Whitworth University

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Whitworth University
Former names
Whitworth College
Motto Education of Mind and Heart
Type Private
Established 1890, 128 years ago
Affiliation Presbyterian Church (USA)
Endowment $125.9 million[1]
President Beck A. Taylor
Academic staff
154 Full-time
Students 2,630[2]
Undergraduates 2,291[3]
Postgraduates 339[4]
Location Spokane, Washington, U.S.
47°45′14″N 117°25′05″W / 47.754°N 117.418°W / 47.754; -117.418Coordinates: 47°45′14″N 117°25′05″W / 47.754°N 117.418°W / 47.754; -117.418
Campus Suburban
200 acres (0.81 km2)

Crimson, Black

Athletics Division III (NCAA)
Nickname Pirates, Bucs
Website www.whitworth.edu
Whitworth university logo horizontal.png
George F. Whitworth around the time he founded the college

Whitworth University is a private Christian liberal arts college in the northwest United States, located in Spokane, Washington. Founded in 1890, Whitworth is a private, residential, liberal arts institution affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Its community of teacher-scholars is committed to rigorous and open intellectual inquiry and to the integration of Christian faith and learning.‌

Whitworth offers bachelor's and master's degrees in a variety of academic disciplines. With an enrollment of nearly three thousand, it offers over one hundred undergraduate and graduate programs.[5]


In 1883, George F. Whitworth established the Sumner Academy in Sumner, a small town in Washington Territory, east of Tacoma. Incorporated as Whitworth College in 1890, it relocated to Tacoma in 1899. When a Spokane developer offered land just before World War I, the college moved once more, and classes were held for the first time in Spokane in September 1914. Whitworth merged with Spokane Junior College in 1942, when the latter shut down due to financial difficulties during World War II.[6]

The board of trustees voted to change the institution's name to Whitworth University in 2006, which became effective July 1, 2007.[7]


Whitworth's campus in northern Spokane has 200 acres (0.81 km2) of stately pines, wide-open green spaces. and first-rate facilities. In 2009, Whitworth opened a University District (U-District) location near downtown Spokane, expanding program offerings for nontraditional evening students and providing an ideal location with shorter commutes for working professionals.

Due to an expanding student body, the university has invested more than $110 million in campus improvements in recent years. In 2015, the university recently renovated the Cowles Music Center, which remodeled the existing space and added 21,481 square feet (1,996 m2) of new teaching studios, practice rooms, rehearsal rooms, and lobby space to the structure.[6]

In 2011, the Robinson Science Hall was dedicated. This 63,000-square-foot (5,900 m2) building was built for biology and chemistry sciences, and also for many math courses as well. The Robinson Science Hall is part of a three-phase expansion that includes renovations of the Eric Johnston Science Center, which is the current building for plant biology, physics, and other courses in the science, technology, engineering, and math degrees that Whitworth offers. [8]

Whitworth is committed to sustainable approaches for new and existing construction and to pursuing LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).


Whitworth enrolls students in traditional undergraduate programs, working adult programs and graduate programs in athletic training, business, marriage and family counseling, education and theology. The university offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate academic programs built on a strong liberal arts foundation and enriched by experiential learning opportunities such as internships, service learning, research with professors and study abroad.

The average class size is under 30 students, and there are 339 employed faculty; the student/faculty ratio is 12:1.


The university currently includes four schools: College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Education, and School of Continuing Education; and offers 107 undergraduate academic majors and programs, 5 graduate programs, and 7 adult bachelor's degree completion programs.[13]


In 2018, Whitworth ranked #2 in Best Undergrad Teaching (West), #5 Best Value Schools (West), #5 Best Colleges for Veterans (West), in U.S. News & World Report. For the 17th consecutive year, Whitworth also ranked one of the top 10 best universities out of 118 master's-level universities in the 15-state region of the Western United States.[7] Forbes ranked Whitworth in the top 100 of America's Top Colleges rankings.[9] Kiplinger's consistently recognizes Whitworth as a top-rated institution, along with some of the country’s most elite schools, based on the university’s high four-year graduation rate, low average student debt at graduation, good student-to-faculty ratio, excellent on-campus resources, and overall great value.


Whitworth's athletics teams are the Pirates (or, unofficially, the Bucs). The university offers 20 varsity sports and competes in the Northwest Conference of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III. Men's sports include cross country, football, basketball, swimming, track and field (indoor and outdoor), golf, tennis, soccer and baseball; women compete in soccer, volleyball, basketball, swimming, track and field (indoor and outdoor), golf, tennis, and softball.

Whitworth has won a total of 11 Northwest Conference McIlroy-Lewis All-Sports Trophies, including the last ten in a row (2008–2016). The Northwest Conference All-Sports Trophy recognizes athletic excellence among Northwest Conference institutions across all fields of competition.

Students can participate in a variety of intramural and club sports/activities: ultimate frisbee, volleyball, soccer, tennis, etc. Club frisbee is also offered to all students.

Student life[edit]

The Associated Students of Whitworth University ("ASWU") is in charge of the clubs and activities on campus.[10] The ASWU is composed of three executive officers, who coordinate the student government and who lead the student body, several dorm senators and representatives who represent specific living areas and hold voting power, and coordinators who are responsible for programming in specialized areas (i.e., Outdoor Recreation, Intramurals, Special Events). The ASWU Assembly, composed of all the positions mentioned above, gathers weekly and all student are welcome to attend. Elections for its offices (e.g. President, Vice President, Senator) take place annually.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

Northwest Conference


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2011. "U.S. News & World Report". Retrieved June 15, 2016. 
  2. ^ [1] Facts About Whitworth University page provides enrollment numbers
  3. ^ [2] Facts About Whitworth University page provides undergraduate enrollment numbers
  4. ^ [3] Facts About Whitworth University page provides graduate enrollment numbers
  5. ^ [4] Fall 2011 press releases boilerplates identifying enrollment, program numbers
  6. ^ "Junior College joins Whitworth". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). February 20, 1942. p. 3. 
  7. ^ [5] Press release details Whitworth's name change
  8. ^ https://www.whitworth.edu/Academic/Department/Biology/Facilities.htm
  9. ^ "Whitworth University". Forbes. 
  10. ^ "Associated Students of Whitworth University". whitworthaswu.com. Retrieved 2016-06-22. 
  11. ^ "The 2008 Time 100". Time. April 30, 2009. 
  12. ^ Kevin Parker biography at Washington State House Republicans
  13. ^ Additional Whitworth Facts: http://www.whitworth.edu/GeneralInformation/WhitworthFacts/AdditionalFacts.htm#Alumni
  14. ^ Maben, Scott (2013-06-17). "Ray Stone, former Coeur d'Alene mayor, dies". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 2013-07-14. 

External links[edit]