An Open Letter from the President

Back Page Editors

Dear Students of Whitman College,

Here’s me. I’m George Bridges.

Not Jeff Bridges. This is Jeff.

Yes, I know we’re both wearing bow ties, but I thought of it first. Now, I’ve begun my annual letter this way for a reason. One day I was sitting in my office recuperating from a big fund-raising trip on the east coast when I looked through a Boston phone directory I was reading on the airplane. Flipping through its pages, I couldn’t help but be stunned speechless by the number of people who have completely identical surnames in one city alone: same spelling, and, I can only presume, same pronunciation. I pondered for an afternoon and came to the inevitable conclusion that if people don’t know who I am, then they aren’t nearly as inclined to listen to what I have to say. To test awareness of the George Bridges product, I went on a quest for myself online using Google’s image search function.

The first image result for “George Bridges” is a picture of a bridge. But not multiple bridges called the George Bridges, which would at least be flattering. No, it (notice the singular) is called the George Bridge, and the webpage doesn’t even have the decency to say where it’s located. The second photo is of me and a friend, so at least they got me right, but when I tried to look closer to reminisce a bit I was greeted with a big fat “Error 404 –– This page has not been found.” The third photo is of me and you can look at it more closely, but it was taken during my tenure as the president of the University of Washington, which was over two years ago! If the internet is updated so infrequently, then it makes me even more concerned for the fate of our society. That is where the students of Whitman College come into play.

Whitman College is the future. If I had one wish, I would convert the entire campus into a subterranean titanium time capsule and seal it, with the intention of it surfacing fifteen years from today. At this time, the world will undoubtedly have gone to hell in the proverbial handbasket, and the students of Whitman will have been incubating in the brines of academia and healthy social interaction, becoming marinated to world-saving perfection. They will rise from their intellectual sanctuary and return the world to balance and light.

Oh, and speaking of balance, I am reminded of some important changes you all should be aware of. For some of you this is a new school, for some of you this is an old school –– such is the circle of life. On the subject of balance, there are several new statues on campus, one of which is a series of rocks balancing on pedestals of various heights by Cordiner Hall. Now the artwork is safer than you think –– I tried my hardest to topple one of those boulders when they finished installing them, but even with my secret reserves of strength I couldn’t pull it off. So sleep soundly, students –– no falling boulders to fear here. The other clown-colored one on the other side of Cordiner is pretty safe, too.

There have also been a number of changes to our campus food services. Now, I know that some of these new
policies have not been met with outright jubilation, but I have spoken with the editors of this publication and they have agreed to place a feature telling our side of the story on this page along with my letter. Please peruse it at your earliest convenience –– it’s a lot more illuminating when you know the facts!

Whitman also was proud to unveil a brand-new website at the beginning of this semester! But I’m sure all of you are intimately acquainted with it already. Pretty neat, huh? I like the moving pictures myself. They were my idea, no matter what anyone else may tell you.

In conclusion, I wish all of you the best for the upcoming academic year! Stay tuned for more exciting changes, and don’t forget to come visit me at my open office hours!


George Bridges

(that’s George spelled
G-E-O-R-G-E, not J-E-F-F)