Where in the World Have You Met a Whittie?
Karen Black Jenkins ’95, executive director of the Savannah Tree Foundation in Savannah, Ga., met Marianne Mercer Heimes ’54, an historian, activist and candidate for Chatham County Commissioner. Karen writes, “We both attended a June 7 public information meeting held by Chatham County about a proposed road improvement project that would threaten 90 percent of the trees in the project corridor. Many of the trees are decades old live oak trees that create a canopy over the road. Marianne lives in the neighborhood where the improvements are proposed and she is leading the community against the project. As director of the Savannah Tree Foundation, my organization is committed to preserving, protecting and planting trees throughout Chatham County. … Last year Marianne published a small book, “Island Memories: Raised Among the Marshes, Oaks and Tidal Breezes on the East Side of Savannah,” on this history of Wilmington Island, the area threatened by the road improvement project. I had read about the book and that the author was a Whitman grad. The proposed road project is what brought us together.”
Vickie Lidzbarski ’05 and Greer Bevel ’98 ran into one another at a College Counselor Fly-In event at IE University in Madrid. “It was really great to meet Vickie again and catch up on the latest happenings at Whitman and with our mutual friends in Walla Walla.” Vickie is the International University Counselor at the American College Institute and lives in Izmir, Turkey. Greer is University Counselor/IB History Teacher at The International School of Latvia and lives in Riga.
Carla Ashby Nichols ’69 and Cheri Fisher Courtnage ’71 were roommates. In the background are David Kennedy ’61 and Dean Nichols ’70. This is the Nichols’ sailboat.
Bob Withycombe, retired professor of rhetoric and film studies, accompanied a group of Whitman alumni to Turkey in May and June. Before setting out, Margaret Hoglund, travel planner for the alumni association, set up dinner meetings with two alumnae who live in Turkey. The travelers were joined by Lizzy Washburn ’06, who teaches math at Robert College, one of the top high schools in Istanbul; and Vickie Lidzbarski ’05, former assistant director of admission at Whitman who is now an international university counselor at the American Collegiate Institute in Izmir, Turkey. Two more alumni, Dean ’70 and Carla Ashby Nichols ’69, were sailing in the Mediterranean at the same time, and the alumni group met them at the boat dock in Marmara. A few days later, they were visiting a set of mid-10th century churches in a monastery complex in Göreme. Withycombe and his wife, Nancy, were taking shelter from a sudden thunderstorm in a small tourist market. They met another tourist, who turned out to be a parent of Alex Thomas ’10. Withycombe taught her in several of his classes, and he was part of her senior thesis review committee. The very next day, the alumni group visited the mausoleum of the Persian poet Rumi. While waiting to enter the building, a woman saw Margaret’s Whitman T-shirt and approached her. The woman, Emily Duffus, said, “My daughter is Juli Dunn, director of academic resources!” Emily and her husband, Lee, were on a Turkish tour with another group.