Each year I use the occasion of Willamette Day — the anniversary of our Feb. 1, 1842 founding — to comment on Willamette’s past, present and future. Last year, my letter ran close to 3200 words, describing in great detail the exciting ongoing transformation of Willamette from a mostly disconnected group of three schools into an integrated university capable of offering academic programs at the undergraduate and graduate level that have a breadth and quality unmatched by any Northwest competitor.

I will keep this year’s note short and simply say how grateful and proud I am to be at the Northwest’s premier private university, working with some of the best and most dedicated faculty and staff I have encountered anywhere, serving talented students who are passionate about carrying Willamette’s motto and values into their post-graduation lives. 

This weekend, I hope you will join me in displaying your Bearcat pride by wearing your Willamette colors and living out our beloved motto in your community. Here's to 178 years of serving the Northwest and the world, and best wishes for the year to come.

Go Bearcats!


President Stephen E. Thorsett
Willamette University

Alumni and Parent Engagement

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-375-5304 voice
503-370-6830 fax

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