WALLA, Wash.-- George Bridges, WhitmanCollege president since July 1, will preside
over Convocation ceremonies here Saturday, Aug. 27, at in Cordiner Hall, welcoming students,
parents, faculty and staff to the 2005-2006 academic year. Classes for approximately
1,450 new and returning students will begin at on Tuesday, Aug. 30. The college expects its entering
class to include approximately 395 students.
Bridges, 54, is the
college’s 13th president. A Seattle
native, Bridges succeeds Tom Cronin, who stepped down from the presidency June
30 after 12 years.
Bridges, a University of Washington alumnus, had served as
professor of sociology at the UW since 1982, as associate dean of undergraduate
education since 1998, and as dean and vice provost of undergraduate education
will celebrate its 123rd opening week on a positive note. The
college, which has seen a 36 percent increase in applications for admission
during the past four years, received an all-time high of 2,648 applications for
the entering class.
enrolled, Whitman students remain among the happiest in the country, according
to rankings such as those published in the annual Princeton Review study. Backing
up the study’s results are the college’s retention and graduation rates, which
show that once at the college, students return until they receive their
degrees. Whitman posts a retention rate of about 94 percent for freshmen
returning as sophomores, and its current graduation rate of 86 percent places
it in the top four liberal arts colleges west of the Mississippi.
percent of this year’s entering class is made up of American ethnic minority or
international students, reflecting an upward trend in Whitman’s diversity
enrollment. The entering class this year has a median SAT score of 1330 and a
median ACT score of 30.
endowment and support network of private and corporate donors provide financial
support to maintain an average class size of 15 and a faculty-to-student ratio
of 1 to 10. About 50 percent of Whitman students receive need-based aid, with
more than 80 percent receiving some form of financial aid from Whitman. For
2004-2005, the average need-based award was $19,500.
raised approximately $10.6 million during the 2004-2005 fiscal year, with
contributors providing key funding for the Baker Ferguson Fitness Center and
securing an endowed chair in global studies. In addition, the $4 million
reunion gift from the class of 1955 will allow the college to add at least one more
faculty position in the future. For the 22nd consecutive year, more
than 50 percent of Whitman alumni contributed to the annual fund, placing the
college, again, among the top 20 in the nation in percentage of alumni support.
and fund-raising efforts in recent years have yielded expanded science
instruction facilities, the ReidCampusCenter
and additions to Penrose Library. The college broke ground on the BakerFergusonFitnessCenter
this spring, will begin construction of a new health center this fall, and is currently
raising funds for a new studio arts building.
information about Whitman events, including opening week activities, please
visit the WhitmanCollege homepage at
www.whitman.edu. For more information about admission, call 527-5176; for
information on fund raising, call development at 527-5166; for other questions,
call the news service at 527-5156.