New Alumni Directors-
Laura Minnick and Mike Smith, '65
Together holding the title of director of alumni relations, Laura Minnick and Mike Smith, '65, are breaking ground at Whitman as the first husband-wife team to job-share an administrative position.
Appointed in early January, the couple hope to combine their talents to serve the alumni well. On their list of initiatives is a new alumni directory and the establishment of area alumni chapters. "We enthusiastically welcome suggestions from all the Whitman College alumni about programs, activities, and events we could help develop," Smith said.
Smith has been acting director of alumni relations since September 1996 and worked as a researcher and editor for professor G. Thomas Edwards on his history of Whitman College from 1991-1996.
Minnick has worked at Whitman College since 1988, serving as public events director for three years and as the executive assistant to the president for nine years. Born and raised in Walla Walla, she received her B.A. from Eastern Washington University, but is surrounded by family who are Whitman alumni: her parents, Dorothy Waldron Minnick, '35, and the late
W. L. "Shine" Minnick, '35, and her siblings, Carol Minnick Santa, '66, Margaret Minnick, '74, and Walt Minnick, '64. Two of Laura's children, Jason Copeland, '94, and Dorothy Copeland, '96, are also alumni. Another daughter, Tricia Copeland Lubach, is a WSU graduate.
The couple live on the Minnick family wheat ranch just north of Walla Walla, and Minnick serves as president of the family farming corporation. A member of the boards of Saint Mary Medical Center, the YMCA, and Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days, she received the Town Gown community service award in 1995.
Meister Named Associate Director
Nancy Meister, who came to Whitman in 1985 as administrative assistant in the alumni office, has been named associate director of alumni relations. In addition to other responsibilities, she will continue to coordinate alumni reunions.
A graduate of Eastern Washington University, Meister worked in advertising and marketing in Seattle, Chicago, and Fort Myers, Florida, before returning to Walla Walla, where she grew up. She has two sons, Aaron, 12, and Colin, 6.
Spokane Scholaship Honors Ashlock
In honor of Denny Ashlock, '61, Whitman College is designating its Spokane area scholarship the Denny Ashlock/Spokane Scholarship. A member of the board of overseers from 1987 until his death in December 1997, Ashlock launched and led the effort to endow a scholarship for Spokane area students in the 1980s. He contributed more than $11,000 to the scholarship, which now has a market value of $100,000. Ashlock also served on the Spokane area alumni steering committee and as regional vice chair for the overseers.
People Magazine Features Willoughby
The magazine displayed Prince Charles on the cover, but, inside, it also featured one of Whitman's own - Colleen Seidelhuber Willoughby, '55.
In a story titled "Charity Belle: Colleen Willoughby helps women give money away," People magazine wrote about Willoughby and the Washington Women's Foundation, an organization she cofounded several years ago to encourage and help women support charitable causes. The article appeared in the publicationšs November 30, 1998, edition.
Members of the Washington Women's Foundation each pledge $2,000 a year, with $1,000 going to a charity of their choice and another $1,000 to causes selected by the membership. Members learn how to conduct research on potential recipients and how to direct their gifts in order to make a genuine impact.
During its three-year history, the foundation has distributed almost $1 million to such causes as job-training for the homeless, salmon habitat preservation, and research on pediatric brain tumors.
"'We're developing philanthropists,'" said Willoughby, according to the article. Her goal, she said, is to attract 500 members so the foundation can distribute $1 million a year.
As People noted, Willoughby has spent a lifetime in charity work, "racking up a resume" with the Seattle Children's Home, the local United Way, the Seattle Art Museum, Camp Fire, and other organizations.
Last October, Willoughby was honored for her volunteer work by the Seattle Lake Washington Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority. She received the Mary Gates Award, given in recognition of "volunteerism at its best."
Once in a Blue Moon
Exactly what is a blue moon?
In the astronomical universe, a blue moon is something of an anomaly: the second full moon in any given month. In the literary universe, the phrase has another meaning: plot anomalies as unlikely as a second full moon. It's this second meaning that gave its name to Whitman's annual art and literary journal. In blue moon, says editor Jeremy Engdahl-Johnson, "We try to harness the magic inherent in artistic expression and present it to the reader."
This year's blue moon, to be published in May, will feature more than 100 pages of poetry, prose, and artwork by Whitman students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
In keeping with the dedication to the arts of blue moon's staff, 10 percent of all subscription revenue will be donated to the Walla Walla Public Library.
To receive a copy of the magazine, send a check, payable to ASWC, for $12 to blue moon, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA 99362.