President, Whitman College
George Bridges joined the Whitman community as its 13th president on July 1, 2005, bringing with him a distinguished academic career as an educator and nationally recognized scholar. As president he has supported and advanced major initiatives for innovation in teaching and learning; greater diversity among Whitman students, faculty and staff; expanded global themes in the curriculum, increased off-campus study; and strengthened financial support for Whitman’s academic programs and scholarships for students.
After earning his undergraduate degree in 1972 from the University of Washington, Dr. Bridges pursued his graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania. There he earned his M.A. in criminology and Ph.D. in sociology. Prior to pursuing an academic career full time, Dr. Bridges worked as a social scientist in the staff office of the Attorney General of the United States. In this capacity he assisted in the design and implementation of research programs on federal law and justice policy.
Over the course of his career Dr. Bridges has taught and lectured at many universities, holding faculty appointments at American University, University of Maryland, Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Washington. He has testified numerous times before legislative bodies, including the U.S. Congress, the Washington State Legislature, and the U. S. Civil Rights Commission, primarily on subjects pertaining to legal policy and treatment of racial and ethnic minorities in the administration of criminal justice.
Dr. Bridges has received extensive recognition for his teaching and his scholarship. During his tenure at the University of Washington, he received six awards for excellence in teaching, including its most prestigious teaching prize, the Distinguished Teaching Award. He is the recipient of nearly 20 research grants and contracts from such prestigious national organizations as the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Justice, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and government agencies and commissions in Washington State. His research has sparked legal reforms in juvenile and criminal justice nationally and in Washington State. He has authored or co-authored dozens of peer-reviewed articles in leading professional journals, book chapters, government reports and professional papers. He also has published several books, including Inequality, Crime and Social Control (with Martha Myers); the three-volume series Crime and Society (with Robert Crutchfield and Joseph Weis); and a book commissioned by the American Sociological Association, Teaching and Learning in Large Classes (with Scott Desmond). He also served as the Deputy Editor of Criminology, the leading journal in his area of specialization.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Independent Colleges of Washington, the Northwest Athletic Conference and is a member of the Executive Alliance of Walla Walla.
Dr. Bridges is married to Dr. Kari Tupper. Prior to joining the Whitman community as adjunct assistant professor, Dr. Tupper held the position of senior lecturer at the University of Washington with appointments in the Department of Women’s Studies and Comparative History of Ideas. The couple has four children: Anna, James, Lauren and Seth. The Tupper-Bridges family enjoys relaxing on the waters of Puget Sound and hiking and skiing in the Blue Mountains on the outskirts of Walla Walla.