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Words from Waller

February 16, 2022

Dear Bearcats,

For the first time in two years, the Willamette Board of Trustees meeting is being held in-person on both the Portland and Salem campuses, marking a welcome return to the face-to-face interactions between faculty, students, and trustees that took place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board of Trustees is Willamette’s governing body. Trustees include alumni from each of our schools as well as parents and friends of the university. In general, the role of the Board of Trustees is to ensure fulfillment of our mission both in the present moment and for future generations a century or more from now. The traditional date we mark the founding of Willamette, February 1, 1842, is actually the date the Board was founded; their first action that day was to launch a fundraising campaign to raise $4,000 to buy this campus.

Today, l am the Board’s only employee and they delegate to me responsibility for hiring our faculty and staff and managing the daily operations of Willamette. Recognizing their own responsibility for fiscal health and long-term planning, the Board retains authority to approve the annual budget, grant tenured faculty appointments, manage our endowment funds, and oversee the strategic direction of the university.

We are thrilled to welcome six new trustees to the board this year – a few of whom have not had a chance to visit campus due to the restrictions of the pandemic.

Cortlandt Cuffee serves as Vice President & General Manager — KATU News & Univision Portland. He has served as director of the Inukai Family Foundation since 2013; as director of Self-Enhancement, Inc. since 2009; and as director of the Z-Man Foundation since 2009.

Jill Hall ‘82 is the founder of a college search and application consulting firm, Hall College Consulting. She is a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, Pacific Northwest Association of College Admission Counselors, and the Portland Area Consortium of College Counselors.

As the CEO of Hoffman Construction Company, David Drinkward JD ‘07 manages one of the largest general contractors in the United States, which is responsible for notable projects such as the Fox Tower, Memorial Coliseum, the Oregon Convention Center, and the Wells Fargo Center. He has been a member of Willamette’s Law Leadership Council since 2016.

Three members of PNCA’s former Board of Governors have now joined Willamette’s Board of Trustees as part of the recent merger. Eloise Damrosch is the former Executive Director of the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) in Portland; Mariam Higgins is the current vice principal at Lincoln High School and a former arts integration specialist at RACC; and Linda Hutchins BFA ‘88 is a PNCA alumna and visual artist whose work has been exhibited at the Portland and Tacoma Art Museums and performed at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art and Performance Works Northwest.
We are excited to welcome our trustees back to campus as they work to ensure that Willamette carries out its educational mission and stewards its resources for the benefit of both current and future generations of students.

Non nobis solum,

Willamette University

Office of the President

Salem Campus

Waller Hall, 5th Floor
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.