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Julie Taylor smiles while standing outside on campus

Gratitude for the Gift

In marking the 10-year anniversary of Beck and Julie Taylor's service to Whitworth, we asked Julie to take over the President's Message section in the spring 2020 issue of Whitworth Today.

As presidential spouse, I have loved my partnership in work with Beck and what I call my "all access pass" to Whitworth's dynamic campus life. After 10 years, I am still excited about serving Whitworth.

Our former pastor, Dr. Gary Fenton in Birmingham, Ala., liked to say, "Every gift comes with responsibility." Ten years ago, God gave Beck and me the gift of a calling to serve both the mission of Whitworth and its community with love and passion. It is easy for us to see that our calling to love the mission and people of Whitworth is a gift to us. And we agree with Dr. Fenton: Every gift does come with responsibility. One of those responsibilities is gratitude. I am grateful for my all access pass to Whitworth, and to the people and opportunities that give me hope, inspiration and purpose.

I am grateful for the privilege of knowing students who put wonder to words in creative writing workshops, delighted in sharing their home cultures at the International Festival, gifted to me new understanding through their artwork, have shown true character in hard-fought athletics victories, and have been fun-loving and creative with their zany Halloween costumes.

President Beck and Julie Taylor walk hand in hand with family

From left: Chloe, Beck, Lauren ’20, Julie and Zach Taylor in 2019

Students have stretched my mind through tackling philosophical conundrums and persuasive arguments in ethics and debate competitions. I have gasped in amazement as they demonstrated their use of X-ray diffractometer technology in the crystallography center. And I have joined them in prayer and worship one-on-one, in a Life Group and in community chapel.

Whether encountering change and progress at Whitworth or at home, Beck has been a leader who faces both opportunities and challenges with competence and courage. When life gets difficult, Beck leans in. He sometimes refers to his job title as "Whitworth's Chief Optimist." I like that a faculty colleague of his named him "Our Happy Warrior."

While many may see complex situations and difficult circumstances as dangerous pitfalls or at least as barriers to progress, Beck sees potential in himself and in others to learn, grow, contribute, and create a path forward.

I am so grateful that my all access pass has allowed me a front-row seat to watch Beck lead at Whitworth. Over the past 10 years he has learned and grown, and he has contributed and created a path forward for Whitworth and the community we love.

Julie Taylor and President Beck smile at one another while walking on campus


Julie Taylor

This story appears in the spring 2020 issue of Whitworth Today magazine.

Read the magazine