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Mind & Heart

September 2014

Mind the gap! If you’ve ever been to England, you know that this exhortation greets you at every turn. [Ed. note: It means “Watch the space between the platform and the train, lest you fall into it and injure yourself.”] I’m writing/editing this month’s update from Oxford, where Julie and I are attending a conference with other Christian college and university presidents. The focus of our time together is spiritual formation and the important roles our institutions play in developing young adults who are growing and maturing in Christ. The discussions have been a great encouragement to us as we reflect upon the sacred responsibilities we share as we nurture minds and hearts. I can’t help but lament a painfully obvious fact, however. As I look upon the impressive spires of Christ Church Cathedral, or read about the original missions of places like Corpus Christi College and Trinity College, two of the more than 40 colleges at Oxford, I’m reminded that Christ is nothing but a vestigial remnant in these hallowed halls. When did these institutions, which were originally founded to balance reason and faith, lose their fervor for the latter? What “gaps” weren’t these centers of higher learning minding as they made decisions that gradually, over the centuries, eroded their faith-based missions? The glorious cathedrals that dot this landscape are hardly more than tourist attractions beckoning a bygone era. I am profoundly grateful for the leaders, faculty and staff members at Whitworth who “guard the gap” to ensure that we remain faithful to our Christ-centered mission while also sustaining academic excellence. The radical idea that the two are not mutually exclusive is the foundation upon which Whitworth is built. That foundation is strong and true.

+ Academics

Megan Hershey (Political Science) and former Whitworth professor Michael Artime recently co-authored “Narratives of Africa in a Digital World: Kony 2012 and Student Perceptions of Conflict and Agency in Sub-Saharan Africa,”
in PS: Political Science and Politics, 47:3, 636-641. In addition, Megan published “Measuring the Success of HIV/AIDS NGOs among Nairobi’s Youth” in Development in Practice.

Twelve students, along with John Yoder and Megan Hershey (both Political Science), returned from Whitworth’s Tanzania Study Program, where they studied the politics, history, and religions of Tanzania, as well as Swahili and Core 350. 

Charles (Casey) Andrews (English) presented the paper “‘[B]eauty, simplicity and peace’: Faithful Pacifism, Activist Writing, and The Years,” at the 24th Conference on Virginia Woolf. Casey also convened a special issue of The Cresset (, with feature articles from participants in the Lilly summer seminar Teaching Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland. The issue includes Casey’s “Conflicted Visions: Troubles Cinema, Political Myths and Steve McQueen’s Hunger.”

Fred Johnson (English) published “Perspicuous Objects: Reading Comics and Writing Instruction” in Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, a peer-reviewed webtext that includes images created by Scott Kolbo, a former Whitworth University art professor:

Nicole Sheets (English) will have an essay, “How Kind Can You Be?,” in Mojave River Review, 1.1, Winter 2014 (, and another, “All Saints,” in Sonora Review. She also has a book review of Jamie Iredell’s I Was A Fat Drunk Catholic School Insomniac, in The Collagist, issue 61 (Aug. 2014), published online.

LuElla D’Amico (English) co-presented at Lewis-Clark State with an LCSC professor on “Listen, Boys and Girls: Gender Messages in Children’s Literature.” LuElla also had an article published in The Journal of Motherhood Studies: “‘The Baby Became Horrible’: The Traumatized Adolescent Mother in Elizabeth Stuart Phelps’ 1870 reform novel Hedged In.” Also, LuElla will host the Society for the Study of American Women Writers study group meeting at Whitworth this fall.

This fall, Whitworth welcomes a record number (47) of international students, representing the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Lithuania, Mexico, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Palestinian Territories, Rwanda, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates.

In addition, 30 Whitworth students are studying abroad, spending the fall semester in classes in: Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, La Réunion, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam.

+ The Arts

Join us between Sept. 9 and Oct. 31 in the Lied Art Center for an exhibit, Running the Numbers, by Chris Jordan. The exhibit's opening reception took place Sept. 11. Jordan then spoke about his work, which looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics, and visually examines vast and bizarre measures of our society in large, intricately detailed prints assembled from thousands of smaller photographs.

The appearance of legendary jazz trumpeter, pianist and composer Arturo Sandoval with the Whitworth Jazz Ensemble has been moved from Saturday, Nov. 8, to Friday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m., in Cowles Auditorium. The concert was moved due to Sandoval's invitation by President Obama to attend a ceremony at which the jazz icon, along with former U.S. President Bill Clinton and multi-media mogul Oprah Winfrey, among others, will be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The jazz clinic will be Thursday, Nov. 6, at 5:15 p.m. in the music recital hall. Visit for additional info about tickets, etc.

The Drowsy Chaperone is 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 value of entertainment in our lives. Directed by Brooke Kiener, '99; music directed by Scott Miller (Music); choreography by Jeannie Huskisson, '08 (Admissions). Visit for additional information.

+ Student Life

Expect to Thrive: Whitworth 125! This is our orientation theme for academic year 2014-15, and boy, did our new and transfer students arrive to thrive! They donned their formal wear and attended Fancy Feast on Sunday night, then danced through the entire concert by hip-hop artist Josh Vietti. Monday night, all new and returning students joined together in The Loop to hear a great live performance from Phil Wickham and to enjoy organic popsicles from the business of Mandolyn Hume, '97. And, finally, after performing at Yell Off and Mock Rock (where the Mac men got their thrive on), our new students settled down to their first week of classes. It's going to be a great year. More thrivin' to come!

+ Alumni & Parents

Our 125th-anniversary celebration is less than a month away! All alumni, parents, families and friends are invited to join us in celebrating Whitworth's legacy and future. Events will include Homecoming reunions and Family Weekend activities. Join us in Spokane Oct. 9-12! Visit for a full schedule and to register today.

