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About Willamette

Connecting the heart of Oregon to the world, our innovative approach to education has been cultivating leaders since 1842.

three Willamette students taking a selfie at Minto Brown Park bridge

Willamette Is…

Innovative

Willamette University is rooted in a history of creativity and inventiveness. We’re committed to rigorous education, excellent scholarship, and original thinking. We believe that higher education must not only prepare students for the future, but guide them toward innovating their own paths.

Interconnected

Willamette University is dedicated to our communities, both local and global. Our diversity makes us stronger and we value every individual. We believe that ideas bring us together, and that caring for each other helps us to live meaningful lives. Our achievement and ambitions help us to serve others in an interconnected world.

Interdisciplinary

Willamette University is a space where subjects collide to create new discoveries and new ways of thinking. We teach students to generate ideas across industries, preparing them for the careers of the future.

Interactive

Willamette University is a place of practice, where students experience learning beyond the classroom with mentors who are actively engaged in their disciplines, industries, and wider communities. By combining theory and practice we transform knowledge into action.

Willamette students, professor and a dog visiting outside

Not unto ourselves alone are we born

Our university motto embodies our values. You may not immediately understand its full meaning when you see it, but, over the course of your time at Willamette, its meaning will continue to grow and become a part of who you are. Our alumni embody the ideas and ideals of these words and hold them close long after graduation.

Two people talking with books and a window behind them.

The Breakdown

We've got the numbers. Take a closer look at our stats to see how we stack up.

  • Students

    Students of Color

    International Students

    First Year Students from Out of State

The Willamette Edge

Not Afraid to go First

Lead the future. We'll show you how. As the first university in the West, we've been growing leaders since 1842.

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Salem

From the Heart of the Pacific Northwest

Adventure starts here. Be close to the forests, coasts, mountains, and cities of the Pacific Northwest.

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State Capitol

Learn at the Center

Study in the state's capital at the heart of Oregon, where historical roots run deep and innovation travels far.

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Land Acknowledgement

We are gathered on the land of the Kalapuya, who today are represented by the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians, whose relationship with this land continues to this day. We offer gratitude for the land itself, for those who have stewarded it for generations, and for the opportunity to study, learn, work, and be in community on this land. We acknowledge that our University’s history, like many others, is fundamentally tied to the first colonial developments in the Willamette Valley. Finally, we respectfully acknowledge and honor past, present, and future Indigenous students of Willamette.

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University Leadership

Our Leadership

Get to the know people working together to set the strategic direction of our university.

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Diversity

We Are Willamette

Diversity is the strength of our community. Learn how we're prioritizing equity, diversity, and inclusion.

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Willamette Community

Not Just for Students

Open to the whole community, our vibrant campus includes Oregon's third largest art museum, a full theater program, lecture series, continuing studies options, and much more!

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Athletics

Go Bearcats!

Study hard and play hard. At Willamette, we believe academics and athletics are strongest together.

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  • 1859

    First Graduate

    In a time when women were frequently barred from college, Emily York is Willamette's first graduate.

  • 1976

    First female elected official

    A political powerhouse and trailblazer, Norma Paulus advanced women’s rights, education and environmental protection. In 1976, she became the first woman to be elected to statewide office in Oregon as secretary of state.

  • 1997

    Special Teams

    Liz Heaston was the first female to play and score in a college football game. Since 1997, Willamette has had two more female kickers.

  • 1935

    First Black graduate

    George Cannady was a Senior Scholar who was involved in football and track. He later became an attorney in Los Angeles and died in 1968.

  • 2017

    Resilience Baked In

    Carina Comer has overcome cancer and blindness. She is the founder of a Scandinavian-inspired, vegan bakery in Beaverton where she employs people with disabilities.