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Mind & Heart

May 2018

Congratulations to the Whitworth Class of 2018!  I was privileged to distribute 803 diplomas to Whitworth’s newest alumni. The joyous celebration and colorful pageantry of the commencement ceremonies reflected only a fraction of the excitement and pride our families, faculty and staff, and university community felt as we bid farewell to these incredible students. Whitworth has a long tradition of encouraging graduating students to make commencement their own. The undergraduate and graduate commencement ceremonies feature two student speeches each. Each class chooses its own commencement speaker. And graduates are encouraged to decorate their mortarboards and commencement robes with themes that are important to them as they reflect on their experiences and achievements. This year’s apparel was no disappointment. Track athletes pinned race bibs to their sleeves. Stoles of various types represented honor societies, cultural heritage, study-abroad participation, veteran status and membership in academic honor societies. Theology students tied their honor cords around their waists to look more like monks than college graduates, and they bowed in solemn reverence as their names were called. Many students from the islands donned beautiful floral leis. Graduates also modified their mortarboards with creative items. One student placed a large pizza box on top of his graduation cap – I assume pizza got this young man through many long study nights. Another student placed an intricate origami dragon on his cap. Many students cited important Scripture verses, and, of course, there was the always-popular “Thanks Mom and Dad!” One student even tossed me a Frisbee onstage – the ultimate Whitworth expression of love. We’re going to miss these students. They made Whitworth better while they were here. But we are confident they will change the world as they honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity. They are Whitworthians for life!

+ Academics

Pete Tucker (Math & Computer Science) won an award from Partners in Campus and Community Engagement for his contributions to computer education in area schools and children’s agencies.

Two math majors, Luke Lattig, ’18, and Breeann Wilson, ’19, competed in the Kryptos code-breaking contest April 7 and 8. They competed against 60 teams and placed 10th.

Scott Miller and Brent Edstrom (Music) performed Edstrom’s song cycle, Prairie Songs: Remembering My Ántonia, in Red Cloud, Neb., in March. Edstrom recently received funding from the Cather Project (University of Nebraska, Lincoln) to score the song cycle for orchestra, and Miller will premiere the orchestral version with the Lincoln symphony next spring.

Eight piano students, four teams from Judith Schoepflin’s Piano Ensemble class, presented a two-piano program of four- and eight-hand works on Spokane’s NPR radio station, KPBX, in April. Participating were Christina Locatelli, Devan McAllister, Audrey Pratt and Grace Trumbo, all ’19; and Esther Tsai, Carly Bair, Sydney Gates and Jeb McGlinchy, all ’20.

Vange Ocasio (School of Business) was appointed to the Spokane YWCA’s board of directors.

Robin Henager (School of Business) published a chapter titled “Household Economics” in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Lifespan Human Development in March, and an article about women and financial literacy titled “Taking the Reins” in the spring Phi Kappa Phi Forum.

+ The Arts

World-renowned saxophonist Joshua Redman will be the guest artist at the 29th annual Whitworth Guest Artist Jazz Concert! He will perform with the award-winning Whitworth Jazz Ensemble, directed by Dan Keberle, at the Fox Theater on Friday, Nov. 9, at 8 p.m.

+ Student Life

The ASWU election had a record turnout, with about 1,100 students, or half of the student body, voting. Congratulations to the new ASWU Executive Team: President Tersa Almaw, ’19, Executive Vice President Andrews Boateng, ’20, and Financial Vice President Chelsea Shearer, ’20.

Moses Kamau Chege, ’18, was presented at commencement with the Servant Leadership Award, which honors a student whose life of service has inspired the community. Chege majored in business administration with an accounting concentration. He founded the student club Spokane Dream Project in 2014, served as ASWU’scultural events coordinator this year, and has worked to prepare tax returns for low-income adults. Chege has not only affected Whitworth, but he has been a voice on immigration issues at the state and national level. Congratulations, Kamau!

+ Financial Aid

Returning students who have filed the FAFSA will begin to receive their financial aid awards electronically in early June. Students can confirm our receipt of their 2018-19 FAFSA and any missing documents by checking Pirate Port under “Missing and Received Documents.” Academic scholarships are automatically renewed as long as the student is making satisfactory academic progress.

Students will soon receive a message to their Whitworth email accounts with instructions to complete the Billing Information Form. The deadline to complete the form is June 15 for new students and June 29 for returning students. Options for payments include a one-time payment for the year, semester payments or an interest-free monthly payment plan. For questions, please call student accounting services at 509.777.4495.

+ Alumni & Parents

Summer Sendoffs are coming! Whitworth will host casual gatherings throughout the West this summer for members the Class of 2022 and their families. For information, check to see if there will be a sendoff in your region, and watch your email for updates. Questions? Contact or 509.777.3772.

Career services requests that members of the Class of 2018 please complete the First Destination Survey, which asks graduates about their primary post-graduation plans. To participate in the survey, log into your Handshake account at

Whitworthians in Spokane, join us June 17 for a casual event on Green Bluff. We’ll be at Big Barn Brewing Co. & Bodacious Berries for a gathering featuring live music, great food, fresh berries and brews. For more information and to register, visit

Families of incoming students, keep an eye out this summer for emails about Move-In Weekend! If your Whitworthian is an athlete, information will also come from the athletics department.

Seattle-area Christmas Festival Concert fans, Marc Hafsø will enjoy a well-deserved sabbatical this fall, and we will be taking a one-year hiatus from our long-standing tradition of hosting the concert in the Puget Sound area. Consider joining us in Spokane the weekend of Dec. 8-9 to enjoy the concert at Spokane’s Fox Theatre. And look for us again in the Puget Sound region in 2019.

Alums, if you are heading to Spokane this summer, make sure to stop by campus! If you’d like a tour, contact

Homecoming & Family Weekend 2018 is just around the corner! All alumni and families of current students are invited to celebrate with us on campus Oct. 12-14. Registration opens in June.

We hope you’ll join us at an event this summer! Visit to see if we’re hosting something near you.


+ Admissions

We are expecting the largest classes of incoming first-year and transfer students in Whitworth’s history this fall. After the May 1 deposit deadline for first-year students, we had 730 students committed to attend Whitworth in the fall, and we are tracking about 50 percent ahead of last year in transfer commits with more time left until the Aug. 1 transfer deposit deadline. We’re excited so many students have decided to join Pirate Nation this fall!

Incoming freshman and transfer students should have received (or will soon) an email with a link to sign up for a phone appointment with a faculty advisor to register for fall classes. There is a great registration guide online to help prepare for these calls. Go to and click on “Plan Your Classes.”

Residence hall and roommate assignments will be sent in late June. Housing guru Alan Jacob is already tweaking his algorithm, which has proved amazingly effective at assigning roommates who wind up becoming friends for life. If you have questions, contact

+ The Campaign for Whitworth

At April’s event celebrating the start of construction on the Beeksma Family Theology Center (addition to and remodel of the chapel), another exciting announcement was made. A generous Whitworth family is providing $3 million to endow the campus ministries program. This will make our endowed dean of spiritual life position one of the first of its kind in the U.S.

The crowdfunding projects featured during February’s One Pine Day were such a success that we will be offering a new slate of projects three times a year going forward. To see what is still left to finish up in the first set of projects, or to see a new slate of projects beginning on June 5, visit

Whitworth’s fiscal year ends June 30, so if you haven’t made a gift in the past 12 months, we would appreciate your support. Your gifts to The Whitworth Fund underwrite student scholarships, our area of highest need, but gifts of any size to any project are encouraged. Visit for more details.

+ Sports

Whitworth won the Northwest Conference’s McIlroy-Lewis All- Sports Trophy for the 11th year in a row in 2017-18. In addition to NWC titles in women’s cross country and men’s swimming, the Pirates placed second in six sports and third in three others.

The women’s track & field team finished second at the NWC championships. Kayla Leland, ’18, was the NWC women’s track athlete of the meet after victories in the 10,000, 5,000 and 1,500 meters.

The men’s track & field team finished third at the NWC championships. Andrew Bloom, ’17, M.A. ’20, broke the school record in the javelin throw and finished second in the competition.

The men’s golf team finished second in both the NWC Spring Classic and the NWC tournament to end up second overall in the league standings. Sam Stiles, ’20, and Keegan Loo, ’20, both earned second team All-NWC.

The women’s golf team was third at both spring events and ended up third in the final conference standings. Maggie Peters, ’20, earned second team All-NWC.

The baseball team finished 17-20. The Pirates finished fifth in the league standings at 11-13. Hugh Smith, ’19, was selected as the NWC Pitcher of the Year.

The softball team went 24-18 and qualified for the NWC tournament with a third-place finish in the league standings. Michelle Silva, ’19, led the league in batting average and earned first team All-NWC.

The women’s tennis team tied for fourth place in the NWC standings and qualified for the league tournament. Erica Lee, ’20, earned second team All-NWC.

The men’s tennis team finished fifth in the NWC.

The Whitworth Golf Classic is coming up on Monday, June 4, at the Kalispell Golf and Country Club. Go to to register.

Closing Thoughts

As soon as one class exits, another begins its journey. We will welcome the largest incoming first-year class in Whitworth’s history this fall. More students and families than ever chose Whitworth as their educational home. Our graduate and continuing studies programs are also experiencing unprecedented success. As we close the chapter on Whitworth’s 128th year, and as we look forward to the next, I want to thank you for all of the ways you support this special place. We couldn’t do it without you. God bless you, and have a great summer!

Beck A. Taylor