Gary Lunden

Gary Lunden will use decades of experience as a business owner and fund-raiser to help bring the Whitman Annual Fund to what he hopes will be its 25th year of 50 percent participation from “passionate and enthusiastic” alumni.

Lunden was named director of the Annual Fund after Barbara Stubblefield ’66 retired in February.

He was inspired to take on the position by the experience he and his wife, Lynn Lunden, associate vice president for development, had as a host family for a Whitman student from Swaziland. “It introduced me to the wonderfully diverse curriculum and the great benefits of a Whitman education,” Gary Lunden said.

The former financial development officer for Fort Walla Walla Museum said it helps that he is already familiar with many alumni and class representatives.

Being able to assist the more than 200 class representatives “to communicate with their classmates and to fulfill their philanthropic desires is a great mission,” Lunden said.

Achieving 50 percent participation in the Annual Fund “sends a strong message to individual, corporate and foundation donors that an investment in Whitman is a solid one,” he said.