Student Body Organization Celebrates Centennial

January 30, 2014 | Carolyn Green

Happy birthday, Associated Students of Walla Walla University! The year 2014 marks the 100th birthday of ASWWU. 

What started in 1914 as a small effort to involve students in campus life is today an organization that contributes to campus life is many diverse ways.

Essentially, ASWWU is a business in and of itself. It is led by a student-elected president and his or her cabinet. It encompasses 12 departments, sends representatives to university administration committees, and publishes an annual photo directory, a picture yearbook and a weekly newspaper. Through these avenues, ASWWU is able to employ 115 students, including students who organize the many events that have made WWU known for its active campus life.

For example, each quarter the spiritual team organizes Battleground, a weekend for growing and exploring spirituality on campus. The ASWWU outdoor program provides weekend trips and teaches skills for surviving and even thriving in the wilderness. For entertainment, ASWWU’s social department hosts several large and small events each quarter.

Aside from providing the student body of WWU with on-campus services, ASWWU has worked to foster a spirit of generosity beyond the WWU campus. Each year ASWWU chooses a cause to support. Last year ASWWU’s Mission Mozambique raised funds for wells to be built in Africa. In 2012, ASWWU raised money to help support the local public elementary schools.

“Over the last 100 years, ASWWU has provided a strong voice for students to administration committees,” says Jono Pratt, ASWWU president. This access to administration allows students’ needs to be met and goals to be accomplished.

In addition to providing student perspectives to administrative leaders, students gain experience in leadership, relationship skills, and budget and project management.

ASWWU is celebrating the 100th anniversary with parties involving the entire campus, student-produced videos, and the launches of an ASWWU apparel line and an ASWWU annual fundraiser. And, for the first time in the existence of ASWWU, its officers are establishing a timeline of the history and milestones the student association has reached over the last 100 years.

The celebration of ASWWU’s birthday will continue throughout the rest of the year. “We are hoping to see a large amount of alumni involvement over alumni weekend in the spring when so many graduates are on campus together,” said Eric Weber, ASWWU marketing vice president.

Though the curricula, the degrees offered and the technology has changed and the number and diversity of students has increased over each decade, the university community is grateful for the student leaders who formed ASWWU 100 years ago and those who continue to lead.

To learn more about upcoming anniversary events, visit