Dan Evans, former governor of Washington, U.S. senator and an influential figure in national politics, will present a lecture titled “Where Have All the Moderates Gone?” at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, in Chism Recital Hall of the Hall of Music at Whitman College. The event is free and open to the public.
Evans will also join students for lunch on Friday, Nov. 2, and sit in on a class taught by Professor of Politics Phil Brick.
Nicknamed “Straight Arrow,” Evans is a Republican known for his bipartisan efforts in Washington state and Washington, D.C. “This administration is not ashamed of the word conservative and it is not afraid of the word liberal,” he said in his inaugural address as governor of Washington.
Evans was particularly active in educational and environmental issues. “There are no Republican schools or Democrat highways, no liberal salmon or conservative parks,” he wrote in an article for the Seattle Times in 2002.
Evans served as governor of Washington for 12 years (1965–1977) and as president of The Evergreen State College from 1977 to 1983. He was appointed to the U.S. Senate in 1983 (filling a seat left vacant by the death of U.S. Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson). He won a special election later that year and served the remainder of Jackson’s unexpired term.
Evans opted to leave the Senate in 1988. He later wrote an article for The New York Times called “Why I’m Quitting the Senate,” in which he expressed frustration about his experience in Congress. “I have lived through five years of bickering and protracted paralysis. Five years is enough,” he wrote.
Evans served on the University of Washington Board of Regents from 1993 to 2005. His wife, Nancy Bell Evans ’54, serves on the Board of Trustees at Whitman. Both are active in community and political affairs.
“Thousands of civic and corporate leaders entered public service through the Evanses’ model of leadership, one that aspires to greatness through discourse, wisdom and respect,” former Washington governor Booth Gardner has said.
Evans is the second national figure to give a Langlie Lecture at Whitman. Each year, the Langlie Fund brings a lecturer to campus who is influential in history, politics or public service.
The fund was established in honor of Arthur B. Langlie, former mayor of Seattle and the first three-term governor of Washington, by his grandchildren Karin Langlie Glass ’78 and Arthur K. Langlie ’89.
– Katie Combs ’08
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