President’s Annual Report
Willamette University is an intellectual community, not merely a congregation of individuals devoted to self-cultivation alone. We seek to understand our connectivity to social and political forms, to ideas of good and evil, to natural laws, to the life-sustaining elements of the earth, to the life sciences and to other forms of human expression and contemplation. We appreciate and create beauty. We seek a more complete knowledge of our place in relation to cultures not our own.
It is in this sense that we educate our students — not only to achieve success in their post-Willamette endeavors in graduate school and careers — but to serve humanity. A Willamette education actualizes each student’s potential as a leader and shaper of society so that he or she is prepared for life after Willamette — for meaningful work, life-long learning and service to others.
A few years ago I received a letter from a parent telling me about her daughter’s Willamette experience. The mother wrote, “I have watched Jaime grow into a strong, independent and extremely confident young woman. A university can prepare one for a profession, but a true success is when a school can help prepare one for life.”
Willamette’s graduates apply what they have learned at Willamette with idealism, confidence, moral awareness and conviction, a commitment to the public good and to those wise restraints that make us free. They are entrepreneurs, artists, writers, teachers and scientists; they are elected to the Oregon legislature, the United States Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. They pursue graduate studies at the London School of Economics, Harvard Divinity School, MIT, Columbia University, and join the Peace Corps; they begin careers at Nike Corporation, Intel, Microsoft, Columbia Sportswear and the White House. The diversity of their post-undergraduate pursuits is astonishing, as this issue of The Scene illustrates with a few excellent examples of our graduates putting their liberal arts educations to work in the ‘real world.’ Enjoy.
M. Lee Pelton
“A university can prepare one for a profession, but a true success is when a school can help prepare one for life.”