October 15, 2012

Volume 7, Issue 9 October 15, 2012
The Fountain

President Bridges delivers inaugural State of the College address

The Fountain
The Fountain

Last Friday, President Bridges delivered his inaugural State of Whitman College address to faculty, staff and students in Maxey Hall.

The speech highlighted Whitman’s successes in recent years and outlined its most important goals for the years ahead. President Bridges also discussed the challenges and opportunities facing Whitman.

He spoke about four goals that the college had accomplished in close partnership with Whitman’s trustees, alumni and friends since he took office as Whitman’s 13th president in 2005. These goals were of vital importance to the college’s future and to preparing its students. They were as follows: “enriching our already strong academic program; building a more diverse campus community; increasing Whitman’s national stature and recognition; and increasing the financial strength of the college by leading a comprehensive fundraising campaign.”

“At the heart of these goals,” President Bridges said, “is the commitment to continue educating our students in small, challenging classes; the commitment to continue the tradition of enabling students to form close relationships with faculty and other students; and the commitment to enhancing the already welcoming environment – making sure that we support all people regardless of their backgrounds, beliefs, orientations, or status.”

A recurring theme of the president’s address was how proud and honored he felt to be part of a college where the trustees, faculty and staff worked closely together to weather the recent economic tumult. President Bridges noted that Whitman did not escape the economic decline that started in 2008, but that the difficult years between 2008 and 2011 were among the most “profound and difficult moments of my career.”

He noted that despite these economic difficulties, the college has raised, through its Now Is the Time Campaign, $113 million toward the goal of $150 million. The campaign is scheduled to end in June 2015.

“The amount of support the college received through its Now Is the Time Campaign is a credit to Whitman’s reputation,” President Bridges said. “These numbers are staggering. Sixty percent of our alumni have made campaign commitments.”

The benefits of the campaign can be seen across campus. One area directly affected by the campaign is faculty. While many colleges are following the trend of hiring more part-time faculty, Whitman is committed to providing its students with tenured and tenure-track faculty. President Bridges said that since 2006, Whitman has increased the number of tenure-track faculty by 25 percent. Of these, 13 are new positions created as a direct result of the campaign.

President Bridges closed his address by again emphasizing that Whitman is on solid footing. He said the college is far stronger today than in 2007 thanks to the restructuring of the annual budget and the unprecedented success of the college’s campaign. He expressed confidence and assured the audience that the college is moving out of the recession, and that because of the budgetary measures Whitman put in place over the past few years, as well as the funds raised in the campaign, “the darker days are behind us.”

“We have resources to invest in our highest programmatic priorities and in our people: Whitman faculty, staff and students. Supporting our programs and people – the intellectual and human infrastructure of our college – remains my highest priority.”

Click here to read the full story.

Click here to read a transcript of President Bridges’ remarks.

David Brooks discusses presidential election tonight as part of new political speaker series

The Fountain

New York Times political analyst David Brooks will speak on campus tonight as the first in a two-part series of speakers discussing the presidential race. Brooks is best known for his New York Times columns and frequent appearances as a guest on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and on NPR’s All Things Considered. He is author of Bobos in Paradise, On Paradise Drive, and The Social Animal. His talk tonight is titled “What it Means: The 2012 Election and the Future of America.”
The event takes place tonight, Monday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. in Cordiner Hall and will include a Q&A and book signing afterward. Doors open at 6:40 p.m.

The next political speaker on campus will be veteran broadcast journalist Ray Suarez on Tuesday, Oct. 23. Questions? Contact Mara Sorkin, events coordinator in the president’s office, at sorkinml@whitman.edu.

High school counselors get a taste of Whitman, Walla Walla

The Fountain

Last week, the Office of Admission hosted a group of 14 high school counselors from as near as the Seattle area and as far as Rhode Island and New Hampshire. The visit was designed to showcase the Walla Walla community as well as Whitman, and the agenda included a range of on- and off-campus activities. Among them: meetings with the president and various faculty and staff members, panels and discussions with students, an Outdoor Program presentation by Brien Sheedy, an environmental field trip by Professor Kevin Pogue and trips to a winery and the Walla Walla Foundry.

