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Whitworth publishes updated edition of illustrated university history book

May 26, 2010
Much has happened in the 20 years since longtime professor Dale Soden's illustrated history of Whitworth was published for the university's centennial celebration in 1990. The significant growth, faculty and student achievements and campus improvements of the past two decades are captured in an updated and expanded edition of the book – An Enduring Venture of Mind & Heart – now available in the Whitworth bookstore for $39.95. Books may be purchased online at or by calling 509.777.3277.

Building on the original centennial history book, the updated edition includes 80 additional pages and more than 150 new photographs covering 1990 to 2010. The book focuses on the experiences and contributions of students, faculty and staff, as well as how the institution has intersected with larger historical and cultural forces. Soden brings to the project his experience as a noted historian as well as insights from his own significant roles at Whitworth as a professor, vice president for planning, and director of the Weyerhaeuser Center for Christian Faith & Learning.

In his foreword to the book, Whitworth President Bill Robinson writes: "During the 20 years covered in this addition to his 100-year history book...Dale has been collecting, recording and making history at Whitworth. History seen through the eyes of a participant-observer seems to carry a warm tone of authenticity. His on-the-ground experience adds meaning to his eye-witness accounts."

Soden holds a bachelor's degree in history from Pacific Lutheran University and a Ph.D. in intellectual history from the University of Washington. He has published widely on religious history in the Pacific Northwest and is the author of the books Historic Photos of Washington State (2008, Turner Publishing) and The Reverend Mark Matthews: An Activist in the Progressive Era (2000, University of Washington Press).

Since arriving at Whitworth in 1985, Soden has regularly made presentations about the institution's history to new students and employees. He highlights a particular facet of Whitworth's history during spring convocation each year as part of the university's Heritage Month.

"In an era marked by enormous distrust of institutions at every level in American society, I have tried to find ways of helping students, faculty and staff understand the impact this college and now university has made upon its students and the larger world," Soden writes in the preface to the book. "I have hoped that, by helping those connected with Whitworth develop a deeper appreciation for the people who have gone before them, they might find greater value and joy in the place at which they study, teach and work."

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of 2,700 students, offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Dale Soden, professor of history and vice president for planning, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4433 or

Greg Orwig, director of university communications, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4580 or