Etcetera - 12/19/11

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Pete and Hedda Reid Service to Walla Walla awards, formerly called Town-Gown awards, went to Whitman Colllege faculty members Tana Park and Patrick Henry.

The honor went to Tana, a faculty grant administrator, for extending the spirit of helping people into the community.

For more than 10 years, she has chaired the Walla Walla Catholic Schools' Hope Benefit Dinner committee. Her work for the schools includes helping with the annual sausage festival to coaching girls' volleyball. Both her son and daughter attended DeSales High School. She won the 2002 Desalian of the Year Award and continued volunteering after her kids graduated.

Susan Bennett, senior academic assistant, nominated Tana for the award and said she's a selfless volunteer.

"I can't think of a more deserving person for this honor, who has given so much to both Whitman and the community," she said.

The Pete and Hedda Reid Service to Walla Walla Award honors the 60-plus years of service to the college and community by Pete and Hedda Reid, members of the Whitman Class of 1949. Pete retired from Whitman in 2009 after working at Whitman for 61 years.

Patrick, the retired Cushing Eells professor of philosophy and literature professor emeritus of foreign languages and literatures, and Tana, sponsored program coordinator in the Hall of Science, each received the award and a $1,000 stipend at the Chamber of Commerce annual awards banquet. Recipients are not told in advance that they have been selected, so both were caught off guard.

The selection committee could not reach a decision on a single candidate because "both of these nominees were so amazingly qualified and deserving of the award," said Mara Sorkin , events coordinator in the president's office.

Henry taught for almost 30 years at Whitman while making significant contributions to the community. Among his many volunteer efforts, he says he is most proud of his involvement in the nonprofit Friends of Children of Walla Walla, which pairs adult mentors with local youths, and Blue Mountain Action Council's tutoring project, which helps disadvantaged community members obtain their GEDs.

A Whitman tradition is to present the award in memory of a deceased college staff or faculty member.

Patrick's award honors Edwin "Ted" Stein, professor emeritus of English, and one of Henry's closest friends. Stein's wife Judy came from New York City to accept the honor on his behalf.

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