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We asked our retiring faculty and staff to submit information about their time at Whitworth and their plans for the future. Many complied. Their stories and photos follow.

Mitch Arnold

Floor-Care Specialist, Facilities Services

Mitch and his wife and sons all earned bachelor's degrees at Whitworth, and, Mitch says, "We will always love our Whitworth family." Now that he’s retired from Whitworth, he’s able to devote his time to the Arnolds’ family business, Always Clean floor care. He hopes to continue to operate his business for many years, and, he says, "I will always remember my time at Whitworth and the lasting friendships I made there." 

Vic Bobb

Professor, Department of English

Vic came to Whitworth in 1986 after nine years at Eastern Illinois University. He says of EIU, "I had some wonderful colleagues there, good students, tenure, a startlingly successful rugby career, the best bass fishing I’m ever likely to see, a town that was a great place for my kids to grow up, and fireflies and cardinals. [In coming to Whitworth,] I was not fleeing bad circumstances…I was being brought by God toward an even better place."

"Being at Whitworth has been one of the central blessings of my life," Vic says, "and I cannot come close to expressing adequately my gratitude for the experience of these three decades behind the Pine Cone Curtain. You faculty colleagues, you staff people, you generations of students: thank you. Thank you. You have enriched my life beyond measure. I hope I’ve returned the favor in meaningful ways."

Retirement plans? "I intend to devote 16 to 18 hours each and every day to Not Grading Papers," Vic says. "I have some books I want to read or reread, a number of stories that I want to write, and a world of pictures of Whitman County that I want to take. I’ll probably increase the amount of Eastern-Washington-based freelancing that I so much enjoy. And I might just take in a Cougar football game now and then…."

Su Chism

Graphic Designer, University Communications Office

After 26 years of working with "funny, kind and smart people" at Whitworth, Su has retired to the countryside. She intends "to devote some years to the study of the spatter patterns of alpaca spit and the velocity of chickens, under the supervision of too many dogs."

Dayna Coleman-Jones

Assistant Dean of Students, Student Life Division

Dayna joined Whitworth (for the first time) in 1983. For the next two years, she was resident director in Warren Hall and served as the then-college’s housing coordinator. She moved to California and worked at Menlo College for two years, and then returned to Whitworth in 1987 as part-time coordinator for nontraditional students, living in BJ with her then-husband, B.J.’s resident director. Dayna was named coordinator of housing and conferences in 1988, and she became director of student activities in 1989. That job morphed into assistant dean of students and added conferences/events, oversight of the university recreation center and HUB direction. Coleman Jones’s positive influence on Whitworth students is acknowledged by everyone who has ever seen her in their company or taken a look at her photos on Facebook or Instagram. Re: her future plans, she says, "I will take the summer to drool in a chair in the sun. Then I’ll do something for good and not for evil."

Warren Friedrichs

Coach and Professor, Department of Kinesiology & Athletics

Warren joined Whitworth Athletics as the Pirates’ men’s basketball coach in fall 1985. He retires as a full faculty member and has chaired Whitworth's kinesiology department and served as the university’s interim director of athletics. In 1991 Whitworth reached the NAIA’s postseason basketball tournament for the first time in 30 years, and in 1996 Friedrichs’ hoopsters were national runners-up in the NAIA Div. II. Warren was inducted into the Whitworth Heritage Gallery in 2011.He coached many of the greatest players in Pirate history, including Nate Dunham and Doug Loiler, both NWC players of the year, in basketball. He then went on to be the very successful coach of Whitworth golf, mentoring champions Emily Guthrie, ’13, and Andrew Parrott and Jordan Carter, both ‘08. "Coaching golf has been lots of fun and not as stressful as coaching basketball," Warren (an excellent golfer himself) says. In retirement, he says, "I plan to be a good grandpa, to travel some and to play plenty of golf."

Joan Lack

Performing Arts Tour Specialist, Department of Music

Joan says that her 18-plus years at Whitworth have been...

  • life-changing – as she’s planned more than 50 music tours and traveled with students all over the world;
  • rewarding – as she earned her college degree alongside her three sons;
  • inspiring – as she worked with such talented faculty, staff and students; and
  • blessed – as she was surrounded by music, friendships, Christian fellowship and personal growth every day.

"It's hard to say goodbye," Joan says. "But I'm excited for the next chapter. My plans include family, friends, grandchildren, hiking, biking, volunteer work and travel. Thank you Whitworth. My heart is full of gratitude."

