A friend recently asked me to give a quick and pithy rationale for Christian higher education. I'm not the best at "elevator speeches" – you know, those quick summaries or sales pitches to make a point in 30 seconds or less. But after thinking about it for a few moments, I responded, "The Great Commandment and the Great Commission." Knowing my response wouldn't settle the matter for my friend, I tried to explain. In Jesus' famous teaching, he reminded his followers that we are to love God with all of our hearts and minds, and we are to love our neighbors as fiercely as we love ourselves. This greatest of commandments orients our lives toward the one who created and is re-creating us, and it hints that reshaping our hearts and minds is an important part of that orientation. Christian institutions like Whitworth are uniquely equipped for that kind of renewing education: education that integrates faith with learning. The second part of Jesus' commandment is to love others. Service to our neighbors across the street, across the globe, and at all points in between is one of a Christian institution's highest priorities. Education is just a private good if its benefits accrue only to those who receive it. What makes it a public good is that its graduates spread out into their neighborhoods, cities, churches, nonprofits, small businesses, corporations, government entities, hospitals and schools to transform these places through acts of service and vocational excellence. But to what end? Jesus also commissioned his followers to spread the Good News of God's redeeming love through Christ. Disciple-making, both on campus and in our communities, must also be a part of our identity as a Christ-centered university. Whitworth's mission statement beautifully mirrors Jesus' commandment and commission: "Provide our diverse student body an education of mind and heart, equipping graduates to honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity." May we be always faithful to live out our noble calling.
Shane Wibel and Cynthia Wright (both Athletic Training) will present "Therapeutic Modalities: Comparing Common Practice to the Evidence Base" at the Northwest Athletic Trainers Association's March meeting.
A new book by Professor Emeritus Gordon Jackson (Communication Studies), Be Thou My Vision: Light, Sight, and the Christian Faith, was released this month.
Kathryn Picanco and Doreen Keller (both School of Education) will speak at the Washington Higher Education Sustainability Conference this month. Their presentation, "University and Community Collaboration for Environmental and Sustainability Education," discusses sustainability efforts in teacher preparation and describes Whitworth's Environmental Sustainability Education Endorsement Program.
Anthony Clark (History) published a chapter, "Local Magistrates and Foreign Mendicants: Chinese Views of Shanxi's Franciscan Mission during the Late Qing," in Reshaping the Boundaries: The Christian Intersection of China and the West in the Modern Era. Tony also collaborated with an archive in Belgium to salvage a rare collection of endangered China mission photographs; a digital version will be hosted by our Cowles Library on its Digital Commons.
Pete Tucker, '91 (Mathematics & Computer Science), was selected as a finalist for the 2017 Western Region Campus Compact Community Engaged Scholar Award. He will be recognized at the CCC's conference in April.
Nathan King (Continuing Studies) published an article in The Huffington Post on tension between moral outrage and moral relativism common among college freshmen. (See full article here.)
Congratulations to faculty members voted Most Influential Professors by the Class of 2017: Elizabeth Campbell, '05, Psychology; Lee Ann Chaney, Biology; Joelle Czirr, '06, Psychology; Martha Gady, Mathematics; Adam Neder, Theology; Erica Salkin, Communication Studies; Michael Sardinia, '87, Biology; Matt Silvers, Health Science; David Sloan, Business; Julia Stronks, Political Science; and Ron Pyle, Communication Studies. Professor Campbell will deliver the commencement address in May.
+ The Arts
Whitworth Theatre's spring production, Go, Dog. Go! will take place March 10 at 6 p.m., March 11 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., and March 12 at 2 p.m. at the Bing Crosby Theater downtown. Go, Dog. Go! is an adaptation of the beloved children's book by P.D. Eastman. Purchase your tickets at www.ticketswest.com. Questions? Call or email Kim Dawson at 509.777.4374 or email@example.com.
The Whitworth University Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Dan Keberle, has been invited to perform at the prestigious 50th annual Elmhurst Jazz Festival, in Chicago, Feb. 24-25. One of the Whitworth student jazz combos will also perform at the event.
Gordon Wilson's painting, "Chuck's Story," is featured in the exhibit Epitaphs, which will travel from Biola University (La Mirada, Calif.) to the Inland Empire Museum of Art (Upland, Calif.). The exhibit runs through the beginning of March.
+ Student Life
On Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, Whitworth collaborated with the MLK, Jr., Center to offer a Black History 101 Mobile Museum exhibit to the Spokane community. I was invited to speak at the MLK Day rally at the Spokane Convention Center, and a symposium featuring our students highlighted the work of Dr. King and explored his "Letter from the Birmingham Jail." We also screened the seminal film The Color of Fear during MLK Week, in preparation for the February campus visit by two of the documentary's cast members. And on Saturday, Jan. 21, students, staff and faculty members marched with 5,000-8,000 others in the Spokane "branch" of the National Women's March.
+ Financial Aid
The financial aid staff is in the process of disseminating new freshman and transfer student financial aid awards for the 2017-18 academic year. Returning students who have filed the FAFSA will begin to receive their awards electronically in late March. Students can confirm our receipt of their 2017-18 FAFSA by checking Pirate Port under My Access: Missing and Received Documents. Academic scholarships are automatically renewed as long as the student is making satisfactory academic progress.
