What’s in a Claim?

Originally published on November 17, 2015.

Guest post written by Grace Pochis, History Department Archives Intern, Class ’17

What’s in a Claim? Evolution of “The First University in the West”

From its inception Willamette has, as with all colleges, been concerned with distinguishing itself from its neighbors. In its early days this was vital, while the university struggled financially. Willamette had been founded with the explicit charge to find itself an evangelical Christian patron, but the Methodist Church could not adequately defray the University’s expenses, and sections IV through IX of the University’s bylaws, written 1842, deal with how benefactors could pay subscriptions, or endowments, of fifty through five hundred dollars (Hines, 147-150). A donation of fifty dollars would earn the donor “a certificate of patronage” which entitled the recipient to “a voice in all the business of the society relating to the institution during his natural life” (Hines, 147) A donation of five hundred dollars, which was the maximum the founders conceived of, entitled the donor to a perpetual scholarship at Willamette–that is, that they or their heirs could attend Willamette without tuition (Hines, 148). At the time, five hundred dollars would have paid tuition for a year (Gatke, 311). These donations, the constitution specified, were to be paid at least one third in cash orders, and the remainder in “tame neat cattle, lumber, labor, wheat, or cash.” (Hines, 150). The perpetual scholarships were a losing venture; the initial $500 investment, quickly spent, robbed Willamette of much-needed tuition money for years to come (Gatke, 311). In fact, the last perpetual scholarship was cashed in the late 1960s, after which Willamette reclaimed it.

Attracting paying scholars by distinguishing itself from neighboring colleges has therefore been a priority for Willamette since its inception. By the turn of the 20th century, Willamette wanted to advertise its longevity, but oscillated on how to accurately compare its age to that of other colleges. Yearly bulletins printed by Willamette between 1865 and 2009 acted as both commemorations of the past year and advertisements to potential applicants, and so are a good medium to track the changes in Willamette’s self-presentation over time. The 1920-21 bulletin says, “Willamette University is not only the oldest college on the Pacific slope of the United States, but its connection with the early history of this region is perhaps more vital than that of any other institutions that has sprung up on the far western soil” (my emphasis). Ten years later Willamette had opted for the affirmative version of that claim, saying, ‘Willamette University, with one possible exception, is the oldest institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi River. The 1931-32 bulletin avoided that “possible exception” by switching its range, saying, “Willamette University is the oldest institution of higher learning west of the Missouri River.” In 1935-6 the bulletin names the affiliation of this school, perhaps in an effort to discredit it: “Willamette University, with the exception of a Catholic school in Missouri, is the oldest institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi River.” By 1947-48, Willamette had done away with such a detailed statement and adopted the slogan,“Oldest Institution of Higher Learning West of the Rockies”. By 1957, according to a photo in the corresponding bulletin, a sign on Willamette property declared, “Willamette University, Founded by Jason Lee and the Early Christian Pioneers, 1842, The Oldest University in the West.” Through the 1960’s, 70s, and 80s, Willamette set aside its claims of longevity to focus on other forms of advertising, color printing and much denser use of photos. In 1994, however, the claim resurfaces with a reformulation of who Willamette is, saying, “Willamette University, the oldest college in the west” (my emphasis). And in 2003 we see the current Willamette compass logo for the first time with a reversion to use of “university,” but now with a different conception of primacy: “The First University in the West” underneath. This remains our current claim to fame, but with the past as our guide, we can expect continued revisions to how Willamette advertises its age vis a vis other universities.

Information Sign Image

Information sign, northwest corner of campus, ca. 1950. Image from the Campus Photograph Collection, Willamette University Archives and Special Collections (WP 1323)

Written by Grace Pochis, History Department Archives Intern, Class ’17

Sources:

Gatke, Robert Moulton. “Chronicles of Willamette: The Pioneer University of the West.” Portland: Binfords & Mort, 1943.

Hines, Gustavus. “Oregon and Its Institutions; Comprising a Full History of the Willamette University, The First Established on the Pacific Coast.” New York: Carlton & Porter, 1868.


Hallie Ford Literary Series: Justin Taylor

Please join us for the final event in the Spring 2019 Hallie Ford Literary Series at Willamette University, a reading by fiction writer Justin Taylor, plus a celebration of the winners of this year’s Frank H. Newell Creative Writing Prizes. The event will take place on Thursday, April 4, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hatfield Room of Willamette’s library and is free and open to the public. Books will be for sale courtesy of the Willamette Store. Justin Taylor Image

Justin Taylor is the author of two story collections, Flings and Everything Here Is the Best Thing Ever, as well as a novel, The Gospel of Anarchy. His newest book, Riding with the Ghost, will be published in 2020. His stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in some of the most prestigious venues in the nation, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Harper’s, The Sewanee Review, and n+1. Justin is currently the 2018-19 Mark & Melody Teppola Distinguished Visiting Professor at Willamette, teaching courses in creative writing and English literature, and he serves as the fiction editor of the Literary Review.

Here’s how Publisher’s Weekly describes Justin’s book Flings: “Contemporary, intelligent, and occasionally laugh-out-loud funny. These stories, by turns witty and piercing, together form an uncommon portrait of the human heart.”

