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Walla Walla University is a private university offering liberal arts, professional, and technical programs located in College Place, Washington, just a few miles from Walla Walla. The university has five campuses throughout the Pacific Northwest. The current president is John McVay. It was founded in 1892 and is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In a 2016 survey year ranking of "100 best regional universities" in the Western United States region published by U.S. News & World Report, Walla Walla University tied with three other regional universities for the #42 spot. The university has a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio, 61.7% of its classes have fewer than 20 students and 7% of its classes have 50 or more students.[3]

Walla Walla University
Walla Walla University logo.png
Religious affiliation
Seventh-day Adventist Church
Endowment$30 million[1]
PresidentJohn K. McVay
Academic staff
Location, ,
ColorsForest Green and
Mountain Ash Orange
CCCU (affiliate)
NAIA (Cascade Collegiate Conference)

The university has an annual enrollment of around 1,900 students. It is regionally accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges and is also denominationally accredited. Walla Walla University offers more than 100 areas of study including preprofessional degrees and four graduate programs. The Edward F. Cross School of Engineering is an ABET accredited program that offers a bachelor of science and engineering degrees.

Students are organized as the Associated Students of Walla Walla University or ASWWU. ASWWU operates the student newspaper The Collegian, the annual Mountain Ash yearbook (a collection of photographs depicting events of the school year and student portraits), and the online student directory found at Both the men's and the women's on-campus residence halls operate their own clubs. The women's club is named Aleph Gimel Ain (AGA); the men's club is named Omicron Pi Sigma (OPS). In athletics, Walla Walla University competes as a member of the NAIA Association of Independent Institutions (AII). Their team name is "The Wolves".



Walla Walla College was founded in 1892 and was a collegiate institution from the start, unlike several other Adventist colleges and universities which began as academies.[4] On September 1, 2007 Walla Walla College was officially renamed a university, although it has been classified as a university in ranking systems prior to the switch.[5]

Milton Academy, founded in 1886, became the college's academy section and was renamed Walla Walla College Academy. The academy became financially independent of the college and moved to its current location in 1964. It is now known as Walla Walla Valley Academy.


WWU offers pre-professional programs, Associate's degrees, Baccalaureate (Bachelor's degree) programs and Master's degrees. The largest undergraduate programs are the nursing, engineering, business, biology, and education schools.[2][6][7]


Walla Walla University's main campus at College Place covers more than 83 acres, and the university owns and operates more than 592 total acres in the local area. The School of Nursing has a campus in Portland, Oregon (adjacent to Adventist Medical Center).[8] Additional locations are Anacortes, Washington (Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory)[9] and Missoula and Billings in Montana (School of Social Work and Sociology).

Student governmentEdit

All WWU regularly enrolled undergraduate students are members of the Associated Students of Walla Walla University (ASWWU). ASWWU elected officers are responsible for a wide range of social and religious activity planning, and for representing student needs and concerns to WWU administrators. The ASWWU is also responsible for production of the Mask student directory, The Collegian weekly student newspaper, and the Mountain Ash yearbook. The ASWWU is sponsored by the vice-president for student life.


Walla Walla University's athletic teams are called the Wolves and are part of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The Wolves joined the Cascade Collegiate Conference at the start of the 2015-16 athletic calendar. The Wolves formerly competed in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) from 2004-05 to 2013-14; and the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) from 1997-98 to 2007-08. Men's sports include basketball, soccer, cross-country, and golf; while women's sports include basketball, volleyball, cross-country and golf.

Campus MinistriesEdit

The Chaplain's Office of the university includes departments of Campus Ministries and Student Missions.


  • William Prescott (1892–1894)
  • Edward A. Sutherland (1894–1897)
  • Emmett J. Hibbard (1897–1898)
  • Walter R. Sutherland (1898–1900)
  • Edwin L. Stewart (1900–1902)
  • Charles C. Lewis (1902–1904)
  • Joseph L. Kay (1904–1905)
  • Marion E. Cady (1905–1911)
  • Ernest C. Kellogg (1911–1917)
  • Walter I. Smith (1917–1930)
  • John E. Weaver (1930–1933)
  • William M. Landeen (1933–1938)
  • George W. Bowers (1938–1955)
  • Percy W. Christian (1955–1964)
  • William H. Shephard (1964–1968)
  • Robert L. Reynolds (1968–1976)
  • N. Clifford Sorenson (1976–1985)
  • H. J. Bergman (1985–1990)
  • Niels-Erik Andreasen (1990–1994)
  • W. G. Nelson (1994–2001)
  • John C. Brunt (2001)
  • N. Clifford Sorenson (2001–2002)
  • Jon L. Dybdahl (2002–2006)
  • John K. McVay (2006-2012)
  • Steve Rose (2012)
  • John K. McVay (2013–present)

Notable peopleEdit

Alumni of WWU include business people such as Jeri Ellsworth and Forrest Preston, theologian Alden Thompson, incumbent president of La Sierra University Randal Wisbey and former lieutenant governor of Guam Michael Cruz.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Walla Walla University * Best College * U.S. News". 2015-10-07. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
  2. ^ a b c "Walla Walla University Facts". Walla Walla University. 2017-05-25. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  3. ^ |accessdate=2015-10-07
  4. ^ Knight, George R. (1996). "Seventh-day Adventist Higher Education in the United States". In Carper, James C. (ed.). Religious Higher Education in the United States: A Source Book. Taylor & Francis.
  5. ^ "A college by any other name: Adventist school in Washington State follows 'university' trend". Adventist News Network. September 3, 2007.
  6. ^ "Areas of Study".
  7. ^ "Governance Handbook" (PDF). July 1, 2015.
  8. ^ "School of Nursing: Campus Information".
  9. ^ "Rosario Beach Marine Laboratory: Facilities and Location".


  • Johnson, Doug (June 3, 1991). "Our Roots: The Crisis of 1884" (PDF). North Pacific Union Conference Gleaner. College Place, Washington: Color Press. 86 (11): 9, 10. ISSN 0746-5874. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
  • Spalding, Arthur Whitefield (1949). Captains of the Host (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association. p. 704.

External linksEdit