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Whitworth to Honor Verne Windham with Distinguished Community Service Award

January 31, 2023

Whitworth University will honor musician, conductor and former Spokane Public Radio host Verne Windham with the Distinguished Community Service Award at Spring Convocation on Feb. 2 at 11 a.m. in Cowles Auditorium.

Windham retired from Spokane Public Radio in July 2022 after spending nearly 40 years at KPBX. He held numerous positions at the station during his career including librarian, music director, program director, and host of Morning Classical and Concert of the Week.  

Windham’s passion for music and teaching has made him an icon throughout the Inland Northwest. He has served as the choir director at Westminster United Church of Christ and as the conductor for the Spokane Ballet and Spokane Opera. But, perhaps he’s best known for his impact on the youth of Spokane, having conducted the Spokane Youth Symphony from 1996 to 2011. 

Windham received his master’s degree from Washington State University and went on to become a visiting lecturer at several area universities, including Whitworth University.

In nominating Windham for this award, Whitworth Professor of Music Ben Brody and Professor Emeritus of English Leonard Oakland stated, “Vern has been a supporter of Whitworth University for decades. He has taught as an adjunct for Whitworth, but more importantly has promoted the arts at Whitworth on KPBX. Verne has produced the annual broadcast of (Whitworth’s) Christmas Festival Concerts on KPBX, and has hosted dozens of Whitworth students performing solo repertoire on KPBX during MusicFest Northwest. Verne has mentored generations of Whitworth students in his various roles for nearly four decades. His service to the university and to its students has been highly significant.”

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