So far, each of our visits have been a little different and Willamette was no exception to that. It’s really funny to me to be here considering I grew up 3 miles down the road and never once stepped foot on campus. When I was in high school, I had aspiration of attending Willamette’s pre-Law program but obviously that never happened.
When we arrived on campus, we entered the Sparks Athletic Center which is home to the gym, pool, and weight room. There may have been more, but those are the things we saw. The weight room seems to be the first thing that Mike and Mikey compare to other schools and Willamette’s weight room was very nice and recently updated. Like Puget Sound, there is a common weight room for athletes and students, so the football team will lift at 6 am every morning.
The first thing that stood out to me about Pacific was how long the head coach, Glen Fowles, has been coaching at Willamette. He has been there since 1994 as a head coach, which means he has been there for some of their recent winning season and of course the losing. Willamette was an NAIA school until the late 90’s when they made the switch to NCAA Division III. One thing I would like to ask him is how that transition was.
Academically there wasn’t a lot of discussion of admissions like the other visits we have had, but I think it goes without saying that Willamette University is well known for their academia. This would be a great place to attend college if you were a Political Science major, pre-med, pre-law, or business. With the college being right in the middle of Salem, there are a lot of resources and possible internships for students. Of course Mikey is going to be an Exercise Science major.
At Willamette, there will be free tutoring for all students and during there first semester the freshman will meet with coaches each week for the first semester as a “check in.” As a parent I am really looking for the school that is going to help my son not only be a great athlete, but will also guide him to academic success. Now, I don’t mean hold his hand I mean put systems into place that will set him up to be successful. Like tutoring or pairing him with other football players etc. For Mikey, I think he is really looking for the school that makes him feel like they really want him there and he can make a difference.