Sherwood Trust awards Whitman $235,000 grant to support local internships

June 12, 2012

WALLA WALLA - The Donald and Virginia Sherwood Trust has awarded Whitman College a grant of $235,000 to create the Sherwood Trust Internship Endowment, which will support student internships in the Walla Walla region.

The grant both recognizes Whitman's interest in expanding connections with the Walla Walla community and honors the Sherwood Trust's interest in serving the people of the Walla Walla Valley. Sherwood internships are designated for local non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, or schools, according to John Bogley, Whitman's vice president for development and college relations.

"The establishment of the Sherwood Internship Endowment will allow Whitman to increase the quantity, quality, and range of paid internships that provide experience-based opportunities available to our students," said Bogley. "It will have a positive and permanent impact for the local community as well as Whitman students."

Whitman's Student Engagement Center (SEC), which, in part, serves to connect students and the college with opportunities in the Walla Walla community, will be responsible for overseeing the Sherwood Internship Program. The staff already have identified a number of local organizations who are interested in hosting Whitman interns. Students will select internship projects and apply for funding through the SEC.

The Sherwood Internship Endowment will complement Whitman's existing internship programs. Internships are an important part of a Whitman education, allowing students to gain experience in a profession or field of interest.

Internships are "education and career accelerators," said Noah Leavitt, assistant dean of Whitman's Student Engagement Center. "They give students a jump in exploring potential careers by offering them the opportunity to integrate their liberal arts education with experience in the professional world."

This grant also helps advance one of the key goals of Whitman's Now Is the Time campaign - to enhance the academic program through, among other efforts, extraordinary experiential learning opportunities that prepare Whitman students to become leaders.

The Donald and Virginia Sherwood Trust, established by the namesakes, is among the college's most generous benefactors.  The Sherwoods supported a wide variety of projects at Whitman over the years, ranging from scholarships to campus buildings. Through the trust, their gifts continue to impact Whitman students every day.

"The vision and generosity of the Sherwoods provide a model for other donors who believe that philanthropy starts at home. Whitman is so fortunate to call Walla Walla its home, and we take great pride in being selected by the Sherwood Trust to help serve the community," said Whitman President George Bridges.