Did you know that WACUBO turns 80 years old in 2017? That’s right...the organization that brings you premier professional development programs in the Western Region - from workshops to the Business Management Institute to the annual conference - held its first meeting in Stanford, California during the height of the Great Depression and on the eve of the Second World War.

Today, our membership includes institutions in 14 western United States, three Canadian Provinces, Mexico and other Pacific Rim nations.

A survey of the annual conference themes over the course of its 80 years reveals that WACUBO has always strived to engage members on relevant topics informed by contemporaneous events, from the onset of the Cold War to the struggle for Civil Rights to the advent of the information age. From now until the annual conference in Seattle in May, we will take you on a journey through WACUBO’s history with highlights from the archives.

  • 1936-1937: The Board of Directors first recorded meeting minutes from their meeting held in Stanford, California.
  • 1940-1941: At the Board of Directors’ meeting, the “hot topic” was the Social Security Act, which had been enacted by Congress five years earlier. The meeting place was Pasadena, California.
  • 1941-1942: From Eugene, Oregon, the Board of Directors meeting minutes reflect the topic of discussion as “national defense problems”. Unsurprising given the historical context (WWII), there are no recorded minutes for the 1942-1943 and 1943-1944 program years.
  • 1944: Turning on the Lights: What do coastal blackouts have to do with WACUBO? During WWII, residents on both the U.S. coasts endured many a blackout, lest we light the way for a German or Japanese aerial bombardment! At the 1944 annual meeting, WACUBO leadership tackled the subject of re-illuminating campuses after the end of the war.
  • 1946-47: Educating our Veterans: After the war, a deluge of returning soldiers flooded colleges and universities thanks to the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the G.I. Bill. WACUBO leaders turned their attention to this welcomed challenge! In the peak year of 1947, Veterans accounted for 49 percent of college admissions.
  • 1950: Booming with Babies: As we do today, our WACUBO Board was contemplating - and planning for - the impact of demographic changes. WACUBO leadership recognized the seismic shift engendered by returning soldiers’ getting married, starting families...and producing the largest generation of prospective college students in this country’s history!

Happy Birthday, WACUBO!