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Mind & Heart

April 2018

I love to speak with high school students and their families who are considering Whitworth. After finishing my “elevator pitch” – mind-and-heart education, the value of the Christian liberal arts, the importance of being mentored by accomplished faculty, and Pirate pride, among other things – I have recently been closing with this admonition: Don’t think of going to college as simply a transaction – an exchange of money for some set of services, albeit important ones. Sure, these students will pay tuition, buy books and live on campus, and in exchange, they will receive an incredible and transformative education that will prepare them for careers and vocations. But, it has to be more than that. My advice is based on two realities. First, I remind them that as people born at the turn of the 21st century, they are “digital natives” – that is, they have never known life without the internet; Facebook and other social media platforms were launched before their first day in kindergarten; and they have always had the world at their fingertips through their smartphones and computers. There has never been a more connected generation, people who have access to the world and to other human beings with startling speed and convenience. But, then I remind them that survey after survey of American youth reports that young people, and many of us by some measure, have never felt more isolated and lonely. How can that be? We are simultaneously more connected and lonelier than ever. At Whitworth, we are persuaded that the best education happens in the context of relationships – deep and meaningful relationships with peers and mentors, and that if Whitworth is to faithfully live into its educational mission, it must stand in the gap between our students’ greatest need, which is to be known fully by another, and the fallacy that technology or a successful career will satisfy that need. Whitworth’s mission is rooted in relationships, and I can’t wait for our newest students to experience that kind of education.

+ Academics

Athletic training faculty and alumni were recognized at the Northwest Athletic Trainers’ Association’s annual district meeting in Portland, Ore., in March. Associate Professor Cynthia Wright, ’05, and Jennifer Stueckle, ’99, won Outstanding Service awards. Lisa Kenney, ’04, won the New Horizons award. Nine Whitworth students presented original research projects at the meeting.

Aaron Putzke (Biology) received a $15,000 Partners in Science grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust to mentor a local high school science teacher over two summers of research in Putzke’s lab.

Several teams of computer science students competed against more than 100 teams in the Crimson Code Hackathon in March at Washington State University. One Whitworth team placed sixth overall and won in the category of “Best Use of Amazon Web Services.”

The forensics team closed its season at the International Public Debate Association National Tournament, held on Whitworth’s campus March 24-27. The team, coached by Mike Ingram (Communication Studies) and Micah Allred, ’17, took fifth place at the event, and earned a season-long national ranking of fourth place out of more than 125 institutions. Go Arguing Bucs!

Twenty-three health sciences students attended the American College of Sports Medicine Northwest conference to present their research projects. Whitworth students earned three of five available undergraduate research awards.

Brent Edstrom (Music) is the recipient of this year’s Provost’s Faculty Scholarship Award, presented to a senior faculty member to recognize and encourage scholarly activity. He will use the award to pursue a third book with Oxford University Press building on his work in Arduino for Musicians.

Stacy Keogh George (Sociology) is the recipient of a second provost’s award, presented to a pre-tenured faculty member pursuing an important scholarly project. She will use the award to complete a book manuscript further developing her research on the “ring by spring” culture and its “impact on the intimate relationships of college students at Whitworth and around the country.”

Justin Martin (Psychology), Marc A. Robinson (History) and Shawn Washington (Student Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) held a panel discussion on “Heroes, Media Images of African Americans, and Marvel’s Black Panther as part of the Spokane Public Library’s Black History Month program.

+ The Arts

The art department and the university’s Bryan Oliver Gallery are proud to present the 2018 senior exhibition. An eclectic and engaging selection of works from our art and graphic design majors will be on display. You are invited to celebrate with this year’s graduating class at the opening reception, on April 10 from 5-7 p.m., and/or at the closing reception, on May 19 from 11 a.m.-noon.

The theatre department will present its spring production, Argonautika, April 13, 14, 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m. and April 15 at 2 p.m., in Cowles Auditorium. Join Jason and the Argonauts on a swashbuckling adventure through the perilous oceans of mythical Greece. Tickets are available at

+ Student Life

More than 80 students participated in campus ministry’s new “life groups” program. Students were grouped with a staff or faculty mentor-leader for six weeks of Christian connection, Bible study and prayer.

Whitworth Career Services has been busy connecting students with companies. Over Jan and spring terms, 170 students have been placed in internships. Earlier this semester, more than 200 students took part in Career Week activities, which included a networking event and professional development sessions. And, I just returned from Seattle where I met up with more than 40 students and as many alumni who are working hard to connect these soon-to-be alumni with some of the region’s best companies.

+ Financial Aid

Donor-sponsored scholarships are now being awarded for the upcoming 2018-19 academic year and will continue to be awarded throughout the summer. Students will be notified via their financial aid award if they are selected as a recipient of a scholarship. Students can check if they met the Feb. 15 priority deadline on Pirate Port under “Missing and Received Documents.”

