The Faculty

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John William Ackley, A.M. Assistant Professor of English, A.B., University of Redlands; A.M., University of Southern California, Instructor, and Director of Forensics


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Edith Blackman Merrell Davis, A.B. (Mrs.) Assistant Professor English, A.B. Ripon College; started in the English department in 1924 (she taught Latin as an instructor prior to that).

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Dr. Ann Louise Hirt, Assistant Professor of Speech and Dramatic Art


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W. R. Davis, DSR Faculty Advisor

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Whitman News

I.                 Whitman College in 1942-1943

A.     Nine new professors were added.

1.     Dr. Charles J. Armstrong was the director the Navy V-12 training program and an assistant professor of classics.

2.     Dr. William L. Hutchings, Mr.Glenn Woodward (chemistry), and Dr. Phyllis Hutchings (assistant professor of astronomy) were added to the science division.

3.     Dr. Ronald V. Sires was added as an assistant professor of history.

4.     Mrs. Pearl C. Miller was added to the mathematics department.

5.     Mr. Ernest Stowell became an assistant professor of modern languages.

6.     Dr. Ann Louise Hirt became an assistant professor of speech and dramatic art.

B.     Kenneth Husby was the ASWC president. Ruth Fairbank was the vice president.

C.    Carolyn Young was the AWS president. Elizabeth Tertsagian was the vice president.

D.    Dr. W. S. Anderson was the college president.

E.     Dean Maurine Clow was the dean of women. Dean Humphrey was the dean of men.

F.     John W. Ackley, an assistant professor of English, was the debate coach.

G.    Oscar Seawell was the intramural debate manager.

H.    News at Whitman

1.     World War II was the biggest issue. Over half of Pioneer articles, ads, and cartoons were about the army, war bonds, the draft, etc.

2.     The school cancelled spring break and made men go through seven days of army training.

3.     A lost copy of the debate charter from 1920 was found in the TKE house.

4.     The Pioneer predicted that Spanish and German would be “the languages of the future” and that Esperanto would flop.


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Prizes awarded at this time

The John Brining Prizes in Extemporaneous Speaking of $12.50 each are awarded to the best man and woman speakers in a speaking contest that is open to all members of the freshman class.

The Delta Gamma Reading Prizes of $25, $15, and $10 are awarded at Commencement to the students who read during the year with intelligence and appreciation the largest amount of good literature, apart from their required college work.

The Dovell-Gose Prizes in Oratory of $30 and $20 are awarded at Commencement to students upon the basis of a contest in oratory. The contest is open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

The Austin Rice Debate Trophy is awarded to the champion women's intramural debate team.

The John W. Ackley Debate Trophy is awarded to the champion men's intramural debate team.

The Hugh Elmer Brown Debate Trophy is awarded to the man who is adjudged to be the best intramural debater.

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Speech Courses within the English Department

A number of the courses change names.

ENGLISH 1 or 2. Orientation and Discussion, A writing and speaking course.

ENGLISH 15 or 16. Orientation and Speaking, A public speaking course with a diction emphasis.

ENGLISH 27 or 28. Reading Aloud.

ENGLISH 46. Oral Interpretation.

ENGLISH 47. Argumentation and Debate.

ENGLISH 56. Public Speaking.

ENGLISH 57-58. Dramatic Interpretation

ENGLISH 73-74. Radio Speech

ENGLISH 75 or 76. Advanced Public Speaking.


I. LISTENING, SPEAKING. READING. WRITING. 3 hours, each semester.

                 Ackley. E. B. M. Davis, W. R. Davis, Jackson, Howells

This course aims to enable a freshman to improve his ability to listen, to read rapidly and well, to enlarge his vocabulary, to speak and to write clearly, effectively, and acceptably. At the beginning of the year standard tests are used in vocabulary, in reading, and in English usage to indicate individual deficiencies, and at the end of the at other forms of these same tests are used to measure individual improvement.

