Former Willamette track and field and cross country athlete Nick Symmonds ’06 and current Bearcat cross country and distance runner Sarah Zerzan ’08 were chosen as the 2006 Ad Rutschman Male and Female Small College Athletes of the Year at the 55th Annual Oregon Sports Awards in February.
Zerzan claimed the women’s NCAA Division III Cross Country National Championship in November, becoming Willamette’s first national champion in cross country. She earned a triple championship this year, as she won the NCAA, West Regional and Northwest Conference individual titles. She was recently nominated for the NCAA Division III Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. Read more about Sarah Zerzan on the Willamette Stories blog.
Symmonds continues his winning ways. While he just missed running the fastest mile in the world by 2/100ths of a second in mid-January, he made up for it two weeks later when he claimed the world title in the 800 meters. The race was aired on ESPN, and Symmonds has garnered national attention on numerous websites including RunnersWeb, USA Track & Field News, American Track & Field Athlete News, eliterunning.com and coolrunning.com, carrying Willamette’s name with him into the athletic spotlight. Symmonds has signed with Nike and is running — 70 miles a week — toward the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Two of the nation’s most gifted writers, one a poet and the other a playwright, shared the stage in Smith Auditorium March 20 to discuss the nexus of art and politics in America. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky and Pulitzer Prize recipient Tony Kushner closed out the 2006–07 Atkinson Lecture Series at Willamette.
Kushner’s plays include A Bright Room Called Day, Angels in America, Homebody/Kabul, and Caroline or Change. He wrote the screenplays for the Mike Nichols film of Angels in America and Steven Spielberg’s Munich. Among his many accolades, Kushner is the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, two Tony Awards for Best Play, three Obie Awards for playwriting.
Pinsky, U.S. Poet Laureate from 1997–2000, is the author of six acclaimed collections of poetry, most recently Jersey Rain. His collection The Figured Wheel was a Pulitzer Prize nominee and received the Lenore Marshall Award and the Ambassador Book Award of the English Speaking Union. He was elected in 1999 to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and his poems appear in magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Threepenny, American Poetry Review and frequently in the Best American Poetry anthologies. Pinsky teaches in the graduate writing program at Boston University.
The Atkinson Lecture series has welcomed world leaders, authors, actors, scientists and educators to campus since its founding in 1956.
The Campaign for Willamette is coming off a record-breaking year, having raised more than $25 million in the last 13 months. The Campaign total now stands at $92.6 million toward a goal of $125 million. Recent gifts exemplify the diversity and depth of donor participation in the Campaign.
The Pataka Museum of New Zealand has accepted a proposal from Professor Rebecca Dobkins and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art to bring a version of the Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts print exhibition to New Zealand. The exhibit will open in February 2008 in conjunction with Wellington’s International Festival of the Arts, which features hundreds of arts organizations from more than two dozen countries.
The First Crow’s Shadow Institute Biennial at the Hallie Ford Museum featured a juried selection of contemporary prints created by Native American artists at the Crow’s Shadow Institute on the Umatilla Reservation in northeastern Oregon. Founded by Native American painter and printmaker James Lavadour (Walla Walla) in 1992, the institute seeks to create educational and professional opportunities for Native American artists to utilize their art as a vehicle for economic development.
Dobkins, faculty curator of Native American art at the museum, was a finalist for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars’ 2006 Faculty of the Year Award.
Cellist and music faculty member Hekun Wu joined some of the world’s finest musicians on stage at Carnegie Hall in January. Their performance of Verdi’s Requiem was a benefit for relief efforts in the war-ravaged Darfur area of Sudan.
As well as being music director and conductor for the Salem Chamber Orchestra, Wu is a world-class cellist who has performed throughout Europe, Asia and the U.S. He was part of a specially assembled orchestra including members of the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra and others.
Students, staff, faculty and dignitaries from Japan enjoyed the booming of taiko drums and the sweet taste of green tea ice cream at the traditional Japanese dedication ceremony in February for Kaneko Commons, the University’s new residential commons project.
The ceremony reflected Kaneko’s focus on Japanese heritage, which stems from Willamette’s long-standing relationship with Tokyo International University (TIU) in Kawagoe, Japan. “This is a new era for Willamette University and one worthy of our mutual commemoration,” Willamette President M. Lee Pelton said at the ceremony.