Margie LaShaw

Associate Professor of Economics & Business, School of Business

"My Whitworth career has been filled with excitement, changes and challenges," Margie says. "I joined Whitworth’s economics & business department on a one-year contract in 1988, changing to a tenure-track position in 1989. I truly felt God had led me to this place where education could be an expression of faith, and learning could be experienced through relationships with students and colleagues." 

As her department grew into the School of Business (WSB), she also grew, earning a doctorate in accounting. "Our department went through many growing pains and some interesting deans in the process," she says now, "but God’s guidance and grace saw us through the challenging years."

Margie calls the WSB "a great place to work, with talented faculty, staff and leadership!"  But she feels that God is now leading her in another direction. "I’m looking forward to what God has in store for the next phase of my life," she says. "And I’m so thankful for the people I have had the privilege to work beside and for the education my daughter received here. I will miss the students, staff and faculty – but I am looking forward to less driving as I spend more time on our farm!"

Jim McPherson

Professor, Communication Studies


"I can’t believe how quickly 17 years at Whitworth has gone," says Jim. "In that time, I’ve been blessed by interactions with the best students and finest teachers I can imagine." Often, the best (and sometimes the worst) part of Jim’s job came from advising the student newspaper, The Whitworthian, which the Society of Professional Journalists named the best non-daily student newspaper in the country in 2009. "Perhaps what I appreciate most about Whitworth" Jim says, "is the fact that I have never felt pressure to be anything other than truly myself – whether that meant wearing a black armband to protest the Iraq War, being quoted in sources ranging from local media to The New York Times, maintaining a social media presence that at times undoubtedly made administrators cringe, or sharing with students the story of how my becoming a Christian as an adult helped me overcome alcoholism. Having written two books while at Whitworth, I am working on three others that retirement will give me the time to finish. And of course I’ll be able to spend much more time with my wife and our grandson."

Terry Rayburn Mitchell

Senior Editor, University Communications Office

Please see Terry’s editor’s note for a brief Whitworth farewell. Now that she’s a retiree, she plans to avoid reading anything for about six months. She then hopes "to research tiny houses (and perhaps to live in one eventually), to read all the articles I’ve missed in my 25-plus years of subscribing to The New Yorker, to hang with my grandkids, to espouse unpopular political opinions on Facebook, to get a dog, to drive all over Washington learning about my adopted state, to see Hamilton (I don’t know where or when, but I will do it), to attend a couple Seahawks games, to volunteer with political organizations, animal-rescue organizations, and children’s charities, and to sleep each morning until I can sleep no more."

Donna Pierce

Professor, Math & Computer Science

The past 16 years at Whitworth have given Donna the opportunity to work alongside amazing colleagues who, as a community, sought the Kingdom of God. "Together with them," she says, "I explored vocation, learned about God’s heart for justice, grew in knowledge, and learned how to teach and mentor students." Donna is excited about new ways that God can teach her and use her during her retirement years. She looks forward to having more time to pray, to read, to spend with grandkids, to travel and learn about other cultures, and to advocate for those who are suffering.

Tami Robinson

Associate Professor/Coordinator, Instructional Services
Harriet Cheney Cowles Library

Tami joined the Whitworth faculty in fall 1999. She has served the university in the library for the past 18 years, instructing students on research resources in the disciplines. She is an advocate for libraries, having served on the board of the Association of Christian Librarians, and on the editorial team of two journals in her field. Tami’s husband, Scott, who is enjoying retirement, will be welcoming her into a more relaxed lifestyle. She is hoping to explore new opportunities, "to do some travelling, and to spend more leisure time with family and friends." The Robinsons will continue to live in Spokane and attend Spokane First Church of the Nazarene.

Barbara Sanders

Dean, School of Education

In her 20 years at Whitworth, Barb has enjoyed the variety of positions in which she has had the opportunity to serve, including teaching in the MIT and undergraduate teacher-education departments, serving as the associate dean of instruction and overseeing the NWCCU accreditation self-study and site visit, serving as interim provost when Michael Le Roy, ’89, moved to Calvin as its president, and completing her time at Whitworth back in the School of Education as dean. Barb appreciates the opportunities she had to help provide more support for students who struggle academically at Whitworth, and to participate in the opening of the Marriage and Family Therapy Center and Northwest Autism Center, in Tacoma Hall. She is excited to move to the "next chapter" and to spend her time volunteering and hanging with her family and grandchildren who will (she hopes) arrive in the next year. "I feel very blessed to have shared the past 20 years with faculty, staff and students at Whitworth," she says.

