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.
2005 Gordon Scribner Award for
Distinguished Service Recipient
William K. Deshler '64, was actively involved in the life of the campus as student and he has been equally involved as an alumnus. When asked about Bill's service to the College, Jan Rolfe '64, associate vice president for development and college relations, said, "Bill Deshler has been a positive, energetic force for fund-raising for my entire career at Whitman College. He has never said 'no' to any of us in the department when we've asked for his help." His volunteer efforts on behalf of the College include serving on the alumni board in the early 1970s and as an admission representative from 1981-1985. Bill and his wife, Dinah Sharp Deshler, '64, volunteered as reunion chairs for their 15th and 25th reunions, and he has served on every reunion fund committee for the Class of 1964, chaired the Clock Tower Society, helped with the Campaign, for Whitman, and actively served on the Overseer and Trustee Committee for Development. In 1992, Bill was elected to the Board of Overseers and served in that capacity until 1996 when he was appointed to the Board of Trustees on which he continues to serve today.
Chairman and chief executive officer of Electrical Construction Company in Portland, Oregon, Bill graduated magna cum laude in mathematics from Whitman in 1964, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and earned a master's degree in business administration from Stanford University in 1966. He has been actively involved in his community, serving as chair of the Business Youth Exchange, on the board for Children at Risk, as president of the Oregon Stanford Business Association, and as a member of the U.S. Commission of the International North Pacific Commission.
Because of Bill Deshler's unwavering dedication to Whitman College and to those around him, the Alumni Association Board of Directors presented the award on February 3, 2005, the certificate read: "Bill Deshler, passionate Whitman booster, committed community leader, stalwart Montana country boy, and occasional hell-raiser, for lending your positive and energetic force to Whitman fund-raising, for never backing away from a challenge but instead challenging each of us to be winners, for consistently sharing an enthusiasm that never, ever, said "no" to Whitman, for helping make Whitman the winning institution we all proudly share, the Whitman College Alumni Association awards you the 2005 Gordon Scribner Award for Distinguished Service."