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Mind & Heart Newsletter: May 2019

An update from Whitworth University President Beck A. Taylor

I'm writing this on a quiet Monday morning after Whitworth's busy Commencement Weekend, marking the end of the university's 129th academic year. During two exciting commencement ceremonies, I had the privilege of congratulating nearly 800 of our newest alumni, each of whom is equipped to "honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity." The weekend was full of celebration and opportunities for graduates and their families to reflect upon what their time at Whitworth has meant. Those present at events throughout the weekend heard heartfelt student testimonies of the joys and struggles experienced during their courses of study. Many of our traditional undergraduates remembered fondly Professor Leonard Oakland's prophetic words to them during orientation when he wished "problems and setbacks" upon them, knowing that it was through difficult and unexpected experiences that they would have the best opportunities to grow and learn. Students reported Whitworth had lived up to that promise, and that through the support and relationships they had with faculty and mentors, they were able to live up to the challenges to experience the rewards that come with perseverance. School of Continuing Studies graduates, many of whom completed their bachelor's degrees while simultaneously holding down full-time jobs and raising families, basked in the joy of completing a lifelong dream of becoming a college graduate. And newly minted master's degree recipients expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to receive a mind-and-heart graduate education that equips them to advance in their chosen professions, and to serve others in the process. Throughout it all, I was struck by the unifying themes so many spoke of: relationships, meaning, growth, challenge, and being prepared to serve a world groaning for grace and truth. What an honor it is to have walked this journey with our students. We love our graduates, and we will miss them dearly. But, we take heart in knowing they are ready for whatever God summons them to in their lives. Thank you for your roles in supporting and equipping our students. We couldn't do it without you.


Whitworth's forensics team, the Arguing Bucs, took first place out of 19 schools at the National Christian College Forensics Association National Tournament in March. This is the seventh time in eight years the team has won this tournament! 

Whitworth's Ethics Bowl team won the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl in March. This is the team's third national title in eight years! 

Dale Soden (History) and Jason Wollschleger (Sociology) have been awarded a Hugh Johnston Interdisciplinary Research Grant for their project titled "Social Activism in the Black Church: Black Power, Civil Rights Organizing & the Violent Response of White Supremacy." 

Anthony Clark (History) has been awarded a grant from the National Institute for Newman Studies to conduct research in Pittsburgh this summer.

Logan Pintor '19 (Music) was the winner of the brass division at Musicfest Northwest and received the Young Artist Gold Medal for his trumpet performance. As such, he performed with the Spokane Symphony in May at the Fox Theater. 

Robin Henager (School of Business) was elected president of the American Council on Consumer Interests. 

Roberta Wilburn (School of Education) was named to the National Advisory Council for the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education. 

Darci Hastings MIT '00 was named Washington State Science Teacher of the Year. Hastings teaches at Ferris High School in Spokane. We're proud of you, Darci! 

Abigail Nye '19 (Theology and Psychology) was awarded Best Oral Presentation at the Spokane Intercollegiate Research Conference for her presentation on "The Effects of Biblical Women in Pop Culture." 

Lindy Scott and Kim Hernández (World Languages & Cultures) have published a book titled Challenged and Changed: Living and Learning in Central America. It is a collection of stories about God's justice, mercy and truth as experienced during the 44 years of Whitworth's semester-long study and service program.

Financial Aid

Returning students who have filed the FAFSA are beginning to receive their financial aid awards electronically. Students can confirm our receipt of their 2019-20 FAFSA and any missing documents by checking Self-Service under "Financial Aid: Required Documents." Academic scholarships are automatically renewed as long as the student is making satisfactory academic progress.

All students will receive a Pre-Billing Guide in early June that will help them prepare to complete their bill in July. The guide provides a cost worksheet and information about applying for credit-based loans.  

Students will receive a message to their Whitworth email accounts in early July with instructions to complete the Billing Form, due July 19. Options for payments include a one-time payment for the year, semester payments or an interest-free monthly payment plan. Questions? Call 509.777.4495.  

Alumni & Parents

Have you heard about the new Rockwood at Whitworth partnership? If you know someone who is seeking senior living near Whitworth, check out There are informational meetings and phone and online options to help you get answers to your questions. 

You're invited to an event this summer! Visit to see if we'll be near you. And alums, if you'll be in the region this summer, please stop by! If you'd like a tour, contact

Whitworthians near Spokane, join us June 16 on Green Bluff. We'll be at Big Barn Brewing Co. & Bodacious Berries for a casual gathering with live music, great food, fresh berries and brews. For more information and to register, visit

Summer Sendoffs are coming! This summer, Whitworth will host casual gatherings for members the Class of 2023 and their families. Check to see if there will be one near you, and watch your email for updates. Questions? Contact or 509.777.3772

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

Homecoming (Oct. 4-6) and Family Weekend (Oct. 11-13) are not far off. All alumni and families of current students are invited to celebrate at their respective weekends. Registration begins in June. Save the date and make reservations for your accommodations. 

Put the 50th annual Hawaiian Lū'au on your calendar and join us! The celebration will be Friday, March 13, 2020. If you would like to support the Hawaiian Club (through volunteering before or during the event, getting items for the country store, donating, etc.), contact Dale Hammond '98 at


We are again expecting one of our largest classes of incoming first-year students this fall. After the May 1 deposit deadline, 702 first-year students had committed to attend Whitworth in the fall. We are also celebrating increases in the percentage of incoming students who are honors admits, from out of state and from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic backgrounds. We're thrilled to be welcoming another great group of new Pirates to campus.

Incoming first-year and transfer students should have received (or will soon) an email with a link for them to sign up for a phone appointment with a faculty advisor to register for fall classes. There is a registration guide online to help prepare for these calls. It's at under "Register for Classes."  

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

The Campaign for Whitworth

As we near the finish line of another fiscal year, we continue to celebrate the many ways you are supporting our students with your gifts to the Whitworth Scholarship Fund. Gifts before June 30 will underwrite support for another huge class of incoming students arriving this fall and can be made at

While five of our spring crowdfunding projects have been fully funded, six more are still waiting for the love. Visit to review the exciting range of projects that will allow our students to thrive. 

Enjoy social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram? Follow Whitworth Gives for weekly gratitude posts from students and news about projects being supported around campus.  


Four outstanding seniors received the athletics department's year-end awards. Marissa Mount (women's track) was selected for the prestigious Dennis Spurlock Award. Derrick Phelps (men's golf) and Michelle Silva (softball) are the 2019 Senior Athletes of the Year. Marissa Kirk (women's tennis) received the Aaron Leetch Inspiration Award. 

The baseball team finished 27-15, won the NWC regular season title and took second place in the conference tournament. Nicholas Nerud '19 led the league in batting average and earned first team All-NWC recognition. Matthew Young '20 had the most pitching victories in the conference and also earned first team All-NWC. Tyler Bailey '19 and Taylor Poffenroth '19 claimed first team recognition as well, and CJ Perry was named the NWC Coach of the Year in only his second season. 

The softball team went 31-11 and took second place in the NWC standings and second place in the NWC tournament. Drea Schwaier-Wolf '22 shared NWC Pitcher of the Year recognition with a player from Linfield and also was named as the NWC Freshman of the Year. Kinsey McNaught '19 was also a first team All-NWC honoree.

Both track & field teams finished in second place at the NWC championships. Nick McGill '20 was the NWC Field Athlete of the Year after winning the decathlon and the javelin. Marissa Mount '19, still recovering from offseason surgery, finished first in the steeplechase, second in the 10,000 meters, third in the 5,000 meters and fourth in the 1,500, covering 19.5 kilometers in 24 hours and scoring 29 points. McGill, Mount, Izzy Clark '19 and Kayla Rambo '22 are all headed to the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships this month in Ohio. 

Men's golf finished third at the NWC tournament and second overall in the conference standings. Derrick Phelps '19 is the 2019 NWC Men's Player of the Year. 

Women's golf finished third at the NWC tournament and third in the final league standings. Allie Slingsby '21 garnered second team All-NWC honors.

The men's tennis team will have a new coach for the first time in 21 years after Mike Shanks announced his retirement. The Pirates finished 6-12 overall and 3-5 in the NWC during Shanks' final season. Assistant Coach Cameron Williams '13 will take over as head coach in 2019-20. 

The women's tennis team went 10-7 overall and 5-3 in the NWC, finishing in a three-way tie for third place. Erica Lee '20 is a first team All-NWC honoree in 2019.

Lacrosse won a match in its inaugural season, defeating Pacific University 18-13 on April 12. Kalista Fourre '20 and Trinity Frank '22 each claimed second team All-NWC recognition. 

Whitworth will have a new men's basketball coach in 2019-20 after Damion Jablonski was promoted to replace Matt Logie, who left to become head coach at Point Loma Nazarene University. 

And for the 12th consecutive year, the Pirate athletics program was awarded with the McIlroy-Lewis trophy acknowledging it as the overall most competitive athletics program in the Northwest Conference! We are proud of our student-athletes and coaches! Go Bucs! 

Closing Thoughts

I'm heading to South Korea this week to establish and strengthen important Whitworth relationships there. In June, I'll head back to Asia to visit with alumni and friends in Thailand, and then I'll participate in the Lausanne Global Workplace Forum in Manila, Philippines. Thanks for your prayers for my safe travels and for the relationships built to support student opportunities in these important regions of the globe. Have a great summer! Go Bucs!

Signed, Beck