Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

October 22, 2001

Whitworth Establishes Saunders Scholarship Fund to Honor Slain Trooper

Friends and classmates of late Washington State Trooper James Saunders are raising funds for an endowed scholarship in his name. Saunders, a popular student who graduated from Whitworth in 1990, was killed in the line of duty two years ago while making a traffic stop in Pasco, Wash.

Gifts or pledges can be made through Whitworth's Faith in the Future Campaign website. Please specify "Saunders Memorial Scholarship" in the "other" field of the online giving form. Gifts also can be made by mailing a check to Jim Saunders Memorial Scholarship Fund, Whitworth College, 300 W. Hawthorne Rd., Spokane, WA 99251. Pledges can be spread over a five-year period.

Whitworth seeks to raise $25,000 to establish a permanent endowment that would provide annual funding for the James Saunders Endowed Memorial Scholarship for deserving students. Several of Saunders' friends and classmates have already made gifts or pledges of $1,000 or more. Combined with memorial gifts made at the time of Saunders' death, more than $18,000 of the $25,000 goal has already been raised. The college hopes to raise the remaining $7,000 by the end of the year.

In a letter announcing the scholarship, some of Saunders' friends wrote, "Jim was the epitome of Whitworth character - devoted to his family and country, to the community he was asked to serve, and to being a friend who was always there when needed. Please join us in establishing a scholarship for students who exemplify that character."

Saunders, who was born in Clarkston, Wash., and grew up in the Wenatchee area, decided shortly after arriving at Whitworth to pursue a career in law enforcement. He majored in political studies and worked part time for the campus security team. He also participated in intramural athletics and was known as an active resident of McMillan Hall.

Before being commissioned by the Washington State Patrol in December of 1991, Saunders served on the Executive Protection Unit that provides security for the governor's mansion as well as personal protection for the governor when he travels. Gov. Gary Locke spoke at Saunders' funeral, expressing the personal loss he felt at the death of the affable patrolman.

Saunders is survived by his wife, Billie, and two young children.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The college enrolls about 2,100 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.


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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