November 3, 2008

Volume 3, issue 11
November 3, 2008
The Fountain

And the survey says…

We won’t know until we hear from YOU! Your feedback and input will help make The Fountain the best possible internal newsletter it can be for Whitman staff and faculty. So if you can spare a few minutes to respond to a few easy questions via Survey Monkey, we would appreciate it greatly. Responses — which will be anonymous — are requested no later than Friday, Nov. 7.

Two publications better than one; three too many zeroes; online magazine

On Friday, the October Whitman Magazine, bundled with the Annual Report of Gifts, was delivered on campus. You may be aware that printing these two publications separately represents a departure from how it has been done in the past. Doing so enabled the college to print a beautiful, four-color magazine AND to produce a cost-effective, larger gift report. For the magazine, we preserved the sheet-fed printing process, and for the gift report we used a web press, which is better suited for such a publication. Overall, the college saved more than $6,000 by separating the publications/printing processes. The bundling enabled the college to mail the publications with our current periodicals permit.

Also, in the magazine…

In our effort to design an effective bar chart to illustrate two distinct measures of financial health, we included three extra zeroes in the vertical column of the Financial Vital Signs: Whitman Endowment graphic — and somehow this was never caught through the proofing process. We apologize for the error. Click here to see the accurate version of the chart.


Be sure to check out the new and improved Whitman Magazine Web site.

It’s more reader friendly (no more PDFs to wade through) and easier to search for your favorite articles. You’ll also find bonus features, such as photo galleries. The October 2008 issue includes photo galleries of Opening Week on campus, the Fouts Center for Visual Arts dedication, and alumni trips. Check out the new online version now at

Family weekend showcases “The Whitman Experience”

Whitman Mom Nancy Coba (center) goes hands-on in the chemistry lab with Whittie daughter Emily (right) and her sister Amanda (left) during Family Weekend. (Photo by Tessa Matson ’12)

Family Weekend 2008, held Oct. 24-26, drew more than 850 family members to campus. Although the picture-perfect weather certainly contributed to the success of the event, the true highlight for parents was “being able to see their students happily settled in to life at Whitman,” says Nancy Tavelli, associate dean of students for campus life, whose office hosts and organizes Family Weekend. “Parents especially like seeing how well-matched their students are with their roommates and getting to see the kind of life their sons and daughters are making for themselves at Whitman. They also like being on campus at this time of year.”

Among a weekend schedule chocked full with a wide-ranging list of activities, those that feature and showcase student talent are among the most popular, such as the Whitman Sampler Concert, the a cappella concert and Theatresports. While parents truly do get a taste of the Whitman experience through both the organized activities and the informal gatherings such as meals and games, students get a treat of a different kind. “Students love that their parents take them out to dinner and grocery shopping!” Tavelli says.

Some comments in the resident directors (RD) log sum up the success of Family Weekend nicely:

  • “It’s a happy time, even for students without family in town. Many families include the ‘orphaned’ roommate.”
  • “Parents loved ‘being in college again,’ as one parent said.”
  • “It’s a unique energy that parents give to a campus, a meeting of two worlds.”
  • “A number of parents talked about their own experiences in college and were bubbling with pride about their children.”

Putting on an event like Family Weekend takes a well-coordinated and organized effort, and Tavelli acknowledges Amy Bruner, administrative assistant (who has been working on the event since the spring), and Leah Kubany, resident director, in particular, and the entire residence life staff, as well as Andrea Dobson, associate professor of astronomy, and math and physics-astronomy major Charli Sakari ’09, for running the Planetarium shows, including an extra, unscheduled one.

O’Donnell Visiting Scholar: Cree Canadian playwright, novelist and musician

Tomson Highway, internationally renowned Cree Canadian playwright, novelist and musician, will present a lecture on First Nations literature and an evening of Cree Cabaret music when he visits the campus this week.

Highway, who is on campus as an O’Donnell Visiting Scholar, will participate in classes and meet with students and campus directors in addition to making two public presentations: Wednesday, Nov. 5, Tomson will present a lecture, “Comparing Mythologies,” in which he will talk about First Nations literature in the context of Canadian literature, at 7:30 p.m. in Kimball Theatre; Thursday, Nov. 6, at 9 p.m. in Kimball, Tomson Highway and Friends will present Cree Cabaret, a performance of 14 songs from Highway’s musical plays, for which he has written all the music and lyrics.

Highway is a full-blooded Cree and a registered member of the Barren Lands Indian Reserve, which is located in the extreme northwest corner of Manitoba. He earned degrees in music and English at Canada’s “Western” university, immersed himself in the field of Native social work in Canada, and then began writing plays. “The Rez Sisters” in 1986 was his first hit.

