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Mind & Heart Newsletter: November 2020

The November 2020 update from Whitworth University President Beck A. Taylor

As I write this newsletter, Whitworth is beginning its final five weeks of the fall semester – we are two-thirds through one of the strangest and most challenging semesters in Whitworth's history. Although COVID-19 cases have remained low and manageable so far at Whitworth, the nation is seeing the spike in cases and hospitalizations that many predicted as we enter the winter months. I want you to know how proud I am of our community members for their resilience and determination. From the day students moved back to campus in September until now, they have stepped up at every opportunity to live responsibly into our health protocols. Students regularly tell me how desperately they want to remain in community, with both peers and mentors, and to stay on campus. Our inspiring faculty members have never worked harder to provide the mind-and-heart education Whitworth is known for. Each class is being taught in hybrid mode, which means that students can take the class in person or online, depending upon their circumstances. That flexibility comes at an enormous cost of time and energy for instructors, and given the other complexities of life so many of them are navigating, their sacrifices mean that much more. And our dedicated and talented staff members have been the glue that's held everything together, ensuring that our campus runs smoothly and efficiently, even amid all of the disruptive changes. I work with amazing people.

This update will arrive in your mailboxes not long before Thanksgiving. Christians are taught to live every day with a posture of gratitude. Knowing the love of God, and having faith in Christ, are sufficient reasons for thanksgiving, despite our circumstances. But, we should also give thanks for the blessings of life. At Whitworth, we give thanks this day, and every day, for God's faithfulness. Life on a college campus looks decidedly different during a pandemic. Many of the most fun and enriching elements of life at Whitworth are absent or muted. Despite our collective anxiety and exhaustion, we are also confident that life-changing education is happening, lives are being transformed, and students and employees are faithfully living out their callings. For these things, we express our deepest gratitude.

Enclosed in this month's printed newsletter is a giving envelope. Many of you are experiencing economic disruptions of your own. But, I ask humbly that you consider giving to Whitworth, if you are able, to help support the real economic challenges that face us as we keep our campus open and safe. Regularly testing students for COVID-19, supplying protective equipment and materials, and employing our own staff members who care for students while in isolation and quarantine are expenses not covered by tuition. Your generous gift, no matter the size, will help defray some of these extraordinary expenses, and will allow us to devote tuition revenue to ensuring the quality of our students' educational experiences. In case you receive this newsletter electronically and don't have an envelope enclosed, I would love for you to visit to make an end-of-year gift. I am thankful for so much, including all of you who support Whitworth with your giving and prayers.

Together, we will endure.

Our students deserve it.

May God bless you.


The Whitworth forensics team won the Pacific University online tournament on Oct. 24 and 25. The team defeated 17 schools from 11 states in combined speech and debate. The Arguing Bucs brought home 12 speech awards and 19 debate awards. Jericho Simone '22 tied for the third best competitor at the tournament out of 111 competitors.

Whitworth was well represented at the Murdock College Science Research Conference, which was held virtually in November. Biology major Ryan Bax '21 won the John Van Zytveld Life Sciences Award for his oral presentation, and chemistry major Drew Craddock '21 won the Murdock Poster Prize for Organic Chemistry. Whitworth also won the Best School Spirit Award. Plus Summer Gibbs '03, a chemistry alumna who is now an associate professor at Oregon Health & Science University, was the conference's keynote speaker.

Whitworth University is a recipient of the 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. This national honor recognizes U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Whitworth has received this award three out of the last four years.

Congratulations to the Whitworth Office of Church Engagement for securing a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish the "Resilient Church: Discovering the Past, Discerning the Present, Designing for the Future" program. The program will be based at the OCE and is being funded through Lilly Endowment's Thriving Congregations Initiative.

The biology, chemistry, engineering & physics, and math & computer science departments held the Whitworth STEM Conference virtually on Nov. 3, where 21 students presented research projects.

Eric Davis and Kraig Wheeler (Chemistry) published an article in the Journal of Chemical Education titled "Use of 3D Printing to Manufacture Document Camera Mounts in Support of Online Education Shifts during the COVID-19 Pandemic."

