I'm writing this month's newsletter from a hotel two blocks north of the White House. For me, January is traditionally filled with travel, including multiple trips to Olympia and an extended trip to Washington, D.C., to talk with policymakers and legislators about issues concerning higher education. Frankly, lobbying is not my favorite work. But it's very important and critical to advocate for and against movements and issues that may have an impact on Whitworth and its students, so I work hard at it. My time in D.C. is made more tolerable because I can often connect with local alums or students who are here, often eating at one of the fabulous ethnic eateries scattered throughout the District. A strenuous jog around the Capitol Mall is also a treat. But there's little time to play. Here's a quick litany of the issues I'm tracking: financial aid, accreditation, teacher certification, religious liberty, and a variety of current and proposed federal regulations that address accountability, quality assurance, student protections, and Title IX compliance. I'm grateful to serve a private, independent institution. My colleagues who lead state-supported, public institutions are much more directly affected by the whims of legislators. My time here reminds me, however, how dependent institutions like Whitworth are upon the women and men who shape public policy. Despite some very real threats to the autonomy of institutions like ours, there are many lawmakers and regulators who understand and appreciate the incredible value that Whitworth and its sister institutions add to the tapestry of American and Christian higher education. Please pray for the public servants who lead our state and country and whose decisions have a profound impact on the experiences of our students.
The Jan Term Java Programming class of Pete Tucker, '91 (Math/Computer Science), collaborated with students at HUST, a university in China. Using a tool called "GitHub," each team developed new software.
Aaron Korthuis, '12 (Political Science), now attending Yale Law School, was a panelist in December at a Central America Regional Security Initiative event at the Woodrow Wilson Center. www.wilsoncenter.org/event/carsi_2014
Katie Creyts and art department colleagues have been awarded a $16,425 grant, Making as Knowledge, which will support an exhibition, The Devil is in the Details, lectures and workshops on new approaches to craft in contemporary art-making.
Lisa Laurier and Lori Johnson (School of Education) received word from the Hagan Foundation that the grant proposal they submitted for their literacy work in schools has been funded for $5,005.
In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo horror in Paris, one of our students in France wrote this in her blog: "These past few days have marked a time of tragedy for the people of France and a very sad time for the country as a whole following the terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper in Paris. From the graffiti on a wall downtown to a piece of paper taped to the back of a chair in a bus, "Charlie," or "Je suis Charlie," seems to be everywhere right now. Security has noticeably increased: the front doors of schools have been locked, and armed military men patrol areas of the city. One of my French professors on Thursday spoke with us about how worried she was about the world her children are growing up in, and another came into class close to tears, distraught about the events. It is a very sad time to be in France, but also a very interesting time." We continue to pray for those who feel most deeply the impact of these events.
+ The Arts
Explorations XIV, a group exhibition featuring the work of art department students nominated by faculty at area colleges, will take place in the Chase Gallery at Spokane's City Hall Jan. 6-March 27. An artists' reception will be held Feb. 6, 5-9 p.m., in conjunction with First Friday.
The Whitworth Jazz Ensemble has been honored, for the sixth time, as one of just two college/university ensembles invited to perform at the Music Educators All-Northwest Conference in Spokane. The group, under the direction of Dan Keberle (Music) will perform on Feb. 13 at 2:30 p.m. in the Spokane Convention Center.
Judith Schoepflin (Music) was one of three judges for the Music Teachers National Association Six Northwest States Piano Competition, in January.
Whitworth Theatre will present These Shining Lives – based on the tragic story of the "Radium Girls," who painted watch faces in an Illinois factory in the 1920s – at 7:30 p.m. on March 6, 7, 13 & 14, and at 2 p.m. on March 8, in Cowles Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at www.whitworth.edu/theatretickets.
Karla (Folkins, '00) Parbon (Dance) founded the nonprofit company Partners Through Art, which is home to a cohort of talented visual, theatre and dance artists. The group's primary focus is to serve victims of social injustice, giving voice to the voiceless.
+ Center for Service-Learning
+ Admissions and Financial Aid
Incoming freshmen admitted with honors for fall 2013 should have received information about an amazing opportunity to study in Hawaii next Jan Term with Terry McGonigal (Theology) and Ron Pyle (Communication Studies). This class usually fills up quickly, so if this is something that interests you (and you'd be crazy if it doesn't), read more about it online at www.whitworth.edu/hawaiijanterm.
