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Mind & Heart

September 2017

The beginning of every academic year is filled with hope and promise. Those of us who work in education are often hardwired for optimism. And why not? For example, at Whitworth, the faculty and staff recognize and celebrate the enormous privilege we have to participate in the educational journey with students. Many of us have seen time and again how Whitworth's mind-and-heart education can transform young people, and we can't wait to welcome our new students to this place we know will provide life-changing experiences. It's that same confidence and hope that allows me to console weepy family members as they drop off their students for the first time. It's also that same confidence I have when students cross the stage at commencement, shake my hand, hear "God bless you" from me, and enter a world that will gladly take every bit of character, expertise, compassion and service they can muster. I know they are ready. But if educators are optimistic, we are also realistic. At the beginning of Whitworth's 128th academic year, our communities, nation and world are beleaguered by persistent evil and sinful patterns of oppression, racism, bigotry and violence. Students, staff and faculty came back to Whitworth with excitement about the upcoming year, but also with images of Charlottesville still fresh in our memories. Concerns about immigration policy, war on the Korean Peninsula, the ravages of hurricanes and the sorry state of political discourse in our country serve to create stress and anxiety among our students even as they delight in educational riches. Optimism and realism – I'm confident that our students will get healthy doses of both this year. At the end of our year together, my hope and prayer, as it is every year, is that the Whitworth community will be found faithful to its mission to honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity," because I believe the world will be better for it. Thanks for all you do to support that noble mission.

+ Academics

We are pleased to welcome these new and visiting faculty members: Edna Ndichu (Business); Kraig Wheeler (Chemistry); Molly Bozo, Pam LeBret and Marion Moore (Education); Kari Nixon (English); Marianne Bracke (Library); Susan Alexander (Math & Computer Science); Jacqueline van Wormer (Sociology); and Naphtali Fields (Theatre). Welcome to Whitworth!

Arlin Migliazzo (History) presented the keynote address, "A Forgotten Republican Virtue: The Uncommon Grace of Henrietta Mears," at the 2017 Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies Symposium.

The International Education Center has welcomed 45 new international students from 26 countries, and has 21 Whitworth students on exchange in 12 countries.

Mark Baird Psychology) received a grant from the Biola University Center for Christian Thought for curriculum development for a spring course on the theme "Suffering and the Good Life."

+ The Arts

The art department and the Bryan Oliver Gallery are proud tob present the work of Squeak Meisel. The immortals exhibit runs Sept. 12-Nov. 3 in the gallery in the Lied Center for the Visual Arts. An opening reception and artist's lecture will be held Sept. 12 from 5-6 p.m. and 6-7 p.m., respectively.

Scott Miller, Phil Baldwin and Brent Edstrom (all Music) performed Edstrom's song set in Bordeaux, France, in July. The song set, Prairie Songs: Remembering Ántonia, is based on the writing of American novelist Willa Cather and was featured at the Society for the Study of American Women Writers conference at Bordeaux Montaigne University.

Benjamin Brody's (Music) new book of 50 hymn tunes, Come, O Holy House and Worship! was introduced in a session at the annual conference of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, in July in Waterloo, Ontario.

Whitworth Theatre will stage The Elephant Man, the Tony Award-winning play based on the life of Joseph Merrick, who lived in Victorian England and suffered from debilitating skin and bone diseases. Dates: Oct. 13, 14, 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m., and Oct. 15 and 22 at 2 p.m. Admission: $12; seniors (62-plus) and non-Whitworth students: $10; Whitworth students: free with valid I.D. Tickets: or 509.777.4374.

+ Student Life

Whitworth has a new career management platform called Handshake. With Handshake, students and alumni can discover new career paths, find jobs and internships, connect with companies and nonprofits, find out about career events and request appointments with a career advisor. Alumni may also use this platform to share their own employment and internship opportunities. Questions? Email or call 509.777.3272.

On Sept. 20, more than 1,000 students and employees will join Julie and me to participate in Community Building Day, Whitworth's annual day of service. Volunteers will serve at more than 45 sites across Spokane.

+ Financial Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens for application for the 2018-19 school year Oct. 1. The 2018-19 FAFSA will collect 2016 tax information that can be loaded into the FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Incoming freshmen who apply on or before Dec. 1 can expect their 2018-19 financial aid award in mid-January.

+ Alumni & Parents

With more than 1,800 interviews completed over five years, the Alumni Discovery Project's student ambassadors interviewed alumni around the nation this past summer to hear their unique stories about life before, during and after Whitworth. If you've participated, thank you! Visit to learn more.

Join us for Homecoming Reunion Weekend! All alumni are invited to join us Oct. 6-8. There will be special milestone reunions for the classes of 1957 and earlier, '67, '77, '87, '97, '07 and '12. All Young Life alumni are invited for special festivities. For a list of events and to register, visit

Families of current students are invited to Family Weekend, Oct. 13- 15. To learn more and to register, visit

If you're the parent of a current student, join us in a Facebook group created just for you. Log into Facebook, and search for the group Parents and Families of Whitworth University Students '17-'18.

Alums and parents are invited to the Yards Bruncheon in Kendall Yards on Friday, Nov. 3, at 6:30 p.m. for an update on the School of Education from Interim Dean Randy Michaelis and an evening of conceptual blockbusting with faculty member Forrest Baird. Click here to register.

Seattle Pirates, join Professor of Communication Studies Ron Pyle for an evening of networking and discussion at the Coterie Work lounge on Oct. 19. For more information and to register, click here.

Pirates in Portland, mark your calendars for Friday, Nov. 3, at 5:30. Jerry Sittser and Mindy Smith are headed your way! Click here to register.


+ Admissions

We are excited to welcome the Class of 2021! It is our most diverse freshman class ever with 29.7 percent of domestic students coming from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic populations. They are smart too, with an average GPA of 3.72 and average SAT of 1280. These new freshmen and transfers come from 20 states and 15 different countries. Most important, they are proud to be Pirates and will add to our community in amazing ways.

Admissions counselors are hitting the road to recruit the classes of 2022, 2023 and beyond. To read more about our staff and see where they will be traveling this fall, go to Please encourage college-bound students you know to connect with our counselors either at their school or a college fair.

Our first Why Whitworth Day visit event is Sept. 22, and our Snapshot visit program for high school seniors is Oct. 8-9. Campus visits allow students to sit in on classes, take a campus tour, enjoy a meal in our dining hall, and connect with current students, professors and coaches. There is no better way for students (and parents) to learn if Whitworth is a good fit. Plus, this year we are offering a $1,000 scholarship to admitted seniors who attend one of our visit programs and enroll in fall 2018. For more information and to sign up, go to

+ The Campaign for Whitworth

Remember your first day of school? This month, our new students are experiencing many things for the first time – living away from home, meeting advisors, exploring campus. Your gifts help make their "firsts" a little easier! Please make your gift today at

Gifts to Whitworth come in all shapes and sizes and for all kinds of projects. We are currently celebrating three unique donorfunded projects that will change their corners of the campus significantly. First, the football team just played their first game (and won!) on the new artificial turf of the Pine Bowl, made possible by a gift from alumnus and trustee Walt Oliver, '67, and his wife, Kay. In addition, we are just putting the finishing touches on a new teaching garden across from the main entrance to campus made possible by trustee David, '71, and Lynne Nelson, '72, both alumni. Finally, we have received funding to complete a significant addition to the chapel that will allow campus ministry, the theology department and the Office of Church Engagement to be located together. Lead donors on the project are alumni Barney and Joyce Beeksma, both '54. We will break ground on the $2.8 million addition next spring.

+ Whitworth Serves

This month is Servestember, our annual service emphasis month. We hope you will take the opportunity to visit and share your own story of service. Go to to enjoy a month full of stories from alumni, parents, staff and students.

+ Sports

Football opened the 2017 campaign with a dominating 56-13win over tradition-rich Central College in Pella, Iowa. Coach Rod Sandberg's Pirates, picked to finish second in this year's Northwest Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, are currently ranked 24th in the poll.

Volleyball opened its season by splitting four games at the Oregon Trail Classic in Forest Grove, Ore., earning wins over Montana-Western and Schreiner (Texas).

Men's soccer traveled to Chicago and played two nationally ranked teams in three games. The Bucs went 1-2 on the road trip, defeating North Park 2-1 thanks to Micah Weller's second-half header.

Women's soccer also trekked to Chicago, and played a pair of matches against 2016 NCAA tournament teams. Though the Pirates lost both contests, they demonstrated their ability toperform at a high level of competition.

The cross country teams are off and running. The women's team is ranked first in the NCAA west region and 11th in NCAA Division III by the USTFCCCA. The Pirate women rolled past NAIA Lewis-Clark State in a season-opening meet, led by 2016 All-American Kayla Leland. The women's team was picked by NWC coaches to defend its 2016 title, while the men's team was picked third.

The golf teams will open their seasons on Sept. 17-18 at the PLU Invitational in Dupont, Wash. Both the men's and women's squads have new coaches at their helms. Emily Guthrie, previously an assistant coach with responsibility for the women's team, is now officially the women's coach. Scott Kramer, '05, is now the men's coach after a highly successful tenure with the Community Colleges of Spokane.

Whitworth will induct its 28th class into the Heritage Gallery Hall of Fame on Oct. 7. This year's inductees are Matt Stueckle, '01 (football, men's soccer); Leslie (Nelson) Morrison, '04 (cross country, track & field); Natalie Danielson, '06 (volleyball); and Cody Stelzer, '10 (track & field). Reserve a seat for the HOF breakfast and induction ceremony by calling 509.777.3224.

Mark your calendars for Pirate Night 2017, Nov. 9, at the DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Spokane. Registration is available at

Closing Thoughts

As I finish this newsletter, I'm rushing to campus to join a rally to express our community's unity round the virtues of love, compassion and empathy as we lean into potentially difficult issues this year on campus. I'm so grateful for our community's resolve to be a beacon of light to a dark world. And, as usual, our students will take much of the lead. This place is very, very special. God bless you!

Beck A. Taylor