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Mind & Heart

February 2018

As I write this month’s missive in my home office, I’m looking out my window at lots of green grass in my backyard. We’ve had a milder winter (so far) in Spokane, which makes me optimistic that our spring thaw will come earlier than usual. That timing will be welcomed as we anticipate breaking ground in the coming weeks on the new Beeksma Family Theology Center. This $2.8 million expansion of the Seeley G. Mudd Chapel complex will house Whitworth’s outstanding theology department (moving faculty members from the “catacombs” in Westminster), the Office of Church Engagement and the Office of Spiritual Life all under one roof. Along with some needed student spaces, the project also includes a major renovation of the existing chapel worship space, adding seating capacity and improving the audiovisual system, among other improvements. I suspect that on some formerly-Christian college campuses, there are still faithful vestiges of spiritual life nestled within the walls of their campus chapels, making these sacred spaces the centers of (or holdouts for) Christian formation for these institutions. God bless them. And I suppose that even at Whitworth, the always-busy Mudd Chapel and the soon-to-be-constructed Beeksma Center could be mistaken as the expression of Whitworth’s Christian mission on an otherwise academically oriented campus. No doubt that this new and improved facility will serve as a hub for students and employees seeking to learn more about Jesus and the Christian faith. But campus visitors would be mistaken if they thought the chapel was the only place students encounter Christ at Whitworth. I recently heard a panel of Whitworth’s newest faculty members speak about the things that drew them here. Chief among them was the opportunity to engage their students, in whatever disciplines they taught, in ways that asked how Christian faith and teaching informed what their students were learning. From the classroom, to the residence halls, to the coffee shops, Whitworth’s students encounter real and vivid expressions of Whitworth’s mission “to honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity." The new Beeksma Family Theology Center and the improved Mudd Chapel are wonderful and symbolic places, but also just pieces of a larger tapestry of spaces that host these vital opportunities!

+ Academics

The forensics team did well at the Pacific University tournament Jan. 26-28. The Arguing Bucs won eight speech awards and 11 debate awards. The team took fifth place overall out of 23 schools. Tucker Wilson, ’20, was recognized as the second-best novice and junior-division speaker/debater in the Northwest Forensics Conference for his excellent work this season.

Ron Frase, retired Whitworth chaplain and professor of sociology, received Whitworth’s Distinguished Ministry Leadership Award at Spring Convocation. Frase pioneered and led the Central America Study Program (CASP), which God has been using to shape Whitworth students since 1977.

A dozen students are in Central America as part of CASP. They have just arrived in Nicaragua after spending January in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Kim Hernandez (World Languages & Cultures) and Micah Allred, ’17, led the students in Guatemala, where they were involved in advanced Spanish classes, immersion experiences with host families and service projects with youth. Over the next three months, they will also be accompanied by Lindy Scott (World Languages & Cultures) as they are dispersed throughout Nicaragua in a variety of internships according to their major. Additional students studied Spanish in Guatemala for Jan Term with Jacob Rapp (World Languages & Cultures).

+ The Arts

The Bryan Oliver Gallery will exhibit the work of Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring from Feb. 6 through March 23. Their series, Dead Feminists, features quotes by historical feminists tied to current political and social issues. Since 2008, they have produced 26 limited-edition letterpress broadsides, and published the book Dead Feminists: Historic Heroines in Living Color.

The Whitworth Jazz Ensemble traveled to Italy during Jan Term for a performance tour. The ensemble visited Rome, Florence and Venice, and performed with world-renowned Italian jazz saxophonist Rosario Giuliani. This is the eighth time the ensemble has traveled to Italy.

+ Student Life

The Dornsife Center for Community Engagement presented a poverty simulation on campus in partnership with SNAP (Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners). Forty-four students participated in a two-hour simulation that introduced them to the difficult experiences that the working poor face when navigating social systems and managing a limited budget. Students debriefed on the experience, describing the stress of making difficult choices between food, heat and housing, and the importance of social safety nets to survival.

+ Financial Aid

Staff are in the process of awarding financial aid to new freshman and transfer students for the 2018-19 academic year. Returning students who have filed the FAFSA will begin to receive their financial aid awards electronically in mid-spring. Students can confirm that their 2018-19 FAFSA has been received by going to “My Access” within Pirate Port and clicking on “Missing and Received Documents.” Academic scholarships are automatically renewed as long as the student is making satisfactory academic progress.

The 2018-19 Washington State Opportunity Scholarship (WSOS) for newly declared STEM majors is now open. It aims to address unfilled seats in the high-demand sectors that drive the economy like aerospace, engineering, technology and healthcare, as well as help with rising tuition costs at Washington colleges and universities. Visit for eligibility guidelines and requirements. The deadline to apply is Feb. 28.

+ Alumni & Parents

Alums, if you have kept your Whitworth email account, look for an informational email from with updates on the licensing changes coming to your Office 365 alumni accounts. The changes will impact your access to the Office software if you downloaded it from your account, and your OneDrive access. Questions? Contact

Whitworthians in Chicago and D.C., please join me on March 8 and 10 (respectively) for events in your region! Visit for details and to register. I hope to see you at these fun events!

