Willamette University

Tidbits & Briefs

Princeton Review Puts Willamette MBA in Top 15 for Marketing

Atkinson Graduate School of Management was named a “Top 15 Program for Preparing Students for Marketing” by the Princeton Review. The ranking, based on a survey of 19,000 students worldwide, appeared in the April issue of Entrepreneur magazine.

“This designation is especially meaningful because it comes from student satisfaction surveys,” says Debra Ringold, dean and JELD-WEN Professor of Free Enterprise. “It speaks to the quality of our faculty, the strength of our marketing curriculum and the career opportunities available to students upon graduation.”

Willamette and the University of Oregon were the only two schools from the Northwest to make any of the “Top Programs” lists and are two of only three schools on the West Coast to be honored as a top program in marketing. The Willamette MBA is one of only two programs worldwide to be dually accredited for business administration and public administration. Willamette MBA classes are held in both Salem and Portland.

Carol Long Bob Hawkinson

College of Liberal Arts Deans Step Down After Years of Service

Carol Long, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, will leave Willamette after 37 years of teaching, leadership and service. She moves on to serve as provost and vice president for academic affairs at the State University of New York-Geneseo, effective July 1.

“Carol’s dedication to Willamette faculty and students has truly been a gift to this community, and the benefits of her many positive contributions and achievements will be realized long after her departure,” President M. Lee Pelton said.

Bob Hawkinson, dean of campus life, stepped down recently after 10 years as dean. He will remain on the politics faculty for three more years before retiring.

Hawkinson is known for his energetic support of new student initiatives. In recognition of this, the university recently established the Robert E. Hawkinson Student Initiative Fund, an endowed fund that will provide financial support for individual students and student groups as determined by future deans of campus life. The fund is an option for anyone wishing to donate to the university.

Tokyo International University of America Celebrates 20 Years

The Tokyo International University of America (TIUA) program was an outgrowth of an existing relationship between Tokyo International University (TIU) and Willamette University, and since 1989 it has brought 2,091 students to Willamette’s campus for year-long study. To celebrate this year’s anniversary, TIU held a special reunion event June 27 in Ikebukuro, Japan.

The TIUA program continues to serve as the cornerstone of one of Willamette’s strongest and most fruitful partnerships. Kaneko Hall, home of TIUA, was recently the site of a large residential expansion, and the resulting Kaneko Commons complex has reshaped housing options for all Willamette students.

This year’s incoming TIUA class includes a record-setting 146 students.


Scene Cover


Many thanks to Phil Ringle Jr. ’53, JD’56 for sharing his recollections of an earlier version of the Distinguished Artists Series. In the winter issue of The Scene we showcased the series’ successes under the direction of Professor Anita King. Ringle provides us with historical context, showing how similar ventures at Willamette, including one he shared with Harley Hoppe ’52, have supported the arts and artists for many years.

University Presents Annual Faculty Awards

Six Willamette professors were honored in May with faculty awards for their scholarship, leadership, service and teaching excellence. Those recognized with this year’s awards cover a wide spectrum of disciplines:

Miho FujiwaraMiho Fujiwara
Associate Professor of Japanese, CLA
Jerry E. Hudson Award for Excellence in Teaching and Professor of the Year

Jim HansonJim Hanson
Peter C. and Bonnie S. Kremer Professor of Economics, CLA
Richard Iltis Award for Lifetime Achievement

David McCreeryDavid McCreery
Professor of Religious Studies, CLA
United Methodist Award for Exemplary Teaching and Service

Ross RunkelRoss Runkel
Professor Emeritus and Visiting Professor of Law, WUCL
Jerry E. Hudson Award for Excellence in Teaching

Patricia VarasPatricia Varas
Professor of Spanish, CLA
Lawrence D. Cress Award for Excellence in Faculty Scholarship

Robert WiltbankRobert Wiltbank
Associate Professor of Strategic Management, AGSM
United Methodist Award for Exemplary Teaching and Service

“The faculty of Willamette University set the standard of intellectual growth and exceptional learning,” President M. Lee Pelton said at the awards ceremony. “You share your knowledge with our students, but more importantly, you share your time, your energy and your compassion.”

Community Service

Willamette Makes President’s Honor Roll for Community Service

Willamette was recently named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service to U.S. communities. Launched in 2006 by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the honor roll serves as the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for commitment to service-learning and civic engagement.

Honorees for the award were chosen based on the scope and innovation of service projects, percentage of students participating in service activities, incentives for service and the extent to which the school offers academic service-learning courses.

