January 12, 2009

Volume 3, issue 20
January 12, 2009
The Fountain

Whitman starts 2009 with “Best Value” rankings

Whitman is among the top 50 “Best Value” private colleges in the nation, according to rankings recently released by both The Princeton Review and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

Best 368 Colleges: 2009 Edition

The Princeton Review’s list is reported in the Jan. 8 print edition of USA Today, and at The Princeton Review and USA Today.

“We are delighted that Whitman has been recognized as a Best Value college by the Princeton Review,” said Tony Cabasco, dean of admission and financial aid. “This recognition highlights the investment Whitman has made in ensuring academic excellence, access, and affordability.”

In the Northwest, Whitman was joined only by Reed College in Portland on the Kiplinger’s Top 50 “Best Value” in liberal arts colleges listing.“Whitman’s strength in admission selectivity, graduation rates, financial aid and average debt at graduation obviously contributed to our listing in the Kiplinger’s list of Best Values,” added Cabasco.

Read the complete story here.

President Bridges invited to serve on NAICU Board of Directors

President Bridges has accepted an invitation to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), and in February will attend his first board meeting of his three-year term in Washington, D.C. “No organization matches the influence that NAICU exercises in shaping the national agenda of and federal support for higher education in the United States,” said Bridges. “I’m proud to represent Whitman, and the appointment gives the college a level of well-deserved national visibility.”

Faculty and staff accomplishments

Semester in the West, the experiential learning course taught by Phil Brick, professor of politics, was featured in a Jan. 7 article in the Hi-Desert Star, published in Yucca Valley, Calif. The article focuses on a series of presentations given to the students by members of the Alliance for Responsible Energy (AREP) while the class was camped in Pipes Canyon, Mojave Desert. Brick invited Jim Harvey, one of AREP’s founders, and asked him to talk to the 21 students in Semester in the West about the flip side of large solar and wind-energy projects — the effect on surrounding communities. The presentation was “quite an epiphany for a lot of students,” Brick noted in the article.

To view their campus presentation of epiphanies or their final podcasts from the trip, go to www.semesterinthewest.org. Read the article here.

Douglas Carlsen, director of the Whitman College Bookstore, has written a book review on Kevin Vennemann’s “Close to Jedenew” that has been published in the online magazine Three Percent. Read the review here.


Faculty Profile: Edward Dixon
Associate professor of music

  • Birthplace: Boston
  • Education: Bachelor and master of music, University of Southern California, doctorate in music performance, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
  • Years at Whitman: 19 (1990-present)
  • Courses: Conductor, Whitman Symphony Orchestra, private instruction on cello and string bass, 18th Century Music History, History of Music Literature, Music Theory: Ear Training Laboratory
  • Favorite…
    • Books: Mysteries and detective stories, anything by Robert Parker for example, also sci-fi like Isaac Asimov; "Cellist" by Gregor Piatigorsky; and "Joys and Sorrows" by Pablo Casals.
    • Films: Action/adventure, the three Bourne films;
    • Music: All types, classical, cello repertoire; also Puccini, Brahms, Faure.
    • Art: "Joys and Sorrows" by Pablo Casals
  • Favorite sculpture on campus: The silver corkscrew outside my window by the music building.
  • Best travel experience: Maui and Puerto Rico
  • Interests/pleasures: I enjoy sports, especially coaching my daughter's basketball team at the YMCA; conducting summer musicals at Fort Walla Walla; playing noon tennis in Bratton; and conducting orchestras in the area.
  • Recent accomplishment: Conducted the Washington-Idaho Symphony’s opening concerts for this season, an all-Russian program.
  • What people don’t know about me: I own too many diet books!
  • Why I teach: I love music. It was a gift given to me as a young person, so I feel privileged to pass that gift along.
  • Favorite aspect of Whitman: The students — they are fine young people and a joy to know and work with.
  • What I’ve learned here: I've learned a great deal about conducting while working with the Whitman Symphony and how challenging it is to do everything equally well.
  • Quote: Fifty is the new thirty, keep reaching for new challenges!

Welcome to the Whitman family

The Whitman family welcomes Ingrid Stone Iverson, daughter of Sarah Hurlburt, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures, and Jack Iverson, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures. Ingrid was born Nov.13, 2008 at 7 pounds, 8 ounces, “happy and healthy,” according to her mother.

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise stated

Monday, Jan. 19

Martin Luther King Day Observance: The Intercultural Center and the Center for Community Service are teaming up with the Walla Walla Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day by participating in the national day of service. Volunteer opportunities from 2 to 4 p.m.; candle light walk at 4:30 p.m.; and brief program at 5 p.m. in Reid Campus Center with music and refreshments. Call the Intercultural Center at 527-5596; or the Center for Community Service at 527-5765.

Monday, Jan. 19 — NOTE: This is a date change; was Jan. 20.

Film Festival: The Outdoor Program will present the annual Banff Film Festival at 7 p.m. in Cordiner Hall. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets available at the door are free with Whitman ID; general admission is $10/adults and $5/children 12 and under. For more information contact Ben Hayes, Whitman Outdoor Program coordinator, at hayesba@whitman.edu.

Save the Date

Tuesday, Jan. 27

Speaker: Tim Egan, New York Times online opinion columnist based in Seattle, will present “The Politics of Possibility” at 7:30 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium. He will discuss how the Obama election has changed the “cartography” of Americans’ daily life and what to expect in the coming year.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

When Chris Bishop’s (design manager) cry — ‘Oh, look at the sky, Greg!’ — went up from the desk next to mine, I was out the door. Fabulous rainbows tend to be fleeting, but there was time enough to find this nice composition. Thank you Chris and the great rainbow-maker! Click for full size.

The natural wonder of the rainbow — actually multiple rainbows — drew spectators outside to catch a glimpse. While campus photographer Greg Lehman caught the panoramic view from the front of Memorial, Helen Tanaka, assistant director of the annual fund, and Jed Schwendiman, associate top the president, captured the gathering crowd and the beauty from the back of Mem.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Best Value
NAICU Board APpointment
Faculty and Staff Accomplishments
Faculty/Staff Profile:
Edward Dixon
New Baby
Coming Events
Parting Shot

Past issues

The Fountain is published by the Office of Communications. Send news to Editor Lenel Parish at thefountain@whitman.edu. Photos are accepted. Submissions are due by Tuesday at 5 p.m. for the following week's issue. Director of Communications: Ruth Wardwell. Online: www.whitman.edu/fountain