Faculty and staff accomplishments

Kendra J. Golden, associate professor of biology, recently published a paper titled “Drifting Away from Nature: The Cost of Convenience” in the Forum on Public Policy, a journal of the Oxford Round Table. Her paper was published in the spring 2008 online edition of the Forum, where it can be downloaded as a PDF. The papers published in the Forum must, in the judgment of peers, make a significant contribution to a field of knowledge relating to a pertinent aspect of public policy and academic enquiry.

Michelle Janning, associate professor of sociology and chair of the sociology department, serves on the board of directors for the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), which has just published the Agenda for Social Justice Solutions 2008 booklet. The publication is designed to inform policy makers and the general public about some of the nation’s most pressing social problems and to propose policy responses to those problems. It represents SSSP’s effort to nourish a more “public sociology” that will be easily accessible to policy makers, and includes chapters regarding education, work for low-income parents and global issues such as immigration and foreign affairs. The booklet is available online at the SSSP Web site.

Bruce Jones, assistant director of admission, has written a review of a book titled Color and Money: How Rich White Kids Are Winning the War Over Affirmative Action (Palgrave, 2007), by Peter Schmidt. Excerpting from the opening of his review, Jones writes: “A more accurate name for (the) provocatively titled (book) might be An Exhaustive History of Affirmative Action in Education. Of course I would not have bought the book then. Schmidt is uniquely qualified to write this history as a former Education Week journalist and current The Chronicle of Higher Education editor. He leaves no stone unturned in reviewing the legal, educational and political history of affirmative action.” Read the review in its entirety on the NACAC Web site.

Courier of Halloween spirit

Spreading the Halloween spirit around campus — LITERALLY — on Friday was Eddie DeLeon, campus banana, er, courier.

Staff Profile: Greg Lehman
Communications Officer/Photographer

  • Birthplace: I don’t recall the event, but I’m told Duluth, Minnesota.
  • Education: I always thought it was optional, but thankfully my parents insisted. I sailed through a BFA in broadcast journalism from PLU.
  • Years at Whitman: About five months, and oh, the changes I’ve seen in all that time!
  • Favorite:
    • Book: “Deadline” by Randy Alcorn
    • Film: 16 Blocks
    • Music: I think we all agree that Neil Diamond is all we need
    • Play: I still enjoy it
    • Art: I never knew my grandfather, but I’m told Arthur Lehman was an amazing man!
  • Favorite sculpture on campus: I know I’m alone in this, but I’m stuck on Styx.
  • Best travel experience: Anywhere, anytime with my wife, Ann Lehman, though we’re particularly fond of Puerto Vallarta in January.
  • Interests/pleasures: Ann Lehman, Ann Lehman, and oh, photography and pretending I can sing at church.
  • Recent accomplishment: Fooling everyone, all the time.
  • What people don’t know about me: I dreamed as a child I’d be 6'4", 240 — probably the height and weight of my favorite Minnesota Viking at the time.
  • A day in the life/on the job: Fooling everyone, all the time.
  • Favorite aspect of Whitman: Being able (and paid) to do what I love to do without crushing newspaper deadlines. I also like being really appreciated.
  • What I’ve learned here: That Phil Thompson (Web content specialist) is a VERY funny guy.
  • Quote: “This job is helping us to remodel our 1924 Craftsman home, and you’re all invited when it’s done.”

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise stated

Wednesday, Nov. 5
Concert: Whitman Jazz Combo Concert, Dave Glenn, conductor. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Wednesday, Nov. 5
Lecture: Tomson Highway, O’Donnell Visiting Scholar, will present “Comparing Mythologies” about First Nations literature in the context of Canadian Literature. 7:30 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

Thursday, Nov. 6
Concert: Whitman Jazz Ensemble Fall Concert, Dave Glenn, conductor. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Friday, Nov. 7
Recital: Fridays at Four presents Fiddler Marshall Baker. 4 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

Friday, Nov. 7, and Sunday, Nov. 9
Movie: “This is England” (Meadows 2006, UK). 7:30 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

Sunday, Nov. 9
Concert: Divertimento Chamber Orchestra, Lee Milles ’09, conductor. 7:30 p.m., Chism Recital Hall, Hall of Music.

Save the Date

Nov. 12-16
Theatre: Harper Joy Theatre presents Perfect Pie. Click here for more information.

Friday, Nov. 14
Benefit Event: “Mr. Whitman” fundraiser to benefit orphans of AIDS. “Beauty” pageant; performances by The Whitman Dance Team and Sirens of Swank 7 p.m., Cordiner Hall. Tickets are $5 in advance or $8 at the door. Contact juergemk@whitman.

Parting Shot

For this week’s Parting Shot, Greg Lehman, campus photographer, spotted one of the many inhabitants of the Whitman campus that do not collect a paycheck from the college but nonetheless spend their days here, “working” and enjoying the bounties our campus offers. This furry resident ascends into the colorful foliage outside Maxey Hall.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Two Publications
Family Weekend
O’Donnell Visiting Scholar
Faculty and Staff Accomplishments
Halloween Spirit
Staff Profile:
Greg Lehman
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: