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Because Willamette is the first university in the west (founded in 1842 before Oregon, Washington and California were states in our Union), our students, professors and alumni are used to setting the pace, the tone, and the direction for the Northwest and the nation. Read our stories below to learn more about how each person represents Willamette's unique ethos and tradition.


Marie Watt artist at work

Sewing new and old tales into familiar fabrics

In her latest work, acclaimed Native American artist Marie Watt ’90 explores the symbiotic relationships between humans and the natural world.

Swen newsfeed

In 3-2 engineering program, Donald Swen ’18 discovers challenge and success

Through Willamette’s joint degree program, Donald Swen ’18 heads abroad, works with robots and finds shorter path to advanced engineering degree.

Bull kelp performance

Music and nature meet in Colloquium grant composition

Michael Chergosky ’19 transforms bull kelp into a horn section.

Jessica Weiss

Jessica Weiss ’18 publishes academic paper, lands coveted NYC internship

Willamette’s liberal arts approach creates opportunities for Jessica Weiss ’18.


Driven by sustainability and business

Lettajoe Gallup '15 MBA'16 uses her dual-degree to jump-start her career.

Brewer-Wallin News Feed

A Love of Creativity and History

Each season, Bobby Brewer-Wallin designs the costumes for three mainstage plays and one dance concert.

 Kip Ioane ’01, MAT ’02

A team built on a lasting foundation

Head Basketball Coach Kip Ioane ’01, MAT ’02 leads by example.

Sonny Nguyen

From refugee to attorney

Sonny Nguyen LLM’16 hopes to use his knowledge of the law, and incredible personal experiences, to advocate for human rights.

Mark Andreoni '16

Mark Andreoni ’16 focuses his talents on helping others

By exploring new pursuits, Mark Andreoni ’16 discovers his calling

Will Nickerson

The Myriad Lives of a Maker

The more you talk with Will Nickerson ’16, the more you wonder, “What doesn’t he do?”

Maya Kaup '17

Maya Kaup '17 stands up to her fears to champion important causes

Maya Kaup ’17 overcomes her aversion to the spotlight to champion important causes.

Clanton Art

World of Whimsy

From an idea to a sketch to a finished drawing, Ben Clanton ’10 explains the makings of his new children’s book.

Willamette University

New ASWU president reveals his goals for 2015-16

Shamir Cervantes '16 shares his challenges, goals for the 2015-16 year

Nicole Roth MBA'16

Thriving in Willamette's professional program

Most challenges are too big to tackle alone. That’s why Nicole Roth MBA'16 decided to earn her MBA.

Mitch Diaz

Walking the talk

Among his many activities, Mitch Diaz '16 serves as an admission intern and welcomes visitors to campus.

Erin Milos

Supported for success

Erin Milos, JD/MBA ’17 found the comfort of her small-town roots at Willamette.

Will Christiansen

From AmeriCorps to the Willamette MBA

William Christiansen MBA’16 is pursuing his passion for the not-for-profit sector.

Nate Aggrey

At home at Willamette Law

Nate Aggrey ’09 JD '16 is ready to apply his knowledge of the law to global issues.

Willamette University

Taking the fast lane

Teneah Rushen '18 shares the tools that keep her competitive.

Laura Appleman

Serving the law and the community

Willamette Law Professor Laura Appleman trains students to practice criminal law.

Ashley Nixon

What will bring you the greatest amount of fulfillment in your work?

Ashley Nixon, assistant professor of human resources, helps her MBA students find out.

Roy Perez

Pérez teaches his students never to settle for the world in which they live

Roy Pérez, who teaches English and American Ethnic Studies, helps his students challenge concepts of culture and power.

Eva Kripalani

The many hats of corporate counsel

Eva M. Kripalani JD ‘86 makes the connection between law and business.

Natalie Pate Journalist

Pate '15 pursued her love for performing, activism at Willamette

An aspiring human rights journalist, Natalie Pate '15 is honing her writing skills through a reporting job with the Statesman Journal newspaper in Salem.

Holman KMUZ

Students find their voices through community radio

What’s it like to host a radio show? Chemistry professor Karen McFarlane Holman’s “Community Radio” students try it firsthand — and learn about themselves along the way.

Neil Bergquist

Alum earns accolades for entrepreneurial pursuits

He started five companies in 30 months. He set a world record for largest snowball fight. And now Neil Bergquist ’09, MBA’10 is Washington's 2014 Small Entrepreneur of the Year.

Willamette University

Yesenia Gallardo '10 uses her history major as a lens to see the world

From investigating environmental degradation in China to studying Latina women's understanding of organic foods, Yesenia Gallardo '09 uses her history major to better understand the world.

Willamette University

Willamette's mysterious violin gains new life in student's hands

Willamette’s mysterious centuries-old instrument gained new life in the hands of Chloe Prendergast ’14.