Willamette University has a rich history in the academic community as it is recognized as the first university to be established in the west nearly two centuries ago. Founded with the core mission to provide a liberal arts education to local students, it is now known for its professional programs such as Biology, Economics and Psychology. Many Willamette University alumni have graduated to become leaders and important icons in their communities, some even holding political office. The College of Law at Willamette University is acknowledged nationally as one of the leading programs in the west, providing students with reliable job placement after graduation.
Willamette University provides students with the attention they need to optimize their college experience through smaller classes and a close faculty involvement with individual students. Both the faculty and the student body work diligently to ensure all students obtain the help they need to achieve their goals. Many students take part in the student mentorship programs offered by Student Services to enhance their studies. At Willamette, faculty members understand that every student has a different learning style, which is why many of the faculty members, holding advance degrees, are able to incorporate indoor and outdoor classes to accommodate every students needs.
Founded in 1834 as a Methodist missionary by Jason Lee, the school was originally intended on establishing an educational system for Native Americans that were living in the area. However, many of the Natives did not accept help from the missionaries. By the 1840s, the focus was shifted to the Pacific Northwest settlers to ensure that the educational institute and health facilities were being utilized by anyone who needed them. The school was originally named the Indian manual Labor Training School, with the first building constructed in 1841. Due to the failed attempt of the school to attract students, it was closed just three years later, resulting in the sale of land to the Oregon Institute. For the next several years, the school operated as a private school setting for the children of missionaries and new settlers.
Willamette University is accredited by the American Colleges and Universities, the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities and is a charter member of the national Commission on Accrediting. Many of the individual programs offered at Willamette are also accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and well as the American Chemistry Society.
Having a strong affiliation to the Methodist Church from the very beginning, Willamette University, in the footsteps of the founders, have provided students with a solid education that is unbiased towards religion, creed and culture, but one that provides a healthy understanding of civility and unity. By the late 1800’s, Willamette University became highly involved in local politics and is currently known for their heavy involvement in developing the government in the early Oregon Territory.
Willamette University has a long history of premier educational programs for the Pacific Northwest region, such as the law school that was established in 1883 and the school of medicine that was built in 1866.
Willamette University students can take advantage of a wide variety of opportunity on and off campus. The Associated Students of Willamette University was established to help students transition through their college years, as well as act as a buffer between the student body and the administrators at the school. This structure enables students the comfort ability of having their peers to guide and advocate for them, rather than find third party resources. Willamette students are encouraged to showcase service, leadership and communication skills that will help them excel in their academic and professional endeavors throughout their lives, as well as their college years.
Having a strong emphasis on multicultural affairs, students are encouraged to get involved with the various clubs and organizations that are established throughout campus by students. With the majority of students living on campus in one of the residential areas, students can enjoy the convenience of living, working and studying with their peers. With a strong outlook on student affairs, Willamette offers students Roommate Conflict counseling services to ensure the safety and comfort of each student at all times. Off campus housing is available for undergraduate students. During their college experience, all students are encouraged to participate in the work study program to optimize their academic and financial experiences.
The Campus Conduct Office is available to assist students in all aspects of campus safety and code regulations. The student body is actively involved in student safety and event coordination; however the Campus Conduct Office provides assistance to students that find themselves in need of guidance, advocacy and relief.
Willamette University understands that the cost of college can sometimes be a heavy burden on students and their families. For this reason, the Office of Financial Aid is available throughout the school year to assist in the application process, funding options and availability or students. Many students may be eligible for various grants and scholarships in addition to their loan funding, which can be especially helpful for graduate students.
While many students take advantage of state and federal loan options, financial aid counselors are available to help students explore alternate funding options such as third party grants and scholarship programs. Students that are eligible can take advantage of the Veteran benefits that are available at Willamette. Visit the Office of Financial Aid throughout the year or online for more information about additional funding options.
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