+ Alumni & Parents

Spokane-area alums, join us for Alumni Afterhours at Yards Bruncheon in Kendall Yards on April 19! Register today at Plus, all Whitworthians are encouraged to save the date for a Father’s Day event at Big Barn Brewing Company on June 17 and Spokane Indians games on Aug. 24 and 25.

Parents, to order Spring Exam Survival Kits and Fresh Fruit Bags for students, visit before April 20. Questions? Contact or 509.777.3772.

Commencement 2018 DVDs are now available for preordering. Visit by June 1 to order a DVD of the undergraduate commencement ceremony.

Whitworthians in the Seattle area, register today to join us for a Mariners vs. Dodgers game at Safeco Field on Aug. 19. For more information and to register, visit

I am pleased to announce retired U.S. Gen. Colin L. Powell will be the featured speaker for the fall President’s Leadership Forum on Friday, Oct. 12. This also happens to be the first day of Homecoming and Family Weekend! The title of Gen. Powell’s address is “Diplomacy: Persuasion, Trust & Values.” For more information and to register, visit Seating is limited.


+ Admissions

For prospective Whitworth freshmen, May 1 is the deadline for submitting an enrollment deposit and holding a spot in the Class of 2022. Students can pay the $350 deposit by logging into their application status page at Still on the fence? Spring is a great time to make a campus visit. Sign up for a Why Whitworth Day at

Now is the time for transfer students to apply for the fall. Go to and click on the “Whitworth transfer application” button. We have no application fee and will give you an admissions decision within two weeks of submission.

High school juniors are invited to our Pirate Preview visit event May 6-7. In addition to taking a campus tour, visiting a class, spending a night in a residence hall and meeting current students, participants will have the opportunity to explore Whitworth’s many academic and co-curricular programs. Sign up at

+ The Campaign for Whitworth

Interested in chatting with a student? We have 15 Phonathon callers who are itching to talk with you and discuss your support of Whitworth over the phone. If you’d like to receive a call, email and we’ll get one scheduled.

Didn’t get a chance to give to a featured project on One Pine Day? Well, you’re in luck! Our crowdfunding program will now be live year-round, featuring a variety of projects from areas around campus. Check out to give to one or more of the projects that are still being funded in this current cycle.

Whitworth Gives. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook at @whitworthgives to hear how donors are impacting students’ lives and for future opportunities for you to make a difference.

We are excited to hold a blessing ceremony on Thursday, April 12, at 3:15 p.m., to celebrate the start of construction of the Beeksma Family Theology Center, set to open this fall. The project includes an addition to and remodel of the existing chapel that will allow campus ministry, the Office of Church Engagement and the theology department faculty to be co-located at the center of campus.

+ Sports

The men’s basketball team finished the season 24-4 and made a 12th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division III basketball tournament. Kyle Roach, ’19, became the first Pirate selected First Team All-American (NABC and since 2011. He was also named Division III West Region Player of the Year by the NABC.

Kayla Leland, ’18, added another All-America performance to her résumé by finishing fifth in the 5,000 meters at the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field Championships in Birmingham, Ala. She leads a strong Pirate women’s team ranked 10th in outdoor track & field by the USTFCCCA. Kayla Brase (triple jump), ’18; Isabel Clark (heptathlon), ’19; Sarah Martinez (hurdles), ’18; and Kameha Medallada (sprints), ’19, have all posted nationally ranked marks.

The softball team has a winning NWC record, and the Pirates are back in the hunt for an NWC title. Madelyn Carlson, ’21, has been phenomenal in her first season as a pitcher. She ranks third in the conference in pitching victories (12).

The baseball team is in a battle to make the 2018 NWC tournament with five other schools, all separated by one game in the standings between second and seventh place. Hugh Smith, ’19, continues to impress professional scouts with his dominating pitching. He is 5-0 with a league-leading 1.64 ERA.

The tennis teams returned from Spring Break in California ready to complete the NWC schedule. The women are in a hunt for the four-team NWC tournament.

The golf teams also traveled to California for Spring Break. The men took 14th at the West Cup in La Verne, while the women were sixth at the UC Santa Cruz Spring Invitational.

The Whitworth Golf Classic will be held Monday, June 4, at the Kalispel Golf and Country Club. It’s a great opportunity to connect with other fans and support Pirate athletics.

Closing Thoughts

As students and employees returned from Spring Break this week, I reminded them that there are only seven weeks remaining in the academic year! Although we still have much ground to cover, the sunshine and warmer temperatures remind us that we are in the home stretch. What a year it has been! I’m already looking forward to welcoming our families back to campus to celebrate commencement and the close of Whitworth’s 128th year. Let’s finish strong!

Beck A. Taylor