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Message from President Beck A. Taylor

125 Years of Service

Beck Taylor sorts through clothing donations.It's springtime at Whitworth. As I write these words, the sun is shining, students are hustling to their last classes of the semester, seniors are trying to soak up the last pieces of Whitworth they can and starting to say their long goodbyes (as well as looking out for those falling pine cones), and we're all looking forward to the slower pace that the summer months typically offer. Despite the hectic season, it's hard not to stop to ponder the enormous blessing this community is for so many of us.

This year was an important one in the history of Whitworth. As we celebrated the 125th anniversary of the founding of George Whitworth's hilltop college in Sumner, Wash., the Whitworth community once again took advantage of the opportunity to celebrate God's blessings on our beloved institution. It was also an opportunity for us to dream about Whitworth's future. As Julie and I traveled around the country to celebrate with alumni chapters last fall and this spring, so many of you mentioned to me your hopes and dreams for this place, even as you expressed your deep gratitude for the ways Whitworth helped to shape your lives. I wish I could bottle up those profound encouragements to share with each of you.

Our quasquicentennial year was marked by all of the expected fanfare, including an October blow-out in Spokane that featured Homecoming and Family Weekend, a celebration gala downtown with all of Whitworth's musical ensembles, and a Sunday morning, all-community worship service. The boost from that weekend still has me walking taller in my shoes.

We also announced last October the public phase of The Campaign for Whitworth, a $100 million comprehensive fund-raising effort – the largest in Whitworth's history – to support all aspects of the Whitworth experience, including scholarships, faculty development, programmatic enhancements, and a new and expanded facility to house Whitworth's phenomenal music program. This spring, the board of trustees approved groundbreaking on the $13.5 million Cowles Music Center, to be completed for the beginning of fall 2016 classes. So far, The Campaign for Whitworth has received more than $62 million in gifts and pledges. As the campaign continues, we thank all of you for your important contributions to Whitworth.

But as the plans for the fund-raising campaign came together, those of us closest to the action knew in our hearts that something important was missing. How should we honor not only the financial gifts made to Whitworth, but the important gifts of service made through and because of Whitworth?

That question sparked the idea for Whitworth Serves, a complementary service campaign that joins with our traditional fund-raising campaign to give energy and focus to the "serves humanity" portion of our mission. Through Whitworth Serves, we're asking Whitworthians across the globe to give a portion of their service in the name of Whitworth, and to inform us of that service so that we can hear their inspiring stories about how and why the Whitworth family is meeting the needs of people around them.

On March 28, Julie and I joined more than 100 Whitworthians in 13 locations across the country who gave a day of service to their communities in the name of Whitworth. Some highlights from the first-ever Whitworth Serves Day are included in this magazine, and I encourage you to read these inspiring accounts of service. My hope is that you will participate in both The Campaign for Whitworth and Whitworth Serves to show your support for and appreciation of Whitworth's mind-and-heart mission. Together, we're changing the world – one heart, one graduate, and one act of service at a time.

As always, please keep Whitworth in your prayers.