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January 17, 2022: Welcome to the Spring Term!

Email from President Sarah Bolton to the Whitman campus community:

Dear Colleagues,

Happy new year! As we start the new semester, I want to thank you for your warm welcome and all the wonderful things you make happen for our students.

It has been tremendous to see the dedication and creativity in this community. Together, staff and faculty created so much this fall that strengthens the opportunities for Whitman students, from the new academic programs in Brain, Behavior and Cognition, Ethics and Society and Human Centered Design, to the next steps in launching the new general studies program, to the Third Space talks about hip hop and disability justice, to the inaugural sophomore program at the CCEC, to new student scholarships and so much more. The fall also held remarkable faculty research discoveries, grants and awards, new training to create a stronger and more inclusive campus community, and the return of so many important programs in the local community and outdoors which had been shuttered by the pandemic. All of this, of course, came on top of the extraordinary teaching, scholarship and work to support our students’ learning and growth that you are all a part of every day.

As we look to the spring term, I am eagerly anticipating so many Whitman traditions, including the Power and Privilege Symposium (February 23rd), the Undergraduate Research Conference (April 11th), the new Lavender Celebration (May 10th) and, of course, Commencement for the wonderful class of 2023, who have persevered through such an extraordinary four years.

I am also looking forward to continuing our strategic priorities update. Following discussions with hundreds of Whitman students, staff, faculty and alumni, we shared emerging themes right before the winter break. (You can see them again here if you’d like to.)  Later this month I’ll invite your input to further engage these ideas.  We will also work together in the coming weeks to consider the ways in which input from prospective students can help us better understand the kinds of programs and experiences that will inspire the next generations of college students.

All are welcome to the next strategic priorities conversations, which will take place on Friday January 27th, at 10 am (for staff) and noon (for faculty) in Baker Center.  There will also be opportunities to share input via survey and for student discussions.

This semester is also CFO Peter Harvey’s last here at Whitman, after more than 25 years of service and leadership.  We will have many opportunities to thank and celebrate him, including at a campus open house on the afternoon of  May 11th. Please do save the date! Candidates for Peter’s successor will be on campus for interviews on January 20th and 26th, with open meetings for you to meet the candidates and ask questions at noon on each date, in Maxey Auditorium.  We will be sharing more about the candidates as their visits approach, and the search committee will invite your feedback to inform our work.

Thank you again for the extraordinary work you do on behalf of our students and their futures. I wish you all the very best for the start of the new term!

With warm wishes,


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