Former Shell CEO to be new Whitman prez

Joseph Wood

In a controversial announcement, Whitman College announced that Ben van Beurden, the Dutch CEO of Shell Oil Company, will be the next president of the college. The end of the presidential search has come after months of shady backroom bar meetings at The Green, along with candidate interrogations and discussions with Grow Your Endowment Executive Search Consultants, the consulting firm hired to assist in the process. The presidential search as a whole cost the school 70,000 dollars and two of Jorge Ponts’ nine lives. Thus, the college is very excited to finally embrace van Beurden as a Whittie.

The new president was chosen for several reasons according to the press release.

“The Presidential Search Committee feels that Mr. van Beurden has skills necessary to grow our endowment, connect with students and lead Whitman to another successful decade of higher education,” the release says.

Mike Scott, one of the Board of Trustee members who was on the search committee, further elaborated on this.

“Ben has the potential to bring Whitman back to its former glory,” he said. “This used to be a college of upright business-minded men and women, a college with a football team, school spirit, church on Sundays and enforcement of the missionary position. Now it’s a school of hippies who bring dab rigs to class and a degenerate faculty. Ben is an oil man, and oil men know the true spirit of going to college in America.”

Scott stated that, with the increased endowment that van Beurden has the potential to bring in, Whitman could achieve the top goal on its agenda and build a new state-of-the-art indoor-outdoor tennis center with heated Gucci-brand court floors.

Protests have already begun on campus however, with the head of the Climate Control Group, Smitty Collins ‘16, calling on all students “to divest the dirty Dutchman.” While the use of nonrenewable resources is a big talking point for the group, many feel more strongly about van Beurden’s Dutch ancestry. The Climate Control Club slowly developed an anti-Dutch extremist wing, the Dutch Destruction League (DDL), after a Dutch international student spilt a Heineken on the then-president of the Climate Control Group in 2001. In addition to divestment rallies, the Climate Control Group has also led anti-Dutch rallies with increasing ferocity: The burning of wooden clogs and Dutch flags has become widely popular.

“The issue of van Beurden’s oil industry background is secondary to the problem we have with his nationality,” said Smitty Collins at a press conference.

Whitman officials are taking the threats from the DDL seriously, assigning bodyguarding shifts to assistant and visiting professors in order to protect the new president.

“We have chosen these professors because they don’t have tenure and are thus disposable,” said Mike Scott.

The college is introducing a new clause in the annual teaching contracts that states the signee agrees to “follow the whims of the college, even to martyrdom.” These DDL threats are deemed credible because of a 2005 incident in which DDL members egged North Hall and then set it on fire after hearing that there was a Dutch student living there. It took two hours for fire engines to arrive because as the fire report states, “Nobody pays any attention to North and thus no call was placed for help initially. In addition, no school official from the college knew where the hall was located, resulting in a delayed fire response time.”

While Ben van Beurden will be entering Whitman College at a tumultuous time, the administration is confident that he can put the college on the right course. As current president Jorge Ponts explained to the Alumni while huffing paint thinner as they walked and talked, “Mr. van Beurden is sexy as hell.” Ponts then promptly used another one of his lives as he passed out and was struck by a passing college maintenance golf cart.


Joseph Wood is a pseudonym.