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Whitworth President Emeritus Bill Robinson awarded Mark O. Hatfield Leadership Award

February 3, 2015
The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities named Whitworth President Emeritus Bill Robinson the 2015 recipient of the Senator Mark O. Hatfield Leadership Award. The Hatfield Award is the CCCU’s highest recognition, extended to individuals who exemplify Christian leadership and integrity in service to others.

Robinson joins past recipients including Billy Graham, Carl F. H. Henry, Charles Colson, Benjamin Carson, Tony Hall, Rick and Kay Warren, John Perkins, N.T. Wright and Tim Walberg, all of whom have modeled Christian engagement in their respective eras and leadership roles.

"Bill has worked tirelessly as an outstanding statesman for Christian higher education throughout his career, and I could not imagine a more worthy recipient for this important honor," Whitworth President Beck A. Taylor says. "There are few people who can stand taller than Bill as an example of leadership, and there are even fewer who can better articulate why ideas and faith complement one another so well in Christ-centered higher education."

For a year, beginning in October 2013, Robinson served as the CCCU’s interim president. “More than I ever could have imagined, I loved the people and I loved the work,” Robinson said of his time at the council during the CCCU’s 39th annual Presidents’ Conference. “We advocated relentlessly for our members’ rights to be faithful to their missions.”

Robinson spent more than two decades serving as a college president, first  at Manchester College (now Manchester University) in North Manchester, Indiana, from 1986 to 1993, and then at Whitworth University, Spokane, Wash., from 1993 to 2010. He is currently the president emeritus at Whitworth and chair of the board of trustees at Princeton Theological Seminary.

“Bill is a generous person in every regard – from unstintingly giving of his time to introducing you to his lifelong friends so that you can know them, too,” said CCCU President Shirley V. Hoogstra. “He wants others to thrive, and he’s willing to go the extra mile every single time to make sure you have what you need – even at great cost to him. Bill wants to lead like Jesus did – listening, learning, asking and then speaking. Plus, Bill has a great sense of humor. Who isn’t cheered by that?”

Senator Hatfield, the award’s namesake, committed his life to politics after serving in the Navy during World War II. He was Oregon’s governor and secretary of state and also served the state with distinction for 30 years in the U.S. Senate. He was known for his staunch faith and was a longtime supporter of the CCCU.

The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher-education association of 176 intentionally Christ-centered institutions around the world. Its member campuses in North America, which number 120, are all fully accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities with curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. In addition, 56 affiliate campuses from 19 countries are part of the CCCU. The council’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help its institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth. Visit for additional information.

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Patti Green, executive assistant to the president and board secretary, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4665 or

Lucas Beechinor, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or