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Whitman Emphasizes Commitment to Preparing Engaged Citizens

President of Whitman College, Sarah Bolton.

Recognizing higher education’s unique responsibility to teach students to participate in constitutional democracy, Whitman College has joined a nationwide effort to prepare students to become informed, engaged citizens and to uphold free expression on campus.

President Sarah Bolton is one of 60 college presidents in College Presidents for Civic Preparedness, a unique consortium designed by college presidents and convened by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars. In response to the urgent challenges currently facing American higher education and democracy, these presidents are taking action at both a campus-specific and a collective level to cultivate a more vibrant and diverse society marked by civil discourse and critical inquiry.

“In this time, it’s crucial that we do more than just bring people together to share the same space,” says President Bolton. “We plan to make the most of the extraordinary opportunity for connection and face-to-face learning on Whitman’s diverse and international campus. We look forward to continuing the good work happening encouraging constructive civil discourse, where honest conversation from different points of view is valued and leads to deeper understanding and creative collaboration.” 

The Dialogue & Dignity Initiative is Whitman’s first offering in support of these goals. Launched in January 2024 in alignment with the college’s strategic priorities, the program also parallels the three shared Civic Commitments made by all College Presidents for Civic Preparedness participants:

  • Education for democracy is central to our mission.
  • We will prepare our students for a vibrant, diverse and contentious society.
  • We will protect and defend free inquiry.

Guided by President Bolton’s leadership, Whitman College remains committed to building a campus culture that thoughtfully explores diverse viewpoints, ensuring that all members of the community are prepared to interact respectfully and authentically with one another.

Published on Apr 26, 2024
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