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The New Day Ahead

It’s hard to believe I’ve already been at Whitman for a semester—the time has gone so fast! It has been a pleasure to see the exceptional work happening in our community.

I am so grateful for the hundreds of loyal alumni and families who came out to presidential gatherings in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York and Walla Walla. Your thoughts and great questions have been pivotal in building my understanding of the college’s history and impact on the lives of generations of students, and your insights and ideas are helping me think about ways to advance Whitman’s future.

Sarah Bolton drawing

I’ve also had the opportunity to witness, firsthand, the spirit, community and intellectual energy of the Whitman community here on campus. This fall, I saw our amazing Blues compete, terrific class discussions, extraordinary musical and theater performances, a packed celebration by international students from nearly 70 nations, and much more. I also learned about the excellent scholarly work of our faculty and the exciting curricular innovations that they are developing.

We have also begun discussing priorities for the college in the years ahead. Hundreds of staff, faculty, students, parents and alumni have contributed to these conversations. It’s clear from these early discussions that the Whitman community is committed to our core values as a superb residential liberal arts college. At the same time, we are beginning to identify opportunities to innovate and build on our strengths. There are too many ideas to share here, but they have in common the best interests of our students and their bright futures—from building new academic opportunities to strengthening access to scholarships to enhancing the ways that all students build community and thrive. I very much look forward to continuing discussions of these exciting ideas on campus, as well as with alumni and families. 

As I come into my office each day, I am greeted by the work of beloved art professor Rick Martinez, who taught at Whitman from 2012 until his passing in 2020. His work evokes the new day ahead and reminds me of the tremendous capacity that our students and our college hold for the future. My thanks to all of you for all you do to make Whitman such an excellent place for students to learn, grow and prepare to fulfill their aspirations and make a difference in a world that needs them. Your generosity and care for our talented students makes a great impact!


Sarah Bolton signature

Sarah Bolton

Published on Feb 24, 2023
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