Students study Students study in the Hall of Science atrium

Parents Fund participants — parents of current Whitman students or graduates — know the value of the Whitman education and experience. To help other young people benefit from the same opportunity, the Parents Fund 2008-09 and its chairman, George Logan (children, Kate ’08 and Mike ’11), chose to support two projects that directly fund core Whitman priorities.

One is the Parents Fund Scholarship Endowment, an ongoing project. To date, parents have contributed nearly $100,000 toward this endowment to help provide financial aid packages that will allow as many deserving students as possible to attend Whitman.

The other project raised more than $87,000 to support student-faculty collaborative research by increasing the number of Abshire Research Scholar Awards and Louis B. Perry Summer Research Awards the college is able to grant.

“The student-faculty research project is an opportunity for parents to support collaborative research and the vital role it plays in students’ college experiences, and it better prepares students for graduate school and professional careers,” said Donna Cook Gardner ’95, liaison to the Parents Fund.

Although the Parents Fund’s primary focus for 2009-10 will be in support of the scholarship endowment, parents also may contribute to student-faculty research, Gardner said.

Thirty-two percent of Whitman’s current parents participate in the Parents Fund. “We would love to get that number higher,” said Gardner. “This is a fun group to work with … parents are so pleased their student chose Whitman.”

Parents Fund support is essential to the college with tuition covering only 60 percent of the actual cost of each student’s education. Parents raised more than $460,000 to support college projects in 2008-09.