February 25, 2013

Volume 7, Issue 27 February 25, 2013
The Fountain

Staff Coffee recap

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In opening the Feb. 20 Staff Coffee, President Bridges said that following the recent trustees‘ meeting, “I have only great news to share.” Most importantly, the board approved funding for top college priorities, including support for admission and growing the applicant pool, strategic communications efforts and the Student Engagement Center. Also approved were new or transition staff positions and a 4 percent salary pool, which includes a base of 2 percent for merit raises 2 percent for salary equity adjustments. He emphasized, “To be clear, the 4 percent pool does not grant mean 4 percent salary increases to every staff and faculty member.” The 2013-14 budget includes a 3.25 percent tuition increase, the smallest increase in more than 10 years.

To see a PDF version of the 2013-14 Approved Budget, click HERE.

President Bridges also gave kudos, acknowledging success and achievement in a number of areas: Jamie Kennedy, director of planned giving, for his work with the swim team, which “provides great experiences for our students, and that’s what matters;” and Jenn Blomme, swim coach, for winning Coach of the Year honors for the third time. Noah Leavitt and the Student Engagement Center team for the “phenomenal” Entrepreneurship Symposium. Rachna Sinnott (development), Cassandra Keithly (financial aid), Mike Osterman (WCTS) and Lee Keene (library) for their work on the Budget Advisory Committee. Peter Harvey, Dan Park and Jeff Donohue for a complex series of renovation projects. Dean Snider and the coaches for raising the level of athletic performance to not only be competitive but to be winning.

He provided an overview of renovation/construction projects approved at the board meeting:

  • Baker Faculty Center – will be renovated to house the Office of Alumni Relations on the second floor; main floor and kitchen will be updated to better accommodate events. “This project will put the building to better use and will reflect a more welcoming spirit to alumni visiting the office,” Bridges said.
  • Memorial Building – Over the summer, seismic work will continue. The main and second floor lobbies will receive makeovers, including restoring to original ceiling height, new carpet and paint and new hardwood accents. Park called it “an architecturally respectful renovation.” Also, the second floor will be reorganized to better accommodate student services offices. Boyer House – A renovation will enable the move of the Communications staff currently located in Memorial.
  • Tennis Courts – The plan to replace the old courts and add two new courts in the current location is moving forward.

John Bogley, vice president for development and college relations, shared that the Now Is the Time campaign has raised $118 million to date. “It is going very well, and in the slightly less than two-and-a-half years left in the campaign we need to raise about $1.1 million per month to reach the $150 million goal. It will require lots of small gifts from lots of people who care deeply about Whitman.” Bogley also announced two upcoming staff departures: Phil Thompson, web content manager (March 8) and Ruth Wardwell, assistant vice president for communications (this summer).

CFO Peter Harvey added that next year’s budget will include about $450,000 in funds that will come directly from the campaign, “so we are directly seeing the benefits.  Harvey added that the college endowment is performing well: “From July 1012 through Jan. 1, 2013, the value has increased by 12 percent.”

The president also called attention to an impressive array of speakers for the spring semester, including:

Cheri Honkala – anti-poverty activist; Feb. 27.
Terry Tang – The New York Times deputy editorial page editor and Whitman parent; 2013 Hosokawa Lecturer, March 28.
Gail Collins – An American journalist, op-ed columnist and author; April 10.
Eric Asimov – The New York Times chief wine critic; April 11.
Bill McKibben – Author, educator and environmentalist; April 29
Eric Idle – English comedian, actor, author, singer, writer, comedic composer and Whitman parent; he is the 2013 Commencement speaker.


Faculty news brief

The Fountain

Michelle Janning, assistant dean of faculty and associate professor of sociology, will deliver the keynote address at the Children’s Home Society of Washington’s SweetHearts fundraising luncheon Wednesday, Feb. 27 at the Marcus Whitman Hotel. Her speech is titled “Childhood is the Happiest Country on Earth and the Friendliest City in the U.S.”; it refers to both Denmark’s recent status as the “happiest country on earth” and Walla Walla’s as the “friendliest city.” Janning, who spent the fall semester teaching and researching in Copenhagen, will discuss how childhood is constructed differently in Denmark than it is in the U.S.  Highlighting the great work of local organizations to build social trust in our community and meet the needs of families and children, she will explore what we might be able to learn from Denmark, but also the challenges of doing cross-national comparison on social issues, especially given the U.S. is far larger and more economically and ethnically diverse than Denmark.


