About Sparks

If you’re walking across Willamette’s campus, you’ll likely pass someone in gym clothes on the way to the Sparks Athletic Center. Sparks is a fundamental piece of the Willamette experience; it unites health and wellness with academics, athletics and the Salem community.

Sparks bustles with exercise science classes, varsity and intramural practices and contests, camps, clinics and community events. The facility provides offices for varsity coaches and Willamette’s award-winning exercise science faculty. Second only to Goudy Commons in foot traffic, more than 1,000 people per week visit Sparks to reinvigorate their bodies and minds.

Who Uses Sparks?

Sparks is the only building on campus committed to the well-being of both the body and the mind — by uniting wellness with academics, athletics and community engagement. Its users include:

  • Nine men’s and 10 women’s varsity teams (compared with nine men’s and five women’s teams in 1974)
  • 18 intramural and 34 club sport teams
  • Numerous students, faculty and staff working out in the fitness center
  • Students in more than 60 exercise science courses
  • Athletes and fans at Bearcat basketball, volleyball and swimming competitions
  • K–12 students in summer camps, sports clinics and aquatics classes