May 7

Volume 6, Issue 37 May 7, 2012
The Fountain

Two honorary degrees to be awarded at Commencement

Eric Schlosser (left) and Colleen Willoughby

As approved by the Board of Trustees last week, Whitman will present two honorary degrees – Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa – at the 2012 Commencement. One recipient is a nationally renowned author; the other is an accomplished alumna and community servant.

The recipients are: Eric Schlosser, best-selling author of Fast Food Nation and this year’s Commencement speaker, and Colleen Seidelhuber Willoughby ’55, known as “Seattle’s superwoman of volunteerism.”

Scholsser is an award-winning American journalist and best-selling author acclaimed for his investigative skills. A former correspondent for Atlantic Monthly, he had been the recipient of the National Magazine Award for reporting and his work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and The Nation.

Willoughby has passionately pursued a decades-long career of volunteerism and helping others to achieve their dreams. She has organized and hosted “Women’s Education: For Living and Leadership,” an annual symposium that brings inspirational female leaders to campus. Willoughby also served on the Board of Trustees and remains an active trustee emerita. The Whitman College Alumni Association presented her with the Gordon Scribner Award for Distinguished Service in 1996. Willoughby says she is guided in her work by the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

SEC helps students network; overseers share their experience and contacts

Eric Schlosser (left) and Colleen Willoughby
Pictured: Susan Buchanan gives the "pre-game" speech to student networkers.

Part of the mission of the Student Engagement Center (SEC) is to offer opportunities to gain experience and build skills, and among those are opportunities to network with professionals. Adding to the experience is that the latest networking session was with alumni who are members of the Whitman College Board of Overseers.

The SEC staff organized the session to coincide with last week’s governing board meetings. A dozen or so alumni representing a variety of industries and professional arenas talked with groups of students. A total of 54 students attended the event, many of whom has prepared by participating in a networking “nuts and bolts” workshop a few days prior.

“A number of students approached me to say they had a great experience, learned a lot and hoped we would do this every year,” says Susan Buchanan, director of career development. “The Overseers also expressed delight at getting a chance to meet with students. Several mentioned how impressive the students were, what good questions they asked and how professionally they presented themselves.”

In addition to Buchanan, Noah Leavitt, Marisol Martinez and Lee Sanning all helped organize the event. John Bogley and Shannon Shearer assisted on behalf of the Overseers.

And the winners are… Green Commute Challenge results

Earth Month is over, and the results of the Faculty/Staff Green Commute Challenge are in. Congratulations to Division III (Division of Basic Sciences and Mathematics), winners of the ice cream party courtesy of the President's Office.

Also, congratulations to the 10 participants whose names were randomly selected to win prizes:  Robert Street (admission); Marquita Drabek (development); Becci Moore (development); David Brauhn (communications), Jack Iverson (Division II), Alberto Galindo (Division II); Jamie Levine (Division III); Debra Wright (business office); Anastasia Zamkinos (student services); and Mary Claire Gegen (student services).

The most popular mode of green transportation was walking, followed by biking and carpooling.

The Sustainability Advisory Committee thanks all campus community members who commuted using environmentally-friendly modes of transportation during the competition, and the 90 people who filled out the survey. Also, thanks to Juli Dunn and The Sweet Putt for contributing prizes for the challenge.

Library staff asks campus community to weigh in on Watson search tool


In fall 2011 Penrose Library made Watson available to the Whitman community. Lee Keene, the library’s head of instructional and research services, reports that on average Watson was searched more than 11,500 times each month this academic year to find library materials, including scholarly journal articles, books from Whitman’s collection, and many other resources. “That’s a remarkable number for a college the size of Whitman. Clearly there are many Watson users out there, and I hope that it served as an important assistant to you,” he says.

Keene also would like to “tap into some of your experience with Watson so that we can make it even better for next year.” He asks staff and faculty to please take a few minutes to complete this short survey

Faculty news brief


Mary Anne O’Neil, professor of foreign languages and literatures – French, is releasing a new book titled, “From Babel to Pentecost: The Poetry of Pierre Emmanuel.” Scheduled for publication in October, this will be the only book-length study in English of France’s most prolific poet of the mid-twentieth century. “I wanted to write a book that was comprehensible to a wide audience and that would get people excited to read Emmanuel's poetry,” O’Neil says. She began working seriously on this project in the spring of 1995, and used every sabbatical to work on the book, which includes original translations of all of Emmanuel’s poetry and prose that is quoted.watson She decided to translate Emmanuel’s poetry to make the book and the poetry itself accessible to an English-speaking audience. “Since I know my poet well, the real challenge in translating his work was to convey what he really meant to my readers,” she says. Celia Weller, emerita professor of Spanish, assisted in the process by reading over the translations: “Although Celia doesn't read French, she could tell me when my translation didn't make much sense in English.” Published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in Montreal, the book will be available for purchase Oct. 1.

Please check and/or update emergency contact info


Last week’s power outage and the subsequent use of the college’s emergency information broadcast system provides an opportunity to ensure that the current contact information of campus community members is in the system. Please take a moment to check and/or update your contact information by visiting Log in at the top right, then find Quack at the top left. Click on the link for Quack and then on Emergency Numbers in the gray box. The data in the system is used exclusively for emergency notification. Thank you for your cooperation and assistance.

Spring 2012 Penrose Library Newsletter now online

The Spring 2012 edition of the Penrose Library Newsletter features stories about activities, events, programs and staff. It is now online; click here to view the PDF.

Campus Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Tuesday 5/8
Lecture: “Wolves in Our Backyard: The Biology and Sociopolitics of the Colonization of the Blue Mountains.” Dr. L. David Mech, Senior Research Scientist at the US Department of the Interior presents this year’s Rempel Lecture. Mech is the principle expert on North American wolves. 7:30 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium.

Tuesday 5/8
Music: The Department of Music presents a junior piano recital with Alex Kerl. 7:30 p.m. in Chism Recital Hall.

Tuesday, 5/15
Music: The Department of Music presents an alumni recital with Marla Nelson, piano; Nathan Shiu, McKenna Milici and Michael Blackwood, voice. 7:30 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Saturday, 5/19
Reading: Commencement Speaker Eric Schlosser delivers a short reading from his New York Times best-selling book Fast Food Nation. Moderated by Aaron Bobrow-Strain. 4:30 p.m. in Reid Campus Center’s Young Ballroom.

Saturday, 5/19
Baccalaureate: Welcome by President Bridges; speeches by Adam Kirtley, Patrick Frierson, Rich Jacks; student presenters and musicians. 3:30 p.m. in Cordiner Hall.

Sunday, 5/20
Commencement: With Commencement speaker Eric Schlosser, author of “Fast Food Nation,” and senior class speaker Matt Dittrich ’12. 11 a.m. on Memorial Building South Lawn. Light luncheon to follow. Visit the Commencement website for all details.

Save the Date
Staff Appreciation Day: Friday, June 1. Watch The Fountain and campus email for details.

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

parting shot

Tia Herdman ’14 (left) and Beth Daviess ’13 found themselves tangled in the mayhem of a Maypole event gone joyfully chaotic on Ankeny Field, May 1, 2012. Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
Honorary Degrees
Student Networking
Green Commute Challenge Results
Watson Survey
Faculty News Brief
Emergency Contact Info Update
Library Newsletter
Campus Events
Parting Shot

Past issues
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