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In Memoriam

Elizabeth McNaughton (Main) Welty, M.D. 

Dr. Elizabeth McNaughton (Main) Welty died Sept. 6 at age 101. She was an advocate and generous supporter of the arts and humanities, healthcare institutions, human-service organizations, and education. In 2008 she donated $100,000 toward the construction of Whitworth's Robinson Science Hall, which has a chemistry lab named in honor of her father- and mother-in-law, Dr. Emil and Lillie Welty, and her husband, Dr. Robert Welty, who died in 1989. Emil was a friend of Frank Warren, Whitworth's 15th president, and "Lib," as she was known to those close to her, was a friend of Edward Lindaman, Whitworth's 18th president. Welty also enjoyed attending concerts and theatre performances on campus.

Elizabeth Welty was born in Harrisburg, Pa. She earned an M.D. at Cornell University Medical College in 1941 and married Robert Welty in 1948. The couple moved to Spokane the following year to set up a medical practice; Robert was a surgeon and Elizabeth was an internist. She practiced medicine until her retirement in 1985. She also invested her time and talents in the City of Spokane, serving as a volunteer board member with organizations across the community.


Pamela Corpron Parker, Ph.D.

Pamela Corpron Parker died Aug. 2, from cancer. She was 58. As a 1981 Whitworth alumna and a professor of English here for nearly 20 years, her influence as a scholar, teacher and mentor reached throughout campus, across the United States and into the United Kingdom and Asia. She was also a beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend.

Pam earned a master's degree at the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, Vt., and a Ph.D. from the University of Oregon; she was also a post-doctoral fellow in the Lilly Program in Humanities and the Arts at Valparaiso University (Ind.). Her areas of expertise included Victorian literature and culture, feminist literary criticism, women's studies, and literary tourism.

"Pam had convictions, and she was not afraid to share them. But she held to them without sacrificing relationships," said Whitworth Professor of Theology Jerry Sittser at Pam's memorial service on campus. "She was no ideologue. Conflict did not exact the cost of community. Pam built bridges, not walls."

As a mentor, Pam encouraged, advised and inspired generations of Whitworth students and junior colleagues. She developed and led a study program in Thailand, where she lived as a child, and she created a number of original courses at Whitworth.

"When I was a student, Pam called my roommates and me one evening and invited us to see the movie Shakespeare in Love with her," says Maggie Wolcott, '00, a senior lecturer in English. "She picked us up and drove winding back roads to the theater. We held on tight; she drove the same way she did everything. Pam was a whirlwind of ideas, excitement and energy. She was a champion for her students, colleagues and friends — she saw ability in others before they could see it themselves."

Pam co-founded the British Women Writers Association in 1991 and served as its chair. She authored numerous articles published in scholarly journals and was the keynote speaker at conferences nationally and abroad. She received research fellowships and scholarships, as well as awards. In deep appreciation of Pam's legacy, the Whitworth Board of Trustees honored her last spring as a professor emeritus of English.

Pam is survived by her husband, Rob, '81, son Danny, '15, daughter-in-law, Amanda Muchmore, '15, son Luke, '20, daughter, Alma Aguilar, '15, and a large extended family.