Alan Mikkelson '00 (Communication Studies) and David Sloan '05 (School of Business) published an article, "The Expression of Supervisor Dominance and Employee Outcomes," in Communication Quarterly. Their article includes two studies demonstrating the relationship between expressions of supervisor dominance and various employee outcomes.

Jessica Clements and John Pell (English) were named the new comanaging editors of Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society.

Jessica Clements' (English) article on "The Role of New Media Expertise in Shaping Consultations" will be included in the Best of Rhetoric and Composition Journals, 2020.

Professor Emeritus Arlin Migliazzo (History) has released a comprehensive biography of Henrietta Mears titled Mother of Modern Evangelicalism.

Elizabeth Campbell (Psychology) won the Washington Association for Marriage and Family Therapy Educator of the Year Award. She was nominated by her students.

The Arts

The Whitworth University Art Department and the university's Bryan Oliver Gallery are proud to present an exhibit of current work from our faculty. Please visit the gallery between now and Jan. 22, 2021. It is open Monday-Thursday from 1-3 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. by appointment only. Please call 509.777.4826 to schedule a visit. For more information, call 509.777.3258 or email


While our Nov. 15 Early Action I application deadline has just passed, students who complete their applications and also submit their FAFSA or WASFA by Dec. 1 can still be included in the first round of financial aid offers we send out in mid-January. 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, highly relational (even during a pandemic!) education is accessible and affordable to students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. This includes a four-year graduation guarantee ( to ensure students avoid costly delays that have become too common at many public universities. Read more about why Whitworth is No. 3 in U.S. News' ranking of best regional university values in the West:

The Campaign for Whitworth

As we approach the Christmas season, please consider providing help and hope to students by making a gift at You will make a critical difference for students who are struggling with unexpected financial hardships.

Sustainers are making an impact. This fall, 29 donors have committed to a new monthly gift that will sustain students. A sustained gift is convenient and efficient – monthly donations save you time and save us mailing costs. Your ongoing support makes a big difference. Become a sustainer at

Stay connected. Whitworth Gives is inviting you to connect via text message about donor impact on our community and important giving opportunities. Sign up to receive these text updates by emailing

Financial Aid & Student Billing

Students who are not on a NelNet monthly payment plan and have an unpaid outstanding balance due on their Whitworth student account are now accruing a service charge of 1.5 percent. Students with balances due from fall will not be allowed to register for Jan Term or Spring Term 2021.

Students should watch for an email to view their spring 2021 bill, which will be sent to their Whitworth email account the first week of January. Students and/or parents who need to set up a five-month payment plan for spring, starting Jan. 15, will need to establish a plan through NelNet before Jan. 10. If you have questions regarding billing or the monthly payment plan, please contact student financial services at 509.777.4495.

Alumni & Parents

Pirate Family Connect recordings are available. In place of Family Weekend, this year we hosted Pirate Family Connect, a series of online events for parents and families. If you missed any, you can view the recordings now at

Check out the Whitworth Events channel on YouTube for past and upcoming livestreamed campus events:

Thanks to all who signed up for the alumni gift exchange, George's Elves. Remember to send your gift by Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Please pray for the safety and health of our students as they head home for the holidays. In case you missed it, frequently asked questions about Thanksgiving Break can be found at

Parents: Check out Pirate Parent Updates for information, announcements and notes for parents of current students. Sign up to subscribe and be the first to know of new posts at

Questions? Parents can find answers to most of their questions at If you can't find what you are looking for, submit your question at and we will get back to you.

Enjoy the music. You can attend various performances and concerts from the music department over the next two months from your home. Check out the full list and find livestream information at


Mark your calendar for Pirate Days 2020 – Dec. 9, 10 and 11. Our traditional dinner and auction fundraiser (Pirate Night) is looking a little different this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. As a result, we are moving the event online and hosting an interactive experience including videos, auction items and web postings. Instead of having one night to share about the amazing things happening with the Pirates, we've expanded the event to cover three days, where you'll get a chance to hear from Pirate athletes and coaches, bid on some auction items and hear from Whitworth Director of Athletics Tim Demant and me. Each day will have a different flavor, so come back daily, on your schedule, to see what is happening with the Pirates and show your support. Join us for Pirate Days 2020 on Dec. 9-11 at