Bruce Jones, associate director of admission, New England office, and Cristie Crawford, campus visit coordinator, organized the visit with help from Nik Hagen ’13, senior admissions intern. The visit served to “introduce Whitman to a diverse group of counselors who may eventually recommend the college as an appropriate fit for the students they work with,” Jones said.

“Because Whitman is off the beaten path, it is crucial that college advisors visit in person and get a sense of our community. Our experience is that Whitman ‘shows well,’ and prospective students, parents and college counselors all seem to come away with a positive impression. Specifically adding Walla Walla into the mix enhances the experience; the town offers some clear advantages over the towns that are home to many other liberal arts colleges,” Jones said.

Jones also expresses kudos to Crawford for pulling together all the details and extends appreciation to all the faculty, staff and students who participated in the programs.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month: watch where you store passwords

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, and Whitman is focusing specifically on password security this year. WCTS and The Fountain will feature helpful tips each week to help you keep your information safe online.
This week’s theme is where and how to store your passwords. Here’s the run-down from Mike Osterman ’96, IT security officer and deputy director of enterprise technology:

Defeats the purpose, no? by joannapoe, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  joannapoe 
Last week, we talked about using unique passwords (or better yet, passphrases – more on that next week) for all your computer and online accounts.

While this is a great step towards securing your digital life, that’s an awful lot of information to remember. Better write it down, right?

Wrong. Storing your account credentials anywhere near your computer is a lot like writing your PIN on your debit card. Common places passwords can be found:


  • On the monitor
  • Under the keyboard
  • Under the phone
  • Taped near the trackpad (on a laptop)
  • Top desk drawer
  • Under the desk

So where should you store your credentials?

The best place is a password database, which will cover in greater detail later this month. If you’d like to get an early start, check out the KeePass resource page.

If you do choose to write credentials down:

  • Try to minimize descriptive information, such as the associated username and service.
  • Store it someplace away from your computer, such as in your wallet or purse, or better yet, in a secure location away from your computer.

Find more security tips all throughout October on the WCTS Facebook page.

Travel “around the world” with six-day campus celebration

The Fountain

Faculty and staff are invited to join in the festivities all this week for the third annual Around the World event. This cross-cultural, multilingual celebration is sponsored by the Intercultural Center and the Language Learning Center. Each day will focus on specific countries, culminating in a celebration Saturday, Oct. 20 in Reid’s Young Ballroom.

In addition to roundtable discussions about living, working and studying abroad, this week-long event will include a multilingual theatre performance and a workshop on African gumboot dancing.

Click HERE to access the full schedule of events. Questions? Contact Jen Mouat, language learning center coordinator.

Campus Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Monday 10/15
Lecture: “What it Means – The 2012 Election and the Future of America.” New York Times political analyst and bestselling author David Brooks presents the first lecture in a two-part political speaker series sponsored by the Office of the President. Moderated by Shampa Biswas. 7 p.m. in Cordiner Hall. For more information, click here.

Monday 10/15
Lecture: “The Other 1492." Professor Teofilo Ruiz of UCLA addresses the "miracle year" in Spanish history from different perspectives, deviating from the traditional emphasis placed on the Catholic Monarchs. He focuses instead on the Jews, Conversos, Muslims, Mariscos and the natives of the New World for whom 1492 represented a radical and catastrophic change. 8 p.m. in Brattain Auditorium.

Tuesday 10/16
Special event: The politics department hosts a live streaming of the U.S. presidential debate, which covers issues of domestic and foreign policy. Followed by a town hall discussion moderated by Susanne Beechey. 6 p.m. in Young Ballroom, Reid Campus Center. For more information, click here.

Wednesday 10/17
Film: “Small, Beautifully Moving Parts.” Whitman alumna Annie Howell ’90 screens her 2011 film about motherhood and coming of age in the internet era. Part of the film and media studies program’s Cinema Arts Series. 7:30 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Thursday 10/18 - Sunday 10/21
Theatre: “Noises Off.” HJT presents this comic masterpiece about a mediocre touring company staging a terrible new farce and making a hilarious mess of it. Tickets available Oct. 5. For more information, click here.

Thursday, 10/18
Lecture: “Personality and Presidential Transitions – The Case of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman.” Frank Costigliola, U.S. foreign relations expert and professor of 20th century American history at the University of Connecticut presents this year’s Skotheim Endowed Lecture. 7:00 p.m. in Olin 130.

Friday 10/19
Music: The Fridays at Four Recital Series presents a faculty recital with Amy Dodds, violin, and Jackie Wood, piano. 4 p.m. in Chism Recital Hall.

Friday 10/19
Music: The music department presents a sampler concert with the Whitman chorale and chamber singers, directed by Jeremy Mims; orchestra, directed by Paul Luongo; wind ensemble, directed by Gary Gemberling; and jazz band, directed by Doug Scarborough. 7 p.m. in Cordiner Hall.

Monday, 10/22
Lecture: “The Great Migration from a Demographic Perspective: How and Why the Diaspora Occurred.” Professor Stewart Tolnay of the University of Washington explores the causes of the Great Migration from a demographic perspective, examining the characteristics of migrants and their impact on northern and western U.S. cities. This event is part of the 2012 Summer Read Program. 7 p.m. in Olin 130. For more information, click here.

Tuesday 10/23
Lecture: “An Evening with Ray Suarez.” Award-winning journalist and political commentator Ray Suarez presents his perspective on the 2012 presidential election. Suarez is the senior correspondent for The NewsHour on PBS. This is the second lecture in a two-part political speaker series sponosred by the Office of the President. Moderated by Paul Apostolidis. 5 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium. For more information, click here.

Wednesday 10/24
Women in Leadership Symposium: Noted Seattle philanthropist and former Whitman trustee Colleen Willoughby ’55 hosts an annual gathering of women leaders in various professional fields. 4 p.m. in Young Ballroom, Reid Campus Center.

Wednesday 10/24
Lecture: “Nuclear Energy – Leading the Way or a Legacy Left Behind?” Dr. Frances Smith of the Radiochemical Science and Engineering Group of the Energy and Environmental Directorate at Pacific Northwest National Labs presents a talk on nuclear energy. 8 p.m. in Brattain Auditorium.

Thursday 10/25
VWRS: The Visiting Writers Reading Series presents a reading by poet and editor Brenda Shaughnessy, whose book was a finalist for the 2008 NBCC Award. 7 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Friday 10/26
Music: The Fridays at Four Recital Series presents a faculty recital with Melissa Loehnig and Jeremy Mims. 4 p.m. in Chism Recital Hall.

Friday 10/26
Music: The music department presents the Fall Composers Concert, where composition students present their work. 7:30 p.m. in Chism Recital Hall.

Monday 10/29
Lecture: “Euripides’ Bacchae as Dramatic Hymn.” Professor Mark L. Damen of Utah State University explores the narrative structure of The Bacchae, an ancient Greek tragedy based on the mythological story of King Pentheus of Thebes. 7 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.


Athletic Events – Home Games

Women’s Volleyball
Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 6 p.m. vs. Whitworth University (Sherwood Center)

Women’s Soccer
Saturday, Oct. 20 at noon vs. George Fox University (Athletic Fields)
Sunday, Oct. 21 at noon vs. Pacific University (Athletic Fields)

Men’s Soccer
Saturday, Oct. 20 at 2:30 p.m. vs. George Fox University (Athletic Fields)
Sunday, Oct. 21 at 2:30 p.m. vs. Pacific University (Athletic Fields)

Cross Country
Saturday, Oct. 20 at 9 a.m. Whitman Blue-Gold Race (Martin Field)

Saturday, Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. Alumni Meet (Harvey Pool)

Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

parting shot

Noisemakers and party hats made an appearance in Olin Hall last Thursday as Division II Assistant Pat Sorenson ’86 celebrated her birthday. Full size.

Whitman College
In This Issue
State of the College
David Brooks
High School Counselors
Cyber Security Awareness Month
Around the World
Campus Events
Athletic Events
Parting Shot

Past issues
The Fountain

The Fountain is published by the Office of Communications. Send news to thefountain@whitman.edu. 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: www.whitman.edu/fountain