Hi all! Happy June! I think it’s safe to say summer has finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest, and we welcome it with open arms. Aside from summertime, barbecues, swimming and warm weather, we have a lot to look forward to in June. Here on campus, we are preparing for Commencement on June 17, when we will honor Betty Komp ’90, ’92 with the Alumni of Excellence Award and celebrate with more than 1,000 graduates as they earn their degrees. On June 16, we will gather with more than 300 graduates and their guests for the annual Senior Sendoff, at which we celebrate the newest members of the WOU Alumni Association and Western Oregon graduates. High schools and other universities will be honoring their graduates as well throughout the first couple weeks of the month, so it an exciting time indeed! Check out more information on Western Alumni and university events at the alumni webpage and register for your spot today!
Before looking too far into the month of June, we should look back at May and reflect on all of the great events and activities that took place. Check out the recaps below:
LGBTQ+ Alumni Reception
For the first time ever, the WOU Alumni Association hosted the LGBTQ+ Alumni Reception on May 2, before the Coming Out Monologues. WOU alum and faculty member CM Hall worked with the Alumni Association to help make this event happen and spent many hours reaching out to alums in addition to producing the show as well. There were more than 50 attendees at the reception. Guests enjoyed beverages, snacks and time to network with other alums and guests before attending the show. Due to the popularity and success of this inaugural event, it will become an annual occurrence. Thank you to everyone who helped make this event happen and supported it through donations, attending, spreading the word and everything else. It was wonderful to see some familiar faces and to meet many alumni as well.
Every year, the Foundation hosts a Scholarship Dinner to celebrate and honor our amazing donors who make college a reality for countless students. This year’s event happened to fall on the hottest day of the year (to that point), May 3. Scholarship recipients were able to meet their donors and thank them for their contributions. Attendees also heard from a panel of folks talking about how scholarships changed their lives and/or how they witnessed scholarships changing students’ lives. We can never say thank you enough for helping make students’ dreams come true through scholarships and financial aid.
Earlier in May, the Alumni Association, the Career Mentoring Program and Admissions traveled to Oahu to host a luncheon for incoming freshmen, their families and alumni on Oahu. At this luncheon, we hosted more than 85 people — mainly incoming freshmen — and were able to connect alumni with parents and students and discuss opportunities with the Career Mentoring Program. This luncheon was held just before the SOAR program, during which incoming freshmen were able to register for classes, meet with a counselor and get prepped for their arrival at Western.
While in Hawaii, we also traveled to the island of Maui where the Alumni Association, the CMP and Admissions hosted an alumni, parent and student reception, again just before SOAR. The reception was at Baldwin High School, where Kent Yamaguchi ’01 is a guidance counselor and helped us with all of the on-site details. The caterer, Mark Lau Heka Chicken, is owned and operated by parents of a WOU softball player. OCE alum John Wienert ’69 joined us from atop the mountain. This was a smaller group than the Oahu group, but WOU was well-represented, and everyone enjoyed talking with each other, learning about Western and hearing from the alums in the crowd. After the reception, the new students and their families gathered at SOAR to prep for arrival at Western.
Central Oregon President’s Reception
A Central Oregon President’s Reception was scheduled for May 19 but unfortunately was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. We love our Central Oregon alums and are planning another get together in the area in the near future! If you’re in the area, contact us and let us know what might be a good time of year for a gathering. We are considering rescheduling to September or October, and the reception will be complimentary, open to all alumni and their guests and will include food, beverages and great WOU prizes.