Raja S. Tanas

Professor, Department of Sociology

At Whitworth, Raja has taught a variety of courses, both at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including Core 350, Cultural Anthropology, Directed Readings in Sociology, Population Studies, Research Methods, Statistics, Sex and Society, Social Stratification, Sociology of Middle Eastern Society, and Introduction to Sociology. In addition, he taught off-campus programs during Jan Term for many years, and he served as chair of the sociology department from 2007-17.

In 1989, Raja’s colleagues recognized his excellent teaching with the Burlington Northern Teaching Award; in 1997, he received the Outstanding Faculty Service Award. The Class of 2000 asked him to deliver their commencement address, Be Not Afraid, and the Class of 2010 named him Most Influential Male Professor. He also received the Whitworth Diversity Award in 2011 and was profiled in the 1998 and 2000 issues of Who's Who Among America's Teachers.

Asked about his retirement plans, Raja says that he will continue public speaking and writing on current events in the Middle East.

Amal Z. Tanas

Faculty Support Coordinator, School of Continuing Studies

Amal grew up in Beirut, Lebanon. She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees in public administration from the American University of Beirut. Amal and Whitworth Sociology Professor Raja Tanas met at the university and were married in 1974, after which they left for the U.S. Amal and her family lived in Colorado, Michigan and California before they moved in 1983 to Spokane, where Raja had accepted a teaching position at Whitworth College. Amal started working for Whitworth as a floater. In 1988 she took a part-time program-assistant position working for the Lindaman Chair, communications department, and church relations. Soon after that she moved to continuing studies, where she worked until her retirement, in December 2016.

Amal and Raja have two sons and five grandchildren. The Tanases plan to stay in Spokane during retirement but would like to spend more time with their sons and their families in Iowa and Maryland.

Ann Teberg

Associate Professor, School of Education

Ann’s academic interests include elementary literacy and the development of international literacy programs for young learners. In her 15 years at Whitworth, she has served as in the School of Education as literacy faculty, director of student teaching, and, most recently, as the chair of the teacher-education department. Ann is the founder of Read with Me, Arusha, a nonprofit organization focusing on developing literacy skills of the children of Arusha, Tanzania, and opening new doors to their futures. Through the School of Education, Ann has traveled to Arusha with pre-service teacher candidates each year in January, engaging them in service-learning opportunities in the schools and orphanages. These candidates have experienced life-changing interactions with Tanzanian children, using their service in a variety of ways. Ann is grateful for the students and colleagues who have worked alongside her, prayed for her, and shared these years with her. Her two daughters, three grandchildren, and both her parents live in Washington state, and Ann looks forward to spending more time with them. She also looks forward to spending time at her Loon Lake home and sailing wherever the wind takes her.

Carolyn Williams

Systems Analyst, Information Systems

Carolyn remembers her first day at Whitworth. "I was shown my work area: an old wooden chair and desk in a small office with bad lighting in the basement of the old library," she says. "This was in harsh contrast to my previous place of employment," where she’d had all the amenities and great views of Spokane. But she wasn’t daunted. "I liked my old job," she says, "but not the mission. My heart wasn't in it. Whitworth is where I wanted to be."

Her career became a litany of "’Learn this, study that, and forget what you used to know because it's now irrelevant!’ Personal computers for everyone. User accounts, passwords, network connections for students in their dorms. WhitNet, laptops, WIFI, Blackboard, Infosilem, Sharepoint, Informer, a data warehouse," etc. Whitworth and the world changed immeasurably during her tenure here.

Carolyn’s retirement agenda includes "[making] suggestions while my husband converts my home office into a mudroom, working in the yard, playing with the grandkids, going to the lake, visiting my sisters in Oregon with trips to the Oregon Coast, sewing for my toddler granddaughter, teaching my dog better manners, and reading something besides the news and technical manuals. Thank you, Whitworth."

Linda Yochum

Administrative Secretary, Student Life Division

Linda has been at Whitworth for more than three decades, doing everything possible to help students enjoy, appreciate, and learn from their Whitworth experiences. "I have been blessed with 31 wonderful years here," she says, "and I am grateful for the great faculty, staff and students I have worked with over the years. Their passion for the Whitworth mission is amazing." As she looks back on her involvement with countless students, campus events and processes since she began her career at Whitworth, she knows that she has gained much during her time here. "What great memories I will take with me," she says. In retirement she hopes to spend more time traveling and with her children and grandchildren. "I look forward to seeing what God has planned for the next chapter of my life," she says.