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Whitworth to hold inauguration ceremony Oct. 15 for its 18th president, Beck A. Taylor

September 29, 2010
University to celebrate with series of events exploring "Community of Courage" theme

Whitworth University will inaugurate its 18th president, Beck A. Taylor, on Friday, Oct. 15, at 3 p.m. in the Fieldhouse on Whitworth's campus. Members of the Spokane community are invited to join in the inaugural celebration with Whitworth trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni, local and state leaders, and delegates from educational institutions across the country, including 10 college and university presidents.

Also taking part in the ceremony will be all three living former Whitworth presidents — Robert H. Mounce, Arthur De Jong, and William P. Robinson — who collectively led the university through the past three decades of its 120-year history. Video and podcasts of the ceremony and of other inauguration week events are available at
Parking for members of the media will be available in the paved area, adjacent to parking lot G5, located behind the Fieldhouse on the west end of campus. To view a map of campus, please visit

"I feel honored and blessed to serve as Whitworth University's 18th president," Taylor says. "My deepest values align with Whitworth's mission to provide an education of mind and heart through rigorous and open academic inquiry and the integration of Christian faith and learning. My hope is that the inauguration is an opportunity for all of Whitworth's constituents to gather and lift up that mission and celebrate God's blessing on the past, present and future of this great university."

Executive vice president for academic affairs and 1989 Whitworth alum Michael K. Le Roy will preside over the inauguration ceremony. Following an invocation by Assistant Professor of Theology Karen Peterson Finch, greetings will be extended by representatives of Whitworth's trustees, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and church leaders, as well as by Gonzaga University President Thayne M. McCulloh and Spokane Mayor Mary B. Verner. Laurie Lamon, a professor of English at Whitworth and a 1978 graduate, will present a poem composed for the occasion.

Mounce and De Jong will present the hood and symbol. Whitworth Board of Trustees Chair Walt Oliver, '67, will conduct the installation and President Emeritus Robinson will deliver the charge. Philip Eaton, president of Seattle Pacific University and a 1965 Whitworth alum, will offer a prayer of dedication.

Larry Burnley, vice president of intercultural relations, will then read from scripture. Andrew Westmoreland, president of Samford University, where Taylor served previously as dean of the Brock School of Business, will introduce Taylor. Following Taylor's inaugural address, Terry McGonigal, Whitworth's dean of spiritual life, will lead the closing prayer.

"We are looking forward to the inaugural week celebration with great anticipation," Oliver says. "The installation of Beck Taylor as Whitworth's 18th president is an historic event for the university, and we will seek to honor Whitworth's enduring mission of mind and heart through the inauguration week activities.”

In keeping with Taylor's desire to use the inauguration as an opportunity to lift up the university's mission, Whitworth is sponsoring the following events Oct. 11-15 revolving around the theme "Community of Courage." All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. For more information, please visit or call (509) 777-3449.

  • Monday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m.
    Spokane Community Panel, Bing Crosby Theatre, 901 W. Sprague
    Ted McGregor, publisher of The Inlander, will moderate a panel discussion on what it takes for Spokane to be a community of courage. Panelists include Breean Beggs, '85, civil rights attorney and former chief catalyst of the Spokane Center for Justice; Betsy Cowles, Cowles Company chair; Anne Kirkpatrick, Spokane Police chief; Lonnie Smith, senior pastor of Spokane's Bethel AME Church; and Julia Stronks, Whitworth professor of political science.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 12, 7 p.m.
    Chris Jordan Presentation, Weyerhaeuser Hall, Whitworth campus
    Chris Jordan is a Seattle-based photographer who is best known for his large-scale works depicting mass consumption and waste. His artwork, at once beautiful and disturbing, challenges people to consider the impact of our culture of consumerism.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 13, 7 p.m.
    Eleanor Clift, Weyerhaeuser Hall, Whitworth campus

    Clift, a contributing editor and political analyst at Newsweek who also serves on the board of the International Women's Media Foundation, will weave the "Community of Courage" theme into an inside look at national politics. Her lecture, delivered just weeks before the midterm elections, is titled "A View from Washington: A House Hopelessly Divided?"

  • Thursday, Oct. 14

    11 a.m.: Chapel Service, Seeley Mudd Chapel
    The Whitworth Community gathers together for worship each Thursday morning. Dale Bruner, professor emeritus of the Whitworth Theology Department, will be speaking.

    7 p.m.: Bruner-Welch Lecture, Weyerhaeuser Hall, Whitworth campus
    Renowned Whitworth theologian Jim Edwards, '67, who holds the Bruner-Welch Chair in Theology, will present a lecture, "Potentates, Priests and a Pariah: Reflections on Luke 3:1-2 about Divine Revelation in Human History."
  • Friday, Oct. 15

    3 p.m.: Inauguration Ceremony, Fieldhouse, Whitworth campusJoin the university community for the inauguration of Whitworth's 18th president, Beck A. Taylor.

    6 p.m.: Presidential Inaugural Reception & Dinner, Riverside Room, Spokane Convention CenterTo register for the inauguration banquet visit The registration deadline is Friday, Oct. 8. For information, contact Nancy Kessler at 800.532.4668 or 509.777.3449.

  • Saturday, Oct. 16, noon- 2 p.m.Presidential Inaugural Picnic, Whitworth Fieldhouse
    Inauguration celebration featuring a picnic lunch and live music. Cost: $8 per person, payable at the door.
  • Sunday, Oct. 17, 2 p.m.Whitworth Theatre presents its fall production, "Once Upon a Mattress," Cowles Memorial Auditorium, Whitworth campusGeneral admission $8; students and senior citizens (62 and up) $6. Call (509) 777-3707 or purchase online at
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The university, which has an enrollment of nearly 3,000 students, offers 60 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Greg Orwig, chief of staff, office of the president, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4580 or

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