May 29

Volume 6, Issue 40 May 29, 2012
The Fountain

And the winner is… Janice Abraham awards to be presented Friday

parting shot

All staff are encouraged to attend Staff Appreciation Day, Friday, June 1, beginning with breakfast at 9:15 a.m. in Reid Campus Center, Young Ballroom. Whose names will be applied to the Janice Abraham Award plaque for 2012? You’ll have to attend to find out!

College-wide grievance policy announced; effective immediately on interim basis

President Bridges today sent a memorandum to all members of the Whitman community about a new grievance policy that takes effect immediately on an interim basis. It outlines procedures for filing complaints and resolving grievances. The process outlined in the policy takes precedent over other existing codes and procedures dealing with grievances at the college.

The document is available as a PDF – click here. For future reference, the document will be linked from the staff, faculty and current students pages, easily accessible from the top right of the Whitman home page.

Faculty couple wears memories of George Ball at Commencement

knights in ball robes

Shortly before Commencement, Nancy Ball, wife of the late Dr. George Ball, offered the beloved professor’s academic gowns to any faculty who might wish to wear them. Biology professors Tom and Leena Knight were happy for the opportunity, mindful of the legacy of one of Whitman’s most iconic professors.

Leena Knight explains why they accepted the invitation: “I know mostly of George Ball but did not know him personally. There were two things that I’d witnessed that made me think that I would like him a lot as a person. First, every time I saw him, he was on his bike. I’m an avid fan of bicycle commuters, and immediately he had my respect. Second, I often observed him in conversation with students. In my short time here, I've sensed a growing distance between students and faculty. The pressures placed on us as faculty to be excellent teachers, excellent scholars, thoughtful colleagues with a strong commitment to service, upstanding members in our community, role models, etc., can draw us away from the very thing most of us are here to do – have meaningful relationships with our students.  Seeing George around campus reminded me of the mission of this institution and the various ways we, as faculty, nurture our students. I’m happy to help George Ball’s legacy continue to be a part of our annual ceremonies, even in the small way of wearing his academic regalia.”

This day in history (May 25) – President Theodore Roosevelt visits Whitman

knights in ball robes

This past Friday, May 25, 2012, most campus community members simply went about their business, either working or perhaps taking a day off to extend the holiday weekend. Probably not “business as usual” for our predecessors on May 25, 1903; likely they were involved with or were attending a very special event – the campus visit of President Theodore Roosevelt, who addressed a crowd of 6,000 on the Memorial Building grounds. The visit was “part of a campaign to gain western support for his forthcoming bid for the presidency,” according to the report published on the website

Pictured: This photo of the gathering crowd appears with the article and was provided by Whitman and the Northwest Archives.

Faculty news briefs

knights in ball robes

Patrick Frierson, associate professor of philosophy, has been awarded a grant from the Spencer Foundation for his project titled “Education and Autonomy: Maria Montessori’s Philosophy of Education.” He will be working on the philosophy of education in Jean–Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, and especially Maria Montessori, with an emphasis on education that respects children's autonomy. The grant will allow him to work on this project in the spring semester of 2013. Pictured: Prof. Frierson with his daughter at Commencement.knights in ball robes

Thomas Knight, assistant professor of biology, has begun experimenting with a unique research tool called the “EyeSeeCam” that he procured last year through a $66,000 grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. Knight and his students will use the “EyeSeeCam,” which contains a “GazeCam,” one of only three of its kind in the world, for research into the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease. The “EyeSeeCam” is worn on the head and records the scene in front of the wearer as well as what the eyes are seeing as they dart back and forth to focus on various points. Read the full story HERE.

knights in ball robes
Pictured: Jeremy Norden ’12 tests out the EyeSee Cam.

Whitman will welcome 12 new tenure-track professors

This summer, the campus community will welcome 12 new tenure-track faculty members from a wide variety of disciplines. The college interviewed nearly 40 candidates for these positions, with more than 80 current faculty members participating in search committees.

“In virtually every case, we were able to hire our first choice candidates, which speaks very well of Whitman College and its reputation,” said Timothy Kaufman-Osborn, provost and dean of the faculty.

For the full story and a list of incoming faculty, click HERE.

Annual plant sale set for May 30

knights in ball robes

Staff and faculty are invited to stop by the Science Building Atrium Wednesday, May 30, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the biology department’s annual plant sale. “There will be lots of great plants for your home or office and for putting in your yard this summer,” reports Martha Holt, biology lab coordinator, who is organizing the sale. “There are always some surprises as we pull plants from our greenhouse, so stop by and see what we have.”

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

parting shot

Always trying to learn a new skill or two, I'm playing with artificial infrared photography effects. Infrared light waves are invisible to the human eye. In photography, it creates a kind of "dreamy" effect and makes for a fun new way to see our Whitman world. Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Janice Abraham Awards
Grievance Policy
Memories of George Ball
This Day in History
Faculty News Briefs
New Tenure-Track Professors
Annual Plant Sale
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: