Willamette University is an American private institution of higher learning located in Salem, Oregon. Founded in 1842, it is the oldest university in the Western United States. Approximately 2,800 students are enrolled at Willamette between the graduate and undergraduate programs. illamette's undergraduate programs exist within the school's College of Liberal Arts. The school was rated 63rd among American liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report for 2013.