Willamette University

Willamette University, the oldest university west of the Mississippi River, was founded in 1842. Located in Salem, the university had its origins in a school for Native American children, operated by Reverend Jason Lee and his fellow Methodist missionaries from 1834 to 1844. Throughout its history, Willamette University has honored its historic roots in the United Methodist Church and has remained true to its mission of providing a sound liberal arts education for both men and women. Over time, it has educated many of the Pacific Northwest’s business, professional, and cultural leaders.