Spring Break is a great time for high school sophomores and juniors to visit college campuses and for seniors to make that final, deciding campus visit. We have extra "Why Whitworth" visit days planned during the weeks of most Northwest high schools' spring hiatuses. We're also launching a new overnight-visit program, April 16-18, for students from underrepresented racial and ethnic populations. And individual visits are always welcome – but it would be best to avoid Whitworth's Spring Break (March 21-29), so that you don't miss out on visiting classes, staying in a residence hall, meeting professors and current students, etc. To schedule a visit, go to www.whitworth.edu/visit.
The financial aid office is reviewing files for new freshmen and transfer students for the 2015-16 academic year. New students who have filed the FAFSA form by the March 1 deadline will begin receiving their financial aid awards in March. Continuing students who meet the May 1 priority deadline for filing the FAFSA will begin to receive their financial aid awards electronically in May and June. Students can confirm our receipt of their FAFSA by checking WhitNet on Pirate Port. Academic scholarships are automatically renewed.
+ Alumni and Parents
Alums, parents, and friends are invited to cheer on the Pirate women and men as they battle PLU in Tacoma on Friday, Feb. 20. Join us for free snacks at a brief reception between games (women at 6 p.m.; men at 8) in a room next to the courts. For more information, and to let us know you're planning to attend the free reception, please visit www.whitworth.edu/tacomareception.
Throughout February, alums who update their contact information will be entered in a drawing to win a Barnes and Noble gift card or Whitworth gear. Update us and enter to win by going to www.whitworth.edu/alumniupdate before Feb. 28.
We present four awards annually to deserving Whitworth alumni, and we need your help to identify potential recipients for 2015. Go to www.whitworth.edu/alumniawards for more information and to submit a nomination. All nominations are due by the end of the day on Sunday, March 1.
Phoenix-area alumni and parents are invited to cheer alongside fellow Whitworthians for the Seattle Mariners (or the Chicago White Sox) on Saturday, March 7, at the Cactus League's opening weekend. Register at www.whitworth.edu/springtraining!
Los Angeles-area alumni & parents are invited to "Outwit, Outplay and Outlast: But Do It Ethically," with Forrest Baird (Philosophy) and Bendi Schrambach (World Languages & Culture), on Saturday, May 2. Watch your email inbox, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
+ The Campaign for Whitworth
The most significant bricks-and-mortar project remaining in the campaign is a remodel of/addition to the late-'70s music building. Renovating and augmenting this structure, to be renamed the Cowles Music Center, will cost $13.5 million (of which $10.8 million has already been secured) and will enhance Whitworth's already-first-rate music program. See more details at
+ Whitworth Serves
Tyler Dudley, '12, is a recent transplant in Oregon, where he works for Nike and volunteers with Willamette Young Life. Tyler attends Young Life and leads a Bible study for a group of junior guys. Join Tyler in sharing your volunteer experience, and help us tell a bigger story of how the Whitworth family lives out its mission to "honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity." Visit www.whitworth.edu/whitworthserves.
Men's basketball is 15-2 overall and leads the NWC by two games with an 8-0 record. The Pirates are currently riding a 14-game winning streak. Christian Jurlina, '17, leads the NWC in steals, ranks third in scoring average, and is among the league leaders in three-point shooting and rebounding.
The swimming teams trained hard over Christmas Break while in Coronado, Calif. Both Pirate teams are 4-0 in NWC dual meets and will conclude the conference dual-meet season over the next two weeks.
The indoor track and field season is under way, with its first meets taking place at the University of Idaho and Washington State University.
Micheal Ramos, '15, was drafted by Toronto FC in the third round of the 2015 Major League Soccer Superdraft. He was the only NCAA Div. III player selected in the draft.
This week, Whitworth officially celebrates the beginning of its 125th spring semester. As part of the academic convocation, I will bestow an honorary bachelor's degree upon San Francisco Giants reliever, Jeremy Affeldt, making Jeremy an honorary member of the Whitworth Class of 2015. In addition to helping the Giants win three World Series titles, Jeremy has worked closely with our students and community to combat the evils of human trafficking and poverty. He embodies Whitworth's mission, and now he'll be a Whitworthian for life. I pray your February is full of God's blessings and grace!