The 9th Annual Mr. Whitman Pageant returns to campus Friday evening as eight contestants compete for the title of Mr. Whitman while raising money for cancer research.

This all-male “beauty pageant” showcases the talents of eight senior men, four from fraternities and four independents, as they compete in the categories of formal wear, Q&A, swimwear and talent.  The contestants also perform a group dance.  The event takes place Oct. 29 in Cordiner Hall at 7 p.m.

Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority members organized the event and chose this year’s cause, the Chris Elliott Fund (CEF) for Glioblastoma Brain Cancer Research.  “All of the applications were wonderful, deserving organizations, CEF was just the best fit for this year.  It was submitted by senior Julie Irvine, whose mother has been fighting Glioblastoma since May 2009,” said Abby Neel, philanthropy chair for Kappa Kappa Gamma.  A series of smaller fundraisers, hosted by campus sororities and fraternities, leading up to the event have been successful in jumpstarting the fundraising. 

“When I look at an event like Mr. Whitman it just reinforces the pride I have in Whitman students.  Greek and independent students alike are extremely involved in philanthropy, raising funds for all kinds of charitable causes on campus and off” said Chuck Cleveland, dean of students.  “While it certainly reflects positively on the college, it really truly speaks to the character of the students that we are attracting and I think it’s very apparent to me that they are the leaders of the future.  Mr. Whitman is giving back to the community and making it better, in this case raising funds for cancer; I just don’t think you can find anything that college students do that is better than this.” 

The judges this year are President George Bridges; Keith Farrington, Peterson Endowed Chair of social sciences; Leena Knight, assistant professor of biology and Tamara DePorter, CEF board member. 

Tickets are on sale for $5 at the Reid Campus Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. this week and will also be available for purchase at the event for $8.  Community members are welcome. 

--Ashley Coetzee