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Letters From You

- Letters should be under 200 words and are subject to editing.

Of Mind & Art

As a practicing visual artist who also has a background in theology and ministry, I especially appreciated the message from President Bill Robinson in your spring issue. His reflections on light, as related both to art and to our lives of faith, carry much value for me. As an artist I definitely relate to the challenge of light in painting. And as a follower of Christ in this world, I certainly experience every day the strong contrast of his light shining in our darkness. I am heartened to find the expression of these concepts coming together at Whitworth. And I am very happy to see the plans for the new visual-arts facility. May this be a place of "reflected light," as well.

Anne Wright Shelton, '55stripe

It is with great joy that I say thank you for the display of Edmund Hill's art on the cover of the current issue of Whitworth Today. Ed would be grateful for your appreciation of his painting Point Isabella, and honored that you chose to use the image for the Spring 2006 issue.

Your wonderful President's Message spoke about us being reflectors of the light, rather than the actual light. I believe Ed's artwork is a reflector of that light. He often said that he felt closest to God when he was painting. Truly, it was a spiritual experience for him. He frequently spoke of dear Pauline Haas and how she ignited in him a passion for the visual arts. He was truly proud to have studied art (and to have played football, too) at Whitworth.

It was Ed's hope that his paintings would illuminate others with the joy of life as he viewed it.

Patricia J. Hill

As a corollary to the letter from my classmate Bill Hainer in the spring issue of Whitworth Today, I was a lump of coal. I entered Whitworth under "Project Able," a program created for students whose GPAs did not meet admission standards but who were deemed to have the potential to be Whitworth students.

Some of my outstanding teachers were David Dilworth, John Carlson, Ross Cutter, Dick Kamm, Kenneth Richardson and Fenton Duvall. I married Linda Simpson, '66, in 1967, and Dr. Dilworth co-officiated at our wedding. Our oldest son is now teaching computer science at Whitworth, and I have been a public-school math teacher for the last 40 years (thanks, Professor Carlson). Each year I've taught, I have seen students whose grades match neither their potential nor their ability. There has never been a test that predicted accurately a student's potential to understand a subject, and I believe that there should always be a place at Whitworth for some students who do not meet arbitrary admission standards. Many lumps of coal, given the right environment, will develop to their potential.

Steven Tucker, '66

Top 10 Icons

Marian "Mommie" Jenkins was as strong as any other individual on the campus during her years there. How could she be overlooked?

Della (Specker) Pederson, '46

The icons brought back so many fun memories, and maybe some not so fun ones (ice bucket, turkey tetrazzini). Good job coming up with such a fun list (although I was a little disappointed the "virgin pinecone" didn't crack the Top 10). Here's a few more that could be on the "44 and lower" list:

Jan Term
The old HUB (leaky roof and all)
The "Back 40"
Tennis-ball golf
The Phonathon
"Squirrel, squirrel, shake that little tail," and those beanies
I'm realizing I could sit here a long time and just think back. Thanks for the memories!

Steve Mercer, '90

I always remember being told, "A ring by spring, or your money back."
Hillary Grey, '68

I don't know if this would be considered an icon, but for those of us who lived by the Back 40, the pine beetles were always around. They are these HUGE ugly flying beetles that would invade our rooms. For those of us squeamish about big bugs, it took all we could muster to slam a Big Gulp cup over them, then slip a piece of paper below the cup and run, screaming, out the door to set them free.

Kelley (Donahue) Adams, '90stripe
I enjoyed the Top 10 Whitworth Icons in Whitworth Today, as well as the 44 others on the website. Before I even read the list, one of the first things I thought of was Frisbee. I was surprised to see it didn't even make the longer list. I had never played Frisbee until I went to Whitworth, where it quickly became my favorite pastime. And as a HUB manager for two years working at the information desk, I know that the most requested and coveted items we sold were Whitworth Frisbees. Playing ultimate Frisbee in the loop during intramurals and every week for Friday Frisbee, as well as constantly playing Frisbee golf around campus, was one of my favorite activities at Whitworth.

Darren Indermill, '04

Stem-Cell Research
I agree with much of what Mr. Forsyth [Kyle, '99] had to say in last issue's "Letters" re: new organisms, distinct DNA, how we all started and being against destruction of innocent human lives. However, I disagree with his assertion that new embryos are our tiniest brothers and sisters. They do have that potential, but they are not yet such. Mr. Forsyth appears to be convinced that humanity is a matter of biology, that it springs into existence with conception. In my view, humanity is a matter of interaction with other human beings. As we interact with other humans, we become humans ourselves. If our new organism with its distinct DNA is severed from human connection at birth, it will not become human. It will bear human form, but will lack the human content that comes from interaction with the human community. It will not speak, it will not think, it will not see itself as a human person. It will become a wolf, or whatever animal cared for it and enabled it to live, even though it has human form. I believe this is the way God has chosen to make and keep human life human, to use Paul Tillich's phrase. It is why our families and communities are so important. In my view, it is very non-Christian to reduce humanity to stark biological existence.

Verne Alexander, '59

I was pleased with the response by Kyle Orwig in Whitworth Today and the balance that he provides in a religious institution. Embryonic-stem-cell research is very important to me, as a diabetic, because it might offer an avenue to a cure for this debilitating disease. I remember in 1948-49 when some in the student body got up a petition to have Dr. Alder, our fine zoology professor, removed because he used the theory of evolution to teach zoology. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and the college maintained a balanced approach after hearing from all sides. The conflict between religion and science will probably forever be. We need both. Congratulations.

Ronald Davis, '50


Russell Working, '82, the subject of an alumni bio in our spring issue, wrote to ask that we correct a reference to his "daughter," Lyova. Lyova is actually Working's son. "Lyova is a Russian nickname for Lev, a masculine name," he wrote. "At least in Russian, a language we often speak at home, Lyova is never a female name." Whitworth Today very much regrets the error.

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