This month's newsletter finds its inspiration in Austin, Texas. Many of you know that I call Texas home. Much of my childhood was spent in the Lone Star State, I went to college at Baylor, and I spent the first eight years of my academic career as a professor at my alma mater. I've been humming Deep in the Heart of Texas for the past three days, ever since I stepped off an airplane onto my native soil. The bluebonnets are in full bloom, which makes the timing of my trip even better. I'm here with a team of Whitworth folks working with Apple to imagine how digital and mobile learning technologies might shape education at Whitworth in the next decade and beyond. It's exciting work, and it reminds me that we educate a cohort of "digital natives" on our campus who have been "wired" almost since birth. Whitworth's students have never known a world without a search engine. Most cannot remember a day when they couldn't communicate with the world just through pressing a button. The idea of an 18-year-old sharing her talents or ideas with millions of people around the globe is considered neither astounding nor unlikely. The world is increasingly at our fingertips, and our globe is getting flatter by the moment. So where does human interaction happen? When does technology crowd out the enormous benefits of face-to-face dialogue? How do we discern responsibly what is and is not reliable information? And what are the ethical considerations surrounding the ways and times in which private information should be used? How is Christ honored when the digital domain competes with sacred physical space? These are the questions we must answer if we are to educate our students responsibly while also capitalizing on the enormous advantages this new age offers. I feel excited and overwhelmed when I consider these pressing questions, but I'm confident Whitworth is up to the task.
Aaron Putzke (Biology) received a $56,250 grant from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust for his research on the dual roles of Fer kinase during hematopoiesis and vascular organization in zebrafish development – a little light reading for those upcoming lazy summer days.
Todd Friends (School of Business) presented "A Case of Implementing a Self-Leadership Development Program in Select Asia Markets of a Multinational Corporation" at the Southeast Asia International Business Conference, in Macao.
Accounting students, along with Tami Robinson (Library), are preparing tax returns for lower-income Spokane residents under the guidance of professors Candice Correia and Margie LaShaw (both School of Business).
Trisha Russell (Chemistry) received a $55,500 grant from the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust for her research, "Synthesis and Evaluation of Praziquantel Derivatives as Allosteric Ligands for Aryl Sulfatase B." I plan to zip through this the next time I have to wait in line at the barber shop.
Lisa Laurier was selected as the first Sue Chandler Endowed Professor in the School of Education. The newly endowed professorship was established by trustee Scott Chandler, '84, to honor his wife's career in education.
Jann Leppien (School of Education) presented a keynote, "Unwrapping the Gift to Support the Potential," at the conference of the Nebraska Association for the Gifted, in Omaha.
Wrapping up an incredible year, Whitworth's forensics team won four straight tournaments this spring: Western Washington, Oregon State, Western States Communication Association at Gonzaga, and College of the Mainland in Texas. They also took first place at the National Christian College Forensics Association National Tournament last month at Colorado Christian University. Two seniors led the way: Sam Director was recognized as the tournament's top overall competitor, and Sarah Sauter won third overall competitor. Go, arguing Bucs!
Whitworth's Ethics Bowl team, the Philosoraptors, took second place at the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, on Feb. 22.
Jim Edwards, '67, has delivered his final lecture as holder of the Bruner-Welch Endowed Chair of Theology. Jim, who will retire this spring, gave the lecture, "The First Christian Generation: From Jesus to the Church," on March 11.
Karen Petersen Finch (Theology) published "Calvin for Postmoderns: Humility as Method and Message," in ProEcclesia 23, no. 4 (2014): 400-17.
+ The Arts
In May, the 56-piece Whitworth Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Philip Baldwin (Music), will embark on its biannual tour and will perform at the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., at Princeton Theological Seminary, and at NYC's Calvary Baptist Church. The program will include Sibelius' beloved Symphony No. 2, Dvorak's Slavonic Dances, Op. 46, and The Merry Widow Overture, by Otto Nicolai.
+ Student Life
We are delighted to announce a $1.5M endowment gift from the Dornsife Foundation to support service-learning and community engagement. This generous gift from Dana and David Dornsife will support traditional Whitworth service efforts, like Community Building Day, as well as new community-engagement work on behalf of K-12 students in Spokane's West Central neighborhood. The center recently hosted an open house to acknowledge the gift and to unveil the center's new name, the Dana & David Dornsife Center for Community Engagement.
Elizabeth Porter, '16, has been recognized by Campus Compact as Whitworth's first Newman Civic Fellow. Elizabeth, who brings volunteers to Spokane's public schools to teach civil-rights history, was recognized along with 200 student leaders across the country for her commitment to social justice and volunteerism. The Newman program allows university presidents to recognize students for their leadership of volunteer programs that respond to pressing community needs.
The Health Education Action Team (HEAT) is sponsoring the We Will…Walk 2K/5K awareness walk April 11, at 10:30 a.m. The event will support the We Will campaign and the Green Dot bystander-intervention program embraced by Whitworth University. We Will focuses on ways to keep our campus safe and supportive for all. The walk will include activities, entertainment, food and information, and will serve as a fun way for students, faculty, staff and administration to gather and show their commitment to a safe and healthy campus. For more information, contact Tammie Maple at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Green Dot, visit www.livethegreendot.com.
