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Mind & Heart Newsletter: November 2022

An update from Whitworth University President Scott McQuilkin

Last month I was officially installed as Whitworth's 19th president. Just prior to the ceremony, our son, Tyler, told me that I had the good fortune of following a second-rate interim president. Yeah, he knew I was that very same interim. Funny guy. What a delight to have such "encouragement" from the nuclear family. The inaugural ceremony included former Whitworth Presidents Phil Eaton and his wife, Sharon, Bill Robinson and his wife, Bonnie, and Beck Taylor and his wife, Julie, and featured the Whitworth Choir and Whitworth Wind Symphony and several campus speakers (check out the YouTube video at

Afterward we gathered in The Loop for kettle corn, cheesy pretzels and student jazz musicians. The day felt Whitworth-y from end to end. For my inaugural address, I emphasized the subordinating conjunction "because." Unlike the conjunction "but," which signals a shift is coming, or "and," which signals something more is coming, "because" requires us to look back, recall, give credit, and identify the source of the "because." "Because" unites the past, present and future. In Scripture, this blessed conjunction often requires us to recall the ultimate source of our "because," a holy triune God. The psalmist reminds us that it is not to our names be the glory but to God's, for it is "because of Your love and faithfulness." My 42 years at Whitworth have inspired me to conclude that Whitworth is a "because" sort of place; a community that hears and discerns a godly "because" and responds accordingly – because of God's purposes and grace, we honor Christ as Lord of all, serve a broken world, pursue knowledge fearlessly, and value people, stories and community. Because of all those becauses, my wife Janice and I cannot imagine another place to serve.

Great Things Happening This Fall at Whitworth

  1. We already know our student-centered faculty are the best at what they do, but it was wonderful to have their work affirmed by U.S. News & World Report, which ranked Whitworth No. 1 for undergraduate teaching in its 2023 Best Colleges Rankings (Regional Universities West). Whitworth was also ranked No. 1 in best value, No. 2 in best colleges for veterans and No. 3 in best regional universities. Further accolades were given this fall by The Princeton Review, which named Whitworth one of the 126 best colleges in the West, and Washington Monthly, which recognized Whitworth as one of the top 20 master's universities in the nation.

  2. "Be Here. Be You. Belong." That is the theme for the campuswide Belonging initiative, which we kicked off during Orientation. This initiative is about building a culture of belonging at Whitworth and ensuring each student is heard, seen and valued as their authentic selves. Student life has integrated this theme into many areas, including residence life and the fall chapel series. First-year students are attending Belonging Retreats that feature skill building and bonding, faculty members are hosting Belonging lunches with students, and more is planned.

  3. Campus visits have a powerful impact on students who are considering Whitworth in their college search. That's why, thanks to generous donors, Whitworth is offering to reimburse every admitted student from outside the Inland Northwest for travel costs to attend a full-day or overnight campus visit event this academic year. Reimbursement will range from $150 to $500 depending on how far away the student lives. Students from the greater Spokane area will be treated to a coffee and pastry in one of our campus coffee shops during their visit. Learn more at

  4. This fall we welcomed the first cohorts of students in our new occupational and physical therapy doctoral programs! We were pleased to receive a $1.5 million grant from the M.J Murdock Charitable Trust this summer in support of our graduate health science programs, including the new Dana & David Dornsife Health Sciences Building. Speaking of great news for our graduate health science programs, 100 percent of our Master of Science in Athletic Training alumni who graduated last May have passed their national certification exam.

  5. The Community Building Day tradition continues! This year, 718 volunteers, including students, faculty and staff, served for 2,872 hours at 30 sites around Spokane. Highlights from the day included students working on sustainable farming gardens at the Hutton Settlement, students walking the West Central neighborhood with Holmes Elementary fifth graders to pick up trash, and computer science students sharing an "hour of code" with Holmes fourth graders. Janice and I enjoyed meeting and serving with First-Year Seminar students at Our Place Community Outreach in West Central.

  6. Our bachelor of science in engineering program has received accreditation by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. Our program meets the highest standards and produces graduates ready to enter a global workforce. We are committed to giving our students real-world experience, which is why this year's senior capstone students are working on engineering design projects for actual clients, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Whitworth's physical therapy program.

  7. In partnership with Sodexo, the university launched the Whitworth Nutrition Center in order to reduce food insecurity on campus, a prevalent issue among universities nationwide. Focused on enabling students to make nutritious meals at home, the center provides ingredients for a rotating menu of meals. A selection of grab-and-go snacks is also available. Students can find the WNC on the second floor of the Hixson Union Building.

