Susan Marsh Tanabe '79 MAT'90

Why she is involved in the WUAA in her own words.

What do you love about Willamette?

The obvious answer is Willamette's beautiful campus. For me this particularly means the Star Trees (grand memories of sleeping bags and friendly chatter), Hudson's Bay, the Quad, Eaton Hall, Waller Hall, the Bistro, Hatfield Library and Fountain, Jackson Plaza, and the music venues.

The less obvious answer is Community. From the onset of freshman life in 1975 with overcrowding and five women assigned at the last minute (after rush) assigned at the last minute into what was the 2F lounge of Lausanne on a previously all-male floor, to all night, philosophical discussions, music studies field trips, luaus, the Nutritional Awareness Program (NAP), Collegian's office & darkroom (now the Bistro kitchen), a truly amazing semester abroad, dances at Matthews and in the frat buildings, and professors from a myriad of perspectives and backgrounds to senior thesis creation with Professor Roger Hull at his crow's nest office in Smith, my years at WU were filled with new experiences, ideas, people, places, and more information than I could appreciate at the time. I still learn from those years.

Why do you volunteer for the Alumni Association?

I find fellow alumni to be fascinating creatures! As two of our three children are/will be WU alumni, I want the university and the alumni program to remain relevant and meaningful. During the years we lived in Japan, we enjoyed visits from then-President Jerry Hudson, Professors Buzz & Libby Yocum, and many fellow alumni. We have been enriched by continued relationships with staff, professors and alumni.

Why is volunteer support so vital to the Willamette experience?

College costs continue to climb at an absurd rate. I want WU to gain from volunteers to help keep funds in programs which directly relate to students.

Why do you give to Willamette?

As I have found so much meaning in my years at Willamette and the decades which followed, I want others to have the opportunity to do so as well.

Volunteers make the WUAA!


Not unto ourselves alone are we born. The WUAA seeks to support alumni in our lifelong pursuits, and students as they embark on their Willamette journey.

Get Involved
Willamette University

Alumni and Parent Engagement

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

Back to Top