March 16, 2009

Volume 3, issue 29
March 16, 2009
The Fountain

Community responds to college budget situation via

When President Bridges sent the message to the Whitman community on the recession and Whitman’s budget a few weeks ago, he asked for feedback and cost-saving recommendations via the new e-mail address. Below is a summary of the suggestions received so far. President Bridges noted, “The ideas put forward are interesting and much appreciated. I have asked the budget officers to review these recommendations and work with staff and faculty groups to assess which of these, if any, can or should be implemented.”

To date 16 e-mails were sent from eight staff, four parents and four alumni. The ideas vary considerably; some messages contained a single idea, others contained several.

  • Require employee contribution for health insurance, reduce number of varsity/IM sports.
  • Implement online time sheets for staff, reduce library hours.
  • Reduce heat in residence halls.
  • An offer to volunteer time/computer skills.
  • Offer interest free micro-loans to support the college.
  • Reduce or eliminate free lunches at faculty forum.
  • Try a HAS health plan.
  • Adjust calendar to reduce student travel costs, provide no rent options in exchange for custodial duties for use of campus guest rooms, encourage staff/faculty to open blinds and use natural light.
  • Reduce irrigation.
  • Encourage departments to purchase office supplies from the Bookstore (rather than Walmart, Staples, etc.) to keep more dollars on campus.
  • Suspend faculty research requirements.
  • Send Whitman magazine electronically to reduce printing/postage.
  • Eliminate need and merit based financial aid so that each student pays the same tuition.
  • Turn out non-essential lights, reduce printing of color posters by using e-mail.
  • Keep a very conservative investment portfolio.
  • Charge for locker rental at BFFC.

New newsletter offers info on faculty grant opportunities

The Office of Foundation and Corporate Relations, directed by Rachna Sinnott ’93, and the Office of Sponsored Programs, coordinated by Tana Park, have launched a newsletter designed to inform faculty about grant opportunities and sponsored programs. It reports on the services and assistance available through each of the offices and offers helpful tips. The inaugural issue is posted here. It is also available on the Foundation and Corporate Relations home page. The next issue will come out in May, and Sinnott welcomes input and feedback on the newsletter. She’d like to know if it’s useful and what kinds of information would be most helpful. E-mail her with feedback at

Staff, faculty team up to make music

In addition to their day jobs, several faculty and an alumnus express themselves musically through their “Indie Rock” band, called Orange Fight. Members include husband and wife Michelle Janning, associate professor of sociology, keyboard, and Neal Christopherson, director of institutional research, guitar and vocals; Keith Farrington, Peterson endowed chair of social science, bass; Matt Prull, associate professor of psychology, guitar; and alumnus Norrie Gregoire ’89, drums.

At their recent Reid Campus Center gig, they played cover songs and original music written by Christopherson. They say they sound like a cross between Wilco, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd and Beck with some glam rock and blues thrown into the mix. Learn more about Orange Fight and listen to their music at their Web site.

Pictured: (front, l-r) Matt Prull, Neal Christopherson, Keith Farrington; (back, l-r) Michelle Janning, Norrie Gregoire.

Staff and faculty accomplishments

Juli Dunn, director of academic resources, formerly head trainer and associate professor of sport studies, wrote an article that has been published in the March 2009 “Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.” The title of the article is "Using Learning Preferences to Improve Coaching and Athletic Performance,” and the Whitman connections in the article include photography by Matt Zimmerman ’04 and a photo of Scott Shields, women’s soccer coach.

Mary Hanna, professor of politics emerita, recently participated in a statewide theatre competition in Edmonds, Wash., that drew 11 community theaters from throughout the state, including the Little Theatre of Walla Walla, which she represented. “Little Theatre’s entry, “Graceland,” won the competition. It is a one-act comedy laced with sadness, a touch of sweet humanity and a little rock ’n’ roll. The play is about two women who camp in front of Elvis’s home three days before it is to be opened to the public for the first time,” she writes. The judges praised the production for “for its skillful portrayal of how two very different women, both avid Elvis Presley fans, move from competitive strangers to nourishing friends.” Hanna, above left, dressed in a Dolly Parton wig and white plastic jewelry, played “tough broad Bev Davies, a Presley fan so devoted she’s already clawed her way into being the first person at his gravesite, his museum and the unveiling of his statue.” In the role, she and her co-star performed a “boisterous” dance to Blue Suede Shoes. Hanna says she has largely switched from performing in the classroom to acting on stage — at WWCC, Whitman and Little Theatre.

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise stated

Save the date

Tuesday, March 31
Rempel Lecture: Harry W. Greene, Ph.D., professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and director of graduate studies at Cornell University, presents "North American Pleistocene Rewilding." 7:30 p.m., Maxey Auditorium. Post-lecture reception in foyer. Contact Delbert Hutchison, associate professor of biology, at x5135.

Wednesday, April 1
Matthew Shepard Lecture: Dr. Kate O'Hanlan, founder of the Laparoscopic Institute for Gynecologic Oncology in Portola Valley, Calif., presents "The Intersection of Medical Science, Health and Civil Rights." Maxey Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 2
Lecture: “The 3 Things Americans Don’t Understand About the War in Iraq Right Now,” presented by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and New York Times #1 bestselling author Thomas Ricks. He will sign copies of his latest book. 7 p.m., Cordiner Hall. Learn more about Ricks at the Washington Post Web site.

Thursday, April 9
Walt Whitman Lecture: Former U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Simic delivers the 2009 Walt Whitman Lecture, part of the Visiting Writers Series. Maxey Auditorium, 7 p.m. For information contact

Sunday, April 19
Earth Day: Whitman, Walla Walla U and WW Community College join forces for a day in service to the community. “Earth Day”-themed projects will help to beautify the Walla Walla Valley and improve sustainability of the environment. Volunteers wanted – Sign up online here or call Lina Menard at x5765.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

Leaving BFFC last week, my mind was more on “sauna, sauna, I wish we had a sauna” than on shooting photos when I saw the glorious early evening light filling the Harvey Pool area. Nothing gets a photographer going like great light, so I rushed to the car, grabbed my camera and got this shot of water polo player Mitchell Lee ’12 looking for an opening to make a pass. Love the back-lit sparkles of water! Water polo coach Jamie Kennedy ’96, who is also Whitman’s director of planned giving, says the players are working hard in hopes of a home tournament sometime in May.   Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Budget Ideas
New Grants Newsletter
Orange Fight
Staff and Faculty Accomplishments
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: