The Whitman Social Network

Whitties Helping WhittiesBeverly Li ’14 wanted to know how the “Whitman experience” continued after graduation. So the psychology major attended a “Whitties Helping Whitties” networking event in San Francisco, one of three mixers organized by the Student Engagement Center and Office of Alumni Relations. Two other events were held in Portland and Seattle.

“There are so many different opportunities out there after graduation,” Li said. “I wanted to see how much continuity there is from alumni’s undergraduate experiences to their post-graduation lives, and how I might be able to model my own post-graduation life.”

Today’s students understand that networking is one vital strategy to finding a job. Learning how their fellow alumni traveled from graduation to employment provides current students with a road map to their future.

“Every event sponsored by the Alumni Association should be viewed as a chance to network with other alumni. The Whitman family is real and there is a large group of alumni out there who are eager to help students and other alumni who are searching for career opportunities, no matter how many decades separate them,” said Nancy Mitchell, director of alumni relations.

Whitties Helping Whitties networking opportunities will take place on campus during Whitman’s Reunion Weekend, Sept. 17-21. Whitman also plans to run up to seven or eight events each year in what are considered essential hubs for Whitman students and alumni. In addition to San Francisco, Portland and Seattle, events are being planned for Walla Walla, Spokane, Washington, D.C., the Bay Area and Denver.

Check the alumni events calendar for Whitties Helping Whitties events in a city near you in the new academic year:

Whitties present at University of Washington Undergraduate Research Symposium

Ten Whitman students participated in the annual University of Washington Undergraduate Research Symposium in May. The Symposium is a chance for undergraduates to present their research to a larger audience. One thousand students participated in the conference, which brings in an audience of 3,500. Whitman has been presenting at the Symposium since 2012.

David Sedaris to speak at Whitman

Davis Sedaris book coverDavid Sedaris will speak at Whitman College for an evening of readings and recollections featuring all-new, unpublished work on Nov. 19 at Cordiner Hall.

Named “one of America’s most prickly and most delicious, young comic talents” by “The Washington Post,” Sedaris is the best-selling author of “Me Talk Pretty One Day,” “Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim” and “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls,” a “New York Times” bestseller. Copies will be available for purchase at the Whitman College Bookstore.

This event is presented and sponsored by the Walla Walla Center for the Arts, Northwest Public Radio, Main Street Studios, Barnes & Noble and Tangent Media.

Tickets can be purchased at or by calling (509) 520-6451.

Hosokawa Lecture – The Stolen Dream

The 2014 Hosokawa Lecture, “The Stolen Dream – Did We Miss the Big Story?” was delivered by “New York Times” journalist Hedrick Smith on April 24. Based on his book “Who Stole the American Dream?” the talk asked difficult questions such as: Are we failing American democracy by hyping a perpetual news crisis and focusing on crime, scandals and infotainment, but neglecting the deeper trends that alter people’s lives and American society? He also offered ideas on how journalists can restore quality to the American media and how middle-class Americans can reclaim the American Dream.

The Emperor of all Maladies book coverThe Emperor of All Maladies

Siddhartha Mukherjee’s book “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in general non-fiction. Mukherjee, an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a staff cancer physician at Columbia University Medical Center, presented a lecture titled “Illness as Biography: Cancer’s Past and Cancer’s Future” on May 8. Mukherjee is a graduate of Stanford University, the University of Oxford and Harvard Medical School.

Peace, faith and forgiveness

Rwandan Genocide survivor and bestselling author Immaculée Ilibagiza came to Whitman on April 20 to deliver a lecture titled “Left to Tell.” Ilibagiza is regarded as one of the world’s leading speakers on peace, faith and forgiveness. In 1994, Ilibagiza lost most of her family, but she survived to share the story and her miraculous transition into forgiveness. An eyewitness survivor of the Rwandan Genocide, her book “Left to Tell” is an international bestseller that has been made into a documentary.

Secretary of Labor under President Clinton speaks at Whitman

Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, spoke on campus at the end of April. Reich, who worked in the administrations of Presidents Carter, Ford and Clinton, and is an economic and public policy expert, delivered a lecture titled “Why Worry about Inequality?”, which addressed the problem of increasing income inequality in the United States.

This lecture followed a screening of the documentary film “Inequality for All,” directed by Jacob Kornbluth. The film won a U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Achievement in Filmmaking at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and is presented by Reich.

Emile Lahner pieces donated to Whitman College

Whitman College celebrated the addition of 36 original drawings and paintings by European artist Emile Lahner to its permanent collection with a special reception in Memorial Building this April.

John Peterson ’54 and his wife Janet donated this robust collection of Lahner’s work. The Petersons collect Lahner’s paintings, having purchased their first – a small floral – in 1964.

Emile Lahner was born in 1893 in Hungary and began painting at an early age. In the aftermath of World War I, he fled his native country and eventually settled in France. Here, he became part of the “School of Paris,” a group of artists working in Paris between 1900 and 1940. During his artistic career Lahner exhibited his works in Paris, New York, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Boston.