Commencement is "a reminder of the importance of our work"
She climbs mountains. She rafts through swift whitewater. And she works to advance the mission of Whitman College through fund raising and strengthening alumni ties. To Barbara Noseworthy, vice president for development and alumni relations, these activities have a lot in common. "With rafting, you scout the rapids," she says, "and you pick your course. Once you push your boat into the current, there's no turning back. You must constantly look forward for the next obstacle."
In her professional life, she believes that rafting hones her concentration, so she can block out distractions and focus on the task at hand, whether it is writing a grant proposal, helping to organize an event, or talking with an alumnus, parent, or friend of the College. And, mountain climbing has taught her there may be more than one way to reach a goal.
A graduate of Michigan State University, Noseworthy moved to Wyoming and worked in the social services field. By 1988 she was assistant director for corporation and foundation relations at the University of Washington. She came to Whitman as director of development programs in 1993, and in April 1999 was named to her current position.
She has been involved in notable successes. Over the last seven years, the College has received $65 million to endow professorships, provide scholarships, renovate Lyman House and Hunter Conservatory, renovate and expand Penrose Library, and add to the endowment.
To Noseworthy, Commencement is "a powerful reminder of the importance of our work here. To watch students march across the stage to receive their diplomas is intensely rewarding. To know I have played a role in helping donors to provide a scholarship, or make a lecture possible, or provide the College with such a great library — that gives me a great sense of fulfillment."
Noseworthy and her husband of 18 years, Jim Cunningham, share a commitment to Whitman, since Cunningham is associate director of client services in the College's technology services office.
The challenge: to strengthen Whitman financially
The trajectories of Peter Harvey's professional and personal life, during the years since he graduated from Whitman in 1984, have taken some turns with a distinctly Whitman flavor.
At Whitman, Harvey majored in political science and minored in economics. He began his professional life selling and servicing health insurance plans and 401(k) pension plans from offices in Seattle and the Bay Area.
He and his wife, Kristen Jo Bogen, '87, met through mutual friends during her senior year and were married in 1989. By 1990, when the position of director of administrative services at Whitman became available, they were open to making a major change. "The Walla Walla lifestyle appealed to us," Harvey says. "So did the idea of working for Whitman College, an organization that shares my values and that was so obviously making a difference."
In his new post, Harvey worked closely with treasurer Janice Abraham. "Janice assigned me to be project manager for the Hunter Conservatory project," he says, "which gave me valuable experience in construction management." At the same time, Harvey was taking the coursework and examinations to become a chartered financial analyst.
When Abraham left the College in 1998, Harvey took her place as treasurer and CFO. In addition to overseeing completion of the Hunter restoration — as well as the Penrose Library renovation and expansion, current construction of the Reid Campus Center, and planning for the new science building — Harvey has responsibilities for financial management, investments, budget, accounting, physical plant, human resources, purchasing, insurance, and legal and safety operations.
The primary challenge facing the treasurer of the College, in Harvey's opinion, is "ensuring that we invest resources in such a way that we strengthen the academic mission of the College, while at the same time keeping costs affordable."
Pete and Kristen Harvey enjoy the lifestyle they've made for themselves in Walla Walla. Kristen teaches at Walla Walla's Garrison Middle School, and they are raising their two children — Andrew, 3, and Katie Jo, 3 months — in a farmhouse just outside town.