Three scholarships are available for Washington students through the College Success Foundation. For information, go to collegesuccessfoundation.org/wa/home, click on Supports/Scholarships, and you'll find information on the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, the Leadership 1000 Scholarship, and the Governor's Scholarship. The application deadline for these scholarships is Feb. 28.
Our third annual Financial Wellness Fair will take place March 6, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., in the HUB. Students can visit a variety of informational booths and learn more about money management, budgeting, credit, loans and identity theft.
The priority deadline for high school seniors to submit their admissions applications to Whitworth is March 1. Students can access our free online application or the common application at www.whitworth.edu/apply. 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 2017 should have received information about an amazing and timely opportunity to take two of Whitworth's most popular courses (Theology of Shalom and Interpersonal Communication) with two of our most popular professors (Terry McGonigal and Ron Pyle) in Hawaii during Jan Term 2018. This program is expected to fill up quickly, so sign up soon at www.whitworth.edu/hawaiijanterm.
Spring is a great time for sophomores and juniors to start visiting college campuses and for seniors to make that final, decisive campus visit. We have extra "Why Whitworth" visit days planned throughout the spring. Our popular Multicultural Visit Program (MVP) is March 16-18. A new Bucs Bound event, April 9-10, offers a chance for any admitted student to enjoy a fun overnight visit to help solidify his or her decision and get a jump start on becoming a Pirate. And our Pirate Preview, for high school juniors, takes place May 7-8. You don't want to miss out. Go to www.whitworth.edu/visit to explore options and sign up for a visit.
+ The Campaign for Whitworth
If you've ever considered including Whitworth in your estate plans, please check out www.whitworth.edu/legacychallenge. A generous alum has provided matching funds to encourage new bequests, so while your own gift may not be realized for many years, a gift in your honor can make a difference today!
Do you shop at Amazon? If so, consider making your next purchase through smile.amazon.com, and select Whitworth as your favorite nonprofit. Every time you order something, a portion of your purchase will be donated to Whitworth. Just another way for you to support Whitworth in addition to the gifts you make. Thank you!
+ Whitworth Serves
Mike Archer, '69, volunteers with several organizations in Western Washington. "I work with troubled teens in the Denney Juvenile Justice Center by helping to train and place adult mentors with kids on probation," he says. Mike also volunteers as the yearbook advisor for the Urban Academy, in Seattle's Rainier Valley. Be like Mike, and then share your story of service at www.whitworth.edu/whitworthserves.
+ Alumni & Parents
Alums, parents and friends are invited to cheer on the Pirate women and men as they battle Pacific Lutheran at PLU on Friday, Feb. 10. Join us in Tacoma for free snacks at a brief reception between basketball games (women at 6 p.m.; men at 8). For more information, and/or to let us know you're planning to attend this free reception, please visit connect.whitworth.edu.
Throughout February, alums who update their contact information will be entered in a drawing to win a Barnes & Noble gift card or Whitworth gear. Update us and enter to win by visiting www.whitworth.edu/alumniupdate before Feb. 28.
Spokane-area alums, are you feeling creative? Join us for a painting event at Pinot's Palette on Feb. 16, and paint an original winter scene of the campanile and The Loop. Visit connect.whitworth.edu to learn more and to register.
Whitworthians in the San Francisco Bay Area are invited to join Forrest Baird (Philosophy) and Kathryn Picanco (School of Education) in Berkeley on Feb. 25 as they engage us in a program, Are You More Creative than a Fifth Grader? Learn more at connect.whitworth.edu.
The annual Leonard A. Oakland Film Festival will be held on campus Feb. 9-12. Check out the details at www.whitworth.edu/oaklandfestival.
The swim teams are nearing the end of their season. With one dual meet left before the Northwest Conference Championships, Feb. 10-12, the Pirate men have positioned themselves to make a strong run at another NWC championship. The women's team has battled hard and will also be a factor at the championships.
The men's basketball team is 15-3 overall and 6-3 in the NWC. While it appears that the Pirates' run of seven consecutive NWC regular-season titles will come to an end, the Bucs, ranked eighth nationally, remain alone in second place and are in good position to host a semifinal in the NWC tournament. In December, guard Kenny Love, '17, became the 28th player in Whitworth men's basketball history to surpass 1,000 career points.
The women's basketball team is 7-11 and 3-6 in the NWC. The young squad has played very close games against the top teams in the conference before coming up short. Madison Moffat, '19, is averaging more than 13 points and 7.5 rebounds per game against NWC opponents.
Indoor track & field is off and running, and Kayla Leland, '18, has achieved times listed among the top two in all of NCAA Division III in the mile and the 800 meters.
Spring semester hasn't started out so "springy." The campus is covered in a blanket of fresh snow that serves as confirmation of Punxsutawney Phil's prediction of an extended winter. But it's nice to see a full campus again after Jan Term Break. Please pray that over the next 15 weeks we will have the opportunity and grace to live out our "commandment and commission" identities. Thank you for your prayers and support.