What Makes Whitman
Students Great ?
"They often achieve greatly"
At Walla Walla High School cheerleading is a varsity sport. Having
a cheerleading daughter I found myself attending an end-of-the-season
awards ceremony some years ago. The meeting had all the expected
ambiance much yelling and back patting, many awards both
serious and funny. A girls junior varsity basketball coach,
handing out athletic letters and speaking of one of his players,
offered a comment reminding me that wisdom can be found in unusual
venues. He said, This girl has lots of potential. You know
what having potential means dont you? It means you havent
done anything yet.
What do I like about Whitman students? They have lots of potential.
Thats probably what I like best about them. A few have actually
done something already in their lives, but all have potential. This
is most noticeable when I encounter those who received Bs
and Cs when they were students of mine. It is most gratifying
to observe their subsequent achievements, those of the average
Students who rank at the top of the class often go on to graduate
school. That is, they are replicas of us, the professors, so we
tend to think of them as what students should be. But those in the
middle and bottom of the pack go out into life and the daily struggle.
They often achieve greatly and they are the ones who make me proud.
Those of us who teach at Whitman are most fortunate. We do not
have to deal with the marginal student. There is nobody here who
does not have the mental acuity necessary to function at a college
level. I rarely have to involve myself with remediation. This is
what I like best. It is a privilege to be associated with this institution
and its students.
By Professor of Physics Craig Gunsul
Recipient of the 2001 Faculty Award for Service to Alumni,
Craig Gunsul has taught, mentored, and advised many generations
of students during his 32 years on the Whitman faculty. Besides
teaching physics, he put together the first environmental
studies program here, has been involved in the first-year
core program since its inception, and sponsors the one-act-play