August 24, 2009

Volume 4, issue 1
August 24, 2009
The Fountain

A look at the Class of 2013

The 403 members of the incoming first-year class bring with them an impressive list of academic and co-curricular accomplishments. Among them are:

  • 326 who participated in community service while in high school
  • 147 who were ASB or class presidents, captains or co-captains of a varsity athletic team, editor or co-editor of yearbook or school newspaper or who founded a club or organization
  • 162 who have traveled abroad, to a total of 65 countries
  • 58 who are first-generation college students
  • students representing 34 states and 14 countries including Japan, Uganda and Israel
  • 159 who ranked in the top 10 percent of their class

The talent, drive and well-roundedness that characterize the Whitman student body are reflected in the variety of activities of members of the Class of 2013. Among them are students who:

  • illuminated photojournalism projects around the world;
  • raised funds for and taught in a Burmese orphanage;
  • survived cancer;
  • was selected as a 2012 Archery Olympic hopeful;
  • organized a seven week trip through New Zealand, working on organic farms around the country;
  • summited Denali;
  • ran a marathon;
  • volunteered at a summer camp for Siberian orphans;
  • competed as a successful triathlete;
  • interned for MacWorld magazine as a product tester.

Staff Breakfast is Aug. 25

The Annual Staff Breakfast, hosted by President Bridges to celebrate the beginning of the academic year and the return of students, will take place Tuesday, Aug. 25, at 8:30 a.m. on the back lawn of Reid Campus Center. The agenda includes remarks from President Bridges as well as introductions of new staff members, Personnel Advisory Committee (PAC), staff fringe benefits and budget advisory committee members; and announcements of staff promotions. No RSVP required.

US News ranking provides confirmation of Whitman’s excellence

At No. 36 in the US News college rankings, Whitman remains among the nation’s best liberal arts colleges. “While the rankings confirm what we as a campus community already know, they are valued by and important to prospective students and families in their college search process,” President Bridges said. “So it’s particularly gratifying to be recognized for having high retention and graduation rates and student involvement in research and creative projects. Our success is a direct reflection of the dedicated efforts of our staff, faculty and alumni.”

Rave reviews about Whitman

Earlier this summer the Office of Admission hosted College Horizons, an annual, nationwide pre-college summer program for Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian high school students. The program includes a post-event evaluation by participants, and the reviews are in: Whitman scores high marks all around.

Tony Cabasco, dean of admission and financial aid, reports that student participants rated the program at Whitman a 9.2 out of 10 and the leaders (college admission reps and high school counselors) rated us a 9.3. “We received good feedback and some ideas for improving the program, but the overall evaluations were very positive,” he said.

Among comments received:

  • “To the Whitman staff: excellent work! You represented your institution very well and supported Anne in all of her work.”
  • “The staff members at Whitman were incredibly hospitable, and I really appreciated everything they did to make this program run as well as it did. It is definitely a school and community that I will feel comfortable recommending to people!”
  • “I was left incredibly moved by the Whitman program.”
  • “Wonderful. Whitman is always amazing.”
  • “Whitman has a beautiful campus.”
  • “Whitman College was a great host. The dorms were fantastic and the campus was compact, minimizing how much of the valuable time was spent in transit.”
  • “The food was amazing, especially the produce! I haven’t eaten that well in a long time. Best ever!”

“When visitors report such positive experiences, I believe their comments reflect the combined efforts of the Whitman staff,” said President Bridges. “It becomes evident that our work together as a community is on target, and the way we work together is integral to our success. Congratulations to all.” He also offered special kudos to Anne Thatcher, assistant director of admission, for her role in coordinating and making the program so successful.

Faculty and staff accomplishments

"National Pastime,” the jazz CD released earlier this year by Dave Glenn, professor of music, has been hovering between No. 48 (for the week of Aug. 24) and No. 52 on the Jazz Week chart for the past few weeks. In a glowing review of the CD Ken Dryden concludes, “This is an ambitious project by Dave Glenn and he clearly hits one out of the park with this fine effort.”

Christopher Petit, assistant professor of theater, is performing in “This From Cloudland” at New City Theater, 1404 18th Ave., Seattle, on Tuesday, Aug. 25, at 8 p.m.

“This From Cloudland” is presented as part of New City Theater’s resident artist program. It is described as “a tender onslaught of stories that touch, about placement, displacement, and replacement,” featuring Elizabeth Kenny, Kristen Kosmas, and Chris Petit as the Spooler of Thread, the Innocent Bystander, the Assembler of Envelopes, and Everybody Else in this benevolent labyrinth where everyone's looking for the words for everything.

Karen Smith, chemistry stockroom facilities manager and academic chemical safety coordinator, was awarded status as a certified scientific materials manager at the annual meeting of the National Association of Scientific Managers (NAOSMM), held in Boise in July. Certification is awarded to an elite few, according to the NAOSMM certification committee, and requires familiarity and expertise with the many aspects of scientific materials management, ranging from safety and regulatory matters, managerial planning, decision making, purchasing, inventory control and security. In addition, she has demonstrated a commitment to community with her service to the Children’s Museum of Walla Walla and by sharing the excitement of science with local middle school students.

"The work involved in securing this certification was significant and is reflective of Karen's impressive contributions to Whitman and Walla Walla. We are quite fortunate to have her as a member of our community," said Tim Kaufman-Osborn, provost and dean of faculty.

Sherwood Center opens doors Aug. 28; public open house Sept. 16

After 18 months of construction and remodeling, the Sherwood Athletic Center is scheduled to open its doors for use by Whitman community members on Friday, Aug. 28, said Dean Snider, athletic director. Access to racquetball courts, aerobic rooms and other areas for staff and faculty will resume then.

The public opening and open house for Sherwood will be held Wednesday, Sept. 16, from 4 to 6 p.m. This event will include tours, athletic demonstrations and opening remarks by college officials. Watch The Fountain and campus e-mail for further information.

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Wednesday, Aug. 26
Art Gallery Opens: New and Returning Visual Art and Art History/Visual Culture Faculty Exhibition. Show runs through Oct. 22 at the Sheehan Art Gallery. x5249 or x5992.

Friday, Aug. 28
Convocation: All staff are invited to join faculty, students and family members at 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, 10-11:30 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 Nadine Knight, assistant professor of English; Jason Pribilsky, associate professor of anthropology; and Jim Russo, associate professor of chemistry and health professions adviser, will share their unique, discipline-specific perspectives on the book. Cordiner Hall, 2-3:30 p.m.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

Though the bulk of the work on the new Sherwood Center is complete, details such as a coat of white paint on a railing are still being done in preparation for the Sept. 16 re-opening ceremony.   Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Class of 2013
Staff Breakfast
US News Ranking
Rave Reviews
Faculty and Staff Accomplishments
Sherwood Center opens Aug. 28
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: