Road Trip: "Aha! Moments" at the University of Oregon

University of Oregon Ducks’ football is formidable…and their uniforms cutting edge, but the Aha! was the prevalence of athleticism at UO.  Everything about the campus’ atmosphere was fast paced.  Though Eugene, OR may be in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, there was nothing relaxed or laid back about UO.

UO’s sports facilities alone are breathtaking:

  • 6 state-of-the-art fields and arenas. 
  • 3 off-field centers for staff and student-athlete support – e.g.: locker rooms, training table, media room, medical treatment, rehabilitation, player lounge, you name it….
  • 1 Jaqua Academic Center for Student-Athletes – a beautiful multi-story glass building solely for tutoring student-athletes.

UO football may be king, but the state of Oregon is home for runners and UO accommodates that urge to run with a campus visit running tour – 8:30am the first and third Friday of each month for 3.7 miles at a roughly ten-minute mile pace, with breaks.  Only at UO.

The pace of our tour too was quick and active. Our tour guide, a 3rd year music major / business minor, was not a sports fan (so we know there is at least one on campus). Her experience however was no less active -- study abroad, internship with Disney, many campus activities.  She had a clear familiarity with the recently remodeled student rec center where one of the four weight-lifting rooms is for women only from 3-5pm daily.  Noting its prevalence on campus, her claim was that sport was not overbearing. Students were generally fit.  

Even the academic calendar is the fast-paced quarter system.

An admissions officer spoke frankly about the weather, “You learn the difference between water proof and water resistant. We do things even in the rain.” I noticed bike shelters around campus to protect bikes from the rain…the intersection of active life styles and the weather.

Academically, the sustainable architecture program is one of the best in the country.  The education program is another well-regarded academic field and the business college includes a concentration in, you guessed it, sports management. UO’s Honors College, “a small liberal arts school in the midst of UO,” quotes statistics as follows: middle 50% un-weighted GPA of 3.83-4.0 and 75th percentile ACT / SAT scores of 31 / 2120.  Strong academic peers in a physically active and engaged environment.

Two Fun Facts: 1) The movie Animal House was filmed on campus. 2) A 1% art initiative (1% of the cost of all construction goes to art) provides a campus with beautiful structures.

Consider the University of Oregon if you love sports, a fast-pace, and are un-phased by the weather.  If your academics are sufficient for the Honors College and you are a focused / driven student – you can have the best of all worlds.