Dear Whittier College Community,
We joined the Whittier College Board of Trustees because we believe in a Liberal Arts education and embrace the College’s values of diversity, justice, equity, community, belonging, discovery, innovation, and respect.
As we look into and beyond the current academic year, we are each vested and committed to enabling student success in the classroom, co-curricular activities, and as alumni in the professional world. Together with President Linda Oubré, her administrative team, and the faculty, we have reaffirmed graduation rates as our most important indicator, especially for first-generation college students who have always been the hallmark of Whittier College.
While we all share a commitment to student success, your Board respects the responsibility of the Executive team and staff to reconcile the College’s competing priorities while moving toward a more sustainable future. Each member of your Board of Trustees is committed to supporting this work through active engagement with the College. We are also committed to transparency and establishing policies to strengthen the College and to proudly represent Whittier in our respective professional communities.
We should all celebrate the College’s many accomplishments, especially the fact that the College’s yield is the highest it has been in five years, first year retention is also the best in five years, and this year’s new student enrollment increased by 16% from 2020.
Our shared work and values were recently affirmed through the support of McKenzie Scott. She joins thousands of alumni, community members, and foundations whose support results in critical financial aid, making Whittier College accessible to all students. It is our collective responsibility to share our talents, time, and treasure, and protect Whittier College from threats to the institution.
It is important to highlight the critical role of the faculty in setting curricula and advocating for resources that strengthen the educational experience of our students. We are grateful for the quality of instruction and mentorship you bestow to our students. Your work is at the center of our success.
A very special thank you to Linda Oubré, our Whittier College President, for her advancement of our values, recognizing that fulfilling our mission requires inclusive leadership. She has the full support of every single member of the Board of Trustees.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen and participated in many honest and respectful discussions on how to best advance our shared values and purpose within our limited resources. We want to encourage the continued sharing of ideas on how to adapt our model to a society and economy of the future, always protecting our values while giving us permission to be bold.
On behalf of each of us, please accept a heartfelt thank you. Thank you for the important role each of you play in making the Whittier College community a truly special place for learning and growth.
Whittier College Board of Trustees, September 2021
Miguel A. Santana ’91, Chair
Richard Lichtenstein P’16, Secretary
James R. Parks, Treasurer
Harold E. Allen ’84
Fred D. Anderson ’66
Michael L. Brown ’79
Christopher T. Cross ’62
Barbara (Ondrasik) Groce ’57
Carey (Baker) Halio ’95
Helen Newton Hartung P’13
Yukiyasu Hayashi P’10
Jascha Kaykas-Wolff ’98
Matthew J. Knight
Alan H. Lund ’71
Meghan Morrissey P’16
Leda (Mintzer) Muller ’88
Anne O’Donnell P’18
Bharat Patel P’16
Francisco C. Rodriguez
Yvonne Romero da Silva
Vincent E. Vigil ’02
Stephanie Wiggins ’92
Kenya L. Williams WLS’10
Robert Zemsky ’62