Ben Kunz

Senior Intern

Hometown: Cedar, Michigan

Major: Philosophy

Why you chose Whitman: I wanted a small liberal-arts school with great access to the outdoors. These criteria were set in stone. They also failed to narrow the search between numerous NESCAC schools in the Northeast, Colorado College, and Whitman. It is often difficult to differentiate these schools on paper, and I have no clear story which explains how I got to Whitman over all the other schools I looked at, but it is clear to me why I love this place. Upon arriving on campus, my new student body was goofy, intellectual in all sorts of surprising and interesting ways, and bold. I started meeting people who I could imagine as lifelong friends. In the end, I believe it was the happiest of coincidences I arrived at Whitman and I'm so grateful to be here.

Favorite things to do in Walla Walla: Bike around downtown when it's empty and quiet at night, go skiing out at Bluewood, or get a cheap meal at any of the numerous and delectable taco trucks.

Favorite spot on campus: The amphitheater, especially in the cool summer evenings. Hunter conservatory foyer, sitting in the red, high-backed, crushed-velvet chairs or conversing across the balconies.

What advice you'd give yourself when you were going through the college process: Choose a school whose student body you believe will best inspire, push and guide you to be the version of yourself you dream of becoming.

Fun Fact(s) about yourself: I'm immune to mosquito bites!

Best class you've taken on campus: Practical Ethics at the Walla Walla Penitentiary. Sixteen Whitman and sixteen incarcerated students worked together for a semester to answer a variety of ethical questions we face today such as: who shares responsibility for the opioid crisis? Should ICWA exist in its current form?
Our penitentiary classroom became home to intense academic debates and a familial atmosphere. No other class has followed me home in the same way and forced me to reckon with such intense ethical questions -- both those raised explicitly in class and those raised when we said goodbye to half our classmates every Tuesday night and walked out through fence after razor-wire fence.

Favorite campus traditions: Pinging, college cabin with my first-year section, Camp Whitman between when finals end and commencement, Scrambles.