WALLA WALLA, Wash.-- Longtime Whitman College Health Center employee Kathy Ruggeri, RN, was among the outstanding and dedicated individuals recognized for their community service and contributions at the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce annual awards banquet Wednesday evening (Nov. 30).

Ruggeri, who has been a friendly face and compassionate nurse to Whitman students for more than 20 years, has been an active participant and volunteer in the Walla Walla community as well. Whitman president George Bridges presented a tearful Ruggeri with the college's Town and Gown Award, which has been given annually since 1961 to a Whitman faculty or staff member who has made substantial contributions of service to the Walla Walla area.

President Bridges cited Ruggeri for her care and compassion in taking care of Whitman's students over the years, while extending a loving spirit and sense of compassion to the entire Walla Walla community. “I thank Kathy for making such important contributions to the Walla Walla community, and for representing Whitman so well.” said Bridges. “I have learned in a short time that Whitman people take the Walla Walla community to heart, and I’m pleased to be part of a college that fosters this kind of caring and commitment.”

Ruggeri's numerous community involvements include the Humane Society, where she both serves on the board and volunteers her time caring for animals. She is a docent for the Carnegie Art Center, giving talks about the arts to local school children; and she has served as a volunteer for Hospice, Heart to Heart, Catholic Charities, YWCA and the YMCA. She is an active member of the Assumption Church and regularly supports its many programs, including school fundraisers, St. Patrick's Day luncheons and the DeSales Hope dinners.

CONTACT: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156
Email: parishlj@whitman.edu