As Whitman's national reputation grows, its applicant pool also continues to grow dramatically. For many of the highly accomplished students who receive a coveted letter of admission, an even greater challenge remains — determining if they can afford the cost of a Whitman education.
Once students decide to apply, the availability of financial aid, particularly scholarships, profoundly influences their decisions about which school to attend. In order to recruit, enroll and retain talented, high-achieving and diverse students, the college is aggressively building a comprehensive financial aid program to help ensure a Whitman education is accessible to all who are offered admission.
Many of Whitman's committed alumni, parents and friends acknowledge this need, and they continue to step forward with gifts that create scholarship opportunities and provide support for deserving students who otherwise would be unable to attend Whitman. During the 2010-11 year, gifts created several new scholarships and expanded existing efforts.
Supplementing need-based aid
Kay, Jamie and Ron Soukup
Ron and Kay Soukup, parents of Jamie Soukup '10, a magna cum laude graduate of Whitman, created the Soukup Family Scholarship Endowment this year to provide financial aid to students with demonstrated need.
The family gave this scholarship in honor of Jamie's education at Whitman to help make it possible for deserving students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend Whitman College. Unrestricted need-based aid like the Soukup Scholarship is an important resource for Whitman's financial aid office. The flexibility to help any student with need allows Whitman to assist those we know will succeed here, but need financial help to enroll and graduate.
Assisting community college transfer students
Pris Alsip Lange '61 and Ned Lange '56
The Lange Community College Spark Scholarship Endowment was established this year with a gift from the College Spark Foundation in honor of Whitman Overseer Emeritus Ned Lange '56. This scholarship will provide aid to students transferring to Whitman from Washington State community colleges with a preference for underrepresented minority and first-generation students. An active alumni volunteer, Ned Lange served on the Whitman Board of Overseers from 1985 to 2000. He and his wife, Pris Alsip Lange '61, have enjoyed numerous class reunions and both served as co-chairs of their respective 50th reunion fund committees. In addition to his service to Whitman, Ned volunteered for 24 years on the boards of College Spark Washington and its predecessor non-profit student loan associations. College Spark Washington is a foundation that funds programs that help low-income students become college ready and earn their degrees. The Langes' lifelong commitment to access to higher education is reflected in the establishment of this fund at their alma mater.
J. Walter and Katherine H. Weingart
The new J. Walter and Katherine H. Weingart Scholarship Endowment also will provide need-based scholarship aid to community college transfer students and strengthen Whitman's commitment to students with diverse backgrounds. This fund was created by and is named for Whitman College Professor of History, Emeritus, J. Walter Weingart and his wife, Katherine H. Weingart, a 31-year instructor in psychology at Walla Walla Community College, both now retired. This endowment is intended to ease the financial burden for students from community colleges and to encourage more of them to transfer to Whitman College. During their careers, the Weingarts witnessed the impact of higher education on hundreds of students. This scholarship creates an opportunity for community college students to pursue additional education.
Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Tony Cabasco '90 thanks these donors, and all donors, for their gifts to scholarship: "Support from Whitman's alumni and friends is vital to making a difference in the lives of students. On behalf of our scholarship recipients and all of us at Whitman, thank you."
A Whitman education is too valuable and too necessary to today's world to deny its advantages to the best and brightest because they lack the means to attend. As we look to the future of the college, ensuring full access to all our liberal arts and science education has to offer is a top priority.