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Each year, several nationally prominent publications rank Whitworth University among the best colleges and universities in America, based on factors such as value, academic quality, affordability, commitment to community service, and campus beauty, among others. I'm always very grateful for the external recognition, because I know that prospective students and their families, not to mention alumni, use such rankings in their decisions to attend or support Whitworth.
Taken as a whole, such rankings can be useful. If Whitworth consistently shows up in lists of top institutions across many publications, as it does, then we can have more confidence that something good is happening. If another institution were never to grace the pages of these publications, perhaps we could conclude that there are real quality differences between Whitworth and that institution. But a ranking can never fully capture the qualities that make Whitworth – or any institution, for that matter – unique. No ranking result, whether high or low, can trump our students' actual experiences, and no list can fully describe what is truly special about Whitworth.
The same is true about this report. In its pages, you will read compelling evidence and stories that show Whitworth is on the right track. Using important indicators of success informed by the Whitworth 2021 Vision and Strategic Plan, you will see that our students continue to receive a transformational mind-and-heart education, one that equips them to honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity. But what cannot be described through objectives met and trending key performance indicators are the ways in which our community members – students, staff and faculty – come together to form a place where relationships still matter, where students can ask the hardest questions facing society and the church, where grace and truth meet to protect inquiry and nurture faith, and where students discern that God is calling them into a world that yearns for their contributions. That's Whitworth.
Thank you for your sustaining support. Without your prayers and financial giving, Whitworth could not deliver on its mission to provide its students an education of mind and heart. I pray that this report
gives you a glimpse of the ways in which Whitworth is making progress on its goals. More important, I pray it gives you a peek at why Whitworth is so special. May God in Christ bless you and this place we call Whitworth.
Beck A. Taylor, Ph.D.