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Message from President Beck A. Taylor

The Best of Whitworth: A Few of My Favorite Things

Beck Taylor and two other men in suits pose with shovels as they scoop dirt to plant a tree.I get a lot of interesting questions in my email inbox and as I meet with Whitworth folks around the country. Many just want to get a general sense of how things are going at the university, or whether the Taylor family is enjoying the Inland Northwest, or which beloved faculty members are still teaching. One of the most common questions I receive is "What do you like best about Whitworth?" So, as I serve in my fifth year as president, here's a list of some of my favorite things about this place.

  • The fact that almost everyone at Whitworth can recite the mission statement. "Mind and heart" and "honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity" are words that roll right off the tongues of true Whitworthians.
  • Being a pirate is respectable, and words like "booty" don't (always) draw a snicker.
  • Speaking of pirates, there's the intense irony that Whitman's teams are the Missionaries and Whitworth's teams are the Pirates. What a great rivalry!
  • Hearing the Whitworth Choir at Christmastime – nothing more beautiful. Julie and I travel with the choir to Seattle each season and also hear them perform in Spokane. After listening to four performances, I've usually got the program down by heart, but Choir Director Marc Hafso hasn't yet taken me up on my offers to join his wonderful singers.
  • The trees (and this is a great place for a person who loves trees). Can you tell? (Photo above.)
  • Faculty members who could be teaching anywhere and who choose to stay at Whitworth. All are experts in their disciplines who desire to know and mentor our students.
  • Seeing students from SoCal and Hawaii in flip-flops on snowy, sloggy days (and every other day). 
  • The way Leonard Oakland gets his reading glasses to stay stuck to his forehead when they're not in use.
  • The word "intinction." Please return down the center aisle.
  • The senior communion and commissioning service held during Commencement Weekend. There's never a dry eye during this ceremony at which we officially commission our graduates to serve humanity.
  • Our student section at home basketball games. There's no better or more supportive fan base in Division III.
  • Whitworth's absolute commitment to the student experience. I can honestly say that every decision we make considers the student experience first and foremost.
  • The fact that Whitworth is 1-0 against the University of Oregon in football. (The game took place in 1908, and Oregon has refused to schedule us ever since.)
  • The way admissions tours stay away from Graves Gym. Far, far away.
  • The fact that the students still call the dining hall Saga, though Saga decamped a generation ago.

As always, please keep Whitworth in your prayers.