August 23, 2010

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Volume 5, issue 1
August 23, 2010
The Fountain

More rankings, continued affirmations

The next set of rankings is no different from the previous in terms of affirming Whitman’s excellence in liberal arts education.

Washington Monthly

Washington Monthly ranks Whitman 16th in the nation in its Best Colleges rankings, which are based on measures related to social mobility, research and service. The number of fellowships received by our students contributes to this ranking. Since 1999, award-winning Whitman students include: 48 Fulbright scholars, 15 Watson Fellows, seven Udall Scholars, four Truman Scholars, 15 National Science Foundation Fellows, one Rhodes Scholar, one Scoville Peace Fellow, one Pickering Undergraduate Fellow and one Killam Scholar.

US News

U.S. News & World Report again ranks Whitman in its top-40, but new is the No. 3 ranking on its list of “Up and Coming National Liberal Arts Colleges.” This list reflects responses from the peer assessment survey about institutions “that are making the most promising and innovative changes in the areas of academics, faculty and student life,” according to the U.S. News Web site. Only 68 institutions in the nation were named to this list. For 2010-11, Whitman is ranked overall at No. 38 out of 266 institutions and is in the top-25 for student selectivity and alumni giving rates. U.S. News uses a variety of criteria to develop its list, including graduation and retention rates, for which Whitman ranks 21, and faculty resources, for which Whitman ranks 30.

Sierra cool school

Sierra Magazine’s fourth annual “Coolest Schools” survey ranks Whitman at No. 72. To get its rankings, Sierra sends to 900 schools an 11-page questionnaire that explores sustainability efforts, including such variables as energy supply, efficiency, food and transport. (Illustration by Aesthetic Apparatus, photo by Lori Eanes)

Staff Breakfast
Staff Breakfast

Opening Week schedule; a look at Convocation

Though staff and faculty have been gearing up for weeks or months, the 2010 Whitman experience starts for students on Thursday, Aug. 26, with Opening Week, highlighted by Orientation, Convocation and the Summer Read discussion.

All campus community members are invited to attend Convocation, which takes place Friday, Aug. 27, at 3 p.m. in Cordiner Hall and marks the official opening of the academic year. Tony Cabasco, dean of admission and financial aid, will present the Class of 2014 to the faculty, and Delbert Hutchison, associate professor of biology, will deliver the Convocation address, titled, “The Odyssey to Becoming.” Lee Thompson, professor of music, will play the pipe organ and provide piano accompaniment for the student musicians.

Variety of activities scheduled for summer reading book, “Zeitoun”


From music to intellectual discussions, several activities surrounding the summer reading book are scheduled for this week and later in the semester:

Thursday, Aug. 26 – On the radio: 7:30-8:30 a.m.

Tune your radio to the morning show on KUJ 1420 AM to hear Jacqueline Woodfork, assistant professor of history, interviewed live about the book.

Saturday, Aug. 28 – Faculty Panel Discussion: 2:30-3:30 p.m., Cordiner Hall

Patrick Spencer, professor of geology; Jocelyn Hendrickson, assistant professor of religion; and Jacqueline Woodfork will share their discipline-specific perspectives on “Zeitoun” by Dave Eggers. This session will provide a brief introduction to the intellectual community at Whitman and serve as a springboard for the engaging book discussions to follow.

Saturday, Aug. 28 – Live music by New Orleans brass band: 5:30-7 p.m., Reid Campus Center Lawn

Averaging around 250 shows per year, the Soul Rebels have brought the party to stages as far away as South Africa and Europe. When Hurricane Katrina struck its hometown in 2005, the band scattered across the region. Though a few members relocated to cities in Texas, the band frequently reconvened for gigs in New Orleans, this time with a renewed purpose. Indeed, since the storm, the band has been more successful than ever, serving as an international ambassador of the New Orleans sound.

Tuesday, Sept. 28 – Author’s Presentation: 7:30 p.m., Cordiner Hall

Dave Eggers is the author of six previous books, including “What Is the What,” a finalist for the 2006 National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of France’s Prix Médicis Etranger. His most recent book, “Zeitoun,” was awarded the LA Times Book award, Northern California Book Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Distinguished Honor and the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s Media Award. Eggers is the founder and editor of McSweeney’s, an independent publishing house based in San Francisco. The presentation will feature Eggers as well as Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun, subjects of the book “Zeitoun.”

Kyoto Program up and running; alumna is program administrator


On July 1, the Associated Kyoto Program (AKP) administrative office opened in Olin Hall. Akira “Ron” Takemoto, assistant professor of foreign languages and literatures, has been re-elected as the president of AKP, a non-profit organization that includes 15 prestigious liberal arts colleges. The program, which began in 1972, selects students from member colleges to study for two semesters in Kyoto, Japan. In addition to intensive Japanese language classes, the AKP also recruits faculty from member institutions to instruct a wide range of courses. Past classes have been taught by Tim Kaufman-Osborn, provost and dean of the faculty, and Keiko Hara, professor of art. This will be the second time that Professor Takemoto has led the AKP and that Whitman has become its administrative home; the first term was from 1997-2002.

After spending two years teaching English in Japan, Seanacey Pierce ’07 has returned to Whitman as the AKP program administrator. “Her strong background, combined with her interest and skills, will surely transform how the AKP reintroduces itself to students, study abroad officers and faculty in both the United States and Japan,” Professor Takemoto said.

Check out the annual Beloit “Mindset List”
Beloit List

In case you missed Beloit College’s release last week of its annual “Mindset List,” check it out here. Created in 1988 by a humanities professor and a former Beloit public affairs director, the list “provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall,” according to the list’s Web page. A few examples from the 2010 edition:

  • Czechoslovakia has never existed.
  • Rock bands have always played at presidential inaugural parties.
  • Nirvana is on the classic oldies station.
  • American companies have always done business in Vietnam.
  • They’ve never recognized that pointing to their wrists is a request for the time of day.


Last week The Fountain incorrectly reported that Windows 7 will be installed on all PCs in Maxey Hall and the Hall of Science computer labs. The story should have specified that the computers being updated to Windows 7 are those in the general-purpose labs only.

Coming Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Thursday, Aug. 26-28
Opening Week Opening Week

Saturday, Aug. 28
See Zeitoun Activities above

Tuesday, Aug. 31
First day of classes

Wednesday, Sept. 1
Season tickets go on sale at HJT.
Look here to see the season schedule.

Monday, Sept. 13
O’Donnell Lecture, 7:30 p.m., Kimball Theatre: O’Donnell Visiting Educator John MacAloon, professor and associate dean of the Graduate Division of the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago, will address "No More U.S. Olympic Games?: America in the World Today."

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

Opening Week

Smiling and oh-so-ready for a shower, Hallie Swan, left, and Liz Clagett walked through campus after returning from their Scramble trip to the Wallowas. Students were leaving on and returning from Scramble trips last week.   Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Rankings Update
Staff Breakfast
Opening Week, Convocation
“Zeitoun” Activities
Associated Kyoto Program
Beloit List
Coming Events
Parting Shot

Past issues

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