The legacy of Donald Sherwood '22 and his wife Virginia has made a profound impact on the campus of Whitman College in innumerable ways - from modest memorial donations and individual scholarships to substantial contributions for new buildings. There's the Sherwood House, for instance, where President Kathleen Murray currently resides, and Sherwood Athletic Center, where the Whitman Blues men's and women's basketball teams play.
Now comes a 2019 Core Grant from the Sherwood Trust, which awarded Whitman College $231,000 for a three-year pilot program. Titled the Whitman College Student Consulting Corps, the program will enable Whitties to gain an understanding of and practice in nonprofit consulting.
SEC Director Noah Leavitt helped create the new program as a way to help Whitman students connect their academic studies with real-world experiences.
"The initiative was developed through careful examination of both community and student needs," Leavitt said. "Our community partners frequently reach out to us to ask for our students' assistance in helping them evolve their organizations to fit the shifting local demographic, changing technological context and increasingly competitive funding landscape. This program is an opportunity to develop a sustainable mechanism for students to connect their talents and enthusiasm with key community needs in a mutually beneficial way."
All 501(c)(3) and public organizations in the greater Walla Walla Valley will be able to apply for a student consultant. Whitman students in their third or fourth year who are in good standing will be eligible to apply.
Whitman College was one of 41 organizations in the Walla Walla Valley to receive 2019 Core Grants, which totaled over $1.2 million. Sherwood Trust's grant focus is on capacity building - investing in the staff, facilities, skills or support that nonprofits or the communities of the Walla Walla Valley need to be resilient and thrive.
Danielle Garbe Reser '97 has served as chief executive officer of the Sherwood Trust since 2015. As a student at Whitman, she received the Claire Sherwood Memorial Scholarship, a prestigious award named in honor of the Sherwoods' daughter. According to Garbe Reser, the trust has invested over $30 million into the region since its founding in 1991.
"We are grateful that the Sherwoods' generosity allows us to invest in the community in this way and that your hard work and vision create powerful partnerships for change," she said.