People often ask what my job looks like during the summer months. In addition to a more reasonable pace, summer offers me more discretionary time. I often use that newfound freedom to read some books that have piled up on my desk, or to work on a writing project, or to schedule time with university leaders to think "big picture." I love the change of pace, and I depend on it. The ebbs and flows of the academic cycle are perfectly timed – just as I'm getting weary and fed up in the waning weeks of the spring term, graduation ushers in opportunities to fill the tank again. And just as the summer days start getting shorter, and the pile of things on my desk is thinning, it's time to welcome students back to Whitworth, with all of the activity and pageantry that the beginning of the year provides.
Since Commencement Weekend, I've traveled on university business to Seattle, Colorado Springs, Phoenix and Detroit. Another recent trip took me to the Aspen Institute, where newly elected Whitworth board chair Jason Thackston and I attended a conference with other college and university presidents and board chairs to discuss the current state of higher education. More recently, Julie and I helped to host the Whitworth Institute of Ministry (WIM), an annual event at which hundreds of pastors and their families from across the country come to our piney campus for a week of fellowship, worship and teaching. Next week I'll head to Seattle again, where I'll help host an alumni gathering. I might even have the chance to drop in on a couple of Summer Sendoffs for new students before the summer is out.
On a personal note, this summer marks our son's last summer at home before he begins his college career at Belmont University, in Nashville. After a long college-search process, Zach is headed to The Music City to pursue his interests in songwriting, music production and music business. I've often said that I'll be a better college president once I've gone through this process with my own kids. I find myself oscillating between two profound emotions as we prepare to send our oldest into the world. The first is utter amazement that our 18 years with Zach are finished – all of us parents will agree that it seems, in retrospect, as if our time with our children is fleeting. We will miss Zach profoundly, as will his two little sisters. But the second emotion I am experiencing is one of gratitude. It's a gift to have watched how God fashioned this boy of ours into the young man he is today and to see how God is now calling him to new things. What a privilege to have been a part of it all! For those of you who are experiencing emotions similar to ours as you prepare to send your daughters and sons to Whitworth or off on other grand adventures, Julie and I hold you in our prayers.
Lisa Laurier (Education) led the School of Education's first May Term trip to Australia. The group worked primarily in Warringa Park School, where they focused on literacy programs.
Corey McKenna (Education) presented at the ICCTE annual conference, on "Fruit of the Spirit: Administrators as Agents of the Integration of Faith and Learning."
Dean Tim Wilkinson (School of Business) and his co-author, Andrew R. Thomas, published an article, "Innovation's Second Step," in the Thunderbird International Business Review.
Athletic training received confirmation that 100 percent of the program's graduating seniors passed their national certification exam to become certified athletic trainers. That's three continuous years with a 100-percent pass rate! Congratulations!
Jerry Sittser delivered a lecture, "Adversity and Spiritual Formation," at Biola University (Calif.), co-sponsored by the Biola Center for Christian Thought and the university's Institute for Spiritual Formation.
Keith Beebe presented "George Whitefield in Scotland: Of Friends, Foes, and the Evangelical Divide," this summer at Oxford University's George Whitefield at 300 International Tercentenary Conference; he also presented a paper on "Experimental Religion and Calvinist Conversion in the Scottish Evangelical Awakening" at Nazarene Theological College while he was a visiting research fellow at the college's Manchester Wesleyan Research Center & John Rylands Library.
Amanda C. R. Clark, who currently directs the library, authored "Library as Place," published in The Christian Librarian, Volume 57, Issue 1.
Numerous summer faculty-development programs are enriching instruction and research. This summer's programs include Vocations of the Christian Professor (faith and learning), Standards of Good Practice for Study Abroad, Service-Learning, Technology and Teaching, Honors Pedagogy, a National Science Foundation-funded workshop, and Best Practices in the Instruction of Science. In addition, the Reid Writing Retreat and numerous grants and fellowships (from the Weyerhaeuser Center for Christian Faith & Learning and academic affairs) support faculty scholarship.
This summer marked the inaugural Whitworth Strategic Fund-Raising Institute for Community Partners, hosted by the offices of service-learning & community engagement and sponsored programs. Participants from 45 organizations attended sessions on fund-raising techniques.
+ The Arts
Philip Baldwin (Music) also spent a week teaching at the Bryce Canyon Music Camp, in Utah. This program was created by his former student Megan Munford, and it now serves more than 100 talented Suzuki students from all around Utah and Nevada. Phil taught technique and master classes and performed in camp concerts.
+ Student Life
And student activities and residence life are preparing for the arrival of the Whitworth Class of 2018! This year's Orientation Week theme is "Expect to Thrive: Whitworth 125!" in honor of the university's 125th birthday. New students can move into their residence halls after 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30, and parents can attend orientation sessions throughout the weekend. Orientation events and activities are scheduled for new students through the first week of September. Returning students can move into their residence halls Monday, Sept. 1, and it will be fantastic to have our full complement of students, faculty and staff back on campus, raring to take on Academic Year 2014-15. But let's not get ahead of ourselves: Though fall is just around the corner and we can't wait to see all of you returnees, we still have six or so weeks to enjoy a little downtime. The campus is beautiful in the summer, so if you're in Spokane, stop by Whitworth and say hi!
