Board of Trustees approves $100 million campaign

by Robert Giffin

During Thursday and Friday of last week, the Whitworth Board of Trustees met and authorized the Campaign for Whitworth among other decisions. The $100 million campaign will raise money for everything from faculty and staff development to enhancing the school’s honors programs.

Since the private or “quiet” phase of the Campaign began on July 1 of 2010, it has raised $56 million, more than half of the Campaign’s mission. During this phase, the most significant and longstanding donors were asked to give money. The success that the Campaign has been seeing so far is indicative of how much support there is for Whitworth’s mission, said Tad Wisenor, campaign director in institutional advancement.

The public phase of the project will continue for another three years, ending on June 30, 2017. During this time, anybody is allowed to donate money to any of the eight projects that are part of the Campaign for Whitworth. Among these are faculty development, honors programs and scholarships. A full list of these projects and links for donation can be found on

“The whole reason for going public is to get everyone from the Whitworth family involved in these projects,” Wisenor said.

One major project which the Campaign will raise money for is the renovation and construction of the Music Building on campus. The $13.5 million renovation will expand the Music Building, adding new classrooms and performance spaces for students.

If the $13.5 million is raised, construction will begin in the spring or summer of 2015. Full completion of the project is projected to be finished by fall of 2016.

“The whole music department is extremely important,” Gerald Gemmill, vice president of finance and administration and music building design committee member said. “In many ways it is the face of Whitworth.”

It will be very exciting to see how a new music building will continue to improve the music department here at Whitworth, freshman Jeff DeBray said.

“Short term, it will be very beneficial to the music students and the department,” DeBray said. “They have their stuff together and from what I have heard and seen of them they should have a good building.”

The $100 million goal for the Campaign for Whitworth is the largest in school history. The large amount of resources needed to complete Whitworth 125, the 10 year development plan for Whitworth, prompted action. The timing for the public phase of the Campaign also coincided with Whitworth’s 125 celebration, Wisenor said.

Although the Campaign may seem like a fundraiser in which only the wealthy can make a difference, it is important to remember that everyone has a part to play in it, Gemmill said. Whitworth is not alone in its struggle to reach $100 million; it is a mission in which the entire Spokane community has become involved in.

“All people play an important role,” Gemmill said.

While the Campaign for Whitworth will not be completed for another three years, the long term goals from the fundraising, if successful, will provide services for Whitworth students for years to come.

Contact Robert Giffin at

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