Whipple '74 to lead Campus Life

by Adam Torgerson,

Ed Whipple ‘74 grew up on campus. He was three when his father, Jerry Whipple, was hired as alumni affairs director by then-President Smith. Jerry became the first vice president of student affairs in 1967 – a role Ed will assume on June 1, his first day as vice president for Campus Life.

The fourth-generation Oregonian looks forward to returning to the Pacific Northwest with his family. A South Salem High School grad, Whipple says his liberal arts education at Willamette shaped his values and influenced his approach to teaching, leading and building community. After graduating from Willamette with an English degree in 1974, Whipple headed twice to France to study French, as well as to Northwestern for his master’s in teaching, before earning his doctorate in college student services administration from Oregon State.

Multifaceted experiences qualify Whipple for the job at Willamette, but his dedication to this community sets him apart. “Willamette is a part of who I am,” he says. He credits the university’s liberal arts approach not only with strengthening his critical thinking skills but with highlighting the importance of community and relationships to students’ college experience.

“Most learning occurs outside the classroom with the confluence of the curricular and cocurricular,” says Whipple. “An institution has a great opportunity to structure how that learning occurs.”

Whipple’s decades in education – as a student and scholar, as a high school teacher and coach, as a long-time student affairs and industry leader, and as a higher ed consultant – bring a unique breadth of experience. His professional accomplishments reflect his focus on creating and supporting opportunities to develop an integrated learning community.

“Ed is not only among the nation's most experienced and respected student affairs professionals, he’s personally connected to Willamette’s community,” says President Thorsett, who sent an email to campus last week announcing Whipple’s hire. Thorsett also thanked David Douglass, a rhetorician and Willamette faculty member, for “outstanding service as Dean of Campus Life.”

“I’m looking forward to working with Willamette’s talented Campus Life team,” says Whipple. “My leadership style reflects the same values that I’ll emphasize as vice president of Campus Life: the importance of developing relationships and a strong, supportive and engaged community.”