Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

May 30, 2001

Scholarship Endowment Established for Howard Gage

Led by former students who were motivated and inspired by the late math and computer science professor Howard Gage, Whitworth College is establishing a scholarship endowment in his honor. Gage died in December following a 10-year battle with Parkinson's disease and a 31-year career at Whitworth that included founding the college's respected computer science program, integrating technology into college operations and mentoring countless students.

Gifts or pledges can be made through Whitworth's website. Please specify "Gage Memorial Scholarship" in the "other" field of the online giving form. Gifts also can be made by mailing a check to Howard Gage Memorial Scholarship Fund, Whitworth College, 300 W. Hawthorne Rd., Spokane, WA 99251. Pledges can be spread over a five-year period.
The college is seeking to raise $25,000 to establish a permanent endowment that would annually fund the Howard Gage Memorial Scholarship in Math and Computer Science. Nine former students, many of whom were propelled by Gage into successful technology careers, have each made pledges of at least $1,000. Combined with memorial gifts, $17,000 has already been raised. The college hopes to raise the remaining $8,000 in gifts and pledges by the first anniversary of Gage's death on Dec. 2, 2001.

In a letter announcing the scholarship, several former students wrote, "Before Howard's death, several of us were talking about honoring him this spring while he was still teaching. We discussed how nice it would be to show him how much we appreciated him, even though we knew he would be embarrassed about the attention. It's unfortunate we didn't do this a year ago. Howard's enthusiasm for his teaching and his students should be permanently celebrated."

Gage graduated from Whitworth in 1962 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics. After completing his graduate studies at the University of Oregon, Gage returned to Whitworth as a math professor in 1969 and became one of the college's most beloved and influential teachers.

In addition to teaching and developing numerous mathematics courses, Gage almost single-handedly created Whitworth's respected computer science program. Ken Pecka, Whitworth's director of instructional resources, says Gage probably influenced every Whitworth student who has gone on to a career in computer science and technology over the past 30 years. He also consulted with numerous local technology firms and provided workshops and guest lectures for high schools around Washington State.

In a faculty appreciation forum, one former student now working with a local technology firm paid the following tribute to Gage: "I want to thank you for being an excellent teacher. I want to thank you for caring about us not only as students but also as people. I remember when you patted me on the back and said... 'I see a lot of talent in you. I'm going to take care of you.'"

Gage received Whitworth's Faculty Distinguished Service Award in 1984 and 1989 - a rare double achievement. He also served as chair of the Math/Computer Science Department and the Science Division, and he served on numerous high-profile college committees.

In addition to his work at the college, Gage was an active member and volunteer at Whitworth Community Presbyterian Church. He played a key role on the church's long range planning committee, helped teach several adult Sunday School classes and served on committees which selected two of the church's most recent pastors.


Stacey Kamm Smith, associate vice president for institutional advancement, (509) 777-4388 or skammsmith@whitworth.edu.

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

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