Gordon Scribner Award

The Gordon Scribner Award was created to honor Gordon Scribner '42, former dean of students and director of alumni, upon his retirement. The award is given by the Alumni Association to persons who have made a major contribution of volunteer time and effort to Whitman College over an extended period of time and possess the ability to inspire. Any alumnus/alumna or friend of the College is eligible for this award. There are no restrictions regarding board involvement.

Recipients for 2014 are
Peggy Copeland Corley '52 and Carolyn Vester Mc Murchie '54

Peggy Copeland Corley ’52 is considered a pioneer among Seattle preservationists. She served as the first chair of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board, the organization charged with historic preservation for the City of Seattle, for the first three years of its work, remaining on the board through 1980. She was appointed by Governor Dan Evans to the State Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and served for three years. During that period, her work ensured that our own Memorial Building, among other structures in Walla Walla, was noted as historic sites of importance worth preserving.

2014 Gordon Scribner Award for Distinguished Service, Peggy Copeland Corley '52She was later appointed by Governor Booth Gardner to the State Heritage Council, charged with redefining the roles and scope of the state’s history museums. This led to the creation of what is now the Museum of History and Culture in Spokane. She has been involved with the Seattle Museum of History and Industry as staff, volunteer, board member and board president for over 50 years.

Peggy’s dedication and devotion to a cause was also of great benefit to Whitman. From the early 60s to the present day, she has volunteered her time for the annual fund, her 50th reunion fund, alumni relations, the college archives as part of the Oral History Project, and served on the Board of Overseers for 15 years. In 1999 she was awarded the Victor Steinbrueck Lifetime Achievement Award in Preservation by Historic Seattle. The Alumni Association Board of Directors is pleased to add the Gordon Scribner Award for Distinguished Service to Peggy’s long list of honors.

Carolyn Vester McMurchie ’54 has been praised as “a woman of remarkable intelligence, incredible competence and unlimited energy…[with a] passion for serving the less fortunate that knows no limits.” These words ring true when examining Carolyn’s long history as a volunteer, advocate and leader, not only for Whitman, but for numerous boards and committees.

2014 Gordon Scribner Award for Distinguished Service, Carolyn Vester McMurchie '54With a focus on women, children and families, she has worked tirelessly to serve those in need in her Portland, Oregon community. From the Metropolitan Family Service Foundation to the Portland Women’s Foundation, her leadership has successfully steered multiple organizations in their efforts. Carolyn has served on boards for libraries, symphonies and medical centers; from the PTA to the United Way. Her work has had a positive impact on countless lives.

In the midst of all, Whitman was also blessed with her thoughtful, considered stewardship. First as a class representative and later as a member of the Board of Overseers, Carolyn affected positive change on campus as chair of the Student Life Committee, vice chair of the Western Oregon Region and as Chair of the Board. She served for 18 years, becoming an Overseer Emerita in 1994.

Carolyn’s lifetime of service has been recognized with honors from other organizations, including the Aubrey R. Watzek Award from Lewis & Clark College, Sustainer of the Year from the Junior League of Portland and the Thomas Stoel Award for Volunteer Commitment to Community from the Metropolitan Family Service Foundation. Whitman College is proud to honor one of its own with the Gordon Scribner Award for Distinguished Service.