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Mind & Heart Newsletter: January 2021

The January 2021 update from Whitworth University President Beck A. Taylor

Transformational. That word aptly describes two important academic achievements celebrated at the end of 2020. News about these two milestones couldn't have come at a better time as the Whitworth community was concluding a challenging fall semester during a worldwide pandemic, and they represent God's faithfulness even in the middle of the storm.

First, as I've noted below, the School of Business was granted accreditation by the world's leading organization for assessing the quality of business programs. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International) is the gold standard for quality among business programs worldwide. Extended only to about 5 percent of business programs, AACSB accreditation acknowledges excellence in business curriculum, faculty qualifications, community engagement, strategic planning and students' learning outcomes. A decade in the making, this achievement could not have happened but for the brilliant leadership of former provost Carol Simon, along with Dean Tim Wilkinson and his faculty and staff colleagues in the business school, and not without the amazing students studying to become future business leaders. Congratulations to all involved. It will be fun to watch the business school's continued ascent.

The second remarkable event that ended the year was the generous $10 million gift the university received from Dana and David Dornsife to support Whitworth's emerging doctoral programs in occupational and physical therapy. The Dornsifes' gift is the largest single gift to Whitworth in its history, and it puts the Campaign for Whitworth over the $150 million mark. Dana and Dave's generosity will contribute to the completion of the new Dana and David Dornsife Health Sciences Building, a $20 million, state-of-the-art facility located across the Loop Road from Robinson Science Hall, and to the immediate hiring of faculty and staff for the two new programs, expected to begin in 2022.

Whitworth is better because of its School of Business and the vision of Dave and Dana Dornsife. I know you join me in celebrating this wonderful news. Stay well.


The Whitworth School of Business has earned AACSB International accreditation, a distinction achieved by only 5 percent of the world's universities and colleges that offer business programs. Congratulations to Dean Tim Wilkinson and everyone in the School of Business for making this outstanding accomplishment possible.

The forensics team made history by winning the Western Washington University online tournament, held Jan. 22-24. Each year, the Northwest Forensics Conference designates three regional tournaments and combines sweepstakes points for regional championships. This is the first time the Arguing Bucs have won two of the three conference designated tournaments in a single season (after winning at Linfield last fall)!

Brent Edstrom (Music) has been selected as the next Amy M. Ryan Endowed Professor, starting in July. Established by Carol (Peterkin) Myers '65 and David Myers '64, the professorship is awarded to "an outstanding faculty member who embodies Amy M. Ryan's love of the liberal arts, her skill in writing, and innovative spirit."

Whitworth's master of education in school counseling program has earned accreditation from the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council through 2028. Congratulations to program director Wendy Bleecker and the School of Education on this achievement.

Mandi Rehn '99 was named Washington State Elementary Principal of the Year by the Association of Washington School Principals in November. The former Whitworth elementary education major is principal of Opportunity Elementary in the Central Valley School District.

Elise Leal (History) has an important chapter in a forthcoming bookEvery Leaf, Line, and Letter: Evangelicals and the Bible from the 1730s to the Present, edited by Timothy Larsen (InterVarsity Press).

Anthony Clark (History) published a new bookChina's Catholics in an Era of Transformation: Observations of an "Outsider" (Palgrave Macmillan).

The Arts

This March, Whitworth Theatre will livestream its spring main-stage production, Antigone. A country in chaos. Community members felled by a mysterious plague. Distrust and disinformation. Who chooses to do what's right? In Thebes, a young woman is willing to sacrifice her life to do right by her brother. Her uncle tries to lead a broken country. What are we willing to sacrifice for justice? What might Antigone teach us today? Shows run March 19-21. More information: or 509.777.4374.

The Whitworth University Art Department and the university's Bryan Oliver Gallery are proud to present work responding to recent events from Jenny Hyde, Roin Morigeau and Dan McCann. Please visit the gallery in person between Feb. 9 and March 26, or check out the Bryan Oliver Gallery blog at Safety protocols are in place.

Student Life

ASWU and the Black Student Union worked together to offer several activities during the week of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Guest speaker Odell Bizzell discussed what Dr. King would be teaching in 2021; courageous conversations with faculty and staff reflected on Dr. King's work and how to apply it in our community; and a screening of the film Selma was followed by a discussion. The Office of Student Diversity, Equity & Inclusion also offered an Empower U Workshop on anti-racism.

Residence life has secured funding through a generous donation to keep the student food pantry well stocked for the remainder of the year. The food pantry is available for all undergraduate students who may be struggling with food insecurity. We are especially grateful to the donor and the sociology department, which maintains the food bank, for helping to alleviate student needs during these difficult times. The food pantry can be found in the sociology department lounge in the Lindaman Center.


While our Early Action application deadlines have passed, Whitworth offers rolling admissions, so we will review applications as soon as they are complete and give students an admissions decision. If students are admitted and have submitted their FAFSAs to Whitworth, they also will receive a financial aid offer automatically. The application is free and can be accessed at Students can celebrate the new year by submitting their Whitworth application.

It's not too early to submit enrollment deposits. First-year and transfer students admitted for fall 2021 can submit their enrollment deposit any time before May 1 at The $350 deposit holds a student's place in the incoming class and also gives students the opportunity for priority consideration in housing and class registration. The deposit is refundable until May 1, so it's a no-lose proposition for admitted students who are seriously considering Whitworth as a college option.

With limits on in-person visits, students and parents are encouraged to participate in our virtual visit opportunities. Go to to explore and sign up for interactive financial aid webinars, live campus tours led by Whitworth student tour guides, or presentations about next steps in the admissions process. Admitted first-year and transfer students who participate in two or more virtual visits (or one in-person visit) automatically receive a $1,000 Visit Scholarship.

Financial Aid & Student Billing

Now is the time to apply for Whitworth Talent Scholarships for students, in any major, who participate in art, Ethics Bowl, forensics (speech and debate), journalism, music, theatre and Young Life. Audition dates and application deadlines vary depending on the program but fall between Feb. 1 and March 1. Go to for more details.

Continuing students are asked to please complete their 2021-22 FAFSA by April 1 to ensure a finalized financial aid offer in time for summer billing.

Tax season is coming. If you want to have electronic access to your 1098-T form as soon as it is ready, log into Self-Service and accept the electronic delivery option. You will receive an email when your tax form is ready for viewing.

The Campaign for Whitworth

Our incredible community makes great things happen for students. One Pine Day, Whitworth's annual giving day, is Feb. 17. Be a part of something big! Follow Whitworth Gives on Instagram and Facebook or check out for more details.

Become a sustainer! One of the ways you can provide ongoing support to students is by setting up an automatic monthly donation. Save yourself time and hassle while helping us save mailing and administrative costs. Sign up today at

Whitworth's team of student callers is reaching out to alumni and donors this spring and looking forward to connecting with you. They will be calling from a number starting with 509.777 to make sure you are well, hear your favorite Whitworth stories and share the incredible impact donors like you make through the Whitworth Scholarship Fund!

Alumni & Parents

Thank you to all alumni who participated in our annual gift exchange, George's Elves! Continue to spread the Whitworth spirit throughout 2021!

Alumni: Do you know a future Whitworth Pirate? You can nominate current high school sophomores and juniors for a renewable, $1,000 Alumni Referral Scholarship. To nominate prospective Whitworthians and for details, visit (The deadline for high schoolers graduating in 2022 is Aug. 1, 2021.)

Stay connected to campus from wherever you are by streaming events! Check out our Alumni & Parent Events webpage at for news on athletic events, guest speakers, musical performances and more! Coming up soon is Spring Convocation, which will be livestreamed Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. PST.


The swimming teams and the men's basketball and men's tennis teams are the only Pirate squads that have officially competed so far in 2021. The women's basketball and women's tennis teams have had to battle hard luck with COVID-19 before being able to battle opponents. Whitworth's two non-conference women's basketball games were canceled by a positive COVID test on the Pirates' roster. Then the conference opening games at Puget Sound were postponed by a positive test on the Loggers' roster. A positive COVID test for the women's tennis team meant the Pirates' season opening match against the Montana Grizzlies was canceled.

The swimming teams turned virtual meets into actual success. After competing virtually in the fall by racing by themselves in the Megan Thompson Aquatic Center and then sending those results to be compiled against "results" from other schools, the Pirates took on NCAA Div. I Seattle University in early January and the Pirate women knocked off the Redhawks for the first time in over a decade. Whitworth's women followed that with a strong performance against four-time defending Northwest Conference champion Whitman by winning all 11 events. Cameron Lyon '21 is the NWC women's swimming student-athlete of the week thanks to her outstanding performance against the Blues.

The men's basketball team has won four games in a row after sweeping Puget Sound on the road in the NWC openers for both teams. Miguel Lopez '21 averaged 20.5 points and 8.5 rebounds in the wins and claimed NWC men's basketball student-athlete of the week recognition. The Pirates played five non-conference games against brutally tough competition, including NCAA Div. I Montana. But Whitworth got a pair of wins over NCAA Div. II Seattle Pacific to build momentum.

The men's tennis team opened the season with a loss at Gonzaga University. The Pirates will put their skills to the highest test several more times with matches against Montana State and Montana before opening conference play.

The 2020 fall sports will compete this spring. Volleyball and soccer open 12-game schedules the weekend of March 6, while football begins its four-game slate on March 13. Those teams, along with basketball and swimming, are competing only against the NWC's Washington member schools.