November 9, 2009

Volume 4, issue 12
November 9, 2009
The Fountain

Peter Harvey receives inaugural Pete and Hedda Reid Service to WW Award

Those individuals most deserving of recognition for their service to others seem also to be the most humbled by and shy about receiving attention for it. Such is the case of Peter Harvey ’84, CFO/treasurer, as he was called to the podium at last week’s Chamber of Commerce banquet to receive Whitman’s Pete and Hedda Reid Service to Walla Walla Award, formerly called the Town-Gown Award.

Excerpting from the certificate: “For years Peter Harvey has quietly lent his talents and leadership to numerous community groups, wanting nothing in return but success for the organizations. Whether using his financial and business acumen to manage from the board room to sharing his passion for sports on youth athletic fields, Peter serves this community.”

“Once I got over the total shock and surprise, I truly was humbled and very honored,” Harvey said. “The president’s office staff really pulled one over on me, getting me to the event. What makes the award so special is that its new namesakes are so worthy. I’m especially proud to be among many individuals to come whose community contributions emulate the ideals put into action by Pete and Hedda Reid. I tip my hat to them in accepting this award and feel great knowing the Reids’ legacy will live in perpetuity.”

Among Walla Walla area beneficiaries of his involvement is the Blue Mountain Area Foundation. He also is an active member of Rotary and the Walla Walla Police Department Task Force, helps raise funds for the annual All-Comers Community Track and Field event and volunteers at every track meet. He has coached T-ball and served as a Sunday school teacher at the College Place Presbyterian Church. Harvey graduated from Whitman in 1984 and has worked for the college since 1990.

“Peter represents the college with the highest of standards,” said President Bridges. “There could be no better representative of the ideals of this inaugural Pete and Hedda Reid Service to Walla Walla Award than Peter.”

Traditionally, the award is presented in memory of a Whitman staff or faculty member. This year it honors the memory of David Stevens, professor emeritus of economics, who was a lifelong friend of Harvey in addition to being his mentor and thesis adviser. Professor Stevens was respected and loved by generations of students for his unwavering support of them, and a David Stevens Internship Endowment was created to continue to support students by funding Whitman’s ongoing summer internship program.

Sherwood rededication also honors Whitman’s “greatest fan”

While the facility itself took center stage at the rededication of Sherwood Athletic Center, it was Dr. George Ball who received heartfelt accolades for his devotion to Whitman athletics and athletes, and for being “one of the most avid sports fans in Whitman history,” said Trustee and Sherwood donor John Stanton ’77 in his comments at the ceremony. The main gymnasium has been named in Dr. Ball’s honor, and the upper level north and south walls now bear the name “George Ball Court.”

President Bridges and Dean Snider, athletics director, also spoke, reflecting on their joy in watching the contractors turn dreams and aspirations into plans that have become reality and achieving athletic excellence at Whitman on par with the college’s academic excellence. Also sharing reflections and gratitude were student athletes Alex Graves’10, representing volleyball, and Jordan Wheeler ’10, representing basketball.

Pictured: Dr. George Ball accepts a token of appreciation and affection, a volleyball signed by the members of the volleyball and basketball teams. See photo gallery from the event here.

Whitman jumps to No. 20 in 2009 Kiplinger’s “Best Value” rankings

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has released the 2009 version of its “100 Best Values in Private Colleges,” and Whitman has jumped to No. 20 – up from No. 28 last year – on the Top 50 liberal arts colleges list. Whitman is one of only seven west coast schools - and the only one in the Northwest - to make the prestigious top-50 list. Kiplinger’s ranks the best values in private institutions across the country, ranking liberal arts colleges and universities that combine outstanding economic value with exceptional education.

Read more about the news here, or go directly to the Kiplinger’s Web site.

Test of emergency notification system Nov. 11

On Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 3 p.m. Whitman will conduct a TEST of the campus emergency notification system.

The Blackboard Connect system will send messages via e-mail and contact primary phone numbers as well as other phone numbers that have been entered into the emergency notification system, including home phones, cell phones, parents/spouses phones etc.

If you do not receive any messages via any of these vehicles, it's likely that your information is not current in the campus data base. It is important to keep this data current. To do so go to and click on the link for “Collect Emergency Numbers.”

The Informacast broadcasting system also will be tested. It will deliver a recorded message via the speakers of all Cisco VoIP phones on campus, including classroom phones. The recorded message will include a 10-second alert pre-tone and then the recorded message. The will be repeated three times with a 30 second pause between each broadcast.

News from the Annual Fund

The Annual Fund Office announces chairs for the 2009-2010 Faculty and Staff Annual Fund. Last year’s co-chairs, Allison Calhoun, associate professor of chemistry, and Pete Reid ’49, retired special assistant to the president, continue in their roles and are joined by Bob Fontenot, professor of mathematics emeritus, and Craig McKinnon, associate director of security. The chairs extend their gratitude to those who made contributions to the college last year. Their vision is that gifts to Whitman, no matter the size, make an impact on the quality of education we are able to offer to our students.

Faculty and staff members can expect a letter from Allison, Pete, Bob and Craig asking for their support by making a gift this year, reports Brenda Sanchez, annual fund officer. Monthly gifts can easily be made via payroll deduction.

Annual Fund donor Marge Jesse, post office supervisor, attests to that easy way of making a gift. She contributes monthly via payroll deduction and says that while her gift may be small, she believes that “all contributions add up, and every donor adds to the number of people who give, which is equally important. I want to see Whitman remain a top-rated college, and I am more than willing to give back to this institution that has provided me a great place to work. It is so easy to set up the automatic monthly withdrawal. I encourage everyone to sign up.”

Faculty Accomplishments

Spanish professors Nohemy Solórzano-Thompson and Janis Breckenridge recently traveled to Quito, Ecuador, for the XIX annual meeting of the Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica (AILCFH, a professional organization dedicated to the study of literary and cultural production by Hispanic women) to present original research on contemporary women’s film and literature. Solórzano-Thompson talked about Chicana subjectivity in two US/Mexico border films and Breckenridge presented a paper on Spanish lesbian writers. The conference was held at the FLACSO-Ecuador campus and attended by literary and cultural production scholars from the Americas and Europe.

Three Whitman students also attended the conference and presented original research. Spanish major Bécquer Medak-Seguín ’10 presented a paper on Puerto Rican writer Ana Lydia Vega, a project advised by Breckenridge. Spanish major Jazmín López ’10 presented an original documentary film about Mexican indigenous women from Oaxaca, a project she has been working on for two years under the guidance of Solórzano-Thompson and funded in part by Whitman and Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social (MALCS, a Latina women’s professional organization). At the end of her presentation, López was invited to present her film at a festival at Pacific Lutheran University next spring. And Gender Studies major Spencer Janyk ’10 presented a paper on Cuban American performance artist Coco Fusco, elaborated for an independent study taught by Solórzano-Thompson last spring. All three students received generous funding from the Provost and Dean of Faculty, which allowed them to attend and present at the conference.

“The students’ presentations were very well received and generated a lively discussion,” Solórzano-Thompson said. “They were the only undergraduate presenters in the entire conference, which was attended by professors and advanced graduate students. Conference attendees remarked how impressed they were by our students’ academic preparation, scholarly potential, and fluency in oral and written Spanish.”

Pictured: (l-r) Prof. Breckenridge, Jazmín López, Spencer Janyk, Bécquer Medak-Seguín and Prof. Solórzano-Thompson.

Holiday Baseball Camp for kids age 6-18 scheduled for Thanksgiving week

The Whitman College baseball team is hosting an indoor Holiday Baseball Camp early Thanksgiving week – Sunday, Nov. 22, Monday, Nov. 23, and Tuesday, Nov. 24, for baseball players from ages 6 to 18. The players will be divided into age groups of 6–12-year-olds and 13–18-year-olds, says Mark Michaud Jr., assistant baseball coach and camp director, with the younger group scheduled for 9 a.m. to noon, and the older players from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The camp is designed for athletes who want to develop their baseball skills over the winter months in top-notch facilities such as the newly renovated Sherwood Center, said Jared Holowaty, head baseball coach. Camp attendees will be the first group to use Sherwood’s drop-down batting cages located in the new gym. The camp cost is $100; contact Coach Michaud at 522-4438 or

Ted Mullin “Leave it in the Pool” Hour of Power Relay

Whitman’s Varsity Swim Team will be participating in the fourth annual “Ted Mullin ‘Leave it in the Pool’ Hour of Power Relay” at 4 p.m. on Nov. 10 in the Harvey Pool. The team will swim continuous relays of any stroke for an hour with the goal of keeping all relays in each lane on the same length.

The event, sponsored by Carleton College, will be coordinated with more than 100 schools across the nation as well as abroad; more than 5,900 swimmers worldwide will be in the water at the same time in support of the battle against cancer. Each team will be asked to gather pledges and donations for cancer research in honor of Ted Mullin, a former Carleton swimmer who passed away from synovial sarcoma, a rare soft-tissue cancer, in September 2006.

In the past three years, the “Hour of Power Relay” has earned more than $112,000 for pediatric sarcoma research. If you have any questions, or would like to make a donation, please contact Jennifer Blomme, head swimming coach, at or x5287.

Flu Update

There were 27 new ILI (influenza-like illness) cases reporting to the Welty Health Center last week, bringing the fall semester total to 135 as of Friday, Nov. 6

Given the spikes in ILI cases, many parents have been calling campus about with a variety of flu questions. A new document, – Questions Asked by Parents – has been posted on the Web site and can be a resource for all campus community members.

Last Wednesday, the Welty Health Center received a small supply of H1N1 vaccine. The doses targeted high-risk students as outlined by the CDC. The general Whitman student population will be offered the vaccine as greater supplies become available. Staff and faculty who wish to receive the vaccine must secure it from external health providers.

Pioneer Web site looking to add faculty blogs

Whitman Pioneer to faculty: “Do you want 12,000 more people to read your blog/paper?” if yes, the Pioneer can help. The Pioneer is looking to add more Whitman voices to its Web site and plans to devote a section to curate blog entries from Whitman faculty. This will expand the content beyond what can be included in the print edition and will add moiré voices and perspectives. The Pio Web site has from 8,000 to 12,000 visits each week. Interested? Want to know more? Contact Andy Jobanek ’10 at

Farewell reception for Lenel Parish

Campus community members are invited to join the Communications Team in bidding farewell to Lenel Parish, senior news services officer after more than 20 years at Whitman. A reception will be held Friday, Nov. 13, 3:30-4:30 in Mem 316.

Alumna author Rachael Brownell ’90 visits campus Tuesday and Wednesday

Rachael Brownell ’90, author of the powerful new book “Mommy Doesn’t Drink Here Anymore: Getting through the First Year of Sobriety,” will visit campus this week for several events:

Tuesday, Nov. 10, noon – “Women, alcohol and sexuality - an open discussion.” Open only to Whitman women. No-host lunch in the Young Ballroom, Reid Campus Center.

Tuesday, Nov. 10, 7 p.m. – Brownell will read from her book. Copies can be purchased on-site. This event is free and open to the public. Young Ballroom, Reid Campus Center.

Wednesday, Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m. – Presentation: “Getting through the holidays with a problem drinker/alcoholic/addicted family member.” This event is free and open to the public. Jewett Main Lounge.

The Counseling Center, Dean of Students Office and Panhellenic have joined forces to sponsor the visit and events.

“The topics she will cover are of utmost relevance to Whitman students and to the community, especially at this time of year,” said Sharon Kaufman-Osborn, counselor. For event details, contact her at x5195 or For more information on the book, click here.

Get your leaves raked, help a worthy cause

Delta Gamma sorority members invite staff and faculty to take advantage of their annual Leaf-Raking fundraiser. They do the raking and use proceeds from your donations to help fund audible crosswalks locally and the Delta Gamma School for the Blind. Whether for yourself or someone you know, it's a great way to get help with a labor-intensive chore and support a worthy cause. The raking takes place Saturday, Nov. 14. For details, contact Sami Pearlman,

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Monday, Nov. 9
Lecture: Former Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker ’71, will deliver “From Iraq to Afghanistan: Engagement and Confrontation in the Broader Middle East” at 7:30 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium. More information here.

Tuesday, Nov. 10
Reading: Rachael Brownell ’90, will read from her book, “Mommy Doesn’t Drink Here Anymore,” at 7 p.m. in the Young Ballroom, Reid Campus Center.

Wednesday, Nov. 11
Lecture: “Getting through the holidays with a problem drinker/alcoholic/addicted family member” will be delivered by Rachael Brownell ’90.
7:30 p.m., Jewett Hall main lounge. x5195.

Wednesday, Nov. 11, through Sunday, Nov. 15
Theatre: Harper Joy Theatre presents “Frenzy for Two, or More,” Wednesday, Nov. 11, through Sunday, Nov. 15. – A revolution ensues on the streets while a couple wages their own battle at home. Is it too hot or too cold? The Venus de Milo or the Statue of Liberty? A tortoise or a snail? Classically absurd, this farce will disturb and delight. Freimann Stage. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For reservations, call the Box Office at x5180.

Friday, Nov. 13
Concert: Wind Ensemble Fall Concert, conducted by Peter Crawford. 7:30 p.m., Cordiner Hall. x5232.

Sunday, Nov.15
Concert: Whitman Symphony Fall Concert, conducted by Ed Dixon. 7:30 p.m., Cordiner Hall. x5232

Monday, Nov. 16
Presentation: Solar 101: Whitman's Swing into Solar, featuring an introduction by Gary Wang and a presentation by Dana Brandt from Ecotech. 6 p.m., Olin 130. Contact Lisa Curtis, campus sustainability coordinator, for further information.

Save the Date!

Thursday, Dec. 3
The Visiting Writers Reading Series: Jeff Encke will read from his works. 7 p.m., Kimball Theatre, Hunter Conservatory.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

We'll step off campus this week and enjoy the grandeur of late evening light falling on our Walla Walla Valley and The Blue Mountains.   Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Peter Harvey Wins Award
Sherwood Rededication
Whitman in Top 20
Emergency System Test
Annual Fund News
Faculty Accomplishments
Holiday Baseball Camp
Cancer Fundraiser by Swim Team
Flu Update
Faculty Blogs
Farewell Reception
Alumna Speaks About Alcohol
DG Leaf-Raking Fundraiser
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: