Dear member of the Class of 2026,

Welcome to Whitman College and congratulations on your selection from a large pool of highly qualified applicants. The college, including its faculty, students, alumni and administrators have great confidence that you will use this opportunity well. We all believe in you. Nobody starts their first year from the same starting line. Some come from enriched and abundant backgrounds, others have had a tough path to get here. But now, everybody gets thrown into the higher education community together; looking for knowledge, developing life-skills and establishing life-long friendships in a uniquely rich and welcoming atmosphere. You may feel isolated and lonely at first but, believe me when I tell you, you’re about to spend four years in the most accepting environment you’re likely to experience in your life! 

The Whitman Alumni Association Board (AAB), of which I’m currently president, represents a diverse, extended community (over 18,000 living alumni) made up of people in all walks of life who have in common with you the experience of attending Whitman College.  We’ve walked in your shoes across Ankeny Field, along Lakum Duckum and into classrooms and meeting halls throughout campus. Whitman alumni have given millions of dollars to ensure the college can continue to provide the resources you need to flourish. We also stand ready to offer mentoring and reassurance, as you refine your own skills and confidence. The personal resources alumni can provide are a terrific complement to those offered by faculty and staff mentors or offices of the college. Please let us help you during your journey. My email address is at the bottom of this letter, so feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance. Contact information for others, along with their profiles, is available at Whitman Connect, with which you’ll soon be made familiar.

The Alumni Office and the AAB work tirelessly behind the scenes on your behalf to pursue strategic goals developed over the last few years. The Board and office staff keep in contact with as many alumni as possible in order to strengthen their ties to the college. We sponsor events, bring together alumni and students, promote contributions of time and treasure from alumni; funneling all these things toward the betterment and advancement of the college. We also support the inclusiveness and equity of Whitman at all levels. In other words, we’re doing our best to help you and make sure everyone is treated fairly and with respect. A stated goal of AAB is preparing you for and enhanced success in Life After Whitman. As you’re preparing yourself, we’re already trying to smooth the path you’ll embark upon after graduation.

So once again, welcome to the Whitman community. That community is vast and ready to assist as you navigate through your years as a student, as well as life after graduation. We’re confident in your success and we trust you’ll do your best. Whitman is ours together, so, in every sense, we are Whitman.


Dennis M. McNair ’67, President
Whitman Alumni Association Board