The 72,000-square-foot Kaneko Commons, which opened to students in August, features two community kitchens and nine student room options, including four-bedroom apartments. A three-story atrium houses the Japanesethemed Kaneko Café. Kaneko introduces the residential commons concept at Willamette, one that includes selfgovernment and a substantial faculty presence along with three themes — sustainability, Japanese heritage and community service — to encourage intellectual stimulation beyond the classroom.
Kaneko Commons was built to meet the standards for LEED silver and possibly gold certification. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a U.S. Green Building Council rating system that is a benchmark for sustainable building practices.
The Hallie Ford Museum of Art has two shows remaining in its 2006–07 season. Ancient Glass: Selections from the Richard Brockway Collection, including pieces from 1500 BCE to the 6th century CE, will be on display through May 19 in the Study Gallery. The exhibition features 46 pieces from the Richard Brockway collection, considered one of the finest private collections of ancient glass in the nation.
Brockway is a 1957 graduate of Willamette University and a retired GTE engineer who is now director of Ancient Art International. He presented a slide show and lecture April 2 in the Roger Hull Lecture Hall at the museum.
The Brockway collection features glass from Egypt, the Near East, Greece and Rome, including drinking vessels, tableware, toiletry vessels and a host of other glass items that demonstrate the ancient glass artists’ skill and mastery. A variety of glassmaking techniques are represented in the collection, including rod forming, core forming, mold casting, free blowing and mold blowing.
An exhibition featuring Willamette’s senior art majors will be on display through May 13 in the Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery. The show will include a variety of media, including sculpture, painting, printmaking, drawing and ceramics. In January the museum added Sunday hours from 1 to 5 p.m. The museum is also open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Two Northwest tribal leaders discussed ancestral rights and responsibilities on Founders Day, Feb. 1, as part of the University’s Indian Country Conversation series.
Carol Craig, public information manager for the Yakama Nation Fisheries Program, and Louis Pitt, director of government affairs and planning for the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon, spoke about the history of the Columbia River tribes as well as treaties negotiated with the U.S. government in the 19th century.
For more information, contact Professor Rebecca Dobkins.
The largest personal donation in the history of Willamette University will assist in constructing a $16 million, 46,000-square-foot academic building to house the departments of mathematics, computer science, and rhetoric and media studies, as well as programs in digital arts, film studies, and arts and technology.
The $10 million total includes an $8 million gift from an anonymous donor, plus a $2 million contribution from members of the University’s Board of Trustees. The remaining $6 million will be raised through ongoing fundraising efforts.
Hennebery Eddy Architects Inc. of Portland has been selected to design the new building, which will be located on the northeast corner of campus near Gatke Hall, running parallel to State Street. Groundbreaking is scheduled for fall 2008 with a completion date set for spring 2010.
Willamette University moved up 15 spots this year in the Peace Corps’ rankings for colleges and universities with the most alumni volunteers. With 20 alumni currently serving around the world, Willamette ranks No. 9 on the top 25 list for schools with fewer than 5,000 undergraduates. WU tied with Lewis & Clark College and the University of Denver.
Since the Peace Corps’ inception in 1961, 265 Bearcats have joined its ranks. They have served in 79 countries, with top destinations including the Philippines, Costa Rica, Mali, Paraguay, Peru and Thailand.
In 2004, Peace Corps officials formally presented the University with a Certificate of Appreciation that states “The graduates of Willamette University have been an integral part of Peace Corps’ success overseas and its legacy here at home.”
The Oregon Academy of Science honored Political Science Professor Richard Ellis as its 2007 Outstanding Oregon Researcher. Ellis, the Mark O. Hatfield Professor of Politics, has written or edited a dozen books on the American presidency and political culture.
His most recent book, To the Flag: The Unlikely History of the Pledge of Allegiance, has been featured on National Public Radio’s Fresh Air and in newspapers across the country. It was selected a Citizens Read book of the month in Portland, was the Library Journal’s best-selling book in politics and law, won the 2005 Langum Prize in Legal History and won an honorable mention from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights. To the Flag is a compelling history of how the Pledge of Allegiance developed in response to anxieties about immigration and “alien” ideas such as Communism.
The award typically goes to researchers in the hard sciences. This year’s nomination is particularly intriguing as it represents a broader scope for Oregon’s Academy of Science.
“I’m delighted that the nomination has gone to someone in the social sciences,” says Jeff Myers, president of the Oregon Academy of Science and geology professor at Western Oregon University. “Ellis’ students are clearly lucky to share his insight and experience.”
