Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

April 14, 2000

Whitworth Announces 2000 Commencement Speakers

The featured speaker for Whitworth's 2000 undergraduate commencement ceremony will be Raja S. Tanas, a popular, longtime professor in the college's sociology department. The ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. May 14 at the Spokane Arena. Tanas' commencement address is titled "Be Not Afraid."

Tanas joined Whitworth's faculty in 1983 after completing bachelor's and master's degrees in sociology at American University in Beirut, Lebanon, and a doctorate in sociology at Michigan State University. He teaches a variety of courses in the sociology department, including anthropology, population studies, sociology of wealth and poverty and computer and statistical analysis, while his research focuses on Middle Eastern and Islamic issues. A native of the Holy Land, Tanas leads Whitworth students on a biennial Middle East study tour titled "Peoples and Cultures of the Holy Land: Past and Present." He was recognized by his colleagues with the Burlington Northern Teaching Excellence Award in 1989 and with the Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award in 1997.

Whitworth President William P. Robinson will speak at the college's graduate commencement ceremony, scheduled for 10 a.m. May 13 in Whitworth's Cowles Memorial Auditorium. Robinson, a communications scholar and a leader in higher education, is completing his seventh year as Whitworth's president. The title of his address is: "Filling in the Gaps with Good."

Speaking at the baccalaureate service at 11 a.m. May 14 in Cowles Auditorium, will be Whitworth Political Science Professor Julia Stronks and her mother, Gloria Goris Stronks, an education professor at Calvin College. Stronks and her mother, who recently co-authored a book titled Christian Teachers in Public Schools, will speak on "Love and Forgiveness: A Foundation for Learning to do Justice." Given that the service falls on Mother's Day, the Stronkses will address the role of families in intergenerational teaching about justice.


Greg Orwig, director of communications, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4580 or gorwig@whitworth.edu.

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