Willamette students, faculty and staff volunteer about 65,000 hours annually, and their service activities are key indicators of the university’s presence nationally. This year’s Take a Break (TaB) alternative spring break program, for example, sent 70 students and staff to five locations around the country.

Administered by the Office of Community Service Learning, TaB’s mission is to expose students to complex social and cultural issues through direct service, experiential learning, group discussion and individual reflection.

Learn more about TaB and other community service learning programs at www.willamette.edu/dept/csl.

2008–09 National Grants and Awards Roundup

For the second year in a row, The Chronicle of Higher Education listed Willamette among the top producers of Fulbright grants in the country.

Final results for 2008–09 are still pending, but in a year where applications for Fulbright awards have increased significantly, it speaks well for Willamette that four students and alumni have been recommended to their host countries — three as confirmed grant recipients and one as an alternate.

At least 13 Willamette students and alumni received national academic awards this year, including a Morris K. Udall Scholarship, a BMI Student Composer Award and two National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships.

For more details, visit the Student Academic Grants and Awards (SAGA) website at www.willamette.edu/dept/saga.

Willamette Ranked No. 10 Nationally for Peace Corps Volunteers

Willamette ranks No. 10 in the nation this year on the Peace Corps’ list of small undergraduate institutions producing volunteers. It is the only Oregon school — and one of only three Pacific Northwest universities — on the top ten list. The survey includes schools with fewer than 5,000 undergraduates. Throughout the last 47 years, 281 Willamette alumni have joined the Peace Corps ranks.

“Our motto, ‘Not unto ourselves alone are we born,’ captures the essence of Willamette University,” says President M. Lee Pelton. “It speaks to our commitment to humanitarian outreach and to the tradition of compassionate service that is typical of our alumni. Willamette’s exemplary citizenship values have defined the culture of this campus for more than 167 years.”

Peasce Corps

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Brings Activist Spirit to Willamette

“Environmental crime is real crime,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. told a group of students March 6 during a visit to Willamette. As keynote speaker for this year’s Dempsey Lecture on Environmental Issues, Kennedy demonstrated a fiery brand of activism as he encouraged attendees to take a hard look at what their government is doing to rein in environmental problems.

Kennedy described the history of Hudson Riverkeeper, for whom he is chief prosecuting attorney. Riverkeeper was started in the 1960s by commercial fishermen who were upset about “corporate entities robbing them of the Hudson River” that had long been their resource. The group led a successful fight to restore the river by tracking down polluters and prosecuting them under the law.

“We’re a law enforcement organization,” Kennedy said. “When people are violating the law by polluting public waterways, we step in to act. The waterways in Oregon and elsewhere are not owned by the governor, the legislature or the fisheries people. They’re owned by the public. You have the right to go out to the river, pull a fish out and take it home to feed your family. If someone is polluting the river so it’s not safe for you to take that fish, that’s an act of theft against you.

“My advocacy has not been about saving the birds and the fishes but about recognizing we’re protecting nature because nature is the infrastructure of our communities.”

Kennedy is a clinical professor and supervising attorney at the Environmental Litigation Clinic at Pace University School of Law, and co-host of Ring of Fire on Air America Radio. His appearance was sponsored by the Dempsey Foundation and the Center for Sustainable Communities (www.willamette.edu/centers/csc).

New Financial Affairs VP Named

W. Arnold Yasinski will bring more than three decades of experience in business and higher education to Willamette when he assumes the position of vice president for Financial Affairs and treasurer in August. He currently serves as executive vice president for Finance and Administration and treasurer at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). “ Arnie emerged from a very talented national pool of candidates as someone of extraordinary financial leadership, strategic thinking and familiarity with liberal arts education,” President M. Lee Pelton said. “He combines sophisticated financial management at two highly respected institutions of higher learning with substantive experience in business. In addition, his strong financial background is complemented by his personal passion for sustainability and civic engagement — two core values of Willamette.”

Yasinski received a PhD in English from Indiana University and an MBA in finance from the University of Michigan Business School.

After several years in finance, strategy and marketing at DuPont, he was appointed vice president for Administration at Colby College in 1990. While there, he held an honorary appointment as professor of English and taught courses in late 19th- and 20th-century American and British literature.

Yasinski also writes and publishes poetic works.

Bruce Dash

Willamette Community Remembers Coach and Professor

We are saddened to report the passing of women’s basketball Head Coach Bruce Henderson ’84 and politics Professor Bob Dash, who are missed on campus and far beyond its borders. Henderson collapsed during practice in December and died from an apparent heart-related incident. Henderson, in his fourth year as head coach, was 47 years old. A memorial celebration was held in Cone Field House (Sparks Center) on campus.