The Oregon Academy of Science promotes science education and scientific research in the state, encouraging communication among Oregon scientists and mentoring new generations of scientists in Oregon high schools.
Laura Leete, director of Willamette’s Public Policy Research Center, organized the University’s second Senate Leadership Institute, a two-day workshop on campus in January for senators to discuss government ethics, negotiation skills and budgets in a non-partisan setting. Senators from around the state attended, and friendly rivalry was interspersed with collaboration and team building activities. The Oregon Senate President’s Office asked Willamette to organize the event.
“You and I do not have the luxury of not getting along,” said Senate President Peter Courtney in closing the 2007 institute. “If we do not figure out a way to get along — and we’re not always going to agree — then we fail in our mission.”
Willamette’s Public Policy Research Center concentrates on communitybased research and outreach, with a recent focus on poverty and hunger in Oregon, state forest management and environmental justice.
The spirits of three Willamette students, all members of the Class of 2007, will live on through scholarships and other memorial tributes.
Kalan Morinaka, a senior psychology major from Nyssa, Ore., died Nov. 9 of complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was diagnosed with the progressive neurodegenerative disease last June. Morinaka was a past president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, supervisor of intramural sports and a member of the psychology and chemistry clubs.
Four of Morinaka’s friends — Kevin Dean ’06, Jonathan Irizarry ’06, Alex MacKenzie ’06 and Wesley Randall ’06 — organized a coast-to-coast bike ride to raise money for the ALS Association. MacKenzie, Dean and Randall, all members of SAE, started the ride Jan. 10 and recently reached their destination in Florida. Irizarry tracked their progress from Salem. Donate to their cause and read the blog they kept from the road.
Logan Will, a senior politics major, died Nov. 22 after a car crash while heading home to Grants Pass, Ore., for Thanksgiving. He was a member of the Willamette University Debate Union, and he was one of the top parliamentary debaters in the nation. Will was president of the College Democrats and actively engaged in Oregon’s political affairs.
The debate program has established the Logan Will Memorial Fund to give an annual academic award to an outstanding debater. Contributions to the fund may be made payable to Logan Will Fund – Willamette University, and mailed to Robert Trapp, Gatke Hall, Willamette University, 900 State St., Salem, OR 97301.
Birl Shultz died unexpectedly on a plane home after visiting friends in Finland in summer 2005. Shultz was a class senator and served as a member of the finance board of the Associated Students of Willamette University (ASWU). With his passion for cuisine, he was a natural fit as chair of the ASWU food committee and representative to Bon Appetit, the campus catering service. The menu of the new Kaneko Café in Kaneko Commons includes “The Birl” burger in memory of Shultz. His parents, Peter and Marilyn Shultz of Carlton, Ore., created a memorial scholarship in his name; it will be awarded for the first time this fall.
This year’s Senior Class Gift will be donated in memory of these three young men. For more information, read “A Class Act.”
The Scene captured six awards in the recent 2007 CASE District VIII Communications Awards competition in Boise, Idaho. The magazine won Silver in the overall periodicals competition; three individual articles won Gold for writing; the summer 2006 “Research” issue won Gold for overall writing; and the fall 2006 “Sept. 11” issue was awarded a Grand Gold for writing — the highest writing award given.
Overall WU’s Office of Communications garnered 28 awards for periodicals; photography; student, alumni, fund-raising and special audience publications; visual design; websites; and writing. Nearly 40 of the 119 institutions in District VIII submitted award entries. Willamette received more than any other institution, public or private.
Ten faculty members were recognized for their outstanding teaching and dedication at the annual Faculty Awards Ceremony in February.
The United Methodist Award for Exemplary Teaching and Service was presented to two faculty members in honor of the extraordinary impact a professor can have both in the classroom and in the larger community: Lane McGaughy, professor of religious studies (top), was honored for his legendary ability to nurture and inspire students, for his classroom presence, and for his personal and professional involvement in service to the University, the community and his profession. Fred Thompson, the Grace and Elmer Goudy Professor of Public Management and Policy Analysis at the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, was recognized for more than 20 years of excellence in teaching both core and elective courses, for his work in developing the Certificate in Public Management Program, and for his contribution to the United Nations Development Program’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Macedonia.
The Lawrence D. Cress Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship, named for the beloved CLA dean, was presented to Ellen Eisenberg, professor of history. The award recognizes the strong relationship between research and the undergraduate experience. Eisenberg was honored for her outstanding contributions to scholarship in her field and her dedication to publishing and presenting her work.
