Western Oregon University (WOU) finalized today the $2.725 million purchase of the historical Vick building in downtown Salem at 525 Trade St. The Vick building will be WOU’s Salem home for several programs, including the brand-new Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership.

“We’re thrilled to be joining Salem’s vibrant downtown. This strengthens our regional impact with a permanent Salem presence,” said WOU President Rex Fuller. “This purchase is an investment in not only Western Oregon University’s future, but the future of Oregonians and our state.”

WOU began its expansion to Salem in early 2019 with classes and programs for working adults in the Willamette Education Service District (WESD) building in south Salem. Terry Hancock of Terry Hancock Real estate represented the seller, Roger Yost. WOU was represented by WOU alum and SVN Senior Advisor George Grabenhorst with SVN Commercial Advisors, LLC. This includes $100,000 for a newly developed Roger Yost Leadership Endowed Scholarship, which will go to a WOU: Salem student.

“It has been my great pleasure to work with the Staff and President of Western Oregon University on this acquisition. This new campus will be a great addition to the City of Salem and its downtown area.” – George Grabenhorst

WOU’s new programs that are only offered in Salem are the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership and the A.B. in Liberal Studies; both offer hybrid courses to help working adults complete degrees. An M.S. Ed in Special Education is offered in Salem, as well as courses for bachelor’s degrees in psychology, criminal justice and interdisciplinary studies. Salem courses will continue in the Willamette ESD for the 2019-20 academic year. All WOU: Salem offerings will be in the Vick building beginning fall 2020, after minor renovations, furnishings and signage are completed. Downtown Salem will serve as a great location for WOU: Salem with its convenient public transportation. As the central and historical sector of Oregon’s second-largest city, WOU will be well-suited to deliver transformative education and personalized service to the area. Currently, WOU is the only Oregon public university offering a significant face-to-face component in Salem.

“We are very excited to have WOU in downtown Salem. We have a growing economy downtown that is being fueled by creative entrepreneurs. To have WOU join this ecosystem will add to downtown vibrancy and create new opportunities for partnership that will support this growth through leadership development and meeting workforce needs,” said Kristin Retherford, City of Salem Urban Development Director.