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Whitworth University to Celebrate the Inauguration of President Scott McQuilkin on Oct. 14

October 6, 2022

Be a part of Whitworth’s history as the university installs Scott A. McQuilkin, Ph.D., as its 19th president on Friday, Oct. 14. The university will honor his installation with a formal investiture ceremony at 1:30 p.m. in the Whitworth Fieldhouse, followed by a reception at 3 p.m. in The Loop. All are welcome to attend both events.

The ceremony will include a welcome by Provost & Executive Vice President Gregor Thuswaldner; a land acknowledgment reading by Sophia TurningRobe ’25; a prayer of invocation from the Rev. Forrest Buckner, dean of spiritual life, and an introduction of President McQuilkin by Whitworth’s 18th President Beck A. Taylor. Greetings will be extended by trustee Shelly O’Quinn ’97, Faculty President Dawn Keig, staff representative Brandon Pyle ’05 and Associated Students of Whitworth University President Georgia Goff ’24. 

During the investiture, Taylor will present the symbol; Brian Kirkpatrick, chair of the Whitworth Board of Trustees, will deliver the oath of office and conduct the installation; and Whitworth President Emeritus Bill Robinson will deliver the charge. Litzy Soltero ’25 and Jude Ruetschle '25 will read from Scripture, and McQuilkin will give his inaugural address, titled “Because…” Roberta Wilburn, Whitworth’s interim chief diversity officer, will conclude the ceremony with the benediction. The Whitworth Wind Symphony and Whitworth Choir will perform throughout the event.

“We will be joined in this special celebration by members of the Spokane community and the academy from all over the nation, and we will bear communal witness to Scott McQuilkin’s leadership and vision for Whitworth’s future,” says Tad Wisenor ’89, senior associate vice president for institutional advancement and inauguration committee chair. “It is my hope that all members of the university community will choose to participate, as we come together to celebrate our shared mission and commitment to who we are and what we believe in, and to pray for what’s ahead.”

About President Scott McQuilkin

McQuilkin has been part of the Whitworth community for four decades. He has been a student, professor, baseball coach, athletic director and vice president for institutional advancement. He became interim president in June 2021 and assumed the official title of president in February 2022.

“We are so pleased to have Scott leading Whitworth,” Kirkpatrick says. “No one knows our university better or cares more about our mission to serve our students well. As evidenced by his long list of leadership roles and success here and range of experience, Scott truly became the clear, joyous choice to be our 19th president. I look forward to continuing to work with Scott and seeing him lead us with passion, creativity and care.”   

McQuilkin is just the second Whitworth alum to lead the university. Mark Koehler was the first (1964-69). He becomes only the third person to serve as president in the last 29 years. He succeeds Taylor (2010-21) and Robinson (1993-2010). Robinson’s tenure as president was the second longest in Whitworth’s history and one of the most influential.

“I have never seen a new president as well suited for a university as President McQuilkin is for Whitworth,” Robinson says. “He knows the university, he loves it, he has led two major departments within it, and he embodies its mission. I have been in conversation with Scott for over 29 years. From our earliest times together, I have been amazed to see the way he unites authentic humility with sturdy confidence. He listens, learns and doesn’t blink when it’s time to act. Furthermore, he is a person of honor. In the 17 years we worked together and the 12 years since, never have I seen a hint of Scott putting himself in front of the mission or the institution. Finally, in addition to these qualities of character, he is incredibly talented. He is charismatic, he is extremely smart, and he succeeds. His giftedness, high integrity and low self-importance will inspire the trust of the entire university community. Scott McQuilkin, along with his strong, smart and gracious partner Janice, will safeguard Whitworth’s mission and fill its future with bright hope.”

McQuilkin’s wife, Janice ’85, along with his three children, Morgan ’12, Kelsey ’14 and Tyler ’16, all Whitworth alumni, will attend the day’s celebrations. To learn more about the inauguration or watch it live on Oct. 14, click here

Whitworth’s Family Weekend 2022 coincides with this historical event. We welcome all those attending to take part in the inauguration and reception and to enjoy a weekend full of festivities and events including Whitworth Theatre’s fall main-stage production, The Sound of Music, a Pirates volleyball game, the Whitworth Wind Symphony’s performance at St. Luke Lutheran Church and more. 

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 2,500 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


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