May 24, 2010

Volume 4, issue 39
May 24, 2010
The Fountain

A look back at Commencement 2010

The joy of 369 graduates, family members, faculty and staff – as well as the talent and artistry of staff photographer Greg Lehman and student photographers Harry Hixon ’11, Tessa Matson ’12 and local photographer Darren Ellis – is reflected in the 2010 Commencement gallery. Enjoy!

Commencement speeches by Juan Williams and senior speaker Seth Bergeson ’10 will be posted on the Commencement site later this week.

In case you missed it, here are links to the Baccalaureate speeches:

Happy Birthday to Dr. Ball! Join the celebration May 25

Dr. George Ball, Weyerhaeuser professor of biblical literature emeritus, turned 95 on Commencement day, May 23. Staff and faculty are invited to help celebrate this milestone for one of Whitman’s most beloved community members, for whom an endowed chair in the humanities will ensure his legacy in perpetuity. The party is Tuesday, May 25, at 2:30 p.m. in Hunter Conservatory. Click on the invitation at right for details. And click here to read a wonderful tribute written by alumnus Stephen Ronfeldt ’64 in the March 2000 Whitman Magazine. It’s a feature about influential teachers at Whitman.

Also, staff and faculty are invited to join the 457 people to date who have made gifts and pledges to the George Ball Chair in the Humanities. If you are interested in making a gift, contact Brian Dohe, director of the annual fund, at or x4928.

Staff honored by ASWC

From left: Leann Adams, Sonja Aikens, Chuck Cleveland, Sean Gehrke

At its annual awards program, Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC) honored four staff members for outstanding service to students. The 2010 award recipients are:

  • Chuck Cleveland, dean of students – Outstanding Service to ASWC.
  • Sonja Aikens, administrative assistant for the Intercultural Center – Club Advisor of the Year (Namaste).
  • Sean Gehrke, assistant director of residence life and housing – Club Advisor of the Year (Hui Aloha).
  • Leann Adams, assistant director of student activities – President’s Award for Excellence.

Faculty Accomplishments

Bob Carson, Grace Farnsworth Phillips professor of geology and environmental studies, has written a new book titled “East of Yellowstone: Geology of Clarks Fork Valley and the Nearby Beartooth and Absaroka Mountains,” published by Keokee Books. Photographed by Duane Scroggins and with a foreword by Don Snow, senior lecturer of environmental humanities/general studies, East of Yellowstone invites the curious into the dramatic, geologic beauty of Clarks Fork Valley and the nearby Beartooth and Absaroka Mountains and the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming and Montana. Guided by Prof. Carson, the book explores the landscape and interprets the fascinating geologic story of the terrain east of Yellowstone National Park. Author Terry Tempest Williams (“Finding Beauty in a Broken World”) calls the book “A testament of beauty … an ode to history, geologic and human, in the midst of ecological splendor, written and photographed by one who pays attention to all that is enduring, dynamic and vulnerable.” The book was released at the Whitman Bookstore last week and will debut May 26 at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyo. The book is attracting attention, as evidenced by this Web site. Check out the photo!

Staff Appreciation event set for June 4

The 2010 Staff Appreciation event takes place Friday, June 4, 9:30 a.m. in the Reid Campus Center, Young Ballroom. Brunch will be served, followed by presentation of the Janice Abraham awards.

Green Commute Challenge Week 3 update

Participation for Week 3 of the challenge is 17 percent. The top five in the standings through Week 3 are:

  1. Div 3: Science
  2. Technology
  3. Student Services
  4. Development/Alumni/Communications/President’s Office
  5. Bon Appétit

Prizes for Week 3 are:

Items from the Whitman College Bookstore:

  • Arlan Palachuk, Heather Mansker and Marcus Kennedy – the book “It’s Easy Being Green,” by Crissy Trask.
  • Mike Osterman – the book “Globalization Unmasked,” by James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer.
  • Chris Gouge – the book “Mindful Moments for Stressful Days,” by Tzivia Gover.
  • Marion Götz – the book “Going Local,” by Michael Shuman.
  • Doug Juers – the book “Enough,” by Bill McKibben.
  • David Sprunger – “The Serenity Book.”
  • Lynne ViethThe New York Times T-shirt.
  • Rich Pengra – one pound of Bookstore Blend coffee.
  • Lina Menard – reusable coffee cup.

Polly Schmitz, Julianne Hoppen, Nathan Lien and Bryan Lubbers – free night at the College Cabin. (Must be redeemed before August 10).

Craig Gunsul and Virginia Matthews – free home energy assessment from Sustainable Living Center.

Prizes can be picked up in the Residence Life Office (Mem 113) except for the College Cabin night, which can be reserved by calling Summer Singer at x5366. The competition winner will be announced at the Staff Appreciation Breakfast on June 4. The prize winners for Week 4 will be announced in The Fountain’s June 1 issue and will be awarded a very special prize.

Habitat for Humanity needs summer help

Gary Henderson of Habitat for Humanity has requested help on Saturdays from 9 a.m. - noon this summer, working on the Wilson Street house. Interested? Contact him at 509-520-5000.

Events – Submit for summer and fall

If your office or department is hosting an event over the summer, open to the campus community and/or the public, please submit details to The Fountain. And it’s not too soon to start submitting events for the fall semester. Submissions sent to will be included on the Whitman Web site and in The Fountain. To reserve a room or have an event posted on the Campus Calendar, contact Summer Singer at

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

The rains held off, the people flooded in and the front lawn of Memorial was a sea of well-dressed humanity Sunday for Commencement 2010.   Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Dr. Ball Party
ASWC Staff Awards
Faculty Accomplishments
Staff Appreciation Day
Green Commute Challenge
Habitat Help
Parting Shot

Past issues

The Fountain is published by the Office of Communications. Send news to Photos are accepted. Submissions are due by Tuesday at 5 p.m. for the following week's issue. Director of Communications: Ruth Wardwell. Online: