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Mind & Heart

October 2014

A good friend and Whitworth trustee used his power and influence to talk me into running the Phoenix half-marathon with him in January after our board retreat there. As a result, students have watched me slog around the campus recently, trying to get my miles in. They don't know whether to cheer or offer CPR. I've needed both. Julie was already planning to run the full marathon in Phoenix, so my friend and I will still look like wimps, but I hope this commitment will get me into better shape.

Marathons are a good metaphor for almost anything in life. But whether the 26.2-mile endurance test is an apt metaphor for the college presidency is up for debate. As I begin my fifth year at Whitworth, I'm approaching the median tenure of a college or university president in the U.S. I suppose that for some presidents, their time seems more like a sprint. For me, the ebbs and flows of the demands on my time seem to follow an irregular pattern of frenetic activity and periods of busy but manageable craziness. No matter the pace of life, I've learned that if students aren't the center of my attention, I begin to wear thin and fray at the edges. Crankiness and impatience are usually the signs that the centrifugal forces that pull me away from the center of my affection are getting the best of the centripetal forces that draw me closer to the heart of the campus.

That thought is powerful for me now, more than ever, as Whitworth embarks on an exciting season of fund-raising and external-relationship building in conjunction with our 125th anniversary. What is it all for, if not for the mind-and-heart education we provide to our students? I wish there were a way that airline companies could print "It's for the students!" on the many boarding passes that I'll submit in the coming months, as a needed reminder that we are involved in a noble enterprise, even when our attentions draw us away from campus.

We are all privileged to be a part of the Whitworth family as it celebrates its quasquicentennial. To be an important part of any institution that is celebrating 125 years of service is a blessing. It occurs to me as I write this that people like Frank Warren and Bill Robinson – the first- and second-longest-serving presidents in Whitworth's history – never had the chance to celebrate a 50-, 75-, or 100-year anniversary at Whitworth. Those two were certainly marathon runners! That we get to celebrate this particular milestone in Whitworth's history is special indeed. Thanks for the many ways you will make this year and our anniversary celebration wonderful!

+ Academics

Vange Ocasio (School of Business) and Lawrence A. Q. Burnley (Academic Affairs) were recently appointed to the newly formed Mayor's Advisory Council on Multicultural Affairs for the City of Spokane
. The council will advise the mayor on matters concerning the health, stability and standing of multicultural populations in Spokane and the region.

June Lamberd (School of Education) was nominated by one of her Evergreen Elementary School students as the KHQ/EWU Teacher of the Month. See the fun video at Congratulations, June!

Lori Johnson and Debbie Tully (School of Education) are providing training for co-teachers and mentors at Holmes Elementary School. Lori will teach her literacy methods course at Holmes, and colleague Lisa Laurier will teach the TED 400 block reading courses in the Mead district. Our School of Education is committed to bridge-building and service to local schools.

Whitworth is pleased to welcome the following new faculty members and lecturers (some brand new, some moving to new roles): Kira Austin, Ph.D., and Monica Whitlock, Ph.D. (School of Education); Tula Bacha (Physics); Dawn Keig, D.B.A., Richard (Cody) George, David Sloan, Ph.D., and Robin Henager Greene, Ph.D. (School of Business); Ogar (Leo) Ichire and William Ntow, Ph.D. (Chemistry); Lisa McCrea Jones (Psychology), Paul Ojennus, Ph.D., and Kathy Watts (Library); Gary Purkett (Math & Computer Science); Aaron Putzke, Ph.D. (Biology); Joy York (Communication Studies).

Stacy Hill (School of Education) completed her dissertation at Washington State University. Way to go, Stacy!

Last winter, 12 international theologians were invited by Vatican officials to take part in a study seminar in preparation of the Extraordinary Synod on Marriage and the Family convened by Pope Francis this month. Karin Heller (Theology) was one of the 12. The seminar, "Mercy, Pastoral Truth," was organized by the Pontifical Lateran University, Rome, and took place in May. Karin's assigned topic was "Misunderstandings of Tolerance and the Path of Mercy."

Pilgrimage through Loss: Pathways to Strength and Renewal after the Death of a Child, by Associate Professor Emeritus Linda Hunt (English) was published this year by Westminster John Knox Press. See for additional information about the book and to read the strong reviews it has received. We're excited to report Linda's latest success.

+ The Arts

Chris Jordan's exhibit Running the Numbers will be in the Bryan Oliver Gallery of the Lied Art Center through Oct. 31 (closed Oct. 24-27). This exhibit looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: two million plastic bottles (five minutes of bottle use): 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. This project visually examines these vast and bizarre measures of our society in large, intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs.

Brooke Kiener, '99 (Theatre) is directing, Scott Miller (Music) is directing music, and Jeannie Huskisson, '08 (Admissions ) is choreographing this fall's production, The Drowsy Chaperone, a 2006 Tony award-winning parody of 1920s musical theatre. Full of comedy, illusions, and energetic dance numbers (not to mention a group wedding on an airplane), The Drowsy Chaperone celebrates the things that entertain and delight us. The production runs Oct. 10, 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 11 at 8 p.m., and Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. Tickets? Visit or call 509.777.4374.

The 26th Annual Fall Guest Artist Jazz Concert will feature 10-time Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. The concert takes place Friday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m. in Cowles Auditorium, on campus. The jazz clinic will be Thursday, Nov. 6, at 5:15 p.m., also in Cowles. Tickets are available through TicketsWest and also at

Scott Miller (Music) took on the role of Nick in the Opera Coeur d'Alene production of La Fanciulla del West, by Giacomo Puccini, and Philip Baldwin (Music) served as concertmaster of the orchestra, under the baton of Spokane Symphony Maestro Eckart Preu and the direction of Aaron St. Clair Nicholson.

+ Student Life

Community Building Day sent 1,070 Whitworthians out into the community last month. After they’d served others in the Spokane area in a number of ways, volunteers returned to campus for music and a picnic. The Whitworth Community Garden hosted its fall harvest party, with music and lots of fresh garden food for everyone to eat. Student performers are lining up to take part in the first Whitworth Unplugged coffeehouse performance of the year, and several lucky students now have a fistful of cash after winning Family Feud last weekend. Also, outdoors intramural sports began last week with 20 soccer teams, 12 Frisbee teams, six tennis-doubles teams and the introduction of the new flag football league.

+ Service Learning & Community Engagement

This year’s Whitworth Community Building Day volunteers completed 4,280 hours of service for a value of $114,362 to the Spokane community. The Whitworth Center for Service-Learning & Community Engagement, which manages the event, included two “staff-only” placements to support the university’s new policy allowing eight hours of paid leave each year for volunteer work and recruited volunteers on Patriot’s Day, a national day of service preceding CBD. For information about the center’s upcoming programs and events, see our website at

+ Alumni & Parents

Coming for the big weekend? Get the app! The weekend of Oct. 9-12 is upon us, and we want to make it easy for you to manage your schedule, see who else is attending, link to Twitter and share photos with other participants. Download the app, called Guidebook, to your smartphone. Once you've signed in to the app, search for Whitworth and download the 125th-Celebration guide.

Bringing the party to you: On the heels of the huge 125th-celebration weekend, we will be in the Seattle area on Oct. 18, at the Bellevue Arts Museum, and in Portland on Nov. 22 at OMSI. Registration is open at for both of these free events. Come join us!

Whitworth faculty and staff are going On the Road to see Whitworthians in cities across the West this year. Our first OTR stops are Spokane (short road!), Berkeley and Phoenix. All Whitworthians in Spokane and in the Greater San Francisco Area are invited to join Leonard Oakland (English) and Meredith Shimizu (Art), in Spokane on Nov. 1 and in Berkeley on Nov. 8; Alan Mikkelson (Communication Studies) and Kamesh Sankaran (Physics) will head to Phoenix on Nov. 8 for another gathering. Visit for more information about these and other events in Denver, Orange County and San Diego.

Save the date for Homecoming 2015! All alumni and their families are invited to return to campus Oct. 2-4. Members of the classes of 1955, '65, '75, '85, '95, 2005, and 2010 will celebrate their milestone reunions with special gatherings. If you'd like to help plan your class's celebration, email Details to come. For now, make your plans to celebrate with us!

+ Sports

The football team is 3-0 early in the season.
The Pirates earned a dramatic 50-48 win at La Verne after a record-setting performance by Bryan Peterson, '15, and the offense, who set several passing records. Bryan and fellow quarterback Ian Kolste, '18, have both been Northwest Conference Players of the Week. What quarterback controversy?

Volleyball is 8-4 overall and 1-2 in the Northwest Conference. The young (no seniors) Bucs are having a strong season. Middle blocker Brenna Bruil, '17, ranks among conference leaders in kills, hitting percentage and blocks.

Men's soccer is 6-0-1 and ranked as high as sixth in all of NCAA Div. III. Micheal Ramos, '16, leads the league in goals scored and total points.

Women's soccer is 1-5-1. The Pirates are playing well, but they've found the net just four times so far in 2014.

The cross country teams are getting ready for important meets at Willamette and Lewis & Clark, where they'll face the best of the NWC before the conference championships on Nov. 1. Kellyn Roiko, '16, has been the top finisher so far on a deep Pirate women's squad.

Men's golf is two-for-two early in the season. Oliver Rudnicki, '16, was the medalist at PLU, and Andrew Dodge, '16, was runner-up at Pacific.

Women's golf won at PLU and finished third at Pacific. Chelsea Bayley, '16, was the individual winner at the Lute Invitational; she finished fifth at Pacific.

On Oct. 11, Whitworth will induct four new members into the Heritage Gallery Hall of Fame: Samantha Kephart (swimming, 2008), Jock McLaughlin (football/track, 1966), Haley Nichols (women's soccer, 1997) and Scott McQuilkin (varsity baseball player; baseball coach 1985-90; athletics director 1996-2009) will join the 24 classes before them as Whitworth's best.

If you are in the Spokane area, remember to join us for Pirate Night 2014 on Thursday, Nov. 13, at the Spokane Convention Center.


Closing Thoughts

Before I sign off, I want to extend a personal thank you to President Emeritus Bill Robinson, who just completed an important stint as interim president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Bill is a true statesman for Christian higher education, and he’s an even bigger advocate for Whitworth. To have a Whitworthian in the halls of Congress and in the White House advocating for Christ-centered education makes me proud and thankful for Bill’s generous service. The Whitworth family is strong, indeed. Have a great October!

Beck A. Taylor