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Mind & Heart Newsletter: November 2018

An update from Whitworth University President Beck A. Taylor

We had a gorgeous fall season in the Inland Northwest. I'm so grateful that our students got to enjoy the autumn colors that come with cooler weather and shorter days. Speaking of being grateful, the Thanksgiving holiday is rapidly approaching. In addition to providing students and employees with the final respite before the last few weeks of the semester and final exams, Thanksgiving provides each of us with the opportunity to dwell upon the blessings of our lives, and to thank God for being the provider of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). In that spirit, here are my top-10 "thanksgivings": (10) Pirate football, currently 8-0 and on its way to the NCAA championship tournament, and all of Whitworth's athletic programs, coaches and student-athletes; (9) The life and ministry of pastor Eugene Peterson, author of The Message, who passed away in October; (8) That Julie and I successfully completed the Leavenworth half-marathon last month – she beat me by a second; (7) Whitworth's incredible board of trustees – women and men who give their time, leadership, wisdom and treasure to the university; (6) Whitworth's Office of Church Engagement, which recently received a $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to support church planting; (5) Incredible faculty and staff who place students at the center of their attention and energy; (4) Bright and capable students from all walks of life who take advantage of every opportunity they're given to develop mind and heart; (3) Julie, Zach, Lauren and Chloe, who remind me daily of my higher callings of being a husband and father; (2) Whitworth University and its nearly 129-year history of equipping graduates to honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity; (1) God's faithfulness made flesh in the person of Jesus Christ, in whom we find abundant life. Here are some other important things happening at Whitworth to get excited about…


Katie Creyts (Art) had a solo exhibition at Eastern Washington University. The Everland exhibit featured some of Creyts' recent work in etched glass and graphite on paper.

A piece of art from Gordon Wilson (Art) titled Babel is featured in the current exhibit at the Chase Gallery in Spokane.

Meredith Shimizu (Art) and Nate King (Philosophy) received a $3,000 grant from the Lilly Fellows Network to develop and implement a faculty workshop that will provide foundational theological training in the context of a community discussion about the basics of Christian theology under the guidance of Adam Neder (Theology).

A research article by Kraig Wheeler (Chemistry) and Lee Cantrell '18 was published in CrystEngComm and chosen as the journal cover. Titled "Pasteur's tartaramide/malamide quasiracemates: New entries and departures from near inversion symmetry," the article contributes to the field of materials research. Cantrell was a Whitworth chemistry major and is currently a graduate student at Vanderbilt University.

Joy York (Communication Studies) and Dale Soden (History) hosted "An Evening of Civil Rights Songs and Stories" in the Seeley G. Mudd Chapel in early November.

The history department hosted noted historian Mark Noll from the University of Notre Dame. Noll delivered the annual Simpson-Duvall Lecture on the topic "Evangelicals: For Better or Worse."

Ben Brody '98 (Music) launched a new podcast, Voices United: A Congregational Song Podcast, which will consist of interviews with poets, composers, theologians, historians, and practitioners of congregational song and congregational singing.

Congratulations to Nate King (Philosophy), whose forthcoming book on intellectual virtues has been picked up by Oxford University Press.

Josh Orozco (Philosophy) had two new papers published. "Forgiveness, Hope, and Loving our Enemies" will appear in The Philosophy of Forgiveness Volume IV: Christian Perspectives on Forgiveness (Vernon Press). "The Myth of a Pure Virtue Epistemology" will appear in the journal Quaestiones Disputatae.

Jann Leppien (School of Education), joined by Theodore Benson MAT '18, presented at the Washington Association of Educators of the Talented and Gifted conference in October. Leppien received the group's 2018 Advocacy Award.

The Arts

Whitworth's Christmas Festival Concerts will be presented in Spokane on Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. Featuring the Whitworth Choir, women's choir, men's chorus and student instrumentalists, the concerts will be held at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox. Tickets are $20 general admission and $15 for seniors and students and can be purchased at or by calling 509.624.1200

Student Life

Fall brought two Career Treks for students to experience different careers and build connections for internships and jobs. Fourteen students of all majors headed out on a Spokane Career Trek visiting Avista, Amphenol Telect, Itron, etailz, Greater Spokane Incorporated, Numerica, Startup Spokane and Schweitzer Engineering Labs. In partnership with the engineering & physics department, career services took 12 students on a Seattle Career Trek to Aerojet Rocketdyne, Zodiac Aerospace, Microsoft and PACCAR/Kenworth. Students were inspired by the variety of careers available to them through their Whitworth education. Thanks to the many alumni who participated in their company's Whitworth visit and encouraged their fellow Pirates! 

Financial Aid

The financial aid team is working with students to complete paperwork and processes required to receive their 2018-19 financial aid. Students are encouraged to pay any outstanding balance on their account to avoid monthly service charges.

The 2019-20 FAFSA opened Oct. 1. Continuing students are encouraged to complete it by Feb. 1 to ensure a timely financial aid award. New incoming students should complete it by Jan. 1 to be considered for all types of aid. 

Alumni & Parents

Photos and a video from One Big Weekend are available! Head to the Whitworth University Alumni Facebook page to see just a bit of what went on during our combined Homecoming and Family Weekend.

George's Elves are back. Alumni are invited to sign up for this fun gift exchange tradition at by Nov. 14.

Join us in Portland for an evening with Professor Leonard Oakland on Nov. 16 at IBU Public House. For more information and to register, go to

Know a Whitworth alum worthy of being honored? Nominate a deserving grad for one of four annual awards. Visit to submit nominations for 2019.

Save the date for our annual Alumni Night at the Fieldhouse on Jan. 19 as the Pirate basketball teams play Pacific Lutheran. Admission is free for alums and their families. Visit for more information.

Mark your calendars for important events in 2019! We'll celebrate Homecoming Reunion Weekend Oct. 4-6 and Family Weekend Oct. 11-13. 


Our Early Action I application deadline is Nov. 15. Early Action applicants will receive an admissions decision within three weeks of completing their application file. Early Action admits will be included in Whitworth's first round of scholarship announcements in mid-December and financial aid awards in early February (if they have submitted their FAFSAs to Whitworth by Jan. 1). The application is free and can be accessed at Students can celebrate Thanksgiving by being thankful for having their Whitworth application done.

Whitworth is doing more than ever to ensure a mind-and-heart education is accessible and affordable. This includes a four-year graduation guarantee ( to ensure students avoid costly delays that have become too common at many public universities. The net cost of four years at Whitworth is estimated to be nearly $28,000 less than in-state tuition for five years at a flagship public university. Read more at

The Campaign for Whitworth

In case you receive this mailing electronically and don't have an envelope enclosed, we would love for you to visit or and consider making an end-of-year gift in support of a favorite project or program.

The red pinecones adorning Whitworth's Quasquicentennial Tree looked fabulous during Whitworth's recent reunion weekend celebration. The 206 pinecones represented alumni donors from the classes of '58, '68, '78, '88, '98, '08 and '13. Many of these reunion classes have reached their goal in support of student scholarships. See the progress at or photos of the giving tree on Whitworth Gives Facebook and Instagram.

During this Thanksgiving season, Anesu Mujenge '21, an international studies major from Harare, Zimbabwe, wants you to know he is grateful for your support. "While your donation has enabled me to continue studying at Whitworth University, your donation is much bigger than me. Your donation has secured my siblings' high school education for at least another year. Your donation has allowed my family to allocate more money to the rehabilitation of my father who suffered a stroke. Your donation has given my parents room to breathe and find a job. You have touched the lives of more people than you may ever realize. God bless you abundantly!" You can see a post like this one on Whitworth Gives Facebook and Instagram every Tuesday. 


Whitworth celebrated Pirate Night 2018 in rousing fashion on Nov. 1 at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Spokane. Thank you to our generous supporters who made this the most financially successful Pirate Night ever, according to early returns. Congratulations to Kent Lupton and Jennifer Toulouse-Lee for their outstanding work coordinating the event.

The football team is in the midst of one of the best seasons in school history. The Pirates are 8-0 and have already clinched the NWC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs. Defensive end Chad Wilburg '19 leads the league in sacks this season, while receiver Garrett McKay '18 is on the brink of setting school records for career catches and career receiving yards.

The volleyball team finished 19-7 and placed second in the NWC standings, only one game behind Pacific Lutheran. Outside hitter Jessica Schmautz '19 led the league in kills by a wide margin and earned NWC Player of the Year recognition. Despite taking off the 2017 season, setter Erin White '19 returned to become a first team All-NWC honoree.

The Whitworth women and men finished second and third, respectively, at the NWC cross country championships. Marissa Mount '19 finished first in the women's meet and was the NWC women's Runner of the Year. Ellie Shoop '22 was the highest-finishing first-year woman and was named the NWC Freshman of the Year. Both teams will race Nov. 10 at the NCAA West Regionals in Walla Walla with a chance to qualify for the national championships.

The women's soccer team finished third in the NWC standings with a final record of 12-5-3. The men's soccer squad went 5-11-4 and tied for fifth place in the league standings.

The men's golf team won the NWC Fall Classic in October, setting itself up for a run at the 2019 NWC title. The women's team finished in fourth place. 

Closing Thoughts

As I write this, millions of Americans are headed to the polls (or to their mailboxes) to participate in one of the most profound freedoms we enjoy – to select those who will govern us. These are complex and contentious times. Solutions to our society's most complex problems seem stubbornly elusive. Elected leaders don't always model the virtues that strengthen our communities. Despite the intense rancor and partisanship of election season, there are many things that give me hope. One of them is knowing that there are tens of thousands of Whitworthians out there, seeking to live, serve, and lead with mind and heart in their local communities, making a difference in countless ways, one day at a time. Keep doing that good work. I'm thankful for all of you.

Signed, Beck