For the first time in University history, the Jerry E. Hudson Award was presented to a team. College of Law Dean Symeon Symeonides presented the award to the members of the Legal Research and Writing Team — Edward Harri JD’93, assistant dean of student affairs, and instructors M.H. “Sam” Marcia Jacobson (bottom left), Helen Mazur-Hart JD’83 (bottom right) and Jennifer Todd JD’83 (top left). The team has worked together for more than 10 years to help law students improve their writing skills.
Mortar Board Awards, chosen by Willamette students, went to Anthropology Professor Peter Wogan, selected as Professor of the Year, and retiring Chemistry Professor Arthur Payton (right), who received the Richard Iltis Award for a lifetime of exemplary service to the University and his profession.
The Jerry E. Hudson Award for Excellence in Teaching, named for the longtime WU president, was also presented to Bill Duvall, professor of history. Duvall was praised by students and colleagues alike for his ability to raise the level of classroom discourse and his dedication to intellectual rigor.
Assistant Math Professors Inga Johnson and Colin Starr recently received a $491,400 grant from the National Science Foundation to provide an eight-week summer research experience for math students and teachers.
Johnson and Starr are the leaders of the Willamette Valley Consortium for Mathematics Research, which comprises Willamette University, Linfield College, Lewis & Clark College and the University of Portland.
Each of the schools will host a summer research team of four undergraduates, two faculty members and one teacher from the K–12 or community college level. Each team will focus on a project in number theory, probability and statistics, geometry, computer science or applied analysis. Participants at Willamette will work with Johnson and Starr to study the Frobenius Problem, also known as the “postage stamp problem,” a topic in number theory.
A team of Willamette students won the second annual Oregon Independent College Foundation Ethics Bowl competition in March at Reed College in Portland.
The Ethics Bowl brings together student teams from the 10 private liberal arts colleges in Oregon to debate real-world ethics cases. Matches were judged by panels of distinguished leaders from across Oregon and Washington. The students grappled with ethical questions on issues such as the war in Iraq, ship breaking and the environment, journalist confidentiality, Internet privacy and reproductive rights. The Willamette team won all five matches and compiled a record score of 530 of a possible 600 points.
Members of the Willamette team are MaryAnn Almeida, a sophomore politics and Spanish major from Spokane, Wash.; Brett Dahlberg, a freshman undeclared major from Bremerton, Wash., Elizabeth Humphrey, a senior history major from Dallas, Ore.; Jade Olson, a sophomore rhetoric and media studies major from Hillsboro, Ore.; and Nick Robinson, a sophomore politics major from Norman, Okla. The team received a trophy and plaque for the University, and each student received a $1,000 cash award and individual plaque.
Assistant Chemistry Professors Sarah Kirk and Andrew Duncan received a $15,000 grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust through the Partners in Science Program. The program provides opportunities for high school science teachers to work with investigators in academic research labs for two summers. Kirk and Duncan have invited Megan Rivera, a science teacher from Sprague High School, to participate in their research this summer and in summer 2008.
Their projects will involve the chemical modification of naturally occurring sugar molecules. Rivera will work with Kirk in 2007 to develop novel antibiotics and with Duncan in 2008 to develop new methods for synthetic organic chemistry.
A primary goal of the Partners in Science program is to help high school teachers revitalize their teaching and enhance their use of inquiry-based methods in their teaching.
Work has begun on the third volume of the Chronicles of Willamette. The first Chronicles, published in 1943, covers the first 100 years of Willamette history, while the second volume takes readers through the G. Herbert Smith administration (1942–69). If you have suggestions, submissions or want to volunteer as a researcher, contact Kristi Negri, project manager, via email or at 503-375-5341.
The Atkinson Graduate School of Management recently launched a new enrollment campaign, “Empower Yourself at Willamette.” Along with monthly First Thursday events in Portland, the Atkinson School and WU’s Office of University Relations have partnered with the Portland Business Journal to sponsor the Celebration of Lists, 40 Under 40 and Women in Business events. As part of the campaign, Atkinson has established an alumni referral network online to increase MBA applications. More information
School of Education students volunteered last fall at sites across Salem as part of the Professional Action Group (PAG) program. The students read books on social issues before finding community service projects to help them gain awareness of differences between their prior beliefs and their current experiences working with the community. When they become teachers, they use what they learn by having a better understanding of their students’ lives outside the classroom.
Activities including building houses for Habitat for Humanity, working with preschoolers from English-as-a-second-language families in high-poverty schools, and mentoring students at an after-school enrichment program.
