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As I wrap up year three as Whitman’s president, I have learned a great deal about the special collaborative community I have joined, and I have also found a number of ways to make this Whitman experience feel like my very own. In this edition of Whitman Magazine, you will read about students, faculty, staff and alumni following a similar path — from developing an understanding of this distinctive community to finding ways to make their Whitman experience uniquely their own.

Over the last two years, I have watched this community come together to think collectively and deeply about the top strategic priorities that will advance Whitman into and through the 2020s. When we reach the goals we have outlined (read more about them here), a Whitman liberal arts education will be available to a diverse population of students — racially, ethnically and socioeconomically — so that our classrooms and our campus community better reflect the society in which our students will live and work. We will have reinvigorated our longstanding and powerful commitment to the liberal arts, and our curriculum and our campus life will better support those students from diverse backgrounds and help all of our students to develop the habits of mind that allow them to move from theory into practice in confronting the challenges of the 21st century. And, we will provide the guidance and engagement to help students prepare for a life of purpose and meaning beyond Whitman.

When we have accomplished this, we will have transformed how Whitman students experience their life at the college — and how they make that experience their own — from how they think about the possibility of coming to Whitman, through how they engage on campus, to their lives as loyal alumni out making the world a better place.

That’s a college worthy of Whitman’s long legacy and prepared for an even stronger future. That’s a Whitman I look forward to helping us build.


Kathleen M. Murray