December 1, 2008

Volume 3, issue 15
December 1, 2008
The Fountain

Whitman repatriates ancestors to Umatilla Tribes

A number of Native American ancestral human remains and funerary objects that had been housed in the Maxey Museum (formerly the Northwest Museum) were repatriated to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Tuesday, Nov. 25.

This return of ancestral artifacts and remains, which took place over a 13-year process in compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) of 1990, “undoubtedly will further positive relations with local Native Americans,” said Brian Dott, associate professor of history and director of the Maxey Museum.

"It was an honor to take part in the repatriation and reburial ceremony,” said President George Bridges. “This event opens an opportunity to continue strengthening the relationships between Whitman College, the Walla Walla community and the Cayuse, Walla Walla and Umatilla people who comprise the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Reservation.”

Indeed, the college plans to continue to strengthen its relationship with the tribes through various exchanges, said Jennifer Karson, Whitman College NAGPRA consultant. The Maxey Museum, for example, is looking into ways to develop closer ties with the Tamástslikt Cultural Institute. In recent years, almost every semester a Whitman class has traveled to the Institute in order to deepen students’ understandings about the local Native peoples.

Want to know more? Click here.

The survey says…

Thanks to all who participated in the recent readership survey of The Fountain. About 50 staff (86 percent) and faculty (14 percent) responded, and the indication is that the quick-read format is valued and the content is on target. Highlights of the results include:

  1. How much of The Fountain do you read?

    87 percent said they read all or most of The Fountain (54 percent most; 33 percent all)
  2. Which of the following sections do you read? (select all that apply)

    At 98 percent, “Front page news” is the most-read. Least-read: a tie, at 64 percent “Event recaps/coverage and “Health and wellness tips.”
  3. Why do you read The Fountain? (select all that apply)

    “Just to know what’s happening on campus” is the No. 1 reason, at 96 percent.
  4. Does The Fountain enhance your sense of community on campus?

    98 percent responded “Yes.”
  5. What do you find most enjoyable in The Fountain? (open-ended)

    The most common responses included the profiles, photos and being able to connect faces and names. The “Parting Shot” feature received numerous compliments.
  6. Do you have any suggestions for improving The Fountain?

    Other than multiple (6) comments expressing high satisfaction, most of the 18 comments were singular with no redundancy among them. For example, “check for accuracy of event details,” “leave out health tips,” “more reporting on athletics results and coming competitions,” and “canvas academic departments.”

As always, The Fountain welcomes your input, feedback and news/story idea submissions. Send e-mail to

Keith Raether

Staff Accomplishments

Keith Raether, interim director of fellowships, scholarships and grants, has a review in the new issue of the online literary journal Drumlummon Views. His review of M.J. Williams’ latest recording, “Dancing to the Edge,” uses Elizabeth Bishop’s poem, “Questions of Travel,” as a framing device. Read the review and the Drumlummon issue in its entirety here.

Library news: Summit available, information sessions this week

The new Summit unified catalog is now available, and Penrose Library will host two information sessions, open to all faculty, staff and students, Tuesday, Dec. 2 at noon and Wednesday, Dec. 3 at 4 p.m. in the Center for Teaching and Learning. "This exciting new venture provides access to the collections of Orbis Cascade Alliance member institutions in Oregon and Washington, followed by results from libraries around the world. In all, the new catalog provides access to more than 107 million library records, made accessible through powerful and easy-to-use search capabilities," reports Dalia Corkrum, library director, who credits Julie Carter, Jen Johnson, Carol Carr and the rest of the library staff for their work on the project. For more on Summit, click here.

Comings and goings

The college extends a warm welcome to Janice D. King, textbook buyer, bookstore; and acknowledges a name change: Zoey Lemaich, administrative assistant, bookstore, is now Zoey Smith.

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise stated

Wednesday, Dec. 3
Film: “Claim,” a Matchsticks Production Ski Film. 7 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory. No charge with Whitman ID; $5 for general public.

Thursday, Dec. 4, and Friday, Dec. 5
Dance: Whitman Dance Theater presents its fall performance. Dance instructor Vicki Lloid offers “Tree-Speak,” which is divided into 10 movements and features a growing number of dancers who tell the complex story of the dance. This performance also features pieces by choreographers Sebastian Grubb and Osvaldo “Ozzie” Angel. 8 p.m., Cordiner Hall.

Thursday, Dec. 4 Lecture: “Raids, Rights and Reforms: The Postville Case and the Immigration Crisis” will be presented by Erik Camayd-Freixes of Florida International University. The presentation will be in Spanish with simultaneous interpretation in English. Sponsored by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, the Virginia Cagley Fund and the generosity of the Gómez Peña Fund. 7 p.m., Olin 130.

Friday, Dec. 5 Music: Music Department presents: Concerto/Aria Competition. 7 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Friday, Dec. 5
“La Serva Padrona” has been canceled. Watch for announcement next semester.

Saturday, Dec. 6 Concert: Music Department presents the Whitman Chorale and Chamber Singers Fall Concert. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Sunday, Dec. 7 Concert: The Annual Feast of Carols. 7 p.m., Cordiner Hall.

Save the dates

Thursday, Dec. 11, through Sunday, Dec. 14
Play: Harper Joy Theatre presents “The Shadow,” by Yevgheny Shvarts, on the Alexander Stage. From Soviet Russia, this darkly comic fable of innocence and corruption tells the story of a young scholar, visiting a kingdom where “all they tell you in fairy tales happens,” who longs to marry its princess but is betrayed by his own shadow. 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets and information: 527-5180.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

Chris Wallace and friend

Chris Wallace, associate professor of biology, and his best four-legged friend take in the calm mix of fog, fall color and a nearly empty campus Wednesday morning along Ankeny Field. (Click to enlarge)

Whitman College
In This Issue
The Survey Says…
Staff Accomplishments
New Summit Catalog
Comings and Goings
Coming Events
Parting Shot

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: