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Mind & Heart

October 2017

Veterans have always played an important role at Whitworth. We currently have dozens of former service members and a few reservists among our faculty and staff ranks. More than 100 current students are active-duty service members, veterans or reservists. As I reflect on Whitworth’s history, as with so many colleges and universities at the time, returning soldiers, sailors and airmen from World War II flooded onto Whitworth’s campus in the 1940s, taking advantage of the new GI Bill. The influx of veteran students during that decade began the growth spurt that would eventually move the college to university status more than 50 years later. To honor those Whitworthians who have given the ultimate sacrifice, Whitworth’s Veterans Memorial, located just in front of Cowles Memorial Auditorium, recognizes the four Whitworth students killed in combat – Tom Hajji, Harry Olson, Frank Tiffany and Forrest Ewens. We gather at the memorial each year on Veterans Day and in the spring as we commission the newest Army officers graduating from the Whitworth-Gonzaga ROTC program. Many Whitworthians join the military after graduation and serve proudly. Just yesterday, I had the chance to catch up with Lt. Col. Mark Scott, a 2002 Whitworth graduate serving at Fairchild Air Force Base just outside of Spokane. Mark spoke fondly of his Whitworth experiences as a student, ROTC member and football player. He recalled how flexible Whitworth was to allow him to participate as a student-athlete while also meeting his demanding service responsibilities. Mark assured me the Christian mind-and-heart education he received at Whitworth continues to shape his life and leadership today. Mark is just one example of the fine servicemen and women representing Whitworth. For these reasons and more, I’m proud that Whitworth has been named a military-friendly campus, and was just recently recognized as the No. 5 best college in the West for veterans by U.S. News & World Report. We’re grateful for all of our veterans and the ways they honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity.

+ Academics

The chemistry department’s newest member, Kraig Wheeler, has been selected as the first holder of the Hugh W. Johnston Endowed Professorship of Chemistry: Given in honor of Hugh Johnston, who devoted more than 50 years of service to his students, to Whitworth and to his discipline, this award recognizes the work of chemists committed to undergraduate teaching, academic research, mentoring and collaboration.

Gordon Jackson (Communication Studies) released a new novel, The Church that Used to be St. Elmo’s. Jackson describes it as a light, easy read that nevertheless deals with some hard questions about God’s unexpected grace. St. Elmo’s is his 14th book but first novel.

Casey Andrews (English), a Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau member, presented at the Waterville, Wash., library in September on “Great Writers and the Great War: Literature as Peace Activism.”

Laurie Lamon (English) was installed during Fall Convocation as the Amy M. Ryan Endowed Chair in the Liberal Arts. The four- year rotating appointment was designed to be awarded to an outstanding faculty member who “embodies Amy Ryan’s love of learning, her skill in writing, and her innovative spirit; who values the mainline church and the aspirations of women; and who exhibits dedication to students and compassion for all.”

Amanda Clark (Library) had a book published last summer on Christianity in modern China, China’s Last Jesuit: Charles J. McCarthy and the End of the Mission in Catholic Shanghai.

Janet Hauck (Library) was appointed chair of the Archivists of Religious Collections Section of the Society of American Archivists for the 2017-18 year.

Megan Hershey (Political Science) received a stipend to support her participation in an American Political Science Association course, Youth Participatory Politics Survey Project Data for Secondary Analysis, at the APSA annual meeting.

+ The Arts

Tickets are now on sale for the annual Guest Artist Jazz Concert, featuring Ellis Marsalis! The legendary jazz pianist will perform with the award-winning Whitworth Jazz Ensemble on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m. in Cowles Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased at the door and through or

The art department and the Bryan Oliver Gallery are proud to present the work of Squeak Meisel. The immortals exhibit runs until Nov. 3 in the gallery in the Lied Center for the Visual Arts. For more information, call 509.777.3258 or email

+ Student Life

Whitworth has 102 veteran students who are transitioning from military culture to college culture. To assist, the university has begun employing best practices by offering programs and services to veterans and military-connected students. Whitworth officially opened the Veterans Lounge and this fall held an inaugural coining ceremony. Veteran students were recognized and honored with a presentation of the Whitworth “service coin.” We are excited to report that Whitworth is designated as a Military Friendly School and received the 8 Keys to Veterans’ Success designation.

The University Recreation Center started the year like a rocket! About 1,300 students, staff and faculty members have used the facility since Sept. 6, logging more than 7,000 card scans at the turnstiles. The first week of outdoor adventure trips were stifled by Northwest wildfires, but when the smoke cleared, students biked the Hiawatha, paddleboarded at a local lake, visited our northern neighbors at Gladstone Provincial Park and encountered snow at Scotchman Peak in Idaho. Lastly, the fall outdoor intramural sports kicked off. The staff at U-Rec are committed to developing leaders, encouraging lifelong healthy lifestyles and fostering meaningful relationships.

+ Financial Aid

The financial aid team is finalizing 2017-18 awards and is pleased to announce it awarded more than 375 students with over $1 million in restricted and donor-based scholarships! Thank you to all the donors who supported our students.

The filing period for 2018-19 financial aid began Oct. 1, earlier than in the past. This means that the 2018-19 FAFSA will collect 2016 tax information that can be loaded into the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Financial aid staff anticipate that these changes will mean earlier distribution of financial aid awards.

+ Alumni & Parents

Family Weekend (Oct. 13-15) is just around the corner, and we know many families are eager to return to campus. If you haven’t yet registered, it’s not too late! Visit

We’re hosting events with beloved faculty in Seattle, Portland and Spokane in the next month! Ron Pyle will head to Seattle; Jerry Sittser and Mindy Smith will be in Portland; and Forrest Baird and Randy Michaelis will host in Spokane. For more information and to register, visit

Parents of current students, orders for Exam Survival Kits or Finals Week Fruit are due in mid-November. Keep your eye on your email inbox for more information. This is a tradition at the university, and it’s a great way to surprise and support your Whitworthian.

Alumni and parents on O‘ahu, join us at 4 p.m. on Nov. 25 at Moanalua High School in Honolulu. Gather with your fellow Pirates for food and fun, and then cheer for the men’s basketball team as it plays in the Hoops in Hawaii tournament. Watch your inbox for more information, or email Dale Hammond at dhammond@ Julie and I plan to be there!

Looking for a fellow alum? Odds are you can find that friend in our online directory! Visit, click “Connect,” and you’ll see a link to the directory.


+ Admissions

High school seniors should be completing their admissions applications and requesting transcripts and letters of recommendation from their guidance counselors. Our early action I (nonbinding) application deadline is Nov. 15, and the early bird is likely to get a quicker admission decision and an earlier financial aid award from us.

It was gratifying to see U.S. News rank Whitworth among the top 5 values – again – and top 10 regional universities overall in the Western U.S. This year, Whitworth also was ranked the No. 1 private regional university in the West for undergraduate teaching and No. 5 for service to veterans. These rankings largely affirm what we already know – that Whitworth offers an outstanding education at a great price after factoring in financial aid.

Veterans Day is a great opportunity to honor the brave men and women who have served our country in uniform. It is also a great time to visit campus for one of our largest Why Whitworth Days of the year. Go to to sign up. This year we’re offering a $1,000 scholarship to seniors who attend one of our official admissions visit programs.

+ The Campaign for Whitworth

Thank you for chatting with our students! Our annual phonathon program has started again, and our student callers love talking with you. Learn more about our enthusiastic team here: To ensure a call, you may update your contact information here: The team will be making thousands of calls over the next several months, so your phone may not be ringing right away. Of course, if you prefer to make a gift online, you can always do so at

+ Sports

The football team is off to a terrific start. The Pirates are 3-1 and ranked 22nd by Whitworth outscored its first three opponents by a combined margin of 158-23. QB Ian Kolste,’18, has surpassed Pirate career records for passing yards, passing touchdowns, total passes and completions.

The women’s soccer team has opened its NWC schedule with a 5-0-1 start, improving to 6-3-1 overall. The Pirates moved into sole possession of first place in the Northwest Conference standings with Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Pacific Lutheran University. Leah Corra, ’18, leads the team with five goals this season.

The men’s soccer team is off to a slower-than-expected start. The Pirates are 4-6-1 overall and 2-3-1 in the NWC. Austin Cassity, ’18, leads the conference in assists with five so far this season. Moi Diaz, ’18, has scored five goals.

Volleyball has won five straight matches by 3-0 scores to improve to 8-6 overall and 5-1 in the NWC. Cassandra Mendoza, ’18, ranks highly in kills, while Gracie Meiners, ’18, is among NWC leaders in assists. Taylor Wicht, ’18, is listed with conference leaders in digs.

The cross country women are ranked second in the west region in the latest USTFCCCA Division III rankings, while the men are ranked 10th in the west. The Pirate women are also ranked 20th in the national Division III poll. Kayla Leland, ’18, continues to be one of the top runners in the country at the DIII level.

The golf teams are off to good starts. The women’s team has finished second in all three of its tournaments. Katie Ochoa, ’18, has finished among the top 10 individually in every event. The men’s team started with a sixth-place finish, but improved to second place in the second tournament. Triston Hartfiel, ’20, was the Bucs’ top finisher at both tournaments.

Whitworth will induct the Class of 2017 to the Heritage Gallery Hall of Fame on Oct. 7. Matt Stueckle, ’01 (football and soccer); Leslie Nelson, ’04 (cross country, track & field); Natalie Danielson, ’06 (volleyball); and Cody Stelzer, ’10 (track & field) comprise the class.

Sports fans… you can always find the latest schedule, live stats and even streaming info for each of our teams at!

Closing Thoughts

As I write this, Homecoming and Family Weekend are just around the corner. The autumn air is crisp and the leaves are turning. What a beautiful time to be on Whitworth’s campus. Julie and I hope to see many of you in the coming weeks. Please stop and say hello. God bless, and Go Bucs!!

Beck A. Taylor