Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

February 1, 2002

Whitworth College to Confer Honorary Doctorate Upon Award-Winning Photographer, Cinematographer

Whitworth College will confer upon Floyd Daniel, an award-winning photographer and cinematographer, an honorary doctor of humane letters in recognition of his contributions to Whitworth and to the craft to which he has dedicated much of his life. The ceremony will take place as part of Founder's Day Convocation on Tuesday, Feb. 12, at 11 a.m. in Cowles Memorial Auditorium at Whitworth College.

In 1995 Daniel donated his entire collection of photography books and periodicals to Whitworth's Harriett Cheney Cowles Library. The collection, which was assembled during Daniel's lengthy career as a groundbreaking photographer and cinematographer for the Boeing Co. and as a freelancer for Christian mission organizations, began with 1,100 books. As Daniel has continued to collect and donate materials, the collection has grown to more than 1,400 volumes.

In addition to his contribution of the Daniel Collection, Daniel and his wife Shirley sponsor photography exhibits at Whitworth, and bring professional photographers to campus to speak to Whitworth's photography classes and to hold public lectures and workshops. Floyd Daniel has also exhibited his photographs in Whitworth's Koehler Gallery and has made numerous guest appearances in the Art Department, speaking with students about the technical aspects of photography and film production as well as about his personal experiences and his Christian faith.

Daniel purchased his first camera when he was eight years old. "The lens was plastic and the photos looked like they were shot through the bottom of a Coke bottle," he says. "They were terrible." But Daniel's mother thought her son had talent, and she bought him an Eastman Kodak folding camera when he was 16. He was in love with photography then, and that passion has continued throughout his life.

Daniel's dedication began to pay off in 1941, when he was working at the Boeing Co. and saw an opportunity to do some professional photography. Despite the wartime shortage of film and flashbulbs, he used his own limited supply of both to photograph the Boeing ice hockey team's championship game. The risk paid off when the editor of Boeing's in-house magazine asked Daniel to be in charge of photos for all Boeing sports and recreation events during his off hours, in exchange for all the film and flashbulbs he needed.

His freelance photojournalism career blossomed outside Boeing as well. He covered strikes, train wrecks, air crashes, political figures including the governors of Washington and Oregon, the Roosevelt/Willkie presidential campaign, VJ Day, the return of U.S. troops from the Pacific, and speeches by President Harry Truman following the end of WWII.

Daniel began shooting photos for Seattle Youth for Christ in 1945. In a strange turn of events in the autumn of 1947, he missed a flight to Alaska that subsequently crashed, killing the director of SYFC and all others aboard the plane. This near-miss led to his conversion to Christianity, and from that moment on Daniel was determined to use his photographic skills to advance God's work.

In 1949 he became interested in motion pictures, attracted by their creative possibilities, and in 1953, World Vision founder Bob Pierce asked Daniel to be part of a two-person team that would transport, set up and operate equipment for wide-screen film presentations in cities across the United States and Canada. Daniel and his partner covered 25,000 miles in two-and-a-half months, presenting the films to thousands of people and helping to raise nearly half a million dollars to establish World Vision orphanages in Korea.

Eventually, Daniel moved on to more mission work as first officer and photographer for the Marine Medical Mission, whose ships provided badly needed medical help and conducted vacation Bible schools for native peoples along the inside passage of British Columbia and southeast Alaska.

Boeing formed a motion picture unit in 1955 and hired Daniel as a cinematographer. Working later as a producer and director, he won two national "Indy Awards," including the Grand Prize in 1965 for the best industrial film produced in North America. Daniel credits this success not only to film classes he took at USC and UCLA, but also to his classes at University of Washington and to his Bellevue Community College studies with Oscar-winning Hollywood producer Stanley Kramer.

Daniel's retirement from Boeing in 1985 did not signal the end of his years as a photographer. He continues to use his talents, his skills, and his resourcefulness for Christian organizations, and he devotes much time and effort to the acquisition of books and periodicals for Whitworth's Daniel Photography Collection.

"Floyd's generosity has greatly enhanced the Whitworth Art Department's photography program and the library's book collection," says Barbara Filo, associate professor of art and department chair at Whitworth. "Floyd is a genuinely committed Christian artist who has great enthusiasm for sharing his love of photography, film making, art and life with others."


Barbara Filo, associate professor of art and department chair, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4470 or bfilo@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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