The look of excitement and joy on the faces of graduating students never gets old. Last weekend I had the privilege of congratulating more than 700 of Whitworth's newest alumni as they walked across the stage, shook my hand, and accepted their diplomas. I know many of their stories – the challenges they faced just to get to Whitworth, their successes and failures as students, the important ways in which they led our campus community, their grief over losing parents and siblings during their time at Whitworth, their hopes and dreams for the future. No one crosses that stage at commencement without having persevered through setbacks and difficult circumstances. As names were called and graduates were recognized last weekend, it was apparent to me that no one dressed in a graduation gown and mortarboard could count that moment as an individual achievement. All of our graduates, and each one of us, are the recipients of the love, support, and generosity of countless others. Behind every student, supporting every diploma earned, are family members who have sacrificed much to provide access to amazing educational opportunities. Each newly minted alum can point to teachers, coaches, pastors, professors, employers, dorm leaders and communities that have walked every step along the journey that ends on the commencement platform. And that same "cloud of witnesses" will continue to sustain the lives that commence after graduation. For the many ways in which you have supported this group of graduates, I offer my profound thanks. My gratitude extends to the many ways in which you've sustained Whitworth University as a place that fulfills its noble mission to equip our graduates to "honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity." By God's grace, our newest graduates, their many supporters, and our beloved university can each celebrate a job well done.
Claudia Dumitrescu (School of Business) co-authored "Development (and Evaluation) of Cross-Disciplinary Educational Materials Designed for College Students: Promoting the Understanding of Food Deserts, Nutrition and Importance of Access," and presented at the 40th annual Macromarketing Conference, in Chicago.
Tim Wilkinson (School of Business) co-authored The Customer Trap: How to Avoid the Biggest Mistake in Business, a sequel to The Distribution Trap (awarded the Berry-American Marketing Association Prize for best marketing book of 2010).
Jann Leppien (Margo Long Chair) presented "Supporting the Social and Emotional Needs of Advanced Students: Who are These Kids? And What Can We Do to Challenge Them?" to Moran Prairie Elementary School and Mead School District teachers in April.
Brandon Emerson, Christy Haase and Hannah Tweet, all '15, nominees for the history department's best-paper prize, presented at the Phi Alpha Theta NW Regional Conference in April.
The history department is partnering with the honors program to offer Smithsonian internships in Washington, D.C., during Jan Term 2016. Interested history students should contact Department Chair Corliss Slack.
Our Ethics Bowl team earned first place at the Northwest Regional Ethics Bowl, and second at the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl. The Philosoraptors include Jonathan Kim, '15; Rebecca Korf, '15; Brennan Netttal, '16; Sarah Sauter, '15; and TJ Westre, '16, and are coached by Keith Wyma (Philosophy) and Director of Forensics Mike Ingram (Communication Studies).
The forensics team took second place at the International Public Debate Association Tournament. In the yearlong sweepstakes, Whitworth took first place over 93 schools nationally. Sam Director, '15, was the national individual runner-up, and Mike Ingram was recognized as 2015 IPDA Coach of the Year.
Twenty-six Whitworth students and three psychology faculty presented research at the annual Western Psychological Association meeting. Samantha M. Skinner, Emily R. Miller, Marissa Stallings and Kirin Foster, all '15, received research awards.
Jim Edwards, '67 (Theology), is the author of a commentary, "The Gospel According to Luke," in the Pillar New Testament Commentary, published by Wm. B. Eerdmans.
Adam Neder (Theology) presented "The Art of Teaching Theology" at the Hope College/Western Seminary joint research seminar.
Will Kynes (Theology) published "Satan," in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Theology, edited by Samuel Balentine, Clifton Black, Katharine Dell, Andreas Schuele, and Jerry Sumney.
+ Dornsife Center for Community Engagment
The Dornsife Center will host two annual events this month. First is the Institute for Strategic Fund-raising, which provides a day of low-cost professional development to regional nonprofits. The second event is the Community Engagement Institute, a two-day conference for faculty. This year's conference, co-sponsored by the Inland Northwest Service-Learning Partnership and Washington Campus Compact, brings together advanced practitioners with faculty who are new to service-learning and public scholarship.
+ Student Life
The U-Rec has been busy this spring. Incentive programs hosted 202 participants, and we gave out lots of great prizes. Nearly 200 students took part in outdoor rec trips this spring, the climbing wall held its second annual Semper Liberi Boulder Festival, and around 40 people – from beginners to experts – signed up, and intramurals added bubble ball soccer, a huge hit. Finally, the U-Rec has served 36,000 total users this semester.
