December 15, 2008

Volume 3, issue 17
December 15, 2008
The Fountain

Information in spite of uncertainty

Before discussing the campus budget and financial situation at meetings with staff and faculty last week, President Bridges announced that the Physical Plant staff has suggested planting a tree outside Maxey to honor the memory of Laura Ealy. Watch for news in the near future about this.

The president expressed that he wants to help campus community members “feel as informed as possible” about what’s happening financially. One of the most trying aspects of the current campus budget situation is that there are many things we don’t know and can’t say with certainty, because the turbulence and fluctuation of the market keep changing the financial picture. But it’s better to discuss the situation than not.

What we do know for sure is that the college is responding to an economic crisis that requires belt-tightening. We are tackling challenging, complex economic and budget issues aggressively and applying teamwork, creativity and critical thinking at all levels toward the overall goal of preserving the quality of the education and service Whitman provides to students.

And Whitman’s educational mission is resonating with prospective students more than ever. Preliminary reports from the admission staff indicate a very positive response in Whitman’s early decision pool. “The strength of Whitman College is one of our greatest assets,” President Bridges said. “At a time when some other colleges are in deep trouble, we are continuing to attract students who really want to be here. That’s very positive news.”

Among other good news announcements:

  • Whitman staff are doing great things for our community. For example, the adopt-a-family programs that Amber Woodworth, communications operation manager, and Lina Menard, Center for Community Services coordinator, organize both have doubled the number of families that will receive gifts this year.
  • Look for a Whitman banner in outer space, as alumna Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenberger ’97 has been selected for a NASA mission in February 2010.
  • The party is on; it’s a few steps up from pretzels and beer! (Don’t forget to bring items for the food drive.)

Faculty accomplishments

Kari Norgaard, assistant professor of sociology and environmental studies, and her students conducted research on diet change and freshwater mussel contamination on the Klamath River that was included in a National Geographic feature titled Reuniting a River. The NG staff interviewed her for a few hours, but “unfortunately the article doesn’t mention us by name, it just refers to our findings,” she said. Read it here.

Under the leadership of Michelle Ferenz, head women’s basketball coach and associate professor of sport studies, the women’s basketball team has started the season with 8 wins and 1 loss. Dean Snider, athletics director and associate professor of sport studies, notes that this is the best start in the program’s history. The 8-1 record includes wins against a very strong Macalester team, two NAIA Scholarship programs (Corbin College and Northwest University) and the 9th ranked team in the nation, Washington University in St. Louis MO. Whitman’s women’s team is now ranked 24th in the USA Today/WBCA and national polls. For more on Whitman’s women’s basketball, click here.

Union-Bulletin covers Mr. Whitman and other student philanthropy

The Etcetera column in the Sunday, Dec. 7, issue of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin recognized the philanthropic efforts of Whitman’s sororities and fraternities. The story focused mainly on the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority’s Mr. Whitman Contest, which raised $21,000 for the Lake Nkuruba Orphanage in Uganda. Also noted were the philanthropic and volunteer activities of each individual sorority and fraternity on campus.

If you know of a commendable act or an ongoing activity at Whitman that you think the Walla Walla community would like to know about, please send it to Lenel Parish, news services officer, She will share the information with the Union-Bulletin.

Whitman Magazine “re-use” program — don’t toss it, send it back

The December issue of Whitman Magazine will be distributed on campus soon. Staff and faculty who do not keep your copy after you read it are encouraged to send it by campus mail to the Boyer House for re-use. Several local businesses, including the Marcus Whitman Hotel, Clarette’s, Tourism Walla Walla and the Chamber have asked the college to provide copies of the magazine to them so they can make them available to their patrons. The cost of providing enough copies has been significant enough that it has prevented us from honoring this request. So re-using copies enables the college to provide copies AND helps expand the reach of Whitman communications. Copies returned to the Boyer House will be delivered to these various places. Know that you also are welcome to keep your copy if you like; this program simply makes good use of gently used and/or unwanted copies.

Winter safety tips from the Safety Committee

Whitman’s Safety Committee has posted on the Web site a document about winter safety, including tips for safety at work, home, snow shoveling and in the car as well as what to collect for a winter survival trip for your vehicle.

With snowy, icy weather expected soon, Kathy Rogers, safety coordinator, reminds campus community members that “when snow and/or ice are present on sidewalks, use the main entrances of buildings. They will be the first to be cleared and de-iced. Keep in mind, there are many entries to clear, the grounds crew may not have reached your building yet. During periods of icy fog or drizzle, or after normal business hours remember sidewalks, parking lots and roads may be very slippery. Use extreme caution.”

Click here for the full list of winter safety tips.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

Bundled against the cold in a final tableau of seasonal color, Amanda Lane ’12 studies up on Augustine behind Hunter Conservatory. Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Budget Discussion
Faculty Accomplishments
Whitman Philanthropy in the News
Re-use, Repurpose
Winter Safety Tips
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: