One of my tasks as senior editor at Whitworth is to proof the course catalog – a great, lumbering thing that has more parts than The Lego Movie. We print up just a few catalogs these days, for faculty and for use in offices. Our students, who can navigate a website much more quickly than a person my age can flip from a table of contents to the desired page, get their information online, and that's where our catalog lives. And despite the almost wholesale shift from a print catalog to an online version, the editing process remains much the same.
It's easy to get lost in the sheer blizzard of words in the catalog – to stop seeing words as elements of thoughts and to begin to isolate them into editable chunks. How many times today did I read the words "mind and heart"? How many times did I catch snippets of "honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity" and "integration of faith and learning"? Let's leave it at "quite a few." Yet every once in a while, a thought, rather than a missing period or a jumbled sentence, jumped off the page and pierced my tired old editor's brain.
Because I realized that though this is boilerplate language for Whitworth, it's certainly not the kind of rhetoric you find in most college/university catalogs. Whitworth's catalog makes it clear from the President's Welcome to the last page that this is a place where a program like the Master of Arts in Theology, a celebration like the one commemorating our first 100 years in Spokane, and a family like the Martinez/Garza clan can find a home and contribute their essence to make everyone's Whitworth experience better. It's a place where the mission is more than a bunch of discrete words. And it's a place where faculty like My Favorite Professor John Yoder and new Spokane Poet Laureate Thom Caraway, students like the ones who worked overtime to pull off the Million Meals Campaign, and alums like Karen Andrues, Ben Spaun and Shannon Johnson remember and practice the mission in their workday and everyday lives. Though I don't recommend the catalog as light reading, I do recommend it as yet another reminder of what it is to be a Whitworthian. If you're looking for something that's a little more fun to read, I hope that this magazine draws you in and makes you feel like a cherished member ofhe Whitworth community. Because that's what you are.
P.S. If you're going to make a mistake in the spelling of someone's name, try not to make it the name of the beloved son-in-law of a beloved former president. Yes, we misspelled the name of photographer Mike Wootton, '04, a valued member of Bill Robinson's family, in the fall issue. Yes, we feel like idiots. Yes, we ask for Mike's forgiveness (and for that of his wife, Bailley Robinson Wootton, and maybe even that of his fatherin- law). Whitworth Today regrets the error.
I just read your Editor's Note in Whitworth Today, and it made me really homesick for Whitworth. I loved Whitworth as a student, but now I wish I had appreciated even more what an incredible privilege it was for me to be there. I suspect at the time I just took it for granted. Now I wish I could do it all over again! It's a treat to be able to get back for class reunions. I'm looking forward to our 55th in 2016.
Blessings to you all!
Priscilla Small, '61
[Tad Wisenor's] article in Whitworth Today, on the Whitworth Choir, was informative and inspiring, and it made me wish that I were near enough to return for the reunion in October. But when I opened the 2013-14 calendar, I was shocked to find myself staring at myself! The insert picture for October 2013 shows the 1936 choir with Ms. Winifred McNair Hopkins ("Hoppie") in the middle of the front row. In the next row and to the left as you face the picture, between Mary Koper and Lowell Poore, stands Grant Rodkey! I think the end man on that row may be Leonard Richardson.
Mary was a beautiful soul. Daughter of a Presbyterian minister in Eastern Washington and younger sister of Paul Koper of Whitworth College and Princeton Divinity School, she had a gorgeous soprano voice and a beautiful spirit. Her favorite scripture was Galatians 5:22- 23. Later she married Clifford Chaffee, and they spent a lifetime as Presbyterian missionaries in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Lowell Poore had a gifted high tenor voice and a great love for music. He devoted his career to high-school teaching in Eastern Washington.
The pictures of Ballard and McMillan halls are highly significant. In 1936 they were the only buildings on campus, aside from the president's house. The student body was only 200, and many lived off campus. This was a critical time in the survival of Whitworth; the institution was preserved through the Depression by the devotion of its tiny faculty and the skill and foresight of its leaders – chief among them Dean Francis Tiley Hardwick, native of England and schooled in Switzerland. By his academic leadership and his skill in recruiting support among the business leaders in Spokane, he brought the institution through those perilous times [when it was] on the brink of institutional extinction! So thank you for warming the coals of memory, now 77 years past, but still sharp in appreciation of and for the great gifts of the institution and all those wonderful friends!
Grant Rodkey, M.D., '39
We want to know what you think – about Whitworth Today, and about Whitworth in general. Send us an e-mail (email@example.com) or write us at Whitworth Today, University Communications Office, Whitworth University, 300 W. Hawthorne Road, Spokane, WA 99251.
Whitworth Today reserves the right to edit letters for length and/or content.