Oregon’s state capitol is Salem which is home to Willamette University – the oldest university in the western states. Founded in 1842 as Oregon Institute, it was renamed Wallamet University in 1852 and its current spelling was adopted in 1872. Willamette is a private 4-year university set on 80 acres in downtown Salem. The oldest campus building, Waller Hall, dates back to 1867 and is presently used for administrative offices. Salem is a typical state capitol, being the seat of government (as opposed to being the primary business center – Portland, an hour away, serves at Oregon’s economic base) offers more opportunities for political careers than business. In fact, Willamette students earn credit as political interns at the Oregon State Capitol (across the street from campus).