March 12

Volume 6, Issue 29
March 12, 2012
The Fountain

Commencement speaker announced: Eric Schlosser, journalist and author

Eric Schlosser

Award-winning journalist and author Eric Schlosser has been named as the 2012 Commencement speaker. He was selected from a wide and diverse array of nominations submitted by campus community members.

The visit to Whitman for Commencement will be a return trip for Schlosser, who came to campus in 2005 to discuss his investigation on the meat-packing industry. In accepting the invitation, Schlosser wrote, “It’s an honor to be giving the Commencement speech at Whitman this year. During my previous visits to the campus, I found the students really impressive and their commitment to sustainability encouraging. I think Whitman is a real gem.”

Schlosser also will offer a reading, discussion, and book-signing immediately following the Baccalaureate ceremony on May 19. All campus community members are welcome to attend this event as well as the Commencement ceremony, Sunday, May 20 at 11 a.m.

Watch the Commencement website for information and announcements.


Staff news briefs

Lars Smith et al

Lars Smith, electrician, recently taught a class at Walla Walla Community College titled “How to Build a Three-String Guitar.” Among those who successfully completed the course were Whitman staffers Greg Cuff, locksmith; Wayne Gascon, general maintenance technician; Terry Thompson, director of security; Craig McKinnon, associate director of security; and Dona LaFran, administrative assistant for Penrose Library. In addition to his position at Whitman, Smith is also a freelance Luthier, building collectible guitars with interesting materials such as one made from a skateboard. Find out more at his website.

Bruce Jones

Bruce Jones ’67, associate director for admission at the New England regional office, was among several admission experts at prestigious institutions quoted in The Washington Post, in a column about AP courses by noted writer Jay Mathews. Jones said, “Two kids from the same school, one with four APs and one with eight, would be judged differently, all things being equal. Taking an AP course that is too difficult for you and getting a bad grade doesn’t help when applying to top-ranked colleges.” According to the column, the number of high school students enrolling in AP, IB and other advanced or college-level courses has risen in recent years, and many students are struggling to balance tough academics with extracurriculars in order to be competitive in the admission process.


Staff Profile: Chanel Finnie
Administrative Assistant in Development

Chanel Finnie

Birthplace: Vancouver, Wash.

Education: I studied art and theater at WWCC.

Years at Whitman: Five months.

Favorite… (any or all)
Film: I could watch “Stargate” or “Serenity” any day of the week.
Book: “Charlotte’s Web.”
Play: “Grease.”

Favorite sculpture on campus: “Styx.”

Best travel experience: My senior year trip to Medieval Times, Universal Studios, Six Flags, Disneyland, and California Adventure.

Interests/pleasures: I love to sing, dance, draw, act, watch movies and go bowling. I absolutely love cats and the color red.

Recent accomplishment: I had the pleasure of performing at the Tacoma Musical Playhouse these past two years in such productions as Hairspray (2010-Dynamite), Seussical the Musical (2011-Wickersham) and CATS (2011-Cassandra).

What people don’t know about me: I am a sci-fi nerd. I own the full collection of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

A day in the life/on the job: I run daily reports for the development officers, answer phones, schedule meetings and travel arrangements, and anything else that development staff needs assistance with.

Favorite aspect of Whitman: I love the people I work with. They are so kind and helpful. I’ve never been around such a pleasant group of people.

What I’ve learned here: There really is no such thing as a bad question.

Quote: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get!”


What a nice thing to say!

At first glance, Paul Quinn College, a faith-based liberal arts college in Dallas, may not appear to have a great deal in common with Whitman. But in addition to sharing a mission related to the liberal arts, the colleges also share a key value: a sense of community. And Paul Quinn’s president, Michael J. Sorrell, singled Whitman out when he discussed his vision for his college in an article by Katie Godbold in Dallas South News, a nonprofit news organization designed to empower and inform underserved communities.

Here’s an excerpt that includes Sorrell’s comment about Whitman: “And finally, Sorrell loves the sense of community that the students of Whitman College, in Walla Walla, Washington, have fostered.” Read the full article here.


Walla Walla named one of America's “Prettiest Winter Towns”

Winter snow in Walla Walla

The absence of snow this winter season in our region didn't stop Travel+Leisure.com from including Walla Walla in its list of “America's Prettiest Winter Towns,” described as those “where you can wander among beautiful historic streets with eclectic businesses and scenic surroundings – whether laced with cross-country trails or vineyards whose tasting rooms beckon with fireplaces.” Read the Walla Walla section here.

Photo: By Joe Drazan. Travel+Leisure, March 2012.


Campus Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Monday 3/26
Film: “Good Kurds, Bad Kurds.” Award-winning filmmaker and Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist Kevin McKiernan presents a screening of his acclaimed film, which delves deeply into U.S. complicity in a human rights disaster in Turkey. 7 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Monday 3/26 to Tuesday 3/27
Special Event: Walla Walla Valley Violence Prevention Conference. A keynote speech by Dr. Vincent Felitti at 7 p.m. Monday in Maxey Auditorium followed by a day of workshops and panels on violence prevention in the community on Tuesday. For more information, click HERE.

Wednesday 3/28
Film: “Bringing King to China.” Award-winning filmmaker and Pulitzer Prize nominated journalist Kevin McKiernan presents a screening of another acclaimed film, which premiered last year at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. 7 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Wednesday 3/28
Lecture: Maureen Walsh. The state representative and Walla Walla native discusses a range of topics including marriage equality, education and her experience as a woman in politics. 7 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium.

Thursday 3/29
Lecture: The 2012 Hosokawa Journalism Lecture. David Boardman, executive editor and senior vice president of The Seattle Times, discusses “The Promises and Perils of Journalism in the 21st Century.” 7 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium. Read more.

Friday 3/30
Music: The Fridays at Four recital series presents “The Songs of 1970” with Pete Crawford, Kit Crawford and Doug Scarborough. 4 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.


Athletic Events – Home Games

Baseball (Borleske Stadium)
Saturday, 3/17 at noon – vs. Linfield College (doubleheader)
Sunday, 3/18 at noon – vs. Linfield College


Parting Shot
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

parting shot

The Whitman Cycling Team took a moment for a team photo prior to a training ride last week, but could only keep things serious for just so long. Full size.


Whitman College
In This Issue
Commencement Speaker Announced
Staff News Briefs
Staff Profile
What a Nice Thing to Say!
Pretty Winter Town
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