Read an interview with Justin here: https://fictionwritersreview.com/interview/guided-by-voices-an-interview-with-justin-taylor/

Prior to Justin’s reading, we will celebrate the winners of this year’s Frank H. Newell Creative Writing Prizes, for which Justin served as a judge. The winners will receive their prizes and read brief excerpts from their winning stories:

First place: Claire Alongi, for “A Selective Investigation of the Causes and Effects of Keraunographic Markings Upon a Teenage Subject (Female)”

Second place: Kevin Alexander, for “The Field Study”

Third place: Emily Korn, for “A Word for Change”

About Frank H. Newell:

Mr. Newell graduated from Willamette University in 1949, and subsequently enjoyed a 58-year run in the newspaper and broadcast business. He got his start at Salem’s Capital Journal, where he began in the advertising department. Over the years, he worked his way up through the ranks, and ultimately served as publisher of several news outlets across the nation over his long and successful career. Mr. Newell did not slow down in retirement, however, and at 93, saw his first novel published. He has long had a love for fiction writing, with a particular emphasis on short stories, and wants to foster this interest in future generations of Willamette University students.


Faculty Colloquium: Leslie Dunlap

Please join us on Friday, March 15th, at 3 p.m. in the Hatfield Room for our eighth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Leslie Dunlap, Continuing Professor in History
Title: Feminism and the Racial Politics of Protection

Abstract: Rights. Freedom. Choice. Liberation. Consent. These are familiar feminist keywords of the 20th and early 21st centuries. In the late nineteenth century United States one of those keywords was “protection.” According to many accounts, 19th-century feminists asserted autonomy and rights by rejecting protection as a code word for patriarchal control. I argue instead that many women mobilized around the concept of protection in order to expose violence and inequality in American homes, politics, and institutions. Protection meant different things to women depending on race, however, and was a point of contestation as well as coalition. In this talk, I excavate the historical roots of the concept of protection in marriage (husbands pledged to protect wives and children), slavery (proponents of slavery argued that enslavers protected those they enslaved), and colonization (missionaries and the US government promised to protect Native Americans).

Feminist Protesters Image Then I trace women’s different use of protection. White women tapped into protection’s roots in slavery and the Confederacy, establishing the precedent for 20th century segregationists who organized around the idea of protecting white children and homes against those they cast as federal, foreign, and black invaders. Black women drew on the 14th Amendment and equal protection under the law to demand protection of their homes and families against sexual and racial violence. Native American women turned to treaties to protect their land, families, and sovereignty. My research is on 19th-century social movements, but my interest is now: how do movements today mobilize around protection, and can we see the legacy of earlier movements?

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Bill Kelm and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Faculty Colloquium: Katja Meyer

Please join us on Friday, March 8th, at 3 p.m. in the Hatfield Room for our seventh Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Katja Meyer, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science Katja Meyer Image
Title: What can a mass extinction 250 million years ago tell us about global change in the 21st century?

Abstract: Today anthropogenic climate warming is changing our oceans. As the climate heats up, the oceans warm, acidify, and lose oxygen. However, the responses of the oceans and the biosphere to carbon dioxide emissions are incompletely understood. For example, how will rapid climate and ocean chemistry changes impact marine biodiversity? One way geoscientists address this question is to explore ancient climate warming events to place current changes into geological context. In this talk, I will discuss the approaches my students and I use to explore the role of marine microbes in causing the largest climate-induced ecological catastrophe in Earth’s history, the end Permian Mass Extinction, ~250 million years ago.

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Bill Kelm and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Salute to Social Workers

Every day across the United States, hundreds of thousands of social workers work to support, protect and empower millions of people as they struggle to deal with and solve problems in their day-to-day lives.  According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the job outlook for social workers is growing rapidly and “is projected to grow 16% from 2016-2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.” Sadly, the important work of social workers is often underappreciated and frequently underpaid.  The month of March has been set aside to pay tribute to all the dedicated social workers out there and to acknowledge their important contributions to society.  “Elevate” is the theme for this year’s National Social Work Month and this theme was chosen in an effort to call attention to social workers endeavors to elevate people and also to point out the need to elevate the pay of social workers.  To find out more about the social work profession, check out the National Association of Social Workers website.  And go to the WU Reads Reading Guide for some interesting books on social work and social service.


Henk Pander papers expanded and ready for researchers

The Henk Pander papers are now expanded to include an extensive collection of sketchbooks and journals which document Pander’s life and career during the years 1947 to 2014. Drawings within the sketchbooks focus on important events throughout Pander’s life including: living in Amsterdam and Haarlem, Holland; ride-alongs with emergency first responders; World War II studies; the Galileo Project with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); the demolition of the New Carissa tanker; and set designs and posters for various theaters. Many of the sketchbook drawings are portraits and landscapes, which provide insight into Pander’s daily life with his family, friends, and colleagues. The Henk Pander papers also contains correspondence, business papers, notes, artwork, and materials concerning Pander’s commissioned works.

Hendrik Pieter (Henk) Pander was born in Haarlem, Netherlands in 1937. He began painting at the age of 9 and learned early skills and techniques from his father, Jacob (Jaap), who was a painter and illustrator. He studied art at Amsterdam’s Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten between 1956 and 1961. While in Amsterdam, Pander was commissioned to create works for the Dutch Government, the Dutch National Railways, and the City of Amsterdam.

In 1965, Pander immigrated to Portland, Oregon, where he currently resides. While in Portland, Pander was commissioned to paint portraits of Governor Tom McCall and Governor John Kitzhaber, documentary paintings for Project Galileo for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and murals for the Port of Portland, the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, the Oregon State University Memorial Union, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

In addition to his successful art career, Pander was co-founder of the Storefront Theatre in Portland, Oregon in 1970, founded the City of Portland’s Visual Chronicle, and served on the Portland Metropolitan Arts Commission and Public Art Advisory Committee. He also designed sets for the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, the Portland Dance Theater, the Oregon Ballet Theater, and the Storefront Theatre.

Pander received many prestigious awards for his amazing work including the Silver Medallion of the Prix de Rome in 1961, the Therese van Duyl-Schwarze Portrait Award in 1964, the first Oregon Arts Commission Master Fellowship in Painting in 1991, the State of Oregon Governor’s Award for the Arts in 2005, and the Regional Arts and Cultural Council Visual Artist Fellowship. His works have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States and the Netherlands including the Portland Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the New England School of Art and Design, the Vakbondsmuseum, and the Museum Henriette Polk.

For more information about the Henk Pander papers and access to this collection, please see the finding aid. This collection was processed thanks to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant Willamette University received to increase accessibility to the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive.


Faculty Colloquium: Najeeba Syeed

Please join us on Friday, March 1st, at 3 p.m. in the Carnegie Building for our sixth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Najeeba Syeed, Associate Professor of Interreligious Education, Claremont School of Theology Najeeba Syeed Picture

Title: The Future of Interreligious Education

Abstract: Universities around the country are developing academic programs in the field of interreligious education. What are the basic guiding principles of this emerging field? How does it contribute to existing models of education? What are some of the existing concerns and critiques of the field?

Note: Professor Syeed will be presenting online from CST. There will also be a special TGIF reception following the lecture that will be open to faculty from all schools. This is the second TGIF event this semester with Colloquium speakers from across the University. These opportunities for cross-University gathering and conversation are sponsored by the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President.

Bill Kelm and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


Poetry and Social Justice

Please join us on Thursday, March 14th, at 4:15 p.m. in the Hatfield Room for “Poetry and Social Justice: a reading and conversation with Sarah Browning”.

Presenter: Sarah Browning Sarah Browning Image

Can poetry stop war? Can poets change the world? How do we create inclusive spaces? How do we organize our communities to reclaim our power?

Join us for a reading and conversation with poet, anti-war activist, and community organizing extraordinaire Sarah Browning.

Sarah Browning is the author of Killing Summer (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017) and Whiskey in the Garden of Eden (The Word Works, 2007). She is co-founder and for 10 years was Executive Director of Split This Rock: Poems of Provocation & Witness. She is an Associate Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies and recipient of fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, Mesa Refuge, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, among others. She has been guest editor or co-edited special issues of Beltway Poetry Quarterly, The Delaware Poetry Review, and three issues of POETRY magazine. This event is free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact salmutawa@willamette.edu.


Hallie Ford Literary Series: The Art of Editing

Please join us for the second in this spring’s Hallie Ford Literary Series at Willamette University. The Art of Editing Thursday, March 7, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. in the Hatfield Room. Editing a Paper

Legendary editor and Salem native Gary Fisketjon will discuss his career in editing and book publishing. Fisketjon, who created the Vintage Contemporaries series for Random House, has published some of contemporary literature’s best-known writers, from Raymond Carver and Richard Ford to Donna Tartt and Haruki Murakami. He is currently editor-at-large for Alfred A. Knopf.

The following events are free and open to the public.
Contact Information:
Name: Scott Nadelson
Phone: 503-370-6290


Faculty Colloquium: Emma Coddington

Please join us on Friday, February 22nd, at 3 p.m. in the Hatfield Room for our fifth Faculty Colloquium of this semester.

Presenter: Emma Coddington, Associate Professor of Biology Emma Coddington Picture
Title: What I have Learned from Newts

Abstract: Over the years of studying rough-skinned newts, I have learned some simple truths about the role of stress and love in their lives, and the mechanisms by which these states of being impact their decision making and behavioral choices. And while collaborating with students, strangers, and colleagues I have come to understand how these truths offer some organizing principles for human lives, communities, and institutional organization. This Friday, I share with you some of what we have discovered and how they can help support students as they navigate their academic and co-curricular lives. If there is time, I can share how these same principles can be used to structure meetings and procedures so that our best selves can show up. Newts Picture

Students are welcome and coffee and treats will be provided. We look forward to seeing you there.

Image: Newts in one of their ardent clasps

Bill Kelm and Daniel Rouslin
Faculty Colloquium Coordinators


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