A Taste of Whitman events succeed

Since its launch on July 1, 2007, the Now Is the Time Campaign has garnered more than $132 million in gifts and pledges toward a $150 million goal to benefit the people and programs of Whitman College. This year, the Campaign Steering Committee, comprising members of the Governing Boards, and the seven regional volunteer committees are partnering with the Development Office to create exciting A Taste of Whitman events that build support for scholarship and student aid and that showcase how the campaign is enhancing the student experience at Whitman.

This fall in the Bay Area, Seattle, Portland and Washington, D.C., guests enjoyed Walla Walla wines and short “taste” length presentations from faculty and staff at the forefront of educating and preparing students for their futures. Professors David Schmitz, Gaurav Majumdar, Ginger Withers, Keith Farrington and Kevin Pogue spoke of their work with students – from mentoring first-years in Encounters, to involving majors in their professional research, to developing relationships that span decades. Head Swimming Coach Jenn Blomme and Head Women’s Basketball Coach Michelle Ferenz added how students grow personally and academically as they strive for the best in athletics and in the classroom. And directors Noah Leavitt of the Student Engagement Center and Susan Holme of Off-Campus Studies described how their expanding programs are giving students the global perspectives and “real-world” skills to succeed in their post-Whitman lives. All agreed that scholarship aid is vital to the diversity of their programs, and, without access to Whitman, none of these life-changing experiences would be possible for students.

To this end, at each event, attendees and others in the area were asked to join in the campaign and make a special gift to scholarship and student aid. To double the impact, Trustee Nancy Serrurier and Overseer Greg Serrurier provided a match of gifts to scholarship and student aid at the event, and two Whitman alumni matched gifts to the First Opportunity Scholarship Endowment. More than 500 alumni, parents and friends attended the events and more than $500,000 was raised for access and affordability. Next semester, similar events are planned for Southern California, New York and Walla Walla.

We hope that all alumni, parents and friends will join in the campaign which concludes on June 30, 2015. All gifts to scholarship and other purposes count toward our goals and are welcome online at www.whitman.edu/give. As we envision a brighter future for Whitman, our combined investments will have far-reaching impact.