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Favorite Hikes: Oyster Dome—but park where the hang gliders take off—Discovery Pass needed. Artist’s Point up by Mt. Baker is another amazing hike. When Lakewood boathouse opens up check it out and learn to sail! In the summer go tubing down the Nooksack River! Join clubs, get involved, make friends. The music department has a drum lab open to all students. There is a music library where you can convert records to digital for your use. The music department will livestream student concerts during the year so follow the department on Facebook for more information.
Friend of the university
TAKE NOTE OF HOW HOT IT COULD BE IN THE FALL!
Be sure to hike through Whatcom Falls Park
Former mayor of Bellingham, Friend of the university
I loved playing catch with my Nerf football in any of the parks!
Take more walks up Sehome Hill
My favorite memory is the 2018 NCAA West Regional Volleyball Tournament (Go Viks!)
Try one of the many great breweries!
-Cindi Engelhardt (’89)
More than anything else, approach your time in school with an openness for wonder and curiosity. You may be pursuing a certain path, but be very open to falling into something that fulfills you even more than your original idea. And spend time outdoors on campus! It's an inspiring and magic place, even if you're just reading a book.
Dear all incoming students, this is one of the greatest times in your adult life. As my stepson enters WWU this fall, I wish for you all the same I wish for him—balance with your studies, work and play. All were important in my years at WWU and you'll never regret the good times and hard work. I look back on great memories of working in the library, study groups, 1 to 1 interesting conversations with professors, TA for intro psychology class, hanging out at the VU, Fairhaven and hikes / beaching with friends. Be curious, take crazy electives, learn all you can and don't take yourself to seriously. Good luck to you all!
-Angela Fraser-Powell (’97)
It's ok to reach out and ask questions. College can be scary, but also super exciting and there are tons of people just like you waiting to connect.
My favorite tradition was the track and field team naked streak through campus every year :)
-Lauren Hardin (’05)
Already you know that this year has unexpected experiences to it. Starting college in a global pandemic is not ideal, but college will still be a time of educational opportunities and spaces to decide who you want to become and what you want to be about. Take advantage of the opportunities that come your way and find good people to share in those opportunities with. You won't regret it.
It was a great place to start my life away from my parents—not quite ready to be on my own and not quite needing to be at home with my family. WWU was a fun, challenging place to start my adult life.
-Carrie Hrvatin (’96)
It's easy to feel lonely in college, away from old friends and family. Make sure to join a group or two to meet new people and put your energy into something you’re passionate about! Jalapeños is a great place to de-stress after a long school week.
-Maxine Jacob (’19)
Best memory? Jalapeños BBIB (Biggest Burrito in Bellingham) eating challenge with my roommates
-Jacob Keith (’17)
Talk to advisors, get to know staff and faculty at Western, get a mentor.
Best memory? Spring Lawnstock event
-May Killorin (’20)
Be brave enough to ask questions.
Enjoy the tree tour and the sculpture tour. (There are maps available)
Be sure to enjoy Whatcom Falls trails, Hovander Park in Ferndale (not too far), and Lake Padden.
B'ham might be the City of Subdued Excitement but make sure to check out all the amazing things to do in B'ham and the surrounding areas. And be sure to plan a few visits to our neighbors to the north, Vancouver BC, when the border reopens. We are blessed to live in such a beautiful area.
-Zeck Koa (’10)
This year, it will be easier than ever to feel isolated, but there are communities available! It is super important to reach out and find people to share life with!
-Michael Krantz (’20)
Be willing to check out clubs and activities you can get involved with, even virtually. This will help you find your people and places on campus, where you can connect. Be patient. This is a huge transition and can take time to adjust and find your groove. It's perfectly normal to feel awkward or uncomfortable, at times. Get comfortable with that idea, be flexible, and remain open to new people and new experiences!
-Tenya Moravec (’04)
My advice is get involved as quickly as possible! Your time here will go so fast! Create new memories!
-Jody Mull (’84)
Hello incoming WWU students! WELCOME to Bellingham, the most beautiful place to do college. My name is Geoff, I graduated from WWU in ‘04, and have worked with the WWU student club Campus Christian Fellowship (CCF) ever since.
