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2016 Alumni Award Winners


Alumni Mind and Heart Award

While at seminary, Sam Aylor, '99, interned at a trauma center. There, he consoled devastated families and held the hands of countless patients. "It was scary, hard, and where the proverbial rubber met the road," he says. Sam now works as a hospice chaplain in Portland, Ore., caring for the critically ill and their families. He hopes that "my vocation will uplift those closest to me, especially my family. I wish to leave a legacy of healing and love."

Alumni Service to Whitworth Award

Dianna (Cooke) Pategas, '92, began her career with a nine-year stint as a member of the university's institutional advancement team. Even as a student, she saw the importance of financial support for Whitworth. As a result, she is endowing two scholarships, one of which will honor Professor of English Doug Sugano. Whitworth has been immeasurably blessed by Dianna's deep, unselfish loyalty; this tireless ambassador always gives generously of her time, talent and treasure.

Recent Alumna Award

After working two full-time ministry jobs, Morgan McKeown, '03, founded Orphan for a Day, which exposes young people to the lives of African orphans. Morgan says, "It's one thing to talk to American youth about how kids in Swaziland have to walk for water; it's entirely different for American kids to carry water up a hill." Morgan administers Orphan for a Day as CEO of The Cause. She says, "I hope that I will be used to empower, encourage and equip others to do the work they are called to do."

Distinguished Alumni Award

Breean Beggs, '85, began his legal career in 1991, representing the poor and the marginalized. As part of the Spokane City Council, Breean works to empower the disempowered and create lasting change through legislation. "My goal is that future advocates for justice and community reconciliation will have a modest example of what is possible by courageously speaking the truth about an imperfect status quo and persistently acting to improve it while still practicing unconditional concern for all," he says.


Web Extra: See videos about the 2016 Alumni Award winners.