Willamette university chamber choir clipart

May 26 2019

The university was founded as the Oregon Institute by the missionary Jason Lee, who had arrived in what was then known as the Oregon Country 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 were adopted and board of trustees elected and the institute was officially established on February 1, 1842. The Oregon Institute officially opened on August 13, 1844 with a total of five students and one teacher, Mrs. Chloe Clarke Willson. Lee served as the first President of the Board of Trustees, followed by David Leslie after Lee’s death in 1845. Leslie would serve until his death in 1869. The original purpose of the institute was the education of the missionaries’ children.

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