Baker Ferguson ’39
BFFC is named in honor of the late Baker Ferguson, ’39, who served on the Whitman Board of Trustees from 1966 to 1982, including a 10-year term as chair. As a Whitman student, Ferguson won a Northwest Conference title in the 120-yard high hurdles, and he shared in three consecutive team championships. He also served as president of the Whitman Ski Club as a senior, and he remained an avid, life-long skier and tennis player.
A Walla Walla native and Whitman political science major, Ferguson earned his master’s degree in business administration at the Harvard Business School in 1939. He then served with the Air Force during World War II. He was a navigator aboard a B-17 that was shot down over Germany, and he was held as a prisoner of war for two years.
After the war, Ferguson taught on the Whitman economics and business faculty, and later became a banker, eventually serving as president of Walla Walla’s Baker Boyer Bank. In retirement, he and his late wife, Jean Thorton Ferguson, started new careers as winemakers with the renowned L’Ecole No. 41 label. Ferguson died in June 2005.
Paul and Louise Harvey
The swimming pool at BFFC is named in honor of the late Paul Harvey, who was director of food service at Whitman from 1953 to 1977, and his wife, Louise. They left the college a generous bequest which was used to support the center.
Harvey’s many accomplishments as a food service director, mentor, and cook included his preparation of frumenty, a popular food dish in European medieval cuisine. He served the dish, made of cracked wheat, beef stock, milk, eggs and saffron, at Whitman’s first Renaissance Faire. He died in 1989, and Louise in 2003.
Donald Sherwood ’22
The Sherwood Athletic Center, which opened in 1969, is named in honor of the late Donald Sherwood, ’22, who served on the Whitman Board of Trustees from 1954 to 1972. After graduating from Whitman, where he played football and tennis, Sherwood founded Walla Walla’s Sherwood and Roberts, Inc., a real estate and investment firm. He later played a critical role in fund-raising efforts that helped Whitman remain financially solvent during the Depression of the 1930s.
Sherwood, a success in numerous business ventures, was also instrumental in fund-raising efforts for Cordiner Hall, Penrose Library and Harper Joy Theatre. He and his wife Virginia gave $10 million to Whitman, much of it to endow scholarships and a Chinese exchange program. Sherwood died in September 1994, several months after the passing of his wife. Their Walla Walla home has been used as the President’s House at Whitman since 1995.
Dedication ceremonies for Sherwood Center in 1969 included professional tennis matches played on a temporary court in the basketball/volleyball gymnasium. Players on hand were Billie Jean King, John Newcombe, Rosie Casals and Earl “Butch” Buchholz.