August 17, 2009

Volume 3, issue 50
August 17, 2009
The Fountain

Important information about the medical plan

There are a few changes in Whitman’s medical plan, according to Cindy Matern, director of human resources. Great-West Healthcare, our medical insurance carrier, was purchased by CIGNA in 2008. While our medical plan remains largely unaffected by the purchase, our prescription drug card program through Express Scripts (ESI) will be replaced by CIGNA Pharmacy effective Nov. 1.

CIGNA will issue replacement cards in October that you will need to use as of Nov. 1. You will receive a detailed letter from CIGNA in October, outlining the changes that will occur. Please watch for this information so you don’t mistake it as “junk mail.”

More information is available on the human resources Web site under the heading Cigna Prescription Information 2009. In addition, you are welcome to call HR at x5172.

FERPA reminder and change of venue

The FERPA refresher session at 1 p.m. today has been moved to Gaiser Auditorium in the Hall of Science.

You are cordially invited to a delicious summer social

Now sharing Whitman news stories is just a click away…

There is a new feature on the Whitman College Web site. At the end of every news article (including past ones) is a link that says Share this. It will allow you to send the article to anyone via e-mail, or post it to your favorite Web site (Twitter, Facebook, etc.).

When you get a chance, stop by the site, open any news item, and give it a spin, then let Phil Thompson, web content specialist, office of communications, know what you think!

Can you lend a helping hand?

Barbara Maxwell, associate dean of students/student programs and activities, is looking for a few good volunteers to help with opening day on Thursday, Aug. 27. “We need folks to meet and greet parents and students on Stanton Street from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We also need people to work in RCC assisting with photo IDs and other tasks from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” says Barbara. If you want to help, please contact Barbara with your preference for meeting/greeting or working in RCC and the start and end times you can work. To volunteer, e-mail or call x5208.

Nominate an outstanding senior for senior fund chairperson

Brenda Sanchez, annual fund officer, invites you to nominate an outstanding senior for the position of senior fund chairperson. This is a paid position that requires excellent organizational skills and the ability to work well with others in a leadership role. “We are looking for a self starter who is responsible, enthusiastic and involved in various areas of campus life,” Brenda says. “If you know of a member of the class of 2010 who might be interested in leading the class in this fund-raising effort, please let me know.” The deadline for nominations is Monday, Aug. 24. If you have a nomination to share, please respond to Brenda at or x5943.

Comings and goings

Whitman extends a warm welcome to Peter A. Means, technical specialist, development; and Andrea M. Seymour, geology technician. The college bids farewell to Kate Richard, major gift officer, development; Will Davidson, geology technician; and Dawn Chlipala, nurse. Please note the following changes: Dina Stockton, from nurse, regular status, to nurse, on-call status; Lynne Vieth, from part-time temporary to full-time interim reference and information literacy librarian; Susan Brick, from director of international programs to director of off-campus studies; Laura Cummings, from senior assistant for international programs to senior assistant for off-campus studies; Rebecca Miller Wyrwas, from assistant director of international programs to assistant director of off-campus studies.

W Club supports Whitman athletes

Athletic Director Dean Snider continues to marvel at the ways in which the W Club, the new athletics booster club, is helping with efforts to upgrade the student-athlete experience at Whitman.

W Club efforts for the new academic year include an inaugural fund-raising golf tournament on Friday, Oct. 2, at Walla Walla’s new Wine Valley Golf Club, and a series of alumni “tailgate parties” in support of Whitman teams as they play road games around the Northwest. Recent W Club contributions also funded a new assistant coaching position for the baseball team. This is the third such position made possible by the W Club. Last September the W Club funded assistant coaches in men’s and women’s basketball.

“We are extremely grateful to the members of the W Club for their support of the athletic program and of our student-athletes,” said Snider. “The W Club is a group of alumni and friends of Whitman College who want to support and promote excellence in athletics and to provide the best possible experience for Whitman’s student-athletes.”

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Friday, Aug. 28
Convocation: All students and family members are cordially invited to attend Convocation 2009, marking the formal opening of the academic year. Elizabeth Vandiver, Clement Biddle Penrose Associate Professor of Latin and Classics, will present the Convocation address. Cordiner Hall, 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Saturday, Aug. 29
Faculty panel discussion of summer reading assignment: “The Last Town on Earth,” assigned to incoming students as their summer read. The book is a fictional but historically correct story of a small town in rural Washington during the 1918 pandemic of the “Spanish flu.” Panel members, who will share their unique, discipline-specific perspectives on the book, will be Nadine Knight, assistant professor of English; Jason Pribilsky, associate professor of anthropology; and Jim Russo, associate professor of chemistry and health professions adviser. Cordiner Hall, 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Teamwork – Putting the best foot forward?
Parting shot by Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

Four WISE participants, the bottoms of their feet duct-taped together to force teamwork, work to move around one of the trees in front of Memorial last week. Full size.

Eighteen middle school students from the Walla Walla area got a taste of college life Aug. 9, 10 and 11 at the Whitman Institute for Summer Enrichment (WISE). They lived in a residence hall, took classes from Whitman faculty (Jason Pribilsky, Barry Balof, and Dayle Smith), participated in outside activities, (above) and interacted with Whitman students, who served as resident assistants and were a “big hit,” said Sonja Aikens, Intercultural Center administrative assistant.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Medical Plan Chages
FERPA Session
Root Beer Floats
Share This
Opening Day Volunteers
Senior Fund Chair Nominations
Comings and Goings
W Club
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: