I never tire of the look of excitement and anticipation on the faces of our newest students and their family members. That enthusiasm made up for the first rainy move-in day at Whitworth in most people's memories. Temps in the high-50s and wet conditions added to the culture shock for our families from Southern California, Arizona and Hawaii, but everyone appreciated the campus-wide effort to give them a warm(er) welcome to Whitworth. As soon as parents left, the sun emerged and temps climbed back into the 80s, making for a marvelous time for Orientation and Traditiation activities.
Last weekend's exciting events reached their crescendo during our first-ever "crossover" ceremony. Families, current students, and faculty and staff members gathered in The Loop, surrounding our newest Whitworthians. After Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid Greg Orwig, '91, proudly presented the Class of 2019 for acceptance into the Whitworth family, our venerable Professor of English Leonard Oakland (celebrating his 50th year at Whitworth) led the entire crowd in the singing of Amazing Grace, the "alma mater of our soul." Tears flowed and minds and hearts were awakened as we gave thanks to God for the many blessings we share as a learning community – not the least of which, certainly, are our newest students. Leonard's words to the class were as poignant as ever: Embrace the problems and challenges you will encounter during this journey, relying all the while on God's amazing grace to see you through. Finally, new students proceeded to "cross over" into the Whitworth family, marching under a beautifully constructed pinecone trellis to be welcomed on the other side by cheering throngs of current Whitworthians. It was a sight to behold, and a new tradition that will mark the first day for students well into the future.
For the many prayers you offered throughout the year for the Class of 2019 and their safe arrival at Whitworth, thank you. We're off to a great start as we celebrate Whitworth's 126th year of service!
Grant Casady (Biology) has received a $10,000 grant from the Bureau of Land Management for research assessing the summer brooding habits of the greater sage-grouse in Central Washington.
Robin Henager (Business & Economics) published "Financial literacy: The relationship to savings in low- to moderate-income households" in the September issue of the Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal.
An article by Youngsu Lee (Business & Economics), "Perceptual Gaps between Marketers vs. Non-Marketers on Marketing's Value to the Firm: Impact on Customer and Firm Performance," has been accepted for the American Marketing Association Summer Marketing Educator's Conference.
An essay by Charles Andrews (English), "'beauty, simplicity and peace': Faithful Pacifism, Activist Writing, and The Years," appears in the book Virginia Woolf Writing the World, now available to the public.
On Sept. 29, the English department will welcome poet and educator B. H. Fairchild to campus. He will speak at 7 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre, Weyerhaeuser Hall.
Anthony Clark (History) was an invited commentator at the "Text and History: Encounters with Western Missionaries in China" conference at The Ricci Institute for Chinese-Western Cultural History, University of San Francisco.
An article by Archivist Janet Hauck, "Crossroads of Mind and Heart: Incorporating Intellectual Tenacity into an Information Literacy Program," has been accepted for publication in the next issue of The Christian Librarian. This month, Janet will be part of a panel at the 2015 CCCU Diversity Conference at North Park University, in Chicago.
Karen Petersen Finch (Theology) will deliver an address, "Christ Alone: What We Can Learn from Calvin's Response to Christological Heresies," at Wheaton College's Presbyterian Scholars Conference this month.
Adam Neder (Theology) participated in the Vocation and the Common Good Project, a research initiative led by James Davison Hunter and administered by The Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia.
+ The Arts
Tickets to see 20-time Grammy-winning jazz guitarist Pat Metheny and the award-winning Whitworth Jazz Ensemble are now on sale. The concert will take place Nov. 7, at 8 p.m., at the Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, downtown. Tickets, priced at $23 general admission and $18 students/seniors (62-plus), are available through The Fox (509.624.1200) and online, at www.martinwoldsontheater.com. The jazz ensemble recently released its latest CD, The Almighty Groove, which is available through the music department office for $10.
Meredith Shimizu, '93 (Art), and student Sophia DuVal, '16, have been researching Whitworth's extensive permanent art collection. We now have a greater understanding of the history and breadth of the collection, which includes nearly 700 artworks. This new information will be seen on labels around campus and in small exhibitions of the collection in Lied Center for the Visual Arts.