The freshman class is organized into two groups. In Group A, training in training is emphasized in the first semester and training in writing in the second. In Group B, writing is emphasized in the first semester and speaking in the second. tendon to listening, vocabulary, and reading continues in all sections throughout the year. Sections in which speaking is emphasized are limited to twenty students. In the sections in which writing is emphasized a student brings his work to a personal conference with his instructor each week. The subjects discussed relate closely to the student’s interests and experience, and the discussions in both speaking and writing sections assist freshman to get his bearings as a college student and to improve his personal equipment pursue college studies with purpose and with success.

This course is given two numbers for purposes of administration and recording. The reek of students in Group A (described above) is recorded in the first semester as English 15, Speaking, and in the second semester as English 1, Writing; Group B, Ice versa.



27. Reading Aloud E.B.M. Davis

A course aiming to develop the ability of the individual to get the full meaning from the printed page and to give that meaning to the hearer.


45. Oral Interpretation E.B.M. Davis

This course aims to develop ability to read aloud and to gain through oral interpretation an appreciation of literature. Attention is given to voice training. Open to sophomores.


47 ARGUMENTATION AND DEBATE. 3 hours. 1st semester. Ackley

A study of principles of argumentative discourse and readings in current social, economic, and political questions. Constant speaking before the class is used to illustrate application of the principles studied to discussion of problems in the field of reading.


56 PUBLIC SPEAKING. 3 hours. 2nd semester.   Ackley

A study of the elements of effective public speaking with frequent practice in speaking before the class. Standards of vocal habits, of delivery, of diction, and of pronunciation are stressed. Minimum registration ten; maximum registration twenty.



2 hours, First semester: 3 hours, 2nd semester. E. B. M. Davis

Instruction and practice in dramatic interpretation followed by experience with problems of play production through public performance of several plays. Consideration given to scene design, stage lighting, costuming, and directing.


73,74. RADIO SPEECH. I or 2 hours, each semester.           Ackley

Training in radio speech and in program planning and directing, together 4th actual experience in broadcasting. Open to qualified juniors and seniors who have had training in at least one course numbered from 27 to 58.


75,76. ADVANCED PUBLIC SPEAKING. 1 or 2 hours, each semester.        Ackley

Training in debate, oratory, and extempore speaking. Open with permission the instructor to juniors and seniors who have had training in at least five hours in Courses 45, 47, 56.


77,78. ADVANCED PLAY PRODUCTION. 1 or 2 hours, each semester.      E. B. M. Davis

A course providing experience in selecting plays, organizing play casts, and directing plays. Prerequisite: Course 57.58. Open to qualified students with permission of the instructor.



Intramural Debate

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World News

·        “Declaration of United Nations signed in Washington

·        “Nazi leaders attend Wannsee Conference to coordinate the “final solution to the Jewish question,” the systematic genocide of Jews known as the Holocaust.”

·        “Enrico Fermi achieves nuclear chain reaction.”

·        “More than 120,000 Japanese and persons of Japanese ancestry living in western U.S. moved to “relocation centers,” some for the duration of the war (Executive Order 9066).”

·        “Coconut Grove nightclub fire in Boston kills 492.”

·        “The British fortress at Singapore was forced to surrender to the Japanese.”

·        “American bombers, under the command of General Doolittle, scored a major psychological victory when they bombed Japan.”

·        “The first American offensive of the war was the landing on Guadalcanal. The subsequent attempt to hold the island resulted in a number of sea battles with the Japanese.”


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Team News



Intramural debate tournaments provide both the coach and interested students a chance to discover just how much talent there is among aspiring new debaters since only those who have never entered varsity competition are eligible for the intramural tourneys. In addition, keen competition among campus groups instills a lively interest in the outcome of the contests.

The John W. Ackley trophy went to Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity this year for the third time in succession in a very close contest won by the team of Rodney Weeks and Ralph Breshears. Close seconds in the race were Richard Garrett and Sam Farmer of Beta Theta Pi. The subject was "Resolved: That the United States should establish a permanent federal union." Managing the tournament was Oscar Seawell as men's intramural debate manager.

