Clarence Simpson died last week. Whether you knew him or not, chances are good that you knew of him: He was one of Whitworth's most beloved professors, known for his far-reaching knowledge and interests, for his selfless service to the institution, and for his rich affiliation with another Whitworth giant, Fenton Duvall (who died just a few months ago). In his Whitworth centennial history, A Venture of Mind & Spirit, History Professor and Whitworth Historian Dale Soden wrote of these men, "The names of Simpson and Duvall came to symbolize the best of Whitworth's teaching. Outstanding in the classroom, both gentlemen touched hundreds of students' lives in profound ways."
The same can be said for the three faculty members featured in this issue of Whitworth Today. Leonard Oakland has been at Whitworth since 1966; Tammy Reid joined the faculty in 1971, and Jim Hunt arrived in 1973. (Reid actually came to Whitworth even before Oakland; she earned her undergraduate degree here in 1960.) Reid and Hunt are retiring this spring; Oakland is teaching half time in a phased retirement that allows him to focus on what he loves most, including the film studies program that he hopes will be part of his legacy at Whitworth. Even if longevity were these faculty members' only claim to fame, they'd be pretty impressive. But each has had an imposing impact upon life at Whitworth, and each will, in years to come, undoubtedly be mentioned among Whitworth's most respected and admired faculty.
Given the generosity of spirit that characterized Clarence Simpson and Fenton Duvall, the people who've carried out Whitworth's mission since Simpson and Duvall's retirement can be pretty sure that the gentlemanly duo would gladly make room for qualified newcomers in Whitworth's pantheon of revered faculty emeriti. Every Whitworthian who has been involved with the university since the days of Simpson and Duvall has benefited from their influence and the stellar example they provided. We can all be grateful for the fact that people like Reid, Hunt and Oakland have carried on their tradition of excellence - and that the next generation of Whitworth faculty is poised to pick up their banner and run with it.
I hope you enjoy this issue of Whitworth Today.