From the President -
Thank you for the generous support and all the encouragement you give that sustains this wonderful place of learning. A student who graduated two years ago recently sent me a note of thanks for a letter of recommendation I had written for him and observed: "It's funny; the further I get from the place, the closer [Whitman] grows in my heart." It is gratifying to all of us who work here that so many people feel this way.
Whitman College Updates
Whitman Commencement for the class of 2001 takes place May 18-20. Poet and short-story writer Tess Gallagher will give the Commencement talk. Emeritus professor of theatre Jack Freimann will give Commencement remarks. U.S. Ambassador to Syria Ryan Crocker, '71, will give the Phi Beta Kappa talk.
The Walt Whitman endowed lectures this year will be delivered by noted poets Adrienne Rich (April 6, 2001) and Robert Pinsky (September 20, 2001).
Splendidly renovated and expanded, Penrose Library has been a major success this year; the Reid Campus Center is about one-third in its construction cycle and will be completed by November 2001. The new science building will begin construction in June 2001.
The Whitman College faculty recently approved a new general framework for distribution requirements for implementation in the fall of 2002. Students would continue to take the comprehensive first-year core course, Antiquity and Modernity. Students would take six credits in the social sciences, humanities, fine arts, and science, including at least one course with a lab. Two courses would also be taken from a list of courses designated as fulfilling a requirement in Alternative Voices. And one course would be taken from a list of courses designated as fulfilling a requirement in Quantitative Analysis.
Emeritus professor of history G. Thomas Edwards recently completed volume two of his history of Whitman College, Tradition in a Turbulent Age: Whitman College 1925-1975. The book should be in stock by late spring. You can order it as well as volume one (The Triumph of Tradition: The Emergence of Whitman College 1859-1924) by calling or emailing the Whitman College Bookstore at 509/527-5274 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Admissions applications for Whitman's class of 2005 are on schedule to set another record for quality and numbers (about 2,000 applicants for a planned entering first-year class of 365 and about two-dozen transfer students).
How good were the 1990s for Whitman? We received over $90 million in gifts along with notifications of future estate gifts of probably another $30 million. The College endowment rose from about $100 million to about $350 million (including trust funds managed for the College). We were able to build, acquire, or renovate more than a dozen buildings and add approximately 50 acres to the campus (including the new Whitman Athletic Fields and the Johnston Wilderness Campus).
Reunions for the classes of 1956, 1961, 1966, and 1971 will occur on April 26-29. Members of the class of 1951 will celebrate their reunion here on May 17-20. The classes of 1976, 1981, 1986, 1991, and 1996 will enjoy reunions on September 28-30, 2001.
Special thanks for their leadership to our volunteer board chairs, board of trustee chair Robb Ball, '64, board of overseer chair Margie Boulé, '73, alumni board chair Rod Pyle, '83.
Whitman's men's and women's alpine ski teams won eight consecutive Northwest championships and head once again for nationals. The nordic ski team also won their regional championship recently.
The major fund-raising priority for the coming two years is for Whitman's science buildings.