Summer 2016

A Focus on Liberal Arts

Critical thinker, creative problem solver, strong writer, service focused, global citizen.

Since its inception, Whittier’s multidisciplinary curriculum has been carefully designed to prepare students for success in life and work. This is even more important in a world that has become smaller, more complex, and which is changing at an increasingly rapid pace.

And it is not just the world of higher education that appreciates the importance of a strong liberal arts curriculum, but employers more and more understand that hires with a well-rounded education will become their most valued long-term team members. Recent studies show that 80 percent of employers are seeking employees with the exact qualities that exemplify the Whittier graduate.

How this preparation is achieved is not a simple formula, but an effort that begins during orientation and continues over the student’s four years at Whittier, involving nearly every department on campus.

The goal of the Whittier liberal arts curriculum is encapsulated in the College’s 4 Cs approach— Community: functioning and thriving within a variety of communities; Communication: communicating perceptions, feelings, ideas, beliefs, and values with others; Culture: understanding differing cultural perspectives people bring to the challenge of being human; and Connections: making connections between people and ideas, between disciplines, between curricular and extra-curricular life.

Moreover, the Four Cs reach beyond the classroom to include study abroad, residential life, the Faculty Masters Program, the Cultural Center, career preparation, athletics programs, clubs, and organizations, all of which are also designed around these four tenets. But what exactly does this look like on the College campus?

Whittier students, regardless of major, have the opportunity to test out different areas of interest while progressing toward a degree. In the classroom, open discussions and presentations guide students’ understanding of new and familiar subjects. In the lab and in the field, faculty and student collaborative research brings to life the lessons learned in the classroom. Service projects, coordinated by Center for Engagement with Communities, encourage students to come up with creative solutions for a myriad of community issues. In the Campus Center, students will learn how to facilitate group meetings, edit a student newspaper, or organize a campus-wide event. And, in the Digital Liberal Arts Center, students and faculty are empowered to make full use of the digital technologies that are reshaping the way subjects are taught and transforming research throughout all disciplines.

All Whittier graduates—regardless of major or career goal—will leave with a greater understanding of how the world works, how knowledge is attained, the value of service, the importance of two-way communication, and the power of tolerance and diversity. A Whittier liberal arts education prepares students for any imaginable career from law and medicine to business and education, and for careers we have never heard of yet, but might be just right for that graduate.

In the following articles, faculty and administrators add important perspectives to how the College approaches education. And, you will read about current and former students who are perfect and diverse illustrations of the true nature and value of Whittier’s liberal arts curriculum.


Campus News

Exploring the culture of drug trafficking

Using humanities to deconstruct popular stereotypes.

Empowering the community through literacy

Welcoming the next generation to campus.

Ruth B. Shannon Center 25th Anniversary

Building a tradition of arts and culture in Whittier and beyond.

New health care leadership program launched

College partners with local agencies.

Music to our ears

Music department receives Neupert harpsichord.

New members of the Board of Trustees

Poet alumni and parents join the board.

Alumni News

Whittier Weekend: Poet Awards 2015

Outstanding Poets recognized for their significant impact on the College and beyond.


Celebrating 100 Years of Basketball

Continuing the legacy of the Purple and Gold.

Mike Neale to Head Poet Football Program

The Purple and Gold is set to reach new heights in 2016.

President’s Corner

From the President

It has been more than a decade since Whittier College commissioned a marketing study to learn about how prospective students see the College and what attracts them to our campus. Marketing studies always raise interesting questions about how we talk about what we do at Whittier, and this was no exception.


More ROCK contains video, photos, and links that we couldn’t fit into the latest issue of The ROCK Magazine. Take a look at the selections below for more information about the Whittier community!

Susan Egan and trustee Ruth B. Shannon

Ruth B. Shannon Center 25th Anniversary

Tony-nominated singer and actress Susan Egan performed along with Whittier College students and faculty members Stephen Cook and Danilo Lozano as part of the Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts 25th season celebrations.

Susan Egan and students.

Moments from the Shannon Center Celebration

See the moments from a special night at the Shannon Center with Susan Egan, accompanied by Whittier College student singers and faculty members Stephen Cook and Danilo Lozano.

Susan Egan

Watch Susan Egan perform at the Shannon Center

Relive highlights from Susan Egan’s performance alongside Whittier College students and faculty.

Whittier Weekend 2015 a Smashing Success

More than 1,000 Poets including alumni, families, students, and friends of the College participated in the 2015 Whittier Weekend festivities between October 23 and 25.

Whittier Weekend: Homecoming Festival

See photos from the Homecoming Festival at Whittier Weekend 2015.

Whittier Weekend: Golden Anniversary Brunch

See photos from the Golden Anniversary Brunch at Whittier Weekend 2015.