Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The university current has 136 full time professors and enrolls approximately 2,500 students in four separate schools:
- College of Liberal Arts
- College of Law
- School of Education
- Atkinson Graduate School of Management
The 61 acre (250,000 m²) campus is directly south of the Oregon State Capitol , affording convenient access of the students to internships in the institutions of Oregon government. Much of downtown Salem, including the Capitol, is on land once owned by the university.
The university was founded as the Oregon Institute in the days of the Oregon Territory by the missionary Jason Lee, who had arrived in the territory in 1834 and had founded the Indian Manual Labor Institute for the education of the local Native Americans. Lee requested additional support for his mission, and received 53 additional volunteers in 1839, who arrived on the ship Lausanne.
After a series of meetings in Lee's home, the by-laws and board of trustees were adopted and the institute was officially established on February 1, 1842. The original purpose of the institute was the education of the missionaries' children.
The original building of the institute was a three-story frame structure first occupied in 1844. At the time, it was one of the largest structures in the Pacific Northwest. It housed the first session of the state legislature to meet in Salem after the capital was moved there in 1851. The building burned down in 1877.
The name of institution was changed to "Wallamet University" in 1852. The following year, the Oregon Territorial Legislature granted a charter to the university. The first graduate was Emily W. York, in 1859. The current spelling of the university was adopted in 1870.
In 1866, the university established the first school of medicine in the Pacific Northwest. The school of medicine has since become part of the University of Oregon. In 1883, the university established the first law school in the Pacific Northwest.
Lausanne Hall, originally home of the university's Musical Institute, and now one of the university's undergraduate dormitories, commerates the ship that brought the reinforcements to Lee in 1839. York Hall commemorates the university's first graduate.
In December 1941, the university's football team traveled to Hawaii to play the University of Hawaii. Many students accompanied the team by passenger ship to Oahu. The game was played was on December 6. The following day, many of the Willamette students witnessed the bombing of Pearl Harbor from their hotels on Waikiki Beach. Their return trip was delayed by many weeks, and some of the students had to return to the mainland by troop transport ships. The incident has since become part of the folklore of the university.
Willamette was one of the last universities in the nation to hold an annual singing and marching competition between the undergraduate classes. The competition, known on campus as "Glee", was held each March. Each class was expected to create a new song and marching routine, and to practice it over the course of a single week. The performance of the routines was an event held in high esteem by many alumni, and membership on the judging committee was considered a high honor. For the students, coming in last in the competition was considered a mark of great humiliation. Outrageous whimsical bets among students were encouraged, with the loser having to fulfill the bet on the following Monday, which was known as "Blue Monday." In the 1990's, the competition came to be regarded as anachronistic and was abolished.
Facts about the University
The university's mascot is the Bearcat.
The university motto is Non nobis solum nati sumus, which is Latin for "Not for ourselves alone are we born"
The university's newspaper, the Willamette Collegian, began publishing in 1875.
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