If you’re making your way to Arizona for spring training this year, join your fellow Whitworth alums, parents and friends for one or two games. See the Mariners play the Cubs (and hear from Jeff Kingston, Mariners vice president and assistant general manager). If you want, watch the White Sox play the Dodgers as well (and get a backstage tour of the ballpark). Both games are on Saturday, March 24! To register, visit . Julie and I will be there, and we hope to see you!

Have you saved the date for Homecoming and Family Weekend 2018? All Whitworthians are invited to join us on campus Oct. 12-14! Registration opens in early summer. If you’re an alum and would like to help plan your reunion, contact It’s going to be a heck of a weekend. Go Bucs!


+ Admissions

The priority deadline for high school seniors to submit their admissions application to Whitworth is March 1. Students can access our free online application or the Common Application at We can receive transcripts, test scores and letters of recommendation after March 1, but the sooner we get a complete application file, the sooner we can send out admissions decisions and financial aid awards.

Incoming freshmen admitted with honors for fall 2018 should have received information about an amazing opportunity to spend next Jan Term studying the arts in Los Angeles with popular professor of English and L.A. insider Bert Emerson. This is the only off-campus study program available to first-year students and it is expected to fill up quickly, so sign up soon at

Spring is a great time for high school sophomores and juniors to start visiting colleges and for seniors to make that final and potentially decisive campus visit. We have extra Why Whitworth visit days planned throughout the spring. Our popular Multicultural Visit Program (MVP) is March 15-17. Bucs Bound, April 8-9, offers a chance for any admitted student to experience the Whitworth difference and get a jump-start on becoming a Pirate. And, our Pirate Preview program for high school juniors is May 6-7. All of these events provide campus tours, class visits, overnight stays with residence hall hosts, interactions with current students and professors, and a taste of what it’s like to be part of the Whitworth community. You don’t want to miss out. Go to

+ The Campaign for Whitworth

Coming to an inbox near you… It’s almost time for Whitworth’s One Pine Day, a 24-hour giving event! On Feb. 21 and 22, come together with the Whitworth community to support numerous projects that benefit Whitworth students. Mark your calendars and keep an eye on your inbox for more information over the next couple of weeks. Visit Also look for the hashtag #onepineday. Bill Robinson and I have a few tricks up our sleeves, so stay tuned.

Please follow Whitworth Gives on Facebook and Instagram for more great stories of how you are making a difference in the lives of our students.

+ Sports

Men’s basketball continues to roll along at 17-2 overall and 9-1 in the Northwest Conference. The Pirates rallied from 20 points behind to defeat Pacific Lutheran by 12 on Jan. 26, and then scored 111 points in a win over Puget Sound before an appreciative Alumni Night crowd on Jan. 27. Jared Christy, ’19, is averaging 12.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per game and leads the league in double-doubles this season.

Women’s basketball is 8-11 overall and 3-7 in the NWC. The Pirates broke a seven-game losing streak with a 78-63 win at Linfield on Jan. 20, then followed that with an 87-60 win over PLU on Jan. 26. Camy Aguinaldo, ’21, leads the Pirates in scoring average (14.0 ppg) and leads the NWC in assists per game (5.9).

The swimming teams have wrapped up their NWC dual meet schedules, and the Pirate men went 7-0. The men earned victories over Pacific Lutheran, Puget Sound and Whitman to close the dual meet schedule. In the final home meet, Byron Rossmiller, ’20, set a new aquatics center record in the 200-yard backstroke. The women’s team fell to PLU, UPS and Whitman and finished 2-5. Jamie Siegler, ’21, swept the breaststroke events in all three dual meets. Whitworth turns its attention to the 2018 NWC Championships on Feb. 9-11 in Federal Way, Wash.

Track & field is in the midst of its indoor schedule, and the Pirates have performed well. Kayla Leland, ’18, won a 5,000-meter race at the University of Washington on Jan. 27, and her time ranks among the top five in all of NCAA Division III. John-Robert Woolley, ’18, placed second in two events at WSU.

The men’s tennis team began its season on Jan. 20. Though the Pirates lost to Gonzaga and Whitman by identical 7-0 scores, they were competitive in many of the matches.

Softball opened its season in California Jan. 26-28. The Pirates finished 3-3, but could easily have gone 5-1. Pitcher Madelyn Carlson, ’21, went 3-1 in her first games as a Pirate. Sara Gayer, ’21, another first-year player, batted .615 and led the team in hits (8). Whitworth will resume action on Feb. 24 and 25 in the Northwest Conference openers at George Fox.

Closing Thoughts

As we begin the spring semester, please allow me to encourage you to pray for our campus, students, alumni and employees, and for our future students who are, even now, discerning their choice of which college to attend in the fall. Thank you for all of the ways you continually support Whitworth. We couldn’t do it without each of you. Have a great February!

Beck A. Taylor