December 10, 2012

December 10, 2012

Volume 7, Issue 17 December 10, 2012
The Fountain

Advantage: Whitman – forum on tennis courts location exposes pros, cons of options

The Fountain

Students, staff, faculty and community members in attendance at last week’s forum on the tennis courts project heard about the construction and financial advantages and disadvantages of the three locations identified for the new courts, and they shared their opinions. New courts are needed because the existing courts have reached the end of their functional life – the surfaces are cracked and the foundation below is crumbling.

After the meeting, Treasurer and CFO Peter Harvey, who is leading the exploratory phase of the project, said, “This is an important issue for our community, and so it is very important to listen to what our people have to say. All the points made were well-articulated, and the passion for and love of Whitman came through clearly. I was particularly impressed with the students and the wide array of points they made. They certainly reflected the Whitman liberal arts mission through their critical assessment and communication.”

The three options are the current location, the practice field adjacent to the Harper Joy Theatre parking lot and the Whitman athletic fields. The vast majority of comments were from students and pointed to advantages of keeping the courts in their current location. Among them:

  • safety, security and access; better able to monitor without having to lock courts
  • maintain the charm and view of campus; makes a strong impression on prospective students visiting campus
  • reflective of the balance of the Whitman experience: combining academics and activities
  • access for fan base

Among disadvantages of the current location that were raised:

  • would mean losing some trees and greenscape
  • could require two levels of courts to accommodate elevation changes
  • six courts could make the current space more crowded than ideal

The number of courts – the current four or an expansion to six – is also under consideration as part of this project, but most opinions shared at the meeting focused on location. Harvey shared that there is a strong likelihood that a campaign gift will fund the expansion; the college life-cycle budget will fund replacing the four courts.

The task force working on the project will review the information gathered at the forum, and a decision will be made and announced in February.

Open Enrollment DEADLINE is this Friday, Dec. 14

If you are making changes or using the Flexible Spending Accounts benefits, you must complete the Open Enrollment process by the end of the day on Friday, Dec. 14.

The Open Enrollment Checklist document spells out what you need to do to keep your benefits the same or make changes. Documents can be emailed, faxed, mailed or delivered in person to Human Resources. If you need assistance completing open enrollment forms please contact Telara McCullough, compensation and benefits manager, at x5941 or email her at

Staff Profile: Ariga Grigoryan
Administrative Assistant, Dean of Students Office

Ariga Grigoryan

Birthplace: Republic of Armenia

Education: B.A. in English language and foreign literature (Hrachya Acharyan
University), Yerevan, Armenia; M.A. in natural resources and peace (University for Peace), San Jose, Costa Rica

Years at Whitman: four great months!

Favorite… (any or all):

  • Film: Doctor Who, Hero
  • Book: Dostoevsky “The Idiot”
  • Play: I am a big fan of an Armenian play called “Contrabass,” which pictures a lonely life of a contrabassist.

Favorite sculpture on campus: The horse.

Best travel experience: The Golden Triangle (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur) in India.

Interests/pleasures: Learning languages, meeting people and traveling.

Recent accomplishment: Completed two years with AmeriCorps Service in Communities, in Walla Walla, and my new job at Whitman College.

What people don’t know about me: I grew up in an apartment house full of animals with a fox, 20 cats, one dog, 40 guinea pigs and a raven that could speak.

A day in the life/on the job: I particularly enjoy working with database software and working with students who come to the Dean of Students office for help. I feel privileged to be the first to refer them to the right person to discuss their issues. I enjoy working with the entire staff, and I am grateful for my everyday working environment and to be part of this team. I also enjoy and I am so grateful to Juli Dunn for driving with me and taking me to the DMV to get my license during lunchtimes.

Favorite aspect of Whitman: Diversity, staff and the great academic environment.

What I’ve learned here: This is a position when I can use quick thinking, common sense and social skills. I’ve learned a lot of academic terminology and a bunch of different new software.

Favorite quote: “All grown-ups were once children – although few of them remember it.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince.

Faculty conclude successful semester of Whitman Reads

Three Whitman faculty members served as presenters this semester for Whitman Reads, a learning enrichment program for kids at the Walla Walla Public Library. Sponsored by the Student Engagement Center, Whitman Reads is a series of presentations on a wide variety of topics. Presenters included Allison Calhoun, associate professor of chemistry; Bob Carson, Grace Farnsworth Phillips Professor of Geology and Environmental Studies; and Erin Pahlke, assistant professor of psychology.

“We were privileged to have three really great presentations this semester on coral reefs, Mt. St. Helens, and race and diversity,” says Abby Juhasz, interim community service coordinator. “We thank these professors for generously donating their time and talents for Whitman Reads.”

Interested in participating in Whitman Reads next semester? Contact Juhasz at

Winter Holidays Party is Friday

save the date

All staff and faculty are invited to the 2012 Winter Holidays Party. The evening will feature a jazz performance by the Kate Morrison Trio: Kate Morrison ’95, Gary Hemenway and Brian Griffith, followed by DJ Jon Loney and dancing.

Everyone is encouraged to bring a donation to support the YWCA women’s shelter. Please consider donating gloves, hats, scarves, socks and mittens to the Winter Holidays Warm-Up Drive.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

parting shot

Katie Harvey, 12-year-old daughter of CFO Peter Harvey and a 6th grader at Garrison Middle School, received a lot of interest in her wallets made out of duct tape during the recent campus crafts sale in the Reid Campus Center. Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Tennis Courts
Open Enrollment Deadline
Staff Profile
Whitman Reads
Winter Holidays Party is Friday
Parting Shot

Past issues
The Fountain

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. Editor: Gillian Frew. Managing Editor: Ruth Wardwell. Online: