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Four Whitworth students receive 2010 Samuel Robinson Award

June 23, 2010

Brianne Jensen

2010 Whitworth alumni Brianne Jensen and Daniel Lewis and seniors Claire LePage and Heather Wallace have received the 2010 Samuel Robinson Award. The students received up to $5,000 based on their recitation of the Westminster Shorter Catechism and a 2,000-word essay.

Awarded to nine students this year, the scholarship is open to students completing their junior or senior year at a Presbyterian-affiliated college or university. The award was created in 1956 to promote the memorization of the Westminster Shorter Catechism found in The Book of Confessions.

"The Samuel Robinson Award has a lengthy application process, and it was truly a journey," says Jensen, a nursing major from Thompson Falls, Mont. "I joined the Presbyterian Church I had been attending for several years, learned so much by memorizing the Westminster Catechism, and wrote an essay in which I incorporated theological and life lessons I've learned over my four years at Whitworth. This scholarship journey was challenging, but personally fulfilling as well."

Daniel Lewis

Jensen will complete the joint Whitworth-Washington State University nursing program this December and soon after will apply for her RN license. She encourages any Whitworth student with a passion for theology to apply for the Samuel Robinson Award.

Daniel Lewis, who graduated this spring with a degree in biophysics, plans on enrolling in dental school or graduate school for medical physics.

"My hard work paid off, especially receiving the full amount," says Lewis, of Snohomish, Wash. "This award is a great opportunity for PCUSA students to get the financial support they need and to support their college's student ministry programs."

Claire LePage is an English major who expects to graduate next spring; she plans to pursue a career involving conservation.

Claire LePage

"I'm so grateful for the extra money this scholarship provides," says LePage, of Nairobi, Kenya. "Beginning to memorize the Westminster Catechism was daunting, to say the least. Having my roommate, Heather, memorizing it alongside me made it seem doable."

Heather Wallace, of West Linn, Ore., will earn undergraduate degrees in philosophy and English next spring, and she is considering pursuing graduate studies in philosophy of mind. She credits Toni Sutherland, chapel program coordinator, for her work with the PCUSA and encouraging students through the process of memorizing the catechism.

In her essay, Wallace wrote, "Question 90 of the Westminster Catechism is a powerful reminder to embrace the nature of Scripture as holy literature. It is literature that we must approach with our best skills, our most profound humility, and our utmost love. This question is vital to the church today because it connects Scripture and relationship."

Heather Wallace

Other recipients of the award hailed from Agnes Scott College, Alma College, Eckerd College, Queens University of Charlotte, and Trinity University. The institutions each received $500 to support campus ministry and promote the Samuel Robinson Award. The scholarship will accept applications for the 2011 academic year in December 2010.

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.


Emily Proffitt, public information officer, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or