WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- After conducting a national search for a new Director of Admission, Whitman College officials have selected one of their own.
J. Antonio "Tony" Cabasco, associate admission director at Whitman the past three years, was promoted last month to the top admission post. He replaces Christopher Ellertson, who left Whitman earlier this year to become Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
Cabasco, 31, assumes responsibility for a 15-person admission staff. Whitman's admission program attracted and screened a record 2,328 applications last year from prospective students throughout the United States and over 40 foreign countries. Of that number, 399 new students were accepted and enrolled for classes this fall.
Whitman, a private, independent college of 1,300 students, is one of the most academically selective institutions in the Northwest. It is the only school in the region listed in the top tier of national liberal arts & sciences colleges by "U.S. News & World Report" magazine.
"Tony's qualifications and achievements impressed the search committee and those who met with him during the interview process," said Whitman Dean of Admission and Financial Aid John Bogley. "Those of us who have worked with Tony in the past are familiar with his ability to connect with students, his work ethic and his sense of dedication. He represents Whitman well, on campus and off."
Cabasco majored in physics and graduated from Whitman in 1990. After completing a master's degree in international studies at the University of Washington in 1995, he returned to Whitman for a two-year stint as assistant admission director in charge of its Seattle-area admission office. His time as associate admission director began in 1997.
Immediately following his Whitman graduation, Cabasco taught English for one year as part of the Whitman-In-China program. His teaching assignment was at Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi'an, the ancient capital of China, where he taught oral and written English to undergraduate and graduate students.
After teaching in China, Cabasco worked the next two years as a Whitman admission officer. He then enrolled in Washington's Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, where he focused his master's degree on Chinese studies.
Cabasco, a 1986 graduate of Capital High School in Olympia, Wash., is married to Megan Blair-Cabasco, a 1992 Whitman honors graduate in psychology. They are the parents of a daughter, Hannah, who celebrates her first birthday this month.
Blair-Cabasco, who graduated from Seattle's Roosevelt High School in 1988, earned a master's degree in teaching at the University of Puget Sound in 1995.
Other members of the couple's immediate families have also graduated from Whitman. Tony's brother, Vergil Cabasco, graduated in 1992 and works as legislative director for U.S. Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn. Megan's brother, Neel Blair, graduated in 1997 and works for an Internet-based company in Chicago.