Whitman parents take on Family Weekend

Carsten Wallace-Bailey, Podcast Reporter

From Oct. 21-23,  the campus community welcomed Whitman families for Family Weekend 2022. For some parents, this was their first time getting to experience all Whitman’s campus has to offer. Although several events were canceled or moved indoors due to inclement weather, visiting families still found plenty to participate in during their visits. 

On this week’s episode of the “Whitman Wire Podcast,” reporter Carsten Wallace-Bailey chatted with Whittie parents Matt McDermott and Wendy Angus along with current Whittie Odin McDermott about their time on Whitman’s campus, how Walla Walla compares to home and the many events offered over the course of the weekend. 

The following interviews have been edited for length and clarity. 

Wire: What is it like coming from home to small-town Walla Walla? How does Whitman compare to home?

Odin McDermott: I feel like our hometown, Kailua, is like Walla Walla. It’s touristy, 30,000 people. It’s like Walla Walla in a tropical climate … If you swap all the wine spots with acai bowls, it’d be the same.

Wendy Angus: We moved to Walla Walla about two years ago from the Bay Area. So, I’m an in-town parent … I think Walla Walla is a great college town. The kids can get into town easily and have a good time. It’s a beautiful place to go to school. 

Wire: Are you learning anything about Whitman? 

Matt McDermott: [My son] sent me, not too long ago, a book about the [Whitman] Massacre. So, I’ve been delving into the history a bit. 

Wire: Is it nice to get to know what it’s like where your son has been living for the past three years?

Matt McDermott: Yeah, I was here [during] the height of COVID-19 to drop him off. [That] was, “Okay, Dad, you have one hour.” So it was a quick drop-off, a quick trip to Walmart and that was it. Now, I can just spend a little time to actually see the [college].

Wire: What events have you gone to or are you planning to go to?

Matt McDermott: This morning I got up early [and] drove from Pendleton to hear the Deans … [The] parents had good questions. [We’re] looking forward to going to [the] improv [show] tonight.

Wendy Angus: Last night, we went to the Sampler Concert, which was beautiful. [Our daughter] was in the chorale, so it was so nice to see her perform again. I love that they put that on for the parents. Tonight, we’re going to see the a cappella concert. It’s nice to be able to support the Walla Walla community and have a great show too.

This is only a snapshot of The Wire’s coverage of Family Weekend. For the rest of these interviews and more from event coordinators, listen to this week’s episode of the “Whitman Wire Podcast,” releasing at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 28. Full episodes of the podcast can be found on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast or wherever you listen to your podcasts.