Even though your first quarter of college starts without in-person classes, I cannot encourage you enough to jump into online club life, to go to the online minglers the RAs are hosting for students on campus, and take advantage of EVERY chance to meet people that you can. You can STILL make some of your deepest, life-changing friends in college, even if those relationships start online :)
Personally, I found the best friendships of my whole life in communities who also shared my spiritual hunger. I came to college from a Christian family, but wanted to find out for myself if Jesus was legit. I met some friends from very different backgrounds, but who had similar questions, and we dove into our spiritual journey together through CCF. Those friends were a part of life-changing spiritual experiences throughout my time at Western. Several of them were in my wedding, and we're still very close. I encourage you to jump into your spiritual questions with the same adventure that you're jumping into college, and if you want to do that through CCF, our club is still going strong 20 years after I first got involved.
Some local recommendations: the BEST breakfast place in town has got to be Homeskillet. WOW. And for outdoor activities, if you are willing to drive for about an hour and a half out highway 20 or Mt. Baker highway into the North Cascades, you will encounter some of the finest alpine views on the continent. Breathtaking and worth the hike, every time.
Welcome, welcome. We're so glad you're here. And if our paths cross online, I would love the chance to meet you!
-Geoff Mumley (’04)
Just know as you head in to this new crazy season that you are ok. You are all in the same boat together, and such a beautiful bond can grow from that. Don't compare your experience to another's, just lean in to what this time has for you. This community is for you and is here for you.
-Mikki Newell (’13)
Your time at Western is going to go fast. Take every opportunity and try everything! Go downtown and have Russian dumplings, crepes, and ice cream all in one night. Go binge on burgers and shakes at Boomers. Spend time out in Red Square by the fountain. Find all of the awesome nooks and crannies around the library to study in. There are so many wonderful things about Western. Try and see if you can find all of them!
-Allison Ogle (’17)
Do all the outdoor activities, and I mean all, this is the most gorgeous place to live, get out and enjoy it! Also... If you like Thai food be sure to go to Busara, it’s fantastic!
-Ingrid Patrick (’04)
WWU is a fabulous learning environment! You will meet great professors in your classes, as well as an entire campus of support staff who want to see you succeed! The entire Bellingham community stands behind WWU students and value what you contribute to Bham! Explore and appreciate the outdoors! Stay active!
-Nicole Piscopo (’95)
The Bagelry has the best morning carrot muffins. That was my go-to when I was at WWU. It's still there!
-Kari Sborov (’89)
I did not realize how hard lab classes would be, hah! A special WWU memory? I loved intramural sports! Especially two on two grass volleyball! I also loved traveling playing volleyball preseason in California. WWU tradition? Participation in the Ski to Sea parade on the WWU float was fun. I loved riding my bike all over Bellingham. All of the hikes around Bellingham are fun to explore. I spent a lot of time on the lakes and Lakewood is a great place to do that.
-Beth Schram (’95)
Be sure to research opportunities, clubs, and talk to your professors! Make sure to ask questions to get the most of your education.
Enjoy watching so many sunsets from the Viking Union!
-Mariana Smit Vega Garcia
A pivotal moment happened for me when Professor Pamela Jull (Sociology) handed me an application for the Legislative Internship Program. With her encouragement and support, I applied and was accepted. The internship changed my life! I got my first job because of it and made lifelong friends and professional connections. Listen to your professors! And if they encourage you to do something, do it!
-Angie Vandenhaak (’99)
As the great Elton John once sang, live for each second, without hesitation! Wishing you an amazing school year at the best college in the country!
-Anne Walden-Newman (’09)
The CCF Kickoff Dance was always a highlight of the year for me! Don't be afraid to be a bit nerdy and attend planned events. I met so many people who I'm still friends with today during those campus kickoff events. Info Fair is awesome!
-Zach Welsh (’16)
There is something satisfying about jumping in the Red Square fountain... even if you are not supposed to.
-Yana Wilson (’12)