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Whitman College announces $150-Million fundraising campaign

WALLA WALLA, Wash.— Aimed at three building blocks of a top-quality liberal arts and sciences education, Whitman College (Walla Walla, Wash.) launched the public phase of a $150-million fundraising campaign at a gala event in Seattle on Nov. 18, 2011.

The campaign, titled “Now Is the Time,” quietly began in 2007 with a vision to provide greater support in three areas critical to the college’s leadership position in American liberal arts education – advancing academic excellence, expanded scholarship support and overall financial strength.

“Whitman has a wonderful 130-year tradition of excellence in the liberal arts,” said John Stanton, Whitman trustee, alumnus (Class of 1977) and chair of the campaign. “But we cannot rest on our laurels. The college faces the challenges of keeping our curriculum and programs relevant, making a Whitman education accessible for those that qualify, and strengthening our financial foundation, which requires us to continue to invest.

“We must be prepared to deliver in perpetuity the outstanding liberal arts education that Whitman offers. That’s what this campaign will help do. Now is the time,” said Stanton, who went on from Whitman to become a leader in wireless industry.

Whitman president George Bridges added that the campaign will help the college prepare students for leadership in their professions and in their communities through the power of a liberal arts education. This endowment-focused campaign will provide additional permanent support for the college’s people and programs, underwriting excellence in all areas of the college.

The campaign’s three points of focus and the financial goals for each:

Academic excellence: $75 million – Whitman will add depth and breadth to its academic program, nationally renowned for rigor and engagement of students, in large part by adding 12 new, endowed faculty positions. Also, Whitman plans to increase opportunities for student-faculty research, internships and other experiential learning opportunities while building on an ongoing effort to globalize its curriculum.

Scholarship support: $50 million – Improving access to a Whitman education for students by endowing the school’s commitment to providing support for qualified students from all socioeconomic backgrounds. Campaign gifts will endow need-based aid and bolster merit scholarships.

Financial Strength: $25 million – By increasing focus on gifts to its general endowment, Whitman will gain long-term financial strength and flexibility for its operations. A focus on growth of gifts to the Annual Fund, will provide immediate impact on the student experience and educational programs.

“With the generous support of our donors, this campaign will reinforce our traditional academic strengths and offer students more innovative opportunities to enrich their learning and development,” Bridges says. “Our donors share a steadfast belief in Whitman’s approach to delivering a meaningful, relevant liberal arts education that adds value to the lives of our students and to the lives of those who will benefit from their learning and future accomplishments.”

The campaign was announced at a dinner event at Seattle’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel. About 200 Whitman alumni, governing board members and friends of the college attended. A highlight of the evening was the screening of a video that brings to life the ideals of and outcomes of a Whitman College liberal arts education.

Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash., is honored to attract students who represent the Whitman mosaic – down to earth, high achievers with diverse interests. Whitman is the premier liberal arts college that combines academic excellence with an unpretentious Northwest culture and an engaging community. An independent, non-sectarian residential college, Whitman fosters intellectual vitality, confidence and leadership in its 1,450 students. Also noted for its commitment to environmental principles, Whitman is characterized by intellect, down-to-earth sensibilities, collaboration over competition and active lifestyle.


John Bogley, vice president for development and college relations
Ruth Wardwell, assistant vice president for communications


Campaign Objectives

1) Enhance and Endow the Academic Program

  • Strengthen the faculty:

– By adding 12 new endowed faculty positions, Whitman can ensure expertise in emerging and interdisciplinary areas and continue to provide students with the high level of collaborative engagement and personal attention for which the college is known.
– By increasing support for all faculty members and programs to sustain excellent teaching and learning.

  • Provide experiential learning opportunities:

By increasing the quantity, quality, and range of experience-based classroom, field-study,
student/faculty research, and internship opportunities, Whitman can prepare every student for today’s complex world.

  • Globalize the curriculum:

By infusing global themes into the curriculum, developing programs that enhance global awareness, and expanding opportunities for off-campus study, Whitman will create an environment in which every student possesses cross-cultural understanding.

2) Improve Access through Scholarship Support

  • Increase access and affordability:

By endowing its long-standing commitment to providing scholarships, Whitman can meet the growing need for financial aid, compete for the best and brightest applicants, and ensure that its transformative education remains accessible to the finest students from all backgrounds.

  • Endow need-based aid:

A Whitman education is too important and too valuable to be available only to those who have the means to attend. Increasing our endowment resources for need-based scholarships will perpetuate our distinguished history of providing support for students from middle- and lower-income families.

  • Bolster merit-based scholarships:

Merit scholarships help Whitman recognize and recruit potential leaders and bring those with demonstrated talent to our campus.

3) Strengthen the financial base

  • Expand the unrestricted endowment:

A practical means of “paying it forward” to future students, the endowment enables each generation to ensure access, opportunity, and educational transformation – just as previous generations did for them.

  • Increase annual giving:

Annual gifts provide the opportunity for all alumni and friends to participate in making the student experience at Whitman outstanding. Participation by alumni of each generation is vital to making this vision for the future of the college a reality.


Campaign Steering Committee

Officers and members of the committee also are Whitman College trustees, overseers, board liaisons or governing board emeriti. Most are Whitman alumni, signified by the class year following their name.

Chair – John W. Stanton ’77, Seattle, Chairman, Trilogy International Partners
Vice Chair – Lewis J. Hale ’70, Seattle, Chief Operating Officer, Aiolian LLC

Robert Spencer Ball ’64, Portland, Retired, Founding Partner/Attorney, Ball, Janik LLP
Susan E. Buxton ’85, Boise, Shareholder, Moore, Smith, Buxton & Turcke, Chtd.
Sonya L. Christianson Campion ’83, CFRE, Seattle, Co-Founder/Trustee, The Campion Foundation
Megan Ferguson Clubb ’79, Walla Wall,a President/CEO, Baker Boyer National Bank
John C. Coleman ’73, Napa, Calif., Retired, Vice Chairman, Pacific Growth Equities
Nancy Bell Evans ’54, Seattle, Civic and Community Volunteer
Andrew U. Ferrari ’68 , Winchester, Va., Retired, Chairman, Trex Company, Inc.
Karen E. Glover ’72, Seattle, Retired, Global Integrations Partner, K&L Gates
Richard E. Hunter ’65, San Diego, President/CEO, Hunter Industries Incorporated
Leigh Ann Lucero ’91 , Seattle, Attorney, Microsoft, X-Box
Patricia Bates Mattingley ’70, Sequim, Wash.
Marshal McReal ’84, Seattle, Co-Founder/Principal, Garde Capital
David Nierenberg, Camas, Wash., Founder/President, Nierenberg Investment Management
Thomas Oldfield ’67, Gig Harbor, Wash., Partner/Attorney, Oldfield & Helsdon, PLLC
Michelle A. Rubesch ’92, Seattle, Director of Portfolio Management, Rainier Group Investment Advisory, LLC
Lawrence B. Stone ’77, Spokane, President, SCAFCO
Denise Garvey Tabbutt ’87, Seattle
Peter H. van Oppen ’74, Seattle, Partner, Trilogy Partnership
Elizabeth Main Welty, Spokane, Retired, Physician

George Bridges, President
John Bogley ’85, Vice President for Development and College Relations

Published on Nov 18, 2011
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