On the heels of our huge Spokane weekend, we will hit the road for 125th-anniversary celebration events in Bellevue/Seattle on Oct. 18 and Portland on Nov. 22. Registration is currently open for both of those events at
Central and Latin America study-program alumni and faculty of all generations, please save the date for an all-program reunion on campus next July 10-12. More information will follow.

All Whitworth alumni who've graduated from law school are invited to a reunion and CLE event on campus next summer, July 9-11. Among other topics, we'll address the themes of working toward justice and thinking through the connection between faith and law. Attendees will also have plenty of time for reconnecting and restoration. More information to come!

Faculty and staff hit the road in 2014-15. Beginning in November, 10 faculty will visit seven cities to make presentations that cover everything from ethics to policy, communication theory, and privacy rights. Be on the lookout for more information about Whitworth on the Road in your city this academic year.

Parents of current students, if you're on Facebook, please consider joining us there! This is a group in which parents, grandparents, and guardians of current Whitworth University students can connect, celebrate, and ask questions. It's also one way the university can distribute pertinent information to current parents during the 2014-15 academic year. Content from The Loop (the parent and family blog) will also be linked to this Facebook page. Join the Parents & Families of Current Whitworth University Students 2014-15 Facebook group today!

+ Admissions

We're excited to welcome the Whitworth Class of 2018! The class is exactly the size we were seeking (625 strong), smart (3.76 average GPA), geographically widespread (coming from 25 states and 18 countries), and the most diverse in Whitworth's history (25 percent from underrepresented racial/ethnic populations). Most important of all, they're thrilled to be Whitworthians and will add to our community in amazing ways.

Admissions counselors are already hitting the road to recruit the classes of 2018, 2019, 2020 and beyond. To read more about our great staff and to see where they'll be traveling this fall, go to And please encourage college-bound students you know to connect with our counselors either at their high schools or at a college fair in their area.

Our first Why Whitworth Day admissions visit event is Sept. 26; individual visits can be scheduled at any time. Campus visits allow students to sit in on classes, take a campus tour, enjoy a meal in our dining hall, and connect with current students. There is no better way for students (and parents) to find out whether they and Whitworth are a good fit. For more info and to sign up, go to

+ Financial Aid

As the financial aid office staff assists students to meet their financial obligations, they are grateful to all of our generous donors, who, through their gifts, make grant and scholarship funds available
. For many students, it makes all the difference in whether or not they'll be able to continue their education.


+ Resources

Though it's tempting to bask in the generosity of Whitworth's alumni, parents and friends, who gave more than $1.4 million to The Whitworth Fund this past year, on July 1 we started all over again
. Our student callers return to the phones this month. The phonathon is one of the most successful ways in which we convey the student experience directly to our alumni and parents. Phonathoners can tell you what it's like to live and learn in the Whitworth community, and these students raise a significant amount of support for our annual budget – more than $200,000 every year. They're eager to talk to you, so please answer that call.

Along with our student callers, we continue our work to supply the most crucial needs of the university. Seventy-five percent of the money raised for The Whitworth Fund this year benefits student scholarships, 15 percent goes to academic programs, 5 percent will support our international initiatives (both on and off campus), and 5 percent is allotted to support our facilities and grounds. When 98 percent of our students are receiving financial aid, it's clear just how much difference The Whitworth Fund makes for them. Please visit to get ahead of the curve and make your annual gift this month.


+ Sports

The football team welcomed more than 100 players to camp.
The Pirates blew out Lewis & Clark 63-10 in their opening game, on Sept. 6, in the Pine Bowl. Not a bad beginning for new Head Football Coach Rod Sandberg and his staff!

Men's soccer has posted a couple of impressive victories already this season, including a 1-0 upset of No. 15 Wheaton (Ill.) on the road. Mike Ramos has already made an impact with two goals and an assist. Currently, the men stand at 5-0-0. Coach Morgan Cathey is in his second season of leading the Pirates.

Jael Hagerott, '07, is beginning her fourth season as coach of the women's soccer team. Early on, the Pirates posted a draw and a one-goal loss to nationally ranked College of St. Benedict (Minn.). At this writing, the Bucs are 1-3-1.

Volleyball opened the 2014 season at the Pacific Coast Classic, in SoCal. The Pirates won two matches and lost two, with setter Maddye Dinsmore, '16, making the all-tournament team. Kati Bodecker is in her second season as head coach.

This fall marks the 17th year for Toby Schwarz as head cross-country coach. The Pirates began competition at the Clash of the Northwest meet against all of the other four-year schools from Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Chris MacMurray, '16, and Kellyn Roiko, '15, posted the highest individual finishes for the teams.

The golf teams began practice during the first week of classes. Coaches Warren Friedrichs and Emily Guthrie, '13, welcome back veteran groups, and the first tournament gets under way Sept. 13 in Tacoma.


Closing Thoughts

The week after classes begin at Whitworth is a great time for me to travel. Students and faculty have their noses in the books and are busily finding new routines that will sustain them throughout the semester, and, after Move-In Day, Orientation Week, and Opening Convocation, most are tired of hearing my voice. They won't miss me. But after a few days on the road, I'll be missing them and eager to return to Spokane. Speaking of returning to Spokane, I'm hoping many of you are planning to do just that Oct. 9-12 for Homecoming, Family Weekend, and all of the 125th-anniversary celebrations. Don't forget to check out the Whitworth 125 website, at, where you'll find all kinds of neat features and information. Well, it's tea time, so I'll sign off.

Beck A. Taylor

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