The annual Oregon Ethics in Business (OEIB) program is already underway. Now in its fourth year, the program honors businesses that go beyond the expected in stewardship, social responsibility and environmental sustainability. Willamette MBA students evaluate finalists and prepare reports for the selection committee.
Managing Exchange, a core course in AGSM’s full-time MBA program, builds the OEIB experience into the curriculum. Student teams contact the nominees’ key stakeholders, managers and employees, and evaluate the companies’ financial reports and corporate responsibility programs. The students learn by example the relationship between businesses, the community and the environment in which they operate.
A June banquet will honor three businesses, a non-profit organization and an individual who best represent sound ethical practices in Oregon. More on the OIEB program
Willamette’s law faculty continues to distinguish itself within the academic community by significantly increasing its scholarly publications. During the past seven years, the faculty increased its total number of publications by 97.6 percent, while individual publications increased by an average of 63.4 percent from the previous seven-year period.
The 29 faculty members who taught at the College of Law between 2000 and 2006 produced a total of 328 publications: 33 books; 180 articles, essays or book chapters; and 115 other materials. Per capita publications for the period were 1.14 books; 6.21 articles, essays or book chapters; and 3.97 other materials — for a total of 11.3 publications per professor.
In addition to advancing knowledge within the academic world, this increase in scholarly productivity further boosts Willamette’s reputation within the greater legal community.
Four Willamette College of Law alumni were honored at the 2006 Oregon State Bar Annual Awards Dinner in December. The recipients were recognized for enhancing the lives of Oregonians and the quality of the legal profession.
Richard J. Brownstein LLB’53, who received the OSB President’s Affirmative Action Award, was instrumental in creating the bar’s Affirmative Action Committee. He served on the committee for many years as both member and chair, and was deeply involved in the program’s reauthorization this year.
Jeffrey M. Batchelor JD’72 received the OSB President’s Membership Service Award. He has held numerous leadership positions on the Oregon Board of Bar Examiners, the American Academy of Appellate Practitioners, the U.S. District Court of Oregon Historical Society and the Willamette University College of Law’s Board of Visitors, among others.
William B. Crow JD’61 also received the OSB President’s Membership Service Award. In addition to serving on the OSB Board of Governors, he has made substantial contributions to the state bar, serving on several committees and authoring a symposium on tort law in Oregon. He served on the Willamette University Board of Trustees from 1994–98.
Francisco J. Yraguen JD’70 received the OSB President’s Public Service Award for his service to community. He has been an active volunteer in law-related education and was instrumental in bringing the Oregon Supreme Court to hear cases in Malheur County.
Larry Conley MAT’99 has received a prestigious $25,000 national teaching award from the Milken Family Foundation. The Milken National Educator Awards, called the “Oscars of Teaching” by Teacher Magazine, make up the nation’s largest teacher recognition program and honor up to 100 outstanding elementary educators each year.
Conley teaches third grade at Heritage Elementary School in Woodburn, Ore. He continues to be involved with Willamette’s School of Education by working with new student teachers in the classroom and taking classes to obtain his administrative license through the Center for Excellence in Teaching. He will be the featured speaker at the School of Education’s Commencement in May.
Professor of Marketing Debra J. Ringold has been appointed interim dean for the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. James Goodrich became the founding dean of the Marshall Goldsmith School of Management near San Diego, Calif., Feb. 1.
Ringold was recently appointed chair of the board of directors for the American Marketing Association. A national search for a permanent dean is underway and will be assisted by a national consulting firm. The search committee comprises members of the Willamette University Board of Trustees and the Atkinson Advisory Board, as well as AGSM faculty, staff and students.
hen the United Nations Development Program needed a fiscal policy expert for its Blue Ribbon Commission on the Republic of Macedonia, they turned to Atkinson’s Fred Thompson, the Grace and Elmer Goudy Professor of Public Management and Policy Analysis. Thompson took the lead role in the commission’s recommendations on fiscal decentralization, the design of block grants and tax administration. He also worked on the sections of the report relating to banking reform and public debt.
The report comes 15 years after Macedonia’s independence from Yugoslavia following a difficult round of reforms for stabilization. According to the commission, additional measures are needed to boost sustainable economic growth in preparation for the country’s admittance to the European Union. More information on the report
“It was an interesting process,” Thompson says. “We pushed the local experts to think outside the box, and they made us respect local conditions and capabilities when choosing between policy alternatives.”