Send us your Flashback moments

Why is Whitman College close to your heart?

Do you have any meaningful or funny stories that could make your classmates say, “I remember that!” What were significant parts of campus life during your time on campus? Were there any class, group or campus-wide rituals in your day? What piece of Whitman wisdom would you like to preserve for today’s students?

If you have a story to tell or a memory to share, write about it in 150 words or less and email it to Selected contributions will appear in Flashback. All submissions subject to editing.

It was 1951, the spring of our junior year. There was to be a history test, and people from several houses had gathered at our place to study. Late in the evening someone suggested that the humdrum peace of the campus needed to be disturbed. A study hour was going on in the basement of Memorial Hall, and two scouts were dispatched to join the students and surreptitiously unlock the windows. Meanwhile, the rest of us picked up all the loose pillows from our sleeping porch and loaded them into my car. Next we pooled our pocket change and bought a pound of Limburger cheese at the nearest grocery store. Our scouts reported that the basement windows of Memorial were open, and the night watchman was having his coffee break in the gymnasium at the far end of the campus. The feather group scattered through the building, bursting a pillow in each classroom. At the same time the cheese group strategically disposed of the Limburger. I stayed with the car, ready for a quick getaway. The next morning, the college staff made the assumption, perhaps naturally, that the smell was associated with the feathers and would go away as soon as they vacuumed the rooms. That, of course, was not the case, and the smell remained as a longterm memento of our night’s work.
—Rod Bunnell ’52

I remember that during my first year at Whitman, everyone wanted to jump in the big pond. Or rather, they wanted their friends to jump in there. I jumped in there once, and I got in BIG TROUBLE. Also it was GROSS. It was among the grossest things I’ve ever experienced, and as a current teacher of very young children I deal with grossness all the time, so that’s saying something. I assume that the weird, aching need to jump in that big pond is enduring with each generation of students. I wish I could explain to people that there’s nothing really all that funny about jumping in there. In fact, it’s awful.
— Sophie Lucido Johnson ’08

Students moved an RA’s room onto the lawn in front of Douglas Hall. Front door, bed, closet, dirty laundry and all. (1978-79 school year)
—Pat Rutemiller Kaczmarek ’80