Katherine Webster and Margaret Ewing representing the Independents won the women's contest discussing the topic "Resolved: That the Federal Government should establish a S'/o sales and service tax." Delta Delta Delta, represented by Ruth Nelson, Barbara Jones, Pat King, and Shirley Anderson, took second place honors. Irene Callen managed this tournament.


Men's Debate Starts Friday

Women's Preliminaries Held First of-Week;

Results Undisclosed

Men's intramural debate tournament will begin Friday and Saturday with two preliminary rounds on both days. Monday the finals will take place at 8 p.m.

Teams entering are: Phi Delt, Bill Judd and John Shaw; Sigma Chi, Dick Ainslie and Lee Daniel; Beta, Sam .Farmer and Dick Garrett; Teke, Ralph Breshears and Rod Weeks; Independent, Bill Downey. These teams will be judged by the women in the preliminary grounds, and by the faculty in the finals. Questions will be asked of each them after the debate to determine their knowledge of post-war problems, and this and their debating will be ranked on a percentage basis.

The John Ackley Men's Intramural Debate trophy was put up by the fraternities two years ago and since that time it has been won by Dan Henderson and Laurie Bond in 1940, and Mark Abernethy and Scotty Campbell in 1941. All who are interested in the question are invited to attend the 'tournament.

The preliminaries of the Women's Intramural Debate tournament were held Monday and Tuesday of this week. No, results will be released until after the finals next Monday and Tuesday.

Each group entered in the competition was required to debate both sides of the question, "Resolved: That the federal government should enact a five percent sales and service tax." Judges were men and women varsity debaters from last year's 'debate squad.


Indie Team Wins Debate Men's 'Mural in Finals;

Indies, Betas, Tekes After Ackley Trophy

Independent debate team of Kay Webster and Margaret Ewing won the Women's intramural debate tournament in the preliminary series last week by being the only •team to finish undefeated.

Plans had been made to hold finals to decide the winner but the Independent team was victorious with no defeats. Judges for the tourney were men and women varsity debaters of last year.

The results of the competition were .as follows:

Independents 4-0

Delta Delta Delta 3-1

Kappa Kappa Gamma 2-2

Alpha Chi Omega 2-2

Phi Mu 2-2

Delta Gamma 0-4


The Delta Gamma team defaulted •all debates and Phi Mu two so-that each of the four other teams won at least one debate by default. Those representing the different groups were: Sue Hartley . and Miriam Hart, Kappa Kappa Gamma; Barbara Jones, Ruth Nelson, Pat King, and Shirley Anderson,. Delta Delta Delta; Kay Webster and Margaret Ewing, Independent; Helen Davidson, Billie Burger, Genevieve Shaw, .and Virginia Willis, Alpha Chi Omega; Jean McJannet and Anna Preston, Phi Mu.

The question for debate was "Resolved: That the federal government should enact a 5 per cent sales and service tax."

Men's intramural debate, as yet unfinished, has reached its final stages with the Indies, Betas and Tekes vying for top honors. The results of the six rounds of preliminaries was the elimination of the Sigima Chi and Phi Delt teams. Monday in the semi-finals the Tekes met the Indies in the first round and the Betas in the second round. Next Monday the Indies will meet the Betas to decide who is to meet the Tekes in the final round. '

Coach John Ackley is very pleased with both the men’s and women's intramural tournament as they have uncovered potential varsity material.



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The above picture came thanks to Oscar Seawell. He wrote:

Upper Left: Helen Hawkes ‘44 (Mrs. Thompson) and Helen Hurley ’44 (Mrs. Barron) outside Douglas Hotel where we probably stayed.