Explore new and improved Campus Sustainability website

The Fountain

Whitman’s Campus Sustainability website has been overhauled and updated to better reflect the college’s sustainability efforts. The new site includes up-to-date details on electricity purchases – including wind turbines and solar panels – features prominent green student efforts and offers various resources to current and prospective students. Sustainability coordinators Natalie Jamerson ’13 and Zoey Robers ’13 invite staff and faculty to explore the website for the latest news and sustainability accomplishments of the college.


Campus Events
All free unless otherwise noted

Music: See all upcoming music events here.

Monday 2/25
Art: Ed Morris and Susannah Sayler of The Canary Project explore creative approaches to understanding climate change through a visual presentation. Their work includes both photography projects such as “The History of the Future” and sound projects like “We Could Just Leave.” 4 p.m. in Olin 157.

Monday 2/25
Storyteller: The Intercultural Center Storyteller Series presents Kathya Alexander, a writer, actor, poet, playwright and teaching artist. She will perform “With Hope and With Morning: Stories of the Civil Rights Movement” as the third installment of the series. Reception to follow. 7 p.m. in the Glover Alston Center.

Monday 2/25
Lecture: “Beyond the Border: Canada/U.S. Relations.” A talk by Denis Stevens, Consul General of Canada. Stevens is Canada’s senior representative in the Pacific Northwest, appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2010. He has served with the Canadian government for 17 years. 7:30 p.m. in Young Ballroom B, Reid Campus Center.

Tuesday 2/26
Outdoor Program:  Brien Sheedy, director of the OP, will give a multimedia presentation about his recent skiing expedition in Antarctica. Sheedy led a group of skiers to the last degree of latitude at the South Pole and summited Vinson Massif, the highest point in Antarctica. 7 p.m. in Olin 130. For more information, click here.

Tuesday 2/26
Lecture: “Why Silicon Valley Needs Liberal Arts Grads.” A discussion with Jason Copeland ’94, Group Product Manager at Apple. Copeland, a graduate of Harvard Business School who has lived and worked in China, will share his thoughts on careers, work-life balance and how a liberal arts grad can thrive in Silicon Valley. 7 p.m. in Kimball Theatre.

Wednesday 2/27
Lecture: “Building a Movement to End Poverty: An Evening With 2012 Green Party Vice Presidential Nominee Cheri Honkala.” A talk by anti-poverty activist and former Green Party running mate Cheri Honkala. She offers an insider’s look at leading a poor people’s social movement and discusses practical, impactful ways to create social change and battle poverty. 7 p.m. in Maxey Auditorium. For more information, click here.

Wednesday 2/27
Lecture: “The Promise of the Commons to Restore Our Planet, Revive Our Communities and Reinvigorate Our Democracy.” A talk by visiting educator Jay Walljasper, an author and educator exploring how new ideas in urban planning, tourism, community development, sustainability, politics and culture can improve lives around the world. 7 p.m. in Olin 130.

Wednesday, 2/27 to Sunday 3/3
Theatre: “The Tempest.” HJT presents Shakespeare’s classic play, a magical tale of romance, political intrigue and drunken louts. Prospero, after being trapped on an island by his power-hungry brother, finally gets a chance for revenge when a ship carrying his brother passes by on its way to Naples. An enchanted tale filled with humor, romance and adventure. Tickets available Feb. 15. For more information, click here.

Thursday 2/28
Lecture: “Digital Return: Cultural Heritage and the Ethics of Cultivating Indigenous Knowledge.” A talk by Dr. Kimberly Christen, associate professor of critical culture, gender and race studies at Washington State University. Christen’s academic research focuses on the intersection of digital technologies, archival practices, cultural heritage movements and intellectual property rights within indigenous communities and the global commons. 7 p.m. in Olin 130.

Thursday 2/28
Lecture: “The Healthy Pursuit of Performance Excellence.” A talk by visiting educator Dr. Ralph Vernacchia, director of the undergraduate and graduate programs in sports psychology at Western Washington University, as well as the school’s Center for Performance Excellence. 7 p.m. in George Ball Court, Sherwood Center.


Athletic Events – Home Games

Men’s Tennis (Bratton Tennis Center or outdoor courts, weather permitting)
Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 4:30 p.m. vs. Spokane Community College JV
Saturday, March 4 at 1 p.m. vs. Whitworth University


Parting Shot Video
By Greg Lehman, photographer/communications officer

parting shot

Fans erupt as Josh Duckworth ’14 breaks the 62-62 tie with a steal, length of court run and slam dunk at last Thursday's play-off game against George Fox University. Click to view video »


Whitman College
In This Issue
Staff Coffee Recap
Faculty News Brief
Sustainability Website
Campus Events
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