to design and present a for-profit business venture while serving local nonprofit community organizations.
All six teams delivered new venture and community impact presentations. Overall, the teams dedicated more than 2,000 hours of service to the six community organizations. Their business ideas were critiqued and judged for feasibility by the PACE board. Students may take these new venture ideas to market in their second year of studies through an elective course.
The PACE program is part of the first-year curriculum for all Early Career MBA students at Willamette. The program is recognized for its unique integration of business, government and not-for-profit management.
The Stanford Law Review recently published a laudatory review of Dean Symeon C. Symeonides’ recent book, The American Choice-of-Law Revolution: Past, Present and Future (2006).
Authored by Hillel Y. Levin and published in 60 Stanford Law Review 247 (2007), the review stated the book “offers the finest, most rigorous account of conflicts doctrine as it functions in the courts, as well as a penetrating and thoughtful analysis on how the doctrine should evolve: [T]he conflicts giant Dean Symeon C. Symeonides presents his findings with marvelous clarity, which, standing alone, is a gift to anyone who grapples with conflicts theory. To lay plain what courts actually do with the doctrine is an enormous achievement, for it demystifies a complex doctrinal area and provides actual guidance for scholar, judge, and practitioner alike.”
Revolution is Symeonides’ 19th book. His 20th book, American Private International Law (2008), was released by Kluwer International in March. That same month, Symeonides delivered a lecture about his book at Stanford Law School.
In cooperation with the Salem Area Young Professionals, Willamette MBA students, faculty and staff hit the streets of downtown Salem to assist with a major clean-up effort on the first day of Atkinson’s annual Brownwater festival. Mayor Janet Taylor, Willamette President M. Lee Pelton, and Atkinson Dean Debra Ringold welcomed more than 50 volunteers, who collected litter, pulled weeds, and spruced up the look of downtown streetscapes.
“People were honking, buying us pizzas and asking questions as they walked by,” says AJ Nash ’05, MBA’06 of Integrity First Financial. “We had more than 50 people there, and we ended up picking up more than 30 pounds of litter and 425 pounds of dirt and weeds.”
The event was featured on the Salem Young Professionals website as well as on the front page of the Local section of the Statesman Journal April 19.
Angel G. Lopez JD’78 received the Honorable Paul J. De Muniz Award at the Oregon Hispanic Bar Association’s second annual awards dinner. The De Muniz Award is presented annually to an individual who exemplifies the spirit of professionalism, enhances Oregon’s legal community and makes significant contributions to the state’s Latino community. The inaugural award was presented last year to its namesake, Paul J. De Muniz JD’75, chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court.
Lopez is a partner in the firm of Squires & Lopez PC in Portland. The firm specializes in criminal defense and plaintiff personal injury work, with a subspecialty in assisting Spanish-speaking clients. Lopez has twice served as chair of the Commission of Hispanic Affairs of Oregon. He is past-president of the Oregon State Bar and the Multnomah County Library Board and was the first person of color to hold these positions in Oregon.