Upper Middle: Vida Langenheder ’44 (Mrs. Finch) and Irene Callen

Upper Right: Joan Martin ’44 (Mrs. Birdsong), John Ackley, and perhaps Vida Langenheder ’44 (On back of photo I failed to record name of young woman on the right)

Lower Left: Joan (I remember her name as Joanne) Martin ’44, during stop probably at Multnomah Falls

Lower Left Center: Helen Hurley ‘44

Lower Right Center: Oscar Seawell ‘47

Lower Right: Eldon Seebart ’48, my debate partner (married Joyce Mulhair ’49)


The varsity debate team this year completed a successful if not outstanding season of intercollegiate competition. • Trips were somewhat curtailed due to poor wartime traveling conditions, but interest remained high and several important Northwest forensic meets concluded Whitman entrees. The first of these was the Women's Triangular Tournament held early in December each year at Whitman College among teams from the University of Idaho, Washington State College and Whitman. Whitman tied with the State College for first this year through the efforts of 4 teams: Vida Langenheder and Irene Callen, Joan Martin and Kay Webster, Eleanor Roberts and Dorothy Corkille, Helen Hawkes and Helen Hurley. The subject was "Resolved: That the Federal government should establish a 5 percent sales and service tax."

A week later three men's teams journeyed to Pullman for the Men's Triangulars held at W.S.C. with the same schools competing. Despite the efforts of Whitman men, Bob Brooke and Dan Henderson, Don McMurchie and Howard Elofson, Alan Campbell and Mark Abernethy, W.S.C. won this tournament. "Resolved: That the United Nations should establish a permanent Federal union," was the topic of the argument at the Men's Triangulars and for both men and women throughout the remainder of the season, The next occasion on the debate calendar was the underclass meet of several nearby colleges at the University of Idaho in January. Coach Ackley entered four inexperienced teams and two of them, Kay Webster and Irene Callen, Bill Judd and Bill Downey, won three out of 4 debates. Other Whitman teams were Richard Garrett and Sam Farmer, Jack Bates and Eldon Seabart.

As soon as semester tests were finished, Mr. Ackley started the difficult task of preparing eight teams for the Linfield Forensic Meet at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon.

His efforts were rewarded when, in competition with eighteen schools from Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada and California, two Whitman entrees took second place and one third. Bill Downey was second in one man debate and Irene Callen and Kay Webster in lower division women's debate. Laurie Bond and Bob Brooke placed third in upper division men's debate.


Ye Talke Shoppe

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Promoting public and after-dinner speaking among freshman women is the organization "Ye Talke Shoppe". Fifteen members are chosen each year on a competitive basis by retiring members.

Officers for the year were: president, Mary Swan; vice-president, Peggy Glase; secretary-treasurer, Barbara Jones; Social chairman, Miriam Hart. Acting as advisors for "Ye Talke Shoppe" were Miss Maurine Clow and John W. Ackley.


Team Awards


II.              Debate at Whitman

A.    The topic was “Resolved: That the United Nations should establish a permanent federal union.”

B.    Tau Kappa Epsilon won the men’s intramural debates for the third year in a row. Independent women won the women’s intramural debates.

C.    Intercollegiate debate

1.     Women’s Triangular Debates

a.     Whitman tied for first with Washington State College.

b.     The topic was “Resolved: That the federal government should establish a five percent sales and service tax.”

c.      Whitman’s teams were Kida Langenheder and Irene Callen, Joan Martin and Kay Webster, Eleanor Roberts and Dorothy Corkille, and Helen Hawkes and Helen Hurley.

2.     Men’s Triangular Debates

a.     Whitman lost to Washington State College

b.     Whitman’s teams were Bob Brooke and Dan Henderson, Don McMurchie and Howard Elofson, and Alan Campbell and Mark Abernathy.

3.     Linfield College Tournament

a.     Whitman competed against 18 other schools.

b.     Two Whitman teams tied for second place and another took third.

c.      Whitman won other awards in individual debate and beginners’ division.


Virginia Washburn Morrison wrote Jim in 2001: “You have come a long way since 1942! Intramural debate between Greek Fraternities and Sororities with a team to compete. It was great and I consider it one of the best activities I entered in my 3rd and 4th year.