Close Menu

Whitworth University Names Scott McQuilkin Interim President

March 19, 2021

The Whitworth University Board of Trustees’ Executive Committee has selected Scott McQuilkin to serve as the university’s interim president, starting June 1, 2021. The selection was made during a called meeting of the committee on March 18. President Beck A. Taylor, Whitworth’s 18th president, recently announced his acceptance of the presidency at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., and will resign from Whitworth at the end of May. Whitworth’s full board will ratify McQuilkin’s selection at its April meeting.

“Dr. McQuilkin provides a deep wealth of experience in administration, education and leadership and brings vast knowledge of the inner workings and goals of the university,” says Brian Kirkpatrick, chair of Whitworth’s board of trustees. “He personifies the university’s mind-and-heart mission and brings to each of his roles a focus on faith, integrity and excellence in serving our campus and the greater community.”

McQuilkin graduated from Whitworth in 1984 with a degree in physical education and minors in math and religion, and he played for the Pirates baseball team. He began his employment at Whitworth in 1985 and has successfully served the university in a number of leadership positions during his tenure. Since 2009, he has been the university’s vice president for institutional advancement.  

In addition to earning his undergraduate degree from Whitworth, McQuilkin earned his master’s degree in health sciences from Whitworth and then went on to earn his Ph.D. in exercise and sport science from The Pennsylvania State University. He has served the university in various faculty, coaching and administrative roles, including as a tenured professor and chair of the kinesiology department; as head baseball coach; and as athletic director for 14 years. During his tenure as director, Whitworth Athletics won numerous conference championships as well as the coveted McIlroy-Lewis All-Sports Trophy, which recognizes the Northwest Conference’s best overall intercollegiate athletics program, three times. McQuilkin has also taught in Whitworth’s acclaimed Core worldview studies program.

As vice president for institutional advancement, McQuilkin oversees a 40-person operation responsible for fundraising, marketing and communications, The Whitworth Foundation, university events, alumni and parent relations, donor relations, and advancement services. He has partnered with President Taylor to lead the largest fundraising effort in the university’s history, the Campaign for Whitworth, which concludes in June. The comprehensive campaign has raised more than $150 million to support capital projects, student scholarships and academic excellence, and it positions the university for future growth. 

McQuilkin has served on numerous community and statewide nonprofit boards including in his current role as chair of the board for Northwest Harvest.

“The board’s selection of Scott McQuilkin to lead Whitworth through this transition period is an inspired one,” Taylor says. “Having worked closely with Scott since I arrived at Whitworth in 2010, I know him to be a faithful Christian, a talented leader, and someone who understands Whitworth’s mind-and-heart mission – as an alumnus, a parent, an employee, and as a member of the president’s cabinet. Scott will serve Whitworth with excellence.”

The board of trustees will meet in April to lay out a plan for a national search and timeline to select Whitworth’s 19th president. 

“It will be a privilege to serve the university in this interim role until Whitworth’s next president is selected,” McQuilkin says. “I cannot imagine a better collection of faculty and staff colleagues to work alongside in service of our students. I am especially grateful for Beck Taylor’s leadership over these past 11 years. His tenure has been nothing short of exceptional. Beck has led us with intelligence, grace, courage and compassion.” McQuilkin stated he will not be a candidate for the permanent position.

Kirkpatrick expressed his appreciation for McQuilkin, saying, “We are fortunate to have a leader who knows our community so intimately and who can carry forward our strategic vision even while we begin a search for our next president.” 

Gregor Thuswaldner, Whitworth’s provost & executive vice president, added, “I am excited for Dr. Scott McQuilkin to lead Whitworth as interim president. Scott has served Whitworth for decades in various capacities. He has earned the trust of many Whitworth constituents, and I believe he is the right person to lead Whitworth in the months ahead. I look forward to working closely with Scott in his new role as we begin the search for Whitworth’s next president.”

McQuilkin is married to Janice (Rasmussen) McQuilkin ’85 and has three children, all Whitworth graduates, Morgan ’12, Kelsey ’14 and Tyler ’16. 

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


Trisha Coder, media relations manager, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or