August 25, 2008

Volume 3, issue 1
August 25, 2008
The Fountain

First-year class filled with diverse talents and backgrounds

Whitman salutes and welcomes 430 new students, members of the Class of 2012. They join a vibrant community defined by academic rigor, tradition, support, collaboration and balance. Among them are:

  • 188 who served as class president, editor of a student publication, captain of a varsity sports team or founder of an organization
  • 47 who are the first in their family to attend college
  • 223 who have traveled abroad to 90 different countries
  • students from 39 states and 17 foreign countries
  • 187 who graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class
Class of 2012

This entering class is the second largest in the history of the college (in 1978 we had 438 entering students), said Tony Cabasco, dean of admission. This class was chosen from the largest applicant pool the college has ever seen (3,300) and only 45 percent of those who applied were admitted. “We’ve seen significant growth in interest from students from New England, the Midwest and the Southeast.”

The entering class continues the recent trend of enrolling academically talented students from around the country and the world who have been intellectually engaged and active contributors to their schools and communities. Their activities include students who have:

  • organized a soccer equipment drive for Brazilian orphanages;
  • completed an independent research project in Ecuador on fair-trade standards in Ecuador’s chocolate industry;
  • completed an expedition to Mt. Kilimanjaro;
  • been recognized by the National Wildlife Federation for an independent study in emissions trading;
  • written an opinion piece on diversity subsequently featured in The New York Times;
  • starred in an episode of “CSI Miami”;
  • worked as a US Senate page;
  • attended the Global Youth Leadership Conference;
  • worked on a dairy farm in the Swiss Alps;
  • organized a petition advocating gay civil unions and sent it to Karen Minnis, speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives;
  • interviewed Holocaust survivors in Poland as part of a documentary.

Reminder – Staff breakfast, Aug. 26

In case you missed earlier announcements, please plan on attending the annual “Start of the School Year” Staff Breakfast, Tuesday, Aug. 26, at 8:30 a.m. in the Reid Campus Center, Young Ballroom.

Opening Day is Thursday; parking will be tight

Barbara Maxwell, associate dean of students, student programs and activities, reminds us that Thursday, Aug. 28, is Opening Day 2008. For details about Opening Week, you can either go the Whitman homepage and click on Orientation Week 2008 or go directly to the schedule.

Also, Maxwell reminds us that parking will be very tight on Thursday, Aug. 28, and Friday, Aug. 29, because of move-in day, Convocation and Parents Orientation. If you can avoid bringing a vehicle to campus on those two days, it would be appreciated. If you need to bring a vehicle, please try and park as compactly as you can.

Wine Economics Conference uncorks controversy

Class of 2012

The second meeting of the American Association of Wine Economics in Portland earlier this month was “fantastic,” said Karl Storchmann, associate professor of economics and managing editor of the Journal of Wine Economics, with more than 150 attendees from academia, the wine industry and the media in attendance.

Of the many academic presentations, the one still ricocheting around the Internet and the world of wine was author Robin Goldstein’s discussion of “whether or not wine value correlates with consumer appreciation of a wine’s intrinsic values (not necessarily, he found),” according to an online article from “Wines & Vines”.

Goldstein created a virtual restaurant with a mediocre wine list and then submitted it to the “Wine Spectator” with a $250 fee, and in the August 2008 issue of the highly regarded magazine, received an award of excellence. The inference being that one receives the awards based more on the entrance fee than that actual experience one has in the rated restaurant. The “Wine Spectator,” said Storchmann, is not amused.

Always a kick – Beloit’s annual Mindset List

Beloit College’s annual Mindset List “provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college,” according to its Web site. “The class of 2012 has grown up in an era where computers and rapid communication are the norm, and colleges no longer trumpet the fact that residence halls are ‘wired’ and equipped with the latest hardware. These students will hardly recognize the availability of telephones in their rooms since they have seldom utilized landlines during their adolescence. They will continue to live on their cell phones and communicate via texting. Roommates, few of whom have ever shared a bedroom, have already checked out each other on Facebook where they have shared their most personal thoughts with the whole world.“

Among the 60 items on the Class of 2012 list:

  • Harry Potter could be a classmate, playing on their Quidditch team.
  • Gas stations have never fixed flats, but most serve cappuccino.
  • Schools have always been concerned about multiculturalism.
  • The Tonight Show has always been hosted by Jay Leno and started at 11:35 EST.
  • College grads have always been able to Teach for America.

Read the full list here.

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise stated

Friday, Aug. 29
Convocation: The college welcomes new students with formal Convocation ceremonies. 10 a.m. in Cordiner Hall. Comments from President Bridges, Convocation address by Patrick Spencer, professor of geology, musical interludes, and more. Convocation information on the Web.

Saturday, Aug. 30
Discussion: A panel discussion of the Whitman summer reading assignment, “The Complete Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi, will be moderated by Shampa Biswas, director of global studies and associate professor of politics. Kendra Golden, associate professor of biology, Elyse Semerdjian, assistant professor of history, and Zahi Zaloua, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures (French) and general studies, will share their unique, discipline-specific perspectives on the book. 1:30-2:30 p.m. Cordiner Hall. x5156.

Friday, Sept. 5
Recital: Fridays at Four recital series presents The Brian Barton Quartet featuring Brian Barton, alto and soprano saxophones; John Crigler, piano; Juan Hernandez, bass; and Christopher Newbury, drums. 4 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory. x5232.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Class of 2012
Staff Breakfast
Opening Day
Wine Economics Conference
Mindset List
Coming Events

Past issues

The Fountain is published by the Office of Communications. Send news to Editor Lenel Parish at Photos are accepted. Submissions are due by Tuesday at 5 p.m. for the following week's issue. Director of Communications: Ruth Wardwell. Online: