Willamette University

Then and Now: In their Words

We asked alumni to share their favorite memories and stories, with special emphasis on social norms and academic tales. They sent many interesting (and typically lighthearted) responses. Here are a few.

“The first shock of my life, coming from California barbecues and finger-licking-good chicken, was that we were not allowed to eat fried chicken with our fingers.”

— Bill Sefton ’65

“Eaton Hall had an elevator with a working phone, and I guess the maintenance people never figured out that it was pretty easy to stop the elevator and make long-distance calls on that phone.”

— Mari (Wildt) Radford ’85

“On the weekends, very late at night, one of the skinny mus ic majors would slip through a window and down into the basement/practice room area, then open the door for the others...Occasionally we’d get caught by the Pinkerton guard, but usually they didn’t make us go home.”

— Patti (Lalack) Hutterli ’75

“Freshman girls in Lausanne Hall in 1966–67 could only wear pants on Saturday outside the dorm. If you had a guest come to the dorm, you had to come downstairs in a skirt or dress.”

— Mary (Hadlock) Bunn ’70

“In the spring, Professor Paul Trueblood would invite some of us over to his home for delicious authentic Greek dinners prepared by his wife. We would sit outside, under a grape trellis in his backyard, discoursing on Byron, Wordsworth, and the state of current affairs. Delightful evenings!”

— Ann (Southard) Beard ’70

“ We graduated during World War II and our parting gift to the university was to plant the trees, now known as the Willamette Star Trees. Our favorite tradition then was the Freshman Glee. The losing class swam in the Mill Stream the following Monday morning. There were many ridiculous debts paid off. Hilarity prevailed!”

— Maxine (Holt) Van Wyngarden ’42

“The only dress code was for the formal dinner that was held on Wednesdays. “Formal” meant that we put on a jean skirt instead of sweats. A Greek chapter advisor visiting from the Deep South was horrified.”

—Sandy (Lindstrom) Intraversato ’85

“There were many rules replaced during the early 1960s. One stated that any woman wishing to leave campus for the weekend must produce a written invitation from the person she was to visit in order to receive permission! That rule was rescinded.”

— Toni (Leisure) Unfred ’65

“I remember well having to yell “Man on the floor!” at Alpha Chi if I had a male friend walking with me through the back hall of the sorority. I don’t know if that’s still the rule [it is], but I know it was always a bit embarrassing for the poor guy.”

—Sue (Milne) Corner ’90

Students these days

Current students have favorite memories from Willamette, too. Here are some from our chats with the Class of 2010 shortly before they graduated.

What is your favorite memory of Willamette?

  • “4 a.m. conversations with the people who would become my best friends while living in the dorms.”
  • “Floating candles in the Mill Stream at matriculation.”
  • “’Swimming’ in the Chicken Fountain (also known as the Hatfield Fountain) after Wulapalooza.”
  • “Opening Days and College Colloquium — and still being friends with the students and professor.”
  • “Building a fort out of the couches in the Matthews basement.”
  • “Beating Linfield in football in 2008 at their place!”
  • “Attending nationals for the first time in women’s rowing. History in 2009!”
  • “’Mill-streaming’ my Lausanne roommates.”
  • “Streaking through campus with my friends, wearing blue body paint.” 
  • “Being chased across the soccer field on my birthday. Got ’streamed.’”