Parents

Karen Petersen Finch
Parent of current student
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Connection to Whitworth: I first came to Whitworth as Interim Chaplain in 1993-1994, sharing the position with my husband, Kevin Finch. Our daughter, Megan—who is now a Whitworth sophomore—was born just a few days after we took the chaplaincy position. That year of ministry was a turning point in our lives. Kevin and I were ordained to ministry in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. in April of '94 in the Seeley-Mudd Chapel, and it became my dream to earn a Ph.D. and return to Whitworth as a professor of Theology. I finally achieved that goal in fall of 2008, 14 years later.

Favorite thing(s) about Whitworth: What drew me during that first year was the rare combination of deep Christian faith and intellectual courage. I had been looking for that since becoming a Christian at 14; in that light, Whitworth felt like coming home. Secondly, we were immediately surrounded by authentic, thoughtful and light-hearted community, which—as young parents—we greatly needed.

How you give, and why you give back: We do give financially, but most of our giving comes through my work as a professor. Now that Megan is here as a student, I am seeing how Whitworth welcomes and supports students, and that has made me even more grateful for this community.
Mike and Brenda Williams
Parents of Cameron, '13, and Henry, '11, and members of the Parents' Council
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What they love: Both boys have played varsity tennis and we are ardent fans, following the team to away matches as well as at home in the bubble. We've hosted the team (and fans) for dinner between matches at our home in Olympia. We love to be around Whitworth students!

Favorite things at Whitworth: As Parents' Council members, we get to help freshmen and their families move into their dorms in September and host "summer send-off" events at our home. It's a thrill to be present at such an exciting time in their lives.

Areas they support: The Whitworth Fund, the tennis program and student life.

What makes them Whitworthians for Life: We'll probably still be checking tennis scores for years to come. Let's Go Bucs!
Dave Sarju
Parent of current student
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What he loves: Helping people share their gifts in work and community

Favorite thing about Whitworth: The organization's concern for individuals' emotional and academic needs, and ability to meet those needs in a matter of fact manner.

What he supports: As parents of four kids in higher ed next year, my wife and I support the future. We'd love for more African Americans to have access to the Whitworth experience.

What keeps him connected: Whitworth's integrity.

Craig and Jane Deitz, both '83
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Jerry Paschall, retired Whitworth employee
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I am a Whitworthian for Life, not as a Whitworth alumnus, but as a former staff member and father of a former student. Most people on campus knew me as the delivery guy before I retired in 2011. During my 21 years at Whitworth, I witnessed the transformation of the physical plant of the campus – from new buildings like Weyerhaeuser and Robinson Science Hall, to new dorms, to facelifts for existing facilities. I helped new faculty move into their offices and saw Whitworth's reputation grow. But one thing that never changed in all that time was Whitworth's commitment to students. I made it my personal mission to give back and encourage my fellow staff to join me to help make Whitworth a little more affordable for students. These days, I still like to come back to campus to check in on things. And I know that my contributions are still making a difference.

Highlights Celebrate Whitworth 125