+ Alumni & Parents
If you're part of the Whitworth family, you are encouraged to participate in our 125th Anniversary Celebration, Oct. 9-12. From a Thursday lunch with Condoleezza Rice to a huge Saturday evening celebration in downtown Spokane and community worship in the fieldhouse on Sunday, this will be a weekend to remember. Details can be found at www.whitworth.edu/125weekend.
Homecoming reunions for the classes of '54, '74, '84, '94, '04, and '09, as well as for Cutter-era tennis alums and for all choral music alums, are also just around the corner. These reunions will also take place during the 125th Anniversary Celebration, Oct. 9-12. For a full calendar of events and to register, visit www.whitworth.edu/125weekend.
Families of current students are invited to Family Weekend (formerly Parents' Weekend), which will also take place – you guessed it – during the 125th Anniversary Celebration! Family Weekend 2014 will be a great time for your family to hang out with your Whitworth student, hear from faculty, visit a class, enjoy events around campus, watch the theatre mainstage production of The Drowsy Chaperone, and appreciate Spokane's autumn beauty. Please register at www.whitworth.edu/125weekend today.
Enrollment deposits are due Aug. 1 for transfer students. Go online to www.whitworth.edu/admittedstudents and click on "Guarantee Your Spot" to find a link to the transfer deposit submission form. Our transfer students are a great addition to the Whitworth community!
Completion of the billing e-packet and submission of payment, or a payment plan, for fall term are due by early August. There are nine- and 10-month payment plans available, beginning in August, to ease managing the bill. If you have any questions, please call our great student accounting services staff at 800.535.4668.
A sincere thanks to all of you who’ve financially supported Whitworth this past fiscal year. We are still wrapping up our final numbers, but it looks as if you provided total gifts of more than $1.4 million to The Whitworth Fund. This is our highest total in seven years. Thank you so much. We could not continue to offer a mind-and-heart education to students without your ongoing commitment to partner with us. Unfortunately, our alumni-giving percentage slipped a little this year. As we continue to graduate large classes, it’s hard to keep the percentage up, so gifts of any size from alumni make a significant difference. And many outside organizations use measures like alumni giving to rank Whitworth, so your gifts matter!
+ Costa Rica Center
CRC Director Lindy Scott writes, "We have just finished up Summer Session A, which brought 13 students to the Costa Rica Center. Some studied Microenterprise Economics with Professor Vange Ocasio (Business & Economics). For their final project, the students made economic-development proposals for the fishing village of Tarcoles. Other students took Latin American literature and culture classes with Fernando Montero (World Languages & Cultures). They wrote several short stories in Spanish, using the various Latin American styles they had studied. Every student had an internship, with each one geared toward the student's major field of study. These varied from hotel accounting to teaching in a bilingual high school. The Costa Rica Center has suspended classes for the fall semester. In January, Grant Casady (Biology) and Stacy Keogh (Sociology) will lead a special program for freshmen admitted to Whitworth with honors. Cynthia Wright (Health Sciences) will direct the popular Jan Term course for health science majors; participants will live with host families, take a special course on medical Spanish, and spend four hours a day in medical internships."
Tim Demant, Whitworth's new director of athletics, joined us just a few weeks ago. Tim is a professional with more than 15 years of experience leading small-college athletics departments. He, his wife, Shannon, and their three children come to Whitworth from Indiana, where Tim served as director of athletics for the past six years at Goshen College. Prior to working at Goshen, he was the athletics director and head men's volleyball coach at Columbia Bible College, in Abbotsford, B.C., Canada, from 1998-2008. Tim brings more than a Canadian accent ("Eh?"); he brings years of experience as an athletics director, and he fully embraces the values and mission of Whitworth University. Welcome, Tim! Read more about Tim here.
As I mentioned briefly last month, in May Whitworth claimed its seventh consecutive McIlroy-Lewis All-Sports Trophy for overall excellence within the Northwest Conference. This marks the Pirates' eighth McIlroy-Lewis win overall!
I love to include items like the ones above in M&H. Whitworth's student-athletes are as accomplished in the classroom as they are on the field of play. If you read your M&H each month, you'll see that our Pirate athletes are honored for their scholarship nearly as often as they're commended for their fine play. (The fact that they're excellent human beings goes almost without saying.) And as we head into another academic year, which means exciting new seasons for all of our athletes along with the debuts of our new athletics director and head football coach, I couldn't be happier with the state of Whitworth Athletics. It really is a great time to be a Pirate! Go Bucs!
This coming year at Whitworth promises to be a big one. God has been faithful to Whitworth since 1890, and we now have the opportunity to celebrate Whitworth’s 125th birthday. The year will be marked with special events and grand celebrations. But through it all, I hope we seek first to thank God for watching over and sustaining this wonderful community – through Whitworth’s ups and downs, its times of plenty and times of real struggle, God has blessed our campus in profound ways. I pray that we will be faithful to steward those blessings, always seeking to “honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity.” Have a great summer!