Whitworth University
Former names
Whitworth College
MottoEducation of Mind and Heart
TypePrivate university
Established1890; 134 years ago (1890)
Religious affiliation
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Endowment$203 million (2022)[1]
PresidentScott McQuilkin
ProvostGregor Thuswaldner
Academic staff
300 W. Hawthorne Road
, , ,
United States

47°45′14″N 117°25′05″W / 47.754°N 117.418°W / 47.754; -117.418
200 acres (0.81 km2)
ColorsCrimson, Black    
NicknamePirates, Bucs
Sporting affiliations
Northwest Conference

Whitworth University is a private, Christian university that is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA) and located in Spokane, Washington.[4] Founded in 1890, Whitworth enrolls nearly 2,600 students and offers more than 100 graduate and undergraduate programs.[5]

Whitworth competes athletically at the NCAA Division III level in the Northwest Conference as the Pirates. Its colors are black and crimson.[6]


George F. Whitworth around the time he founded the college

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. The college relocated due to persistent financial difficulties, local competition from College of Puget Sound and the Pacific Lutheran Academy, and a lack of support from the Washington state Presbyterian Synod or the City of Tacoma. The college's leadership led by President Donald D. MacKay came to realize that a relocation would likely be necessary to secure Whitworth's future. When Whitworth was approached by Spokane boosters, the Spokane Presbytery, and railroad magnate Jay P. Graves with some land on his new Country Homes development outside the city, the trustees agreed to the move provided that the Spokane community donate $70,000 and the Synod of Washington donate $30,000 for facilities.[7] Whitworth merged with Spokane Junior College in 1942, when the latter shut down due to financial difficulties during World War II.[8]

The board of trustees voted to change the institution's name to Whitworth University in 2006, which became effective July 1, 2007.[9]


Harriet Cheney Cowles Memorial Library at Whitworth University
Robinson Science Hall

Whitworth's campus in northern Spokane has 200 acres (0.81 km2) of stately pines and wide-open green spaces. 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 $170 million in campus improvements in recent years. In 2022, Whitworth completed construction on the new Dana & David Dornsife Health Sciences Building.[10] Additionally, Whitworth completed construction of the Pines Café & Bookstore along Hawthorne Road and the $13 million Whitworth Athletics Leadership Team Center, also known as the WALT. The 28,000-square-foot facility houses all of the coaches and staff of the university's 22 athletic programs, who used to be spread out among six buildings, and includes coaches’ offices, a football locker room, conference rooms, public lounges and a 162-seat team room.[11]

The university finished renovation on the Megan E. Thompson Aquatic Center in 2019[12] and completed a renovation of the Beeksma Family Theology Center in 2018, which expanded the Seely G. Mudd Chapel and provided offices for more than 20 faculty, staff and student employees.[13] In 2015, the university 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.

In 2011, the Robinson Science Hall was dedicated. This 63,000-square-foot (5,900 m2) building was built for biology and chemistry sciences, as well as math courses. 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.[14]

Since 2010, all new facilities constructed on the Whitworth campus are LEED-certified.[15]


Whitworth offers over 100 undergraduate majors and programs, six graduate programs, two doctoral programs and seven adult bachelor's degree completion programs. Academics at Whitworth is organized into five branches:[16]

The College of Arts and Sciences supports Whitworth INQ, an innovative shared curriculum approach to general education and houses 18 undergraduate arts and science departments. The college offers 47 majors, the M.A in Theology and a number of interdisciplinary undergraduate programs, including Biology, Theology, Chemistry, Communications, and Computer Science.

The School of Business includes undergraduate programs in accounting, business management, economics, finance, and marketing. It also oversees two graduate programs, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Business Leadership (MBL).[17][18][19] The Whitworth School of Business became AACSB accredited in 2020.[20] In late 2022, the university launched a new Master of Science in Financial Planning graduate degree.[21]

The School of Education includes the Department of Undergraduate Teacher Education; the Department of Graduate Studies in Education; the Master in Teaching (MIT) Program; the Evening Teacher Certification Program; the Center for Gifted Education; and the Special Education Program.

The School of Continuing Studies provides bachelor's degree programs for non-traditional students through evening degree programs, accelerated-format classes and certificate programs.

The School of Health Sciences was formed in 2023 to encompass undergraduate degrees in Health Science (B.S. in health science, B.A. in community health), an M.S. in Athletic Training and two doctorate degree programs: Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT).[22]

The university also offers 30-plus study abroad programs available to students over Jan Term, May Term, or during a full semester. 45 percent of Whitworth's 2021 graduates participated in one or more off-campus programs.[23]

Rankings and reputation

Academic rankings
Washington Monthly[24]31 of 604
U.S. News & World Report[25]7 of 105

In 2023, U.S. News & World Report ranked Whitworth 7th of 105 Regional Universities (West).[26] The Princeton Review also named Whitworth one of 79 institutions as "Best in the West" in 2023.[27]

INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine awarded Whitworth the 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award.[28]

The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized Whitworth as a Tree Campus USA since 2018.[23][non-primary source needed]


Whitworth's admission standards are considered "more selective" by U.S. News & World Report.

The Class of 2026 had a middle 50% SAT score range of 1080-1280 and an average GPA of 3.71.

Students on campus represent 33 states and 43 countries. As of 2022, international students make up 6 percent of undergraduate enrollment.[23]


Whitworth's athletics teams are the Pirates. The university offers 21 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, lacrosse and softball. Whitworth has played their home football games at the Pine Bowl (an on-campus football stadium) since the 1930s.[29] The field within the Pine Bowl was changed to turf from grass in 2017 and subsequently was dedicated to the parents of the main donors by being named Puryear Field in 2018.[30] Whitworth began playing football in 1904, and has only missed 7 seasons since then, due to World War I (1917–1919) and World War II (1942–1945).[31]

Whitworth has won a total of 13 Northwest Conference McIlroy-Lewis All-Sports Trophies, including the last 12 in a row (2008–2019).[32] Whitworth men's swimming won the Northwest Conference Swimming Championship in 2022.

Student life

The Associated Students of Whitworth University ("ASWU") is in charge of clubs and activities on campus.[33] The ASWU is composed of four executive officers (President, Vice President, Finance Director and Communications Director)[34] who coordinate the student government and lead the student body, several residence hall senators and representatives who represent specific living areas and hold voting power, and coordinators who are responsible for programming in specialized areas.

Campus media

The Whitworthian is the weekly student newspaper. The paper received the "Best All-Around Non-Daily Student Newspaper" award from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2009.[35]

Canopy is Whitworth's yearbook that has been in publication since 1914.[36]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ "Annual Report | Whitworth University". www.whitworth.edu. Retrieved 2022-03-07.
  2. ^ a b "Facts & Rankings | Whitworth University". www.whitworth.edu. Retrieved 2022-03-07.
  3. ^ a b "Whitworth University". Forbes. Retrieved 2024-02-15.
  4. ^ "QuickFacts Country Homes CDP, Washington". census.gov. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 15 August 2022.
  5. ^ "Whitworth Welcomes Record Number of First-Year Students for Fall Term". Retrieved 2022-03-07.
  6. ^ "Whitworth Athletics". Whitworth.
  7. ^ Arksey, Laura (April 21, 2007). "Whitworth College". Essay 8125. HistoryLink. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  8. ^ "Junior College joins Whitworth". Spokane Daily Chronicle. February 20, 1942. p. 3.
  9. ^ "Press release details Whitworth's name change".
  10. ^ "Dornsife Health Sciences Building | Whitworth University". www.whitworth.edu.
  11. ^ "Whitworth to Dedicate State-of-the-Art Athletics Leadership Team Center".
  12. ^ "Whitworth to Rededicate the Megan E. Thompson Aquatic Center".
  13. ^ "Construction Begins on Whitworth's Beeksma Family Theology Center".
  14. ^ "Whitworth University Biology Department - Facilities". Whitworth.edu. Retrieved 2019-10-19.
  15. ^ "Operations | Sustainability | Whitworth University". www.whitworth.edu.
  16. ^ "Academics | Whitworth University". www.whitworth.edu.
  17. ^ "MBA | Whitworth University". www.whitworth.edu. Retrieved 2022-02-19.
  18. ^ "Business Management, BBA". www.whitworth.edu. Retrieved 2022-02-19.
  19. ^ "MBA Alumni Society | Whitworth University". www.whitworth.edu. Retrieved 2022-02-19.
  20. ^ "Whitworth University Earns AACSB International Accreditation". Retrieved 2022-07-16.
  21. ^ "Whitworth University to Offer Master of Science in Financial Planning Degree". Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  22. ^ "Whitworth to Launch School of Health Sciences to Meet Growing Demand". Retrieved 2023-03-30.
  23. ^ a b c "Facts & Rankings | Whitworth University". www.whitworth.edu.
  24. ^ "2023 Master's University Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved February 10, 2024.
  25. ^ "Best Colleges 2023: Regional Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 25, 2023.
  26. ^ "University Rankings". U.S. News & World Report.
  27. ^ "Best Western Colleges | The Princeton Review". www.princetonreview.com.
  28. ^ "Whitworth Receives "INSIGHT Into Diversity" 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award". www.whitworth.edu/News/index.aspx. Retrieved 2020-12-18.
  29. ^ "Whitworth". Archived from the original on 2012-01-10.
  30. ^ "New-look Whitworth welcomes La Verne to the Pine Bowl in season opener | The Spokesman-Review". www.spokesman.com. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  31. ^ "Year by Year Results". www.cfbdatawarehouse.com. Archived from the original on 3 August 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  32. ^ "Whitworth Facts & Rankings". Whitworth University.
  33. ^ "Associated Students of Whitworth University". whitworthaswu.com. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  34. ^ "Activities & Involvement Opportunities".
  35. ^ "Mark of Excellence Awards - Society of Professional Journalists". www.spj.org.
  36. ^ "Whitworth Yearbook Staff Wins Two National Awards".
  37. ^ "The 2008 Time 100". Time. April 30, 2009. Archived from the original on May 5, 2008.
  38. ^ Kershner, Jim (June 3, 2007). "Photographic memory". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved November 1, 2023. Yet Dorpat, it turns out, grew up in Spokane, attended Lewis and Clark High School and graduated from Whitworth College in 1963.
  39. ^ The Washington Newspaper. 1917. pp. 20, 189.
  40. ^ "Obituary for Zilfa Estcourt (Aged 76)". Oakland Tribune. 19 Dec 1959. p. 25. Retrieved 2022-03-07 – via Newspapers.com.
  41. ^ "Doug Long profile". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved June 18, 2022.
  42. ^ "Kevin Parker biography at Washington State House Republicans" (PDF).
  43. ^ "Additional Whitworth Facts".
  44. ^ Maben, Scott (2013-06-17). "Ray Stone, former Coeur d'Alene mayor, dies". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 2013-07-14.
  45. ^ "Dallas Cowboys benefited from Bob Ward's skills during Tom Landry era". Retrieved June 18, 2022.
  46. ^ "Paul Ward profile". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved June 18, 2022.