  8. The Whitworth Tutoring Center has joined an e-tutoring consortium of 50-plus universities to give students access to on-demand, online tutoring. This resource complements the academic support services already in place on campus, such as in-person tutoring, supplemental instruction and success coaching, and increases the number of subjects for which tutoring is available. Students can sign up at

  9. The School of Education and School of Continuing Studies are developing a fully online teacher certification program (TCP-O). With the goal of launching the first cohort next fall, the SOE has been reaching out to remote districts across the state and region, and place-bound students have already begun taking preliminary courses. This program will be a game-changer for Whitworth and the region, giving K-12 students access to a Whitworth-prepared teacher who trained in their own hometown. Learn more at

  10. We are proud of our chemistry department for receiving two highly competitive National Science Foundation grants for Research in Undergraduate Institutions in recent years. Associate Professor Eric Davis was awarded $310,000 in August in support of his ongoing work with ion mobility spectrometry, a technique utilized in airport security for the detection of explosives. Professor Kraig Wheeler is in the fourth year of his project, funded by a $232,390 award. It involves using the shapes of small organic molecules to form engineered crystals that show promise as templates for understanding molecular assembly processes – information needed in the design of active pharmaceuticals.

  11. During Homecoming Weekend, we were pleased to honor six outstanding alumni who embody what it means to honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity. Congratulations to David "Chip" Kimball '88 (Distinguished Alumni Award), Christy Lang Hearlson '99 (Mind & Heart Award), Gerry Sperling '69 and Bill Sperling '68 (Service to Whitworth Awards), and Taylor Faranda '12 and Aaron Korthuis '12 (Emerging Leader Awards).

  12. The School of Continuing Studies is offering spiritual direction coaching for our adult students this fall. Adjunct instructor and Spokane pastor Alyssa Bell is a certified spiritual director with a passion for adult students who are working through life's challenges. Students are welcome to meet with Bell to process through big questions and learn tools to keep grounded, regardless of whether they identify as Christian.

  13. Whitworth has partnered with Gonzaga University to offer accelerated master's programs in accounting and taxation to our business administration majors. Our students will be able to start taking Master of Accountancy or Master of Science in Taxation classes during their senior year that will count toward their bachelor of business administration at Whitworth and their master's degree at Gonzaga, reducing tuition costs.


Christmas Festival Concert | Dec. 10 at 8 p.m.; Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. | Fox Theater, Spokane
The music department invites you to get into the Christmas spirit by joining us for this beloved Whitworth tradition.
Tickets: or 509.624.1200.

Faculty Biennial Art Exhibit | Now through Jan. 20, 2023 | Bryan Oliver Gallery
Come see current work from the art & design faculty. Hours: Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; closed on university holidays.

Pirate Athletics | Happening now!
Fall sports are in full swing, and winter sports will be here before we know it. Visit for a full schedule. We'd love to have you come cheer our teams on!

Alumni Opportunities | Early 2023

» Book clubs: Keep an eye on the alumni events listings at for faculty-led virtual book clubs early next year.

» Womentors: The Women's Leadership Network is seeking alumni mentors for the second round of Womentors, a four-week program to help students discern and work toward their career goals. Learn more and sign up now to mentor a current student in February at

One Big Whitworth Weekend | Oct. 13-15, 2023
Mark your calendars for next year's combined Homecoming and Family Weekend on campus! More information will be available as we get closer.

Whitworth Application Deadlines | Various dates
Our Nov. 15 Early Action I deadline for first-year students has almost passed, but students can still apply for free by Jan. 15 to meet the Early Action II cutoff and receive the opportunity for priority consideration in class and housing registration. Jan. 15 is also the Early Action I deadline for fall transfers. See more deadlines or apply at, and remember to file your FAFSA or WASFA by Dec. 15 if you'd like to receive an early financial aid offer. Filing the FAFSA is a critical step to ensuring you will receive all the financial aid available to you.

Closing Thoughts

I have seen firsthand the impact made by Whitworth donors. Perhaps like you, I thought of our gifts as being made to Whitworth. Sure, our respective gifts are processed by Whitworth staff and then land in designated campus accounts. If that were the story, a transaction, the "to" preposition would be an apt one. Yet gifts in support of our students and programs are better described as gifts through Whitworth. For it is through your generosity that students gain access to this transformative experience, programs are enhanced, and young lives are forever changed – through your generosity and thus through Whitworth. As we near calendar year-end, please consider a gift through which our students will be blessed and enriched. Gifts may be made by visiting Thank you.

Scott McQuilkin

Note to our alumni: Significant increases in paper and postage costs have required that we limit publication of Whitworth Today magazine to one issue rather than two. To read a fall 2022 supplement - featuring Class Notes and In Memoriam - please go to We are eager to send you a full-to-bursting issue of Whitworth Today in spring 2023!