“Bruce was an amazing man with endless energy and enthusiasm,” says Mark Majeski, director of athletics. “Everyone liked Bruce.”

Henderson arrived at Willamette as a student in 1981 and served in various coaching roles before taking over as head women’s coach. See In Memoriam, page 49.

Dash died in February after a battle with cancer. In 23 years of service to Willamette, Dash earned a reputation as a no-frills professor who could engender genuine and deep interest in the churning ideas of the political process.

“I will never forget his classes on globalization and Latin American politics,” recalls Chris Murrell ’05. “Professor Dash changed the way I think.” See In Memoriam, page 49.

Willamette Community Remembers Coach and Professor 2008–09 Retirements

Please join us in celebrating the following members of the Willamette faculty and athletics department, each of whom has retired after years of distinguished service to the university.

Jim Hanson

Jim Hanson retired after 33 years in the Department of Economics. In May Hanson received Mortar Board’s Richard Iltis Award for Lifetime Achievement, which recognizes retiring faculty for exemplary service to students and the university.

Gordie James

Gordie James retired as men’s basketball head coach after 22 years and a national championship (1992–93).

Steve Prothero

Steve Prothero retired after 46 years of teaching in the Department of Mathematics and an astonishing 44 years as men’s and women’s golf head coach, making him the longest-tenured coach in Northwest Conference history.

Ford Hall Civil Justice

Campaign for Willamette Meets $125 Million Goal — and Keeps Going

More than 15,000 donors put the Campaign for Willamette over the top this spring — ahead of schedule — and the results of the effort are already apparent.

Ford Hall, the new 42,000-square-foot academic building, has been under construction since May 2008 and will open as planned this fall. The Carnegie Building, home of the new Oregon Civic Justice Center, is operational after an extensive remodel.

Additionally, Professor Joe Bowersox now serves as the first occupant of the Dempsey Chair in Environmental Policy and Politics.

The Dempsey Chair is one of 17 endowed chairs at Willamette, and in concert with the Center for Sustainable Communities, reinforces the university’s standing in the environmental sciences among peer institutions.

The Campaign has helped to make these and many other innovations possible. However, the need for support remains acute, particularly for academic scholarships. Willamette has set an ambitious precedent in terms of financial aid (92 percent of Willamette students receive institutional aid), but with the strain of the current economy, scholarship support remains as valuable as ever.

Learn more about how the campaign has impacted Willamette at www.willamette.edu/support/campaign.

College of Law Dean Named Inaugural Holder of Alex L. Parks Distinguished Chair

The College of Law recently hosted a public lecture and private dinner with Dean Symeon C. Symeonides, the first holder of the Alex L. Parks Distinguished Chair in Law. More than 120 members of the legal community gathered to hear Symeonides present “The Grand Dilemmas of Private International Law,” the inaugural Parks Distinguished Chair lecture.

Introducing Symeonides to the audience, President M. Lee Pelton thanked Penelope Parks Knight and Philip H. Knight, who donated $5 million to the College of Law to endow the chair named for Mrs. Knight’s father. “As exceptional as the Knights are, so is the first holder of this chair,” Pelton said. “It is an understatement to describe Symeonides as an outstanding scholar; he may in fact be the world’s top scholar in his field.”

Pelton presented the Chair to Symeonides following dinner that evening. In his acceptance speech, the dean recounted his unlikely journey from a small village in Cyprus with no electricity or running water to where he is today.

“Just as I was supported by countless selfless acts of others throughout my life, future generations of Willamette students will benefit from the generosity of Penny and Phil Knight,” Symeonides said. “I thank these two noble philanthropists from the bottom of my heart.”

Humanity in Perspective

Willamette has partnered with the Oregon Council for the Humanities to offer Humanity in Perspective (HIP), a free, one-semester college course in the humanities for low-income adults in Salem.

Through twice-weekly classes taught by Willamette professors, HIP aims to promote the intellectual and personal growth of students, spark their interest in civic and community life and encourage them to continue their education. The program began in 2001 in Portland through a partnership with Reed College, where it has provided almost 200 individuals the opportunity to study the humanities at the college level.

The summer course began May 19 on Willamette’s campus, and classes will continue until August. HIP students receive free tuition and course materials, as well as child care during class, bus tickets for transportation to and from campus, and transferable college credit from Willamette.