History of Walla Walla University

Walla Walla University opened as Walla Walla College 126 years ago in what was then a very small town in rural eastern Washington State. It was founded on Christian teachings and values as understood and appreciated by the Seventh-day Adventist church. Committed to excellence in thought, the university seeks to impart a broad knowledge of the arts, sciences, and professions by careful instruction and open inquiry at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Today Walla Walla University educates about 1900 students on four campuses: its main campus in College Place, Washington, a School of Nursing in Portland, Oregon and Schools of Social Work and Sociology in Missoula and Billings, Montana.

The Alford Group has worked with Walla Walla University since 2013, conducting planning and feasibility studies and providing campaign counsel.

Feasability Study and Capital Campaign

Walla Walla University retained The Alford Group in 2014 to study the feasibility of a comprehensive philanthropic campaign to fund a variety of mission-critical campus priorities. The Alford Group recommended that Walla Walla University move forward with a $35 million comprehensive capital and endowment campaign focusing on the following projects:

  • Establishing a new Student Life & Ministry Center to serve as the university’s “living room” and bring together all non-curricular aspects of college life into one modern, welcoming facility
  • Transforming Bowers Hall from top to bottom to provide a modernized home for the School of Business
  • Increasing the University’s endowment to make a WWU education accessible to more students and enable a low- or no-debt trajectory after graduation

The Alford Group’s guidance and counsel helped Walla Walla University develop a solid campaign plan and implement tailored campaign strategies for its Life. Changing. Campaign.  The University recently opened the doors to a newly renovated Bowers Hall, exceeding the $4 million goal for that project. It has also exceeded its $5 million endowment goal with gifts and commitments of nearly $7 million and has raised a total of over $27 million for the entire Life. Changing. Campaign. This success represents more than double the amount raised during the university’s prior capital campaign and has heightened the culture of philanthropy across campus. Faculty, students and staff now have a greater appreciation for the importance of philanthropy and the difference it makes for the university today and for decades into the future.

The Alford Group is honored to continue to partner with the University to help provide excellent education and first-rate facilities for students from across the country.