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Strengthen Intellectual Vitality Across All Contexts of Teaching and Learning

Laurie Lamon, '78, is a beloved professor and an award-winning poet, with two published poetry collections as well as poems appearing in numerous respected national literary journals and magazines. In spring 2017, Whitworth's longtime professor of English was named the inaugural Amy M. Ryan Endowed Professor
in the Liberal Arts.

Lamon is a natural choice for the chair: She embodies Amy Ryan's love of learning, her skill in writing, and her innovative spirit; she values the mainline church and the aspirations of women; and she is wholeheartedly dedicated to her students and exhibits a deep compassion for humanity.

Trustee and alumnus David Myers, '64, and his wife, alumna Carol (Peterkin) Myers, '65, funded Whitworth's seventh endowed position in honor of Carol's grandmother Amy M. (Johns) Ryan, who attended Whitworth from 1894-97.

"The Ryan endowed professorship indicates to our students that we are committed to the integration of the humanities with all disciplines," Lamon says. "The Myerses' gift highlights the significance of writing and literature, whose aesthetic moral, ethical and cultural value is a measurement of humanity's belief in truth."

During her four-year tenure, Lamon plans to offer poetry workshops for students, staff and faculty from across campus that focus on faith and poetry of witness. She intends to create an alumni reading series featuring Whitworth graduates with established writing careers, and she is connecting with the refugee community in Spokane through an alumna whose church sponsors women from Africa. Lamon's goal is to support the women as they explore their personal histories through poetry.

"My hope is to create space for diversity and to support writers and readers one-on-one," she says. "The Ryan endowed professorship aims particularly to support women and the church, and this will be one of the most significant services I can do through my work."