The Bryan Oliver Gallery is hosting an exhibit, The Devil is in the Details, a curated exhibition of five contemporary artists (Benjamin DeMott, Claire Hedden, Joetta Maue, Andy Messerschmidt, and Elisabeth Higgins O'Connor) that highlights the artists' extraordinary inventiveness and visual intellect in their new approaches to subject matter and craft. Questions? Contact Program Assistant Stacey Moo at 509.777.3258 or email@example.com.
+ Student Life
Put me in, coach! This year's theme is "It's Game Day: Driving toward the Goal of the Mind & Heart." Nearly 700 freshmen and transfer students checked into their residence halls Saturday and began plugging in to campus clubs, residence hall Traditiation events, and intramural sports teams. One hundred twenty-five student leaders arrived early for "training camp" in order to be in top shape for Game Day. Orientation Week includes prep time with freshman advisors, round-table discussions on community responsibility and inclusion, getting to know floor members and off-campus students, volleyball and football home games, and, of course, Bingo – with $2,500 worth of awesome prizes.
+ Financial Aid
Updated Pirate Port for students is now live. Last spring, Whitworth administrators, with student input, developed a new version of Pirate Port. The goal was to provide one-stop, 24/7 access for students to conduct their business with the university. Now, with just one simple click, students can check for missing and received documents related to financial aid, student accounts and registration; sign their timecards; view their accounts, order transcripts, access office forms and take care of all kinds of business. We're excited about this new boon to our students!
+ Alumni & Parents
Join us for Homecoming Reunion Weekend, Oct. 2-4. All alumni are invited, and members of the classes of '55, '65, '75, '85, '95, '05, and '10 are invited to come celebrate their milestone reunions. We'll present our Alumni Award winners and enjoy special activities for alumni who were coached by Sam Adams, '52. More info and registration are available at www.whitworth.edu/homecoming2015.
Next year's Core 650 Tour – Paul's Travels in Turkey – will be led by Emeritus Professor of Theology Jim Edwards, '67. The tour will take place June 14-28, and registration is now open. All details can be found at www.whitworth.edu/turkey2016. If you're interested, please act soon. We expect this one to fill up fast.
Family Weekend is Oct. 16-18. All parents and families of current students are invited to join us for one of the year's best weekends. Visit www.whitworth.edu/familyweekend for more information and to register.
Bay Area Whitworthians are invited to a regional 125th-anniversary celebration on Sept. 27. Beginning at 3 p.m., we'll be in Oakland, at Scott's Restaurant at Jack London Square, for a reception and program. The event is free, and you can register at www.whitworth.edu/bayarea125.
If you live near Chicago, Orange County, Oakland, San Diego, Portland, Denver, Seattle or Tacoma, we have an event scheduled in your area this fall. Check out our Attend an Event page at connect.whitworth.edu.
Thanks to the 416 alums who participated in this summer's Alumni Discovery Project! Our 16 student ambassadors interviewed proud alums from the classes of '49-'15 in cities from Seattle to Phoenix and Los Angeles to Minneapolis. In our first three years, we've heard the stories of nearly 1,100 alumni. We're grateful, and we're doing what we can to provide feedback on campus to integrate change and celebrate successes. If you're invited to participate in a future summer, we hope you'll join one of our students to share your story.
Parents of current students, if you're on Facebook, please consider joining us there. This is a group that welcomes parents, grandparents, and guardians of current Whitworth students to connect, celebrate, and ask questions. It's also a conduit for pertinent information from Whitworth to you during the 2015-16 academic year. Join the Parents & Families of Current Whitworth University Students 2015-16 Facebook group today.
We're excited to welcome the Class of 2019! The class is 600 strong, smart (3.74 average GPA), far-reaching (coming from 21 states and 11 countries), and the most diverse in Whitworth's history (28 percent from underrepresented racial/ethnic populations). Most important, they are proud to be Pirates and will add to our community in amazing ways.
