Whitman president fired due to the scandalous “promise of a Walla Walla sweet onion”

Grace Canny, Root Vegetable Enthusiast

Illustration by Anna Stone.

Last Monday, outgoing president Kathy Murray was prematurely fired due to an incident involving Gmail, an unnamed faculty member, and the Walla Walla Sweet Onion. It appears, from the stash of emails, that an amorous relationship sprouted between the two employees of Whitman College in early 2017. The decision came down from the Board of Trustees, which concluded that the misuse of professional email was enough grounds for termination.

In an attempt to operate with full transparency, the Board released the entire catalog of Kathy’s messages. Some of the most cringe-inducing lines were, “I know what your business is here ;)…” and “i loved our Encounter yesterday” but by far the most gut wrenching email begged “perhaps i can lure you with the promise of a Walla Walla sweet onion..?”.

We may never know if President Murray’s plea was met, but we do know several other food based requests were sent to the anonymous amour, including one very tempting offer to enjoy the secret menu of Cleveland Commons.

The official organization of Walla Walla sweet onion growers publicly commented they are fully distancing themselves from the affair. However, they wanted to assure the public that Walla Walla sweet onions are flavorful enough to tempt even the most illicit lover, and the rich tradition of sweet onions in the Walla Walla Valley will not be rocked by the scandal.

Attempts by Murray to entice the paramour with food didn’t comprise all of the emails. The most notable and G rated picture shared was a haunting image of Kathy Murray, nude and alone, atop Styx, titled “Lonely, K.” Besides the obvious questions like “What?” and “Why?” the most pressing one seems to be “How???” Styx sits at the western end of Ankeny field, an area devoid of suitable self timer perches. Some theories have emerged in explanation, the two most popular being Kathy Murray is gifted with the power of levitation or that she may have had an accomplice.

Some