Registration for the Whitworth Institute of Ministry is now open! The 40th anniversary of WIM, July 20-24, will feature Walter Brueggemann, Andy Crouch and Anne Zaki. For more information and to register, please visit www.whitworth.edu/wim.
+ Alumni & Parents
Parents can order Commencement DVDs and Spring Exam Survival Kits now. DVDs of the 2015 Whitworth Commencement Ceremony are available at http://connect.whitworth.edu/commencement2015dvd. To order Spring Exam Survival Kits and Fruit Bags go to http://connect.whitworth.edu/spring2015examsurvivalkits before April 21. Questions? Contact us at email@example.com or 509.777.3772.
Forrest Baird (Philosophy) and Bendi Benson Schrambach (World Languages & Cultures) will soon be in Pasadena. Please join them, along with members of our alumni office, for "Survivor: Outwit, Outplay, Outlast – But Do It Ethically!" On May 2, Bendi and Forrest will lead us in a conversation about ethical reasoning and the bases upon which we make ethical choices. Space is limited, so please register today: http://connect.whitworth.edu/ontheroadpasadena2015.
The Whitworth Symphony Orchestra is headed east! See the item under The Arts, and watch for more details about pre- and post-concert receptions. But please save the date now. You'll kick yourself if you don't.
+ Admissions & Financial Aid
It's a great time for transfer students to apply for fall semester. Go to www.whitworth.edu/apply and click on the Whitworth Transfer Application button. Every year, we enroll 80-100 transfer students – from those who have completed one semester of college to those who already have their associate degrees – and we're thankful for the many ways in which these students enrich our community. Transfer counselor CJ Perry is available to help you at firstname.lastname@example.org or 509.777.4768.
The financial aid office and ASWU sponsored Financial Wellness Week on campus this month. This gave students the opportunity to learn from speakers about protecting their identities and filing federal tax returns, among other things. Thanks to the folks at STCU for their support of this week-long event.
Financial aid has sent out awards to all new freshmen and transfer students who applied by the priority deadline, March 1. Know a student who's planning to start at Whitworth this fall and who has filed a FASFA but has not yet heard from us? Have him or her call 800.533.4668 to speak with a staff member.
+ The Campaign for Whitworth
Facilities for music remain our highest-priority bricks-and-mortar project, and all of you are invited to help finish that project. The recital hall needs new chairs, and for a gift of $1,500, you can put your name on one! See the details or make a gift at www.whitworth.edu/musicproject.
+ Whitworth Serves
The journey continues as we invite all Whitworthians to tell us about why and where they serve. Share your story and add your volunteer hours to our Whitworth Serves campaign at www.whitworth.edu/whitworthserves. Help us to show the impact of Whitworthians around the world!
The women's team finished 21-5, but missed out on an at-large bid to the D3 Big Dance. The Pirates finished third in the NWC and posted their third straight 20-win season under Coach Helen Higgs. KC McConnell, '16, was named First Team All-NWC and became the 13th player in Whitworth women's basketball history to surpass 1,000 career points.
Wes Tatum and Wes Walton, both '15, scored at the 2015 NCAA Div. III Swimming and Diving Championship meet. Wes T. finished 8th in the 100-yard butterfly and 10th in the 200-yard butterfly, while Wes W. took 13th place in the 200-yard backstroke. We'll miss the Wesses.
Softball is off to a great start, and the Pirates are only a game out of first place in the NWC standings near the halfway point. Whitworth leads the league in both batting average and in team earned run average.
Baseball is right in the thick of a pennant chase as well. The Pirates are among five schools within a game of the top of the standings. Pitcher Dan Scheibe, '15, leads the league in victories and strikeouts. And catcher Joshua Davis, '15, leads the NWC in home runs and batting average.
The track and field teams are tearing it up. Katie McKay, '16, ranks among the NCAA leaders after setting a meet record at Puget Sound in the 800-meter run, then setting a Whitworth team record the following week in the 400-meter race during a dual meet with LCSC. Joe Green, '15, also set a meet record at UPS, in the pole vault, clearing 15'-11".
Men's golf won a rain-shortened Lewis & Clark Pioneers Invitational. Oliver Rudnicki, '15, shot a remarkable round of 69 in heavy rain and winds at Heron Lakes Golf Course.
Women's golf also won a rain-shortened Pioneer Invitational at Heron Lakes. Katie Ochoa, '18, and Chelsea Bayley, '15, finished first and second overall.
Women's tennis is 6-4 this season, 5-2 in the NWC. Bella Hoyos, '17, and Morgan McDivitt, '15, are both 9-1 in singles matches this season. They've also teamed up four times in doubles, compiling a 3-1 record.
Men's tennis is currently 2-7. Matt Goebel, '15, is 5-2 in seven singles matches this season.
As I write this, Easter is only three days away. We celebrate a risen Christ and a world that is transformed by the love and grace Jesus offers. May we be faithful agents of Christ's continuing ministry as we encounter those who need that good news more than anything. Have a great April, and God bless you.