You hold in your hands the final issue of Whitworth Today to come to you from Whitworth College. By the time we start racing around to pull together the fall issue, we will be Whitworth University (though those of us who remember the Kennedy assassination and the Summer of Love may have trouble from time to time remembering the switch). Change is always exciting. It's fun to talk to people in Spokane (and beyond) who ask us about our name change: It gives us the opportunity to tell them what a great time this is at Whitworth. And it's amazing to think that our fall 2007 freshmen will never know any Whitworth other than Whitworth University.
We in the office of college communications, soon to be the university communications office, have a few mixed feelings about the changeover. We look forward to seeing the new Whitworth University signs springing up around campus this summer, yet some of us graduated from Whitworth, and some of us have worked here since Kajagoogoo and The Thompson Twins ruled MTV; it will be strange to call our alma mater/workplace something other than what it was named when we matriculated or began working here. Some of us love the idea of the small liberal arts college and are a bit fearful of what will happen when we make the big move and put "University" after our name. (Can metered parking be far behind?) And, let's face it, some of us are just thinking about how much work it's going to be to try to track down each and every "Whitworth College" in our publications and on our forms and our website, and to make sure that no name remains unchanged. Whew.
Though we're preparing ourselves for the big change, we know that what makes this place Whitworth isn't really going to change at all. And that's why our strongest feeling is excitement as we wait for the college to become a university. We know we'll still attract amazing faculty – like Jim Waller (Faculty Focus), whose Q & A is featured in this issue, and Laurie Lamon, '78 (News), who was recently honored with a prestigious poetry prize awarded by U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall. We'll still welcome great administrators like Brian Benzel (News), a former Washington School Superintendent of the Year who'll join us this summer. And we'll still recruit the best students around; you can meet 12 of them in the Act Six feature, by Andrea Palpant Dilley, '00. We're also sure that current and future alums will always be proud to call Whitworth their alma mater. Check out this issue's Alumni Notes and see what your classmates are up to, and then drop us a line via snailmail, e-mail, or the Whitworth website to amuse and amaze us (and your fellow alums) with what's going on in your life.
We'll all feel a pang, no doubt, when we bid farewell to Whitworth College. For 117 years, this institution has been preparing students to assume their place in a world that needs everything they have to offer. But that won't change. After all, the essential part of our name, Whitworth, remains; and the central tenet of our mission, to honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity, is the immutable foundation of this institution's proud history and its limitless future. Some things never change – and never should.
I hope you enjoy this final Whitworth College edition of Whitworth Today.