Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

May 8, 2002

Whitworth to Honor Graduates in May 18-19 Ceremonies

Several graduating seniors at Whitworth's 112th commencement ceremony will have more than their parents to thank for the roof over their heads. The keynote speaker will be Charles L. Boppell, chairman of Whitworth's board of trustees and, along with his wife, Karlyn, the primary donor for Whitworth's newest residence hall. Boppell Hall - a $4 million, 29,400-square-foot residence completed in October - has become a magnet for upper-division students drawn to the facility's spacious, suite-style rooms.

Boppell, a California restaurant executive whose family connections to Whitworth stretch across four generations, will address about 400 graduating seniors and their families at the undergraduate commencement ceremony scheduled for 3 p.m., May 19, at the Spokane Arena. His address is titled "By the way, there are three things you'll want to remember."

Whitworth President Bill Robinson will be the keynote speaker for the graduate commencement ceremony at 10 a.m. on May 18 in Whitworth's Cowles Memorial Auditorium. His address, titled "Blessed are the Peacemakers," will be delivered to about 110 students receiving masters' degrees in counseling, education, international management and teaching. Robinson is entering his 10th year as Whitworth's 17th president and has helped lead the college to record levels of student enrollment and retention, financial strength and external visibility.

Retiring faculty members Don and Doris Liebert will speak at Whitworth's baccalaureate ceremony at 10 a.m. May 19 in Cowles Memorial Auditorium. Their address is titled "Pentecost: What's Going on Here?" in recognition of the Christian holiday, observed on May 19 this year, during which the church celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit. Don Liebert is the longest-tenured member of Whitworth's sociology department and is one of the founders of Whitworth's acclaimed Central America study and service tour. Doris Liebert, who joined Whitworth's education faculty in 1982 and has been director of student teaching for the past 18 years, received the Excellence in Teacher Preparation Award last year from the Washington State Professional Educators Standards Board.

Charles L. Boppell is president and CEO of Worldwide Restaurant Concepts and has been a top executive with some of the most successful companies in the food and restaurant industry. However, his connections to Whitworth run longer and deeper.

Boppell's grandfather supported Whitworth 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. He graduated in 1965 with a degree in economics; his wife is a 1967 graduate in music. Their daughter, Tauni, graduated with the Whitworth Class of 1990.

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 Boppell 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 $2 million 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. That donation follows a $1 million gift for the Karlyn Boppell Music Scholarship and The Whitworth Fund that the couple made in October 1999 to launch the public phase of Whitworth's $50 million Faith in the Future Campaign. More than $57 million has been raised or pledged during the campaign, which will officially come to a close June 30.

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.


Gary Whisenand, registrar, (509) 777-4313 or gwhisenand@whitworth.edu.

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

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