+ Alumni, Parents & Families
Parents of incoming students, Summer Sendoffs are coming! This year Whitworth will host one large on-campus sendoff the evening of July 24. Incoming students and families, please join us for this event, which will focus on preparing new students and families for the transition to Whitworth. Each student will get a sneak peek of his or her dorm room, and we'll provide important information and suggestions for connecting with other incoming students and families. Can't make it? Whitworth will host smaller such gatherings throughout the West. Check www.whitworth.edu/summersendoffs
+ Admissions & Financial Aid
Each incoming freshman and transfer student should expect a call from a counselor this month to set up a fall-registration phone appointment with a faculty advisor. Go to www.whitworth.edu/admittedstudents and click on "Plan Your Classes" to find a registration guide that will help you prepare for the call.
Incoming freshmen, be sure to request a final transcript to be sent from your high school to Whitworth Admissions. We must have your official transcript in hand before we disburse any of your federal financial aid.
Information about residence hall assignments and roommates will be sent out by July 15. If you submitted your deposit to enroll for this coming fall and haven't submitted your housing preference form, it's time. Go to www.whitworth.edu/housingpreference. If you have questions, contact email@example.com.
+ The Campaign for Whitworth
+ Whitworth Serves
Whitworthian Mike Goins, '68, who serves on the McMinnville, Ore., Young Life Committee, is making a difference. "There is a need for middle school and high school kids to come to know the Lord," Mike says. "It is getting harder for them to live a Christian life at school and in society, and Young Life helps to fill the void. We attempt to raise funds to support the operational budget and for scholarships for camps through donations and fund-raisers."
Softball won its first-ever NWC championship with a 21-7 record (31-12 overall), and set a new school record for number of victories in one season. Outfielder Peyton McMahon, '15, was named First Team All-NWC and Second Team All-Region and was voted Whitworth's Senior Women's Athlete of the Year.
Baseball finished the season at 28-13 overall, tied for second in the NWC with a 16-8 record. But the Bucs won the inaugural NWC tournament to advance to the NCAA DIII tournament for the second time in school history. Pitcher Dan Scheibe, '15, who is this year's Dennis Spurlock Award winner, threw the first nine-inning no-hitter in the metal-bat era at Whitworth in a 2-0 win over Linfield at the tournament.
Men's track and field won its sixth consecutive NWC title, with sprinter Nick Gosselin, '16, winning the 200 meter dash, finishing second in the 400 meter dash and running on both victorious relays. Head coach Toby Schwarz was voted NWC Coach of the Year by his colleagues.
Women's track and field scored its first conference championship since 2001, winning all four throwing events, while Kayla Leland and Katie McKay went 1-2 in the 800-meter and were part of the conference champion and school-record-setting 4x400 relay. Toby Schwarz was also voted 2015 NWC Women's Coach of the Year.
Men's golf won its sixth Northwest Conference title since 2005 under Head Coach Warren Friedrichs, who was named NWC Coach of the Year for the sixth time as golf coach (he also earned five COTY awards for men's basketball). Samson Martinez earned First Team All-NWC honors.
Women's golf finished third in the final NWC standings after sharing the title at the conference's Spring Classic. Nicole Lomax and Chelsea Bayley each earned Second Team All-NWC honors.
Women's tennis finished fourth in the NWC standings to advance to the conference tournament semifinals. Three Pirates earned Second Team All-NWC recognition for first-year Head Coach Rachel Aldridge. Saryn Mooney, '15, was named the first-ever recipient of the Aaron Leetch Inspiration Award.
Men's tennis took fifth place in the NWC, with Drew Brigham, '15, claiming First Team All-Conference honors.
Soccer standout Matt Bray, '15, was named 2014-15 Senior Men's Athlete of the Year by the department of kinesiology & athletics.
As Whitworth concludes its 125th year, I am finishing my fifth as president of this wonderful university. I'm pleased and honored that the board of trustees has extended my contract through the 2019-20 academic year. Julie and I couldn't be more excited to continue our service and ministry to this place we love so deeply. Thank you for your important partnership as we anticipate the joys and challenges of nurturing a Christ-centered mind-and-heart education for our students. Your prayers, your involvement, and your financial gifts mean the world to us. For all of the ways in which you support Whitworth, you have my sincere gratitude. Have a wonderful summer!