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Academics

If learning can be both rigorous and laid-back at the same time, it happens at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA. The “challenging” academics here are coupled with a “relaxed attitude” in order to give students “the best education possible without sacrificing all the fun one expects of college.” Populated mainly by “intelligent, ambitious liberals with far-reaching goals,” this somewhat idealistic school seeks to build critical thinking skills through “an earnest discourse about ’life, the universe, and everything.’” So no one starts off with a blank slate, all first-year students are required to take a course referred to as “Encounters” which is a two semester introduction to the liberal arts and the academic construction of knowledge. Distribution requirements ensure that all students get a breadth of courses, and a lack of TAs ensures that they get all the attention they need. Although there’s always a dud or two in the mix, professors are “genuinely brilliant and interesting people” and “love to spend time with students outside of class,” whether it be for academic help or just conversation. “It is not uncommon to have potlucks, classes, or movie night over at your professor’s house with your class,” says one student.

On the administrative side of things, bureaucracy and red tape are kept to a minimum in this chill environment through “effortless use of the ‘system’” and the administration gets raves all around for its devotion to “maintaining quality student life,” which is something of a rarity. “I have never heard of any college being as supportive as this place has been to me in just the past two years,” says a student. As one can imagine, all these things come together to form a student body that’s “happy, well-balanced, and well-cared-for.”

Student Body

It’s a sociable bunch at Whitman, where most students “are interested in trying new things and meeting new people” and “everyone seems to have a weird interest or talent or passion.” The quirky Whitties “usually have a strong opinion about something,” and one freshman refers to her classmates as “cool nerds.” Diversity has risen steadily over the past several years, as the school has made an effort to recruit beyond the typical “midto upperclass and white” contingent. Everyone here is pretty outdoorsy and environmentally aware (“to the point where you almost feel guilty for printing an assignment”), and a significant number of students have won fellowships and scholarships such as the Fulbright, Watson, Truman, and Udall.

Campus Life

Most people stay on campus for their fun, “especially first-years,” and throughout this “bubble” the “sense of closeness and comradeship is very evident through attendance at student-run concerts, art shows, etc.” Everything is within ten minutes’ walking distance. Academics take precedence for almost everyone, but “most students find time to party on the weekends,” due to a “lenient and fair” alcohol policy. Thanks to the campus activities board, “there’s almost always something fun going on, whether or not a person chooses to drink,” such as Drive-In Movie Night and Casino Night. With “four beautiful seasons,” outdoor activities are also very popular, thanks to “a great gear rental program that gets people outside hiking, biking, kayaking, and rock-climbing,” and “Frisbees are everywhere when it’s warm.” In fact, there’s so much going on “if someone says they are bored, students laugh and wish they could relate.”

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Mary Beth Ehrhardt
Campus Visit Coordinator

Address
Office of Admission
345 Boyer Ave.
Walla Walla, WA 99362

Phone
509-522-4423

Email
visit@whitman.edu

Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Reid Campus Center
Ankeny Field (Main Quad)
Baker Ferguson Fitness Center
Penrose Library
Harper Joy Theatre

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Whitman Mission National Historic Site
Local wineries
Main Street - National Historic District (less than 1 mile away)
Fort Walla Walla Museum
Bluewood and Spout Springs ski areas

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday-Friday; Saturday
8:30am-4:30pm M-F; 9am-1pm Sat.
509-522-4423

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Mon-Fri 9am,11am,and 2:30pm;Sat 11am
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews
Yes

Information Sessions
Available

Times
Year round

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Year-round

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
1 week

Contact Email Address for Visit
visit@whitman.edu

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Available

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Limitations
Sun-Thurs nights only

Transportation

Types of Transportation Available to Campus
A 10-minute drive from campus, the Walla Walla Airport is served by Alaska/Horizon Air, which offers daily flights to Walla Walla with connections through Seattle, WA. For city bus service from the airport to the campus or downtown, call Valley Transit (509-525-9140) to arrange for boarding (bus transportation from the airport Monday-Friday only). Rental cars in Walla Walla are available from Budget (509-525-8811), Hertz (509-522-3321), and Dollar (509-527-0812). For city taxi service, call A-1 Taxi (509-529-2525). Greyhound Bus Lines (509-525-9313, 800-231-2222) serves Walla Walla with daily connections from Pendleton, OR, Pasco WA, Spokane, WA, and Seattle. Delta Airlines, Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air and United Express provide additional air service with flights to Pasco (47 miles west of Walla Walla). Major rental car companies are on-site at the Pasco Airport.

Driving Instructions to Campus
If you are traveling to Walla Walla (from east or west) on Highway 12, take the Clinton Street exit and proceed 6 blocks south on Clinton to Boyer Avenue. Turn right on Boyer. Penrose House (the office of admission) is 1 block ahead on the northwest corner of Boyer and Stanton. Parking is in the driveway of Penrose House. If you are traveling from south of Walla Walla, Highway 11 from Pendleton, OR, becomes Highway 125 at the Washington State line, and then becomes Ninth Ave. when it enters Walla Walla. Drive north on Ninth to Poplar. Turn right on Poplar St. and continue to Park St. Make a left on Park St. and travel one block to Boyer Ave. Turn right on Boyer and drive through campus to Penrose House on the northwest corner of Boyer and Stanton.

Local Accommodations
Within walking distance are the Travelodge (421 E. Main St., 509-529-4940), and the Red Lion Inn & Suites (325 E. Main St.; 509-529-4360). Each offers a seasonal outdoor pool, among other amenities. A short drive (or 15-20 minute walk) from campus are the Best Western Walla Walla Suites (7 E. Oak St., 509-525-4700) and the Quality Inn (520 N. 2nd Ave., 509-525-2522). Also close to campus is Walla Walla's premier hotel, the Marcus Whitman (6 W. Rose St., 509-525-2200 or 866-826-9422). A few miles from campus are the Holiday Inn Express (1433 W. Pine St., 509-525-6200), the Comfort Inn and Suites (1419 W. Pine St., 509-522-3500), the Marriott Courtyard (550 W Rose St; 509-876-8100), the Hampton Inn (1531 Kelly Place, 509-525-1398), and Super 8 Motel (2315 Eastgate St., 509-525-8800). Also within walking distance from campus are four Bed-and-Breakfast establishments: Walla Faces Inn at Historic Downtown (214 E Main St.; 877-301-1181); The Green Gables Inn (922 Bonsella St., 509-876-4373), The CarltAnn House (1004 Alvarado Terrace, 509-240-2713), The Maxwell House (701 Boyer Ave., 509-529-4283), and the Wine Country Inn (915 Alverado Terrace, 509-386-3592).

Admissions

Applicants: 4,081
Acceptance Rate: 52%
Average HS GPA: 3.75







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