Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

April 25, 2001

Whitworth Honors Multi-Generation Supporters with Naming of New Residence Hall

Four generations of Charles and Karlyn Boppell's family have supported Whitworth College. Now the chairman of the college's board of trustees and his wife have pledged $2 million for a new campus residence hall that will support future generations of students - including, perhaps, some Boppell offspring.

Whitworth officials will honor the Boppells at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in a groundbreaking ceremony for the new residence, to be named Boppell Hall. The $4 million project is being built on the northeast corner of campus by Walker Construction. Scheduled to be completed in November 2001, the three-story, 29,400-square-foot building will house 84 students in suite-style rooms.

"The rise in retention and enrollment over the past five years has stretched our campus housing capacity to the limit, so this new residence hall will provide much-needed space for more of our students to enjoy the benefits of living on campus," says Whitworth President Bill Robinson. "It is typical of Chuck and Karlyn Boppell to seize this opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of our students. We are blessed by the generosity of these wonderful friends of Whitworth."

Charles Boppell's grandfather supported Whitworth and served on the board after his two sons attended the college in the 1920s. Both of Boppell's parents attended Whitworth, along with several aunts, uncles and cousins. Boppell, all of his siblings, and his wife-to-be, Karlyn, also attended the college. Charles Boppell graduated in 1965 with a degree in economics and Karlyn Boppell is a 1967 graduate in music. Their daughter, Tauni, graduated with the Whitworth class of 1990.

Ironically, it was Boppell's father, Carl, who discovered the 1927 fire that ravaged Ballard Hall, the college's second-oldest building and now a landmark women's residence hall. Carl served on Whitworth's board of trustees from 1944 to 1965 and was followed by his son, Charles, who joined the board in 1983 and has served as its chairman since 1990.

The Boppells say that their gift for the residence hall project was motivated by their family's strong ties to the college and by their deep confidence in Whitworth's future under Bill Robinson's leadership. In the eighth year of Robinson's presidency, Whitworth is enjoying record levels of student enrollment and retention, the strongest financial position in the college's history, and increased external visibility.

"Building a new residence hall has been a high priority for Bill Robinson because he knows how important it is for students to connect to the campus community early in their college experience. Karlyn and I wanted to honor that and to recognize what a significant difference Bill has made to the college in his tenure as president," Boppell says. "More than a dozen members of the Boppell family have attended or worked for Whitworth, so the college has shaped who we are and what we're about in significant ways. This was something we could do to give back to the college that has given so much to us."

The Boppells live in Bel Air, Calif., where Mr. Boppell has led several successful companies in the restaurant and food industries. He currently is president and CEO of Sizzler International, Inc., headquartered in Culver City, Calif.

The Boppells' gift for the residence hall follows a $1 million pledge for the Karlyn Boppell Music Scholarship and annual operational support that the couple made in October 1999 to launch the public phase of Whitworth's $50 million Faith in the Future Campaign. More than $45 million has already been raised or pledged during the campaign, which seeks to proclaim and enhance the college's academic excellence through support for endowed chairs and professorships, a new academic building, technology improvements, student scholarships and other initiatives.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The college enrolls 2,000 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.


Kristi Burns, vice president for institutional advancement, (509) 777-3243 or kburns@whitworth.edu.

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

Related Links

Whitworth Press Release Index