I could go on and on about the diverse skill set of critical analysis, problem-solving, written and oral communication, and collaboration Whitman grads bring to the table every moment of their lives, whether it’s Simeon Osborn ’80, trial lawyer of the year, stepping into the courtroom, or Curt Bowen ’07 developing new sustainable agricultural practices in partnership with Guatemalan farmers. However, given my obvious bias, I’ll refrain and humbly pass along a more independent testimonial.
Here is A.G. Lafley, longtime Chairman of Proctor & Gamble, explaining why he believes the liberal arts are so valuable: “A Liberal Education: Preparation for Career Success”
If you’re still not convinced, or would just like to take advantage of this great opportunity to learn more about Whitman, check out the Ask a Parent and Ask an Alum pages. Parents of prospective students are encouraged to use this great resource as well!
Our third entry in the “Why Whitman?” series comes from Lauren McCullough, a Politics major from Wilsonville, Oregon. Happy writing to all you ED applicants working on your own Why Whitman essays!
When I applied to college, I knew there were a few qualities I had to have in my college experience. The first was a small school with a strong sense of community, so I exclusively considered tiny liberal arts colleges. I was interested in all things Humanities and Social Sciences, so it didn’t make sense for me to pick a school based on only one of those departments. Actually, I guess the requirement was a well-rounded college strong in all academic departments. Looking back, this was an excellent decision: I’ve changed my major four times before happily settling down in the Politics department!
After these basic size and academic considerations, the student body was the most important component to me. I wanted to be a part of an eclectic, intelligent student body where people were also quirky and friendly.
I already knew Whitman fit this profile well because both my brother and sister attended. However, not surprisingly, I thought I would never go to the same school as both my siblings. Yet, when I went and visited schools, Whitman stood out for me above the rest. Current students were all friendly and the professors were fascinating during Admitted Students Day and my time there really convinced me that Whitman was a school I would be happy and not at all seen as anyone’s little sister.
I was also comforted by the fact that my two siblings, who have very different personalities and interests both thrived at Whitman. My sister was involved with theater and art and majored in Psychology. My brother, on the other hand, majored in Philosophy, played varsity soccer, was active in Greek life, and tutored local elementary students.
Ultimately, I chose Whitman because it felt right, academically and socially, and because I was confident that I would be happy here. When I was forced to think about where I truly wanted to spend the next four years of my life, Whitman stood out as the right place; almost four years later I’m glad to say I was right!
Next up another senior intern, Chris Bendix, a philosophy major and captain of the swim team from Newcastle, WA, explains why he picked Whitman.
I chose to attend Whitman for three reasons: First, I knew that I wanted to go small. I sat in on very large lecture class at a state school and it was, to be completely honest, really horrible. I’m the type of person that asks questions constantly so I knew immediately that I would not be able to learn well in that type of environment. Second, I wanted to get to know my professors. College is a very rare chance not just to be surrounded by bright classmates but also by hundreds of people who are experts in their fields. How often does the opportunity arise to be surrounded by that many ridiculously smart people? To attend a college without having access to the faculty members would be like watching the first Lord of the Rings movie without any sound. It would be pretty, and probably exciting, but it I would leave feeling like I’d missed something. Sure I could see parts two and three in full (master’s degree and PhD) and still know what’s going on, but I would still feel like I got a little shortchanged on the first movie. That was a rather long and tedious metaphor, I know, but hopefully it made sense. Third, I didn’t want to be in an urban environment. My brother graduated from Seattle University, which is literally in downtown Seattle. That is not for me. I’m a cyclist, a runner, and someone who generally likes to get outside easily, so living in the heart of a city for four years was not my idea of an ideal environment.
To recap, I came to Whitman because it was small, I’d get to interact with my professors and build relationships, and it was in a place where I could pursue my love of outdoor rec to the maximum extent away from the big city. For me, it was as close to perfect a college as I could hope to find.
One of the officer staffs’ favorite parts of the application to read is the “Why Whitman” piece of the Whitman supplement. To provide you with inspiration as you ponder your response, we’ve asked our senior interns to look back and rewrite their “Why Whitman” essays four years later. We’ll be posting them here throughout the fall.
First up is Ruby Glaser, a psychology major/education minor from Weston, CT:
Choosing a college was far from an easy decision for me. Restless nights, stressed days, and angst beyond the normal teenage level were the constants of my life the April of my senior year. I was excited and passionate about my college search, ready to leave my small East Coast hometown and start a new adventure. I knew I wanted a small, liberal arts college that mirrored the close-knit community of my high school. I visited nearly 25 schools, and while satisfied by my visits, I was never overly excited or enthused. The campuses were all beautiful and home to more activities and classes than I would ever be able to experience. The thing that kept me from falling in love was the classroom experience. I had sat in on classes at every school I visited, and I found the environment to be intense and competitive, which was frustratingly the exact thing I was trying to get away from.
Then I came and visited Whitman – it was a breath of fresh air. There was an aura of community and support; it was obvious the students were working together in a collaborative effort to learn together. It was about the knowledge being gained, not about besting each other. I felt like I could voice any idea that popped into my mind during discussion, approach the professor with the silliest questions, and brainstorm with my peers on any issue I was having. This was the nurturing classroom environment that I was craving. This was the element that put Whitman over the edge for me. I was already sold on the gorgeous campus, amazing facilities, endless clubs and activities, and Northwest location, so all I needed was that incredible classroom experience to help me make the decision. Whitman was the place for me, it just took a while to see it.