President Kathy Murray speaks at commencement

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As President Murray prepares to retire after seven years as Whitman’s 14th president, her legacy will endure for generations thanks to a scholarship to support access and affordability, made possible through more than $1 million in gifts.

Since President Murray took office in 2015, she helped inspire more than $120 million in gifts and commitments to Whitman, much of which supported endowment for scholarships and financial aid. Now, as she concludes her tenure as president, Murray’s steadfast commitment to access and affordability will be recognized with the establishment of a new scholarship named in her honor.

The Kathleen M. Murray Endowed Scholarship will support need-based aid with a preference for first-generation college students; Murray herself was a first-generation student at Illinois Wesleyan University.

“These investments in financial aid are critical to making a Whitman education a reality for students from all backgrounds, and our nation and the world need these ready minds to solve the increasingly complex problems of this century,” said Murray. “I couldn’t be more pleased and humbled at the creation of this scholarship, which builds on the work that was most meaningful to me during my presidency.”

Current Whitman trustees in addition to emeritus board members, advisory board members, alumni, parents, faculty and staff made contributions totalling more than $1 million, with gifts continuing to come in to support the scholarship.

“The generosity from across the board, emeritus trustees, and other alumni, parents, faculty and staff is a testament to Kathy’s lasting impact on the Whitman community,” said Joe Davis, chair of the Board of Trustees.. “It speaks to her strong belief that access to a Whitman education has the power to transform the lives of current and future generations of students for the better, and that is certainly worth celebrating.”

The Kathleen M. Murray Scholarship Endowment builds on the College’s progress toward making a high-quality Whitman education attainable for all students. During Murray’s tenure, the college expanded scholarships and financial aid awards by more than 50 percent. The college also recently announced a $10 million gift from Kathie Weingart and late professor Walt Weingart to meet full financial need for all students from Washington state. The New York Times has further recognized Whitman as a national leader in transparency regarding the financial aid award process.