Close Menu

Whitworth University Board of Trustees Elects Four New Members and Two Lifetime Members

May 4, 2016
The Whitworth University Board of Trustees is honored to welcome Andrew T. Erickson, ’84, Dr. David John Flesher, ’81, Alycia Gebbers, and the Rev. Gayle B. Parker, all of whom were elected during the board’s April meeting. Also during the meeting, Charles “Chuck” Boppell, ’65, and David Myers, ’64, were elected as board of trustee lifetime members.

“This new class of trustees represents the best of Whitworth – individuals who believe in our Christ-centered academic mission and who are ready to contribute their time, leadership and voices to support our students, faculty and staff,” says Whitworth President Beck A. Taylor. “Each person brings his or her own experiences with Whitworth, either as an alum or as a current or former parent, so each knows the transformative power of Whitworth’s mind-and-heart mission.”

Andrew T. Erickson

Erickson is a partner at Washington Fruit & Produce Co., based in Yakima, a grower, packer and shipper of apples, pears and cherries. Erickson graduated from Whitworth in 1984, and also serves on the Whitworth Business Advisory Board.

Erickson and his wife, Caroline, ’85, have three daughters, Taylor, Brett, ’13, and Madeline.

Dr. David John Flesher 

Flesher is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in general orthopedics and sports medicine. He has practiced at Orthopedic Associates, in Oklahoma City, since 1991. He graduated from Whitworth in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and from the University of Oklahoma’s College of Medicine in 1985. He then completed his residency and fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, in Baltimore, Maryland.

Flesher is past president of the board of the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, which he has served since 2005. He enjoys all outdoor activities, including cycling, skiing and hiking.  In 2000, he participated in the Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Hawaii. He and his wife Lisa, ’81, have two children: a daughter, Rachel, and son, Ryan.

Alycia Gebbers 

Gebbers is employed with Gebbers Farms, primarily in the cattle and logging operations. Gebbers Farms is a multigenerational, family-operated farm located in Brewster, Wash., and is the largest provider of apples and cherries to the Northwest U.S. The business also raises cattle, logs trees, and owns Gamble Sands Golf Resort.

Gebbers is a musician and a former college athlete. She and her husband, Cass, have four children, all of whom have attended Whitworth, and four grandchildren. Their sons, Clay,’11, and Wade, ‘13, and daughter Corina, ’15, graduated from Whitworth’s School of Business, and daughter Andie Lee, ’17, is currently a student in the School of Education.

Rev. Gayle B. Parker

Parker is a pastor at The Spring Church, in Arizona.  She graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary with a master’s in divinity. Before serving at The Spring, Parker served two established churches in the Phoenix area – as an associate pastor at Scottsdale Presbyterian and, for 14 years, as senior pastor of Historic First Presbyterian, in inner-city Phoenix.

She is married to Rev. Tom Parker, an ordained minister who is director of Fuller Seminary Arizona and who also serves as a pastor at The Spring Church. The Parkers have three sons, two of whom are alumni of Whitworth and married to Whitworth alums. They recently welcomed two beautiful grandchildren into their growing family.

Charles “Chuck” Boppell

Charles "Chuck" Boppell
“There is perhaps not a single name more synonymous with campus leadership over the past quarter century than Chuck Boppell,” says President Taylor. “Chuck served with distinction as board chair for almost the entirety of President Bill Robinson’s 17-year tenure, and together, Chuck and Bill presided over one of the most exciting and successful periods in Whitworth’s history. Naming Chuck a lifetime trustee is a befitting honor for someone who has given so much of himself to Whitworth.”

Boppell is an icon in the Whitworth community for his years of support and leadership. The deanship of the School of Business is named in his honor, and the construction of Boppell Hall was made possible through the generosity of Chuck and his wife Karlyn, in recognition of their family’s strong relationship with Whitworth over four generations. Boppell graduated in 1965 with a degree in economics, and Karlyn is a 1967 graduate in music. Their daughter, Tauni, graduated with the Whitworth Class of 1990.

Boppell is past president and CEO of Worldwide Restaurant Concepts; the company owned and franchised more than 400 restaurants around the globe at the time of his retirement. He began his career in the food industry right after his graduation from Whitworth, when he joined Saga Corporation. Boppell later held senior leadership positions at Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Godfather Pizza, and Sizzler International, which became Worldwide Restaurant Concepts.

 David Myers

David Myers
“Every president dreams of having a Dave Myers on his or her board,” says President Taylor. “Dave brings important academic experience as he leads the board’s Academic Affairs Committee, and in that leadership role, Dave is masterful at translating the values and mechanics of a quality academic program to board members who come from outside higher education. Additionally, Dave is a tireless advocate for Whitworth’s mission that simultaneously embraces the importance of ideas and the integration of Christian faith and learning. He is a Whitworth treasure.”

Myers, an award-winning author of numerous social psychology books and articles, is also a professor of psychology at Hope College, in Michigan. He has digested psychological research for the public through articles in four dozen magazines, from Scientific American to Christian Century, and through 17 general-interest books and textbooks. His scientific writings, supported by National Science Foundation grants and fellowships, have appeared in three dozen academic periodicals, including Science, the American Scientist, the American Psychologist, and Psychological Science. Myers’ research and writings have been recognized with the Gordon Allport Prize, with an "honored scientist" award from the Federation of Associations in the Brain and Behavioral Sciences, with the Award for Distinguished Service on Behalf of Personality-Social Psychology, and with three honorary doctorates.

Myers and his wife, Carol, married while they were undergraduates at Whitworth, and are parents of three adult children: sons Peter and Andrew, and daughter Laura.

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 more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Scott McQuilkin, vice president for institutional advancement, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4386 or

Lauren Clark, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or