Our admissions counselors are hitting the road to recruit the classes of 2020 and beyond. To read more about our great admissions staff and to see where they will be traveling this fall, go to www.whitworth.edu/admissionscounselors. And please encourage college-bound students you know to connect with our counselors either at their high school or at a college fair in their area.
Our first Why Whitworth Day visit event is Sept. 25, and 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 Whitworth is a good fit. For more info and to sign up, go to www.whitworth.edu/visit.
+ The Campaign for Whitworth
Did you know that last year our students were awarded almost $50 million in financial aid? Contributions to The Whitworth Fund support those awards, so the fund directly enables students to afford a Whitworth education. Of all the money that is raised for The Whitworth Fund this year, 75 percent benefits student scholarships, 15 percent goes to academic programs, 5 percent supports our international initiatives, and 5 percent is allotted to facilities and grounds. Thank you for your support!
The phonathon serves two key purposes: It means a lot to our students who can both thank you and request your continued support. It's also one of the most successful ways for us to share the student experience with our alumni and parents. Student callers can tell you what it's like to live and learn in today's Whitworth community, and they raise a significant amount of support for our annual budget – gifts from more than 2,000 Whitworthians every year. They're eager to talk to you, so please answer that call. Go online for proof that they really do "smile and dial": www.whitworth.edu/phonathon.
+ Whitworth Serves
It's the middle of Servestember, and we are celebrating Whitworth's year-'round commitment to service all month long! I hope you have enjoyed some of the profiles featuring the volunteer service of alumni and other Whitworthians at www.whitworth.edu/servestember, and I hope you will join us by sharing your own story of service as well at www.whitworth.edu/whitworthserves.
Whitworth Athletics is gearing up for another great year. As winner of the Northwest Conference McIlroy-Lewis All-Sports Trophy for the last eight consecutive years, our program's prospects for this year are good-to-excellent.
Football welcomed 98 players to the first practice on Aug. 23. The Pirates, picked to finish fourth this season in the NWC Preseason Coaches' Poll, are coming off a 6-4 2014 season and a 4-3 mark in the NWC. They open the season at home Sept. 12 against Whittier with an early kickoff time (11 a.m.).
Volleyball returns every player from 2014's NWC title squad, including 2014 NWC Player of the Year Maddye Dinsmore, '16, and the Bucs are picked first in the NWC Preseason Coaches' Poll. Whitworth opened the season this week, going 2-2 in Texas at a tournament hosted by the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Men's soccer welcomes back eight starters and several key contributors from last season's conference championship team that reached the Sectional Semifinals (round of 16) of the NCAA Division III tournament. The Pirates are picked to finish first in the NWC Preseason Coaches' Poll, and they're 3-1-2 in non-conference games (with their only loss coming against Gonzaga).
Women's soccer looks to build on the momentum created at the end of last season, when the Pirates won four of their last five matches. Whitworth is picked sixth in the NWC Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Pirates beat Carleton (Minn.) in their season opener and also defeated Carroll (Mont.), at Whitman.
The women's cross country team finished as NWC runners-up last season, and the Pirates return all of their top runners. The men hope an influx of new talent will help them improve on a fourth-place finish in 2014. Their season officially opened at The Clash of the Inland Northwest, hosted by WSU in Colfax this week.
Men's golf gets going Sept. 19-20 at the Pacific University Fall Invite. The Bucs are aiming to repeat as NWC champs. Women's golf had a strong third-place finish in the NWC last year, and they open their schedule on Sept. 12-13 at the PLU Invitational.
Don't forget Pirate Night 2015, Nov. 5 at the Spokane Convention Center.
As I write this, Julie and I are preparing to return to the "mothership of higher education" at Oxford University to attend a conference on public intellectualism and presidential leadership. This time of year is a great time to travel as students and staff have their heads down busily navigating the first few days of the academic term, and most are tired of hearing my voice by now. They won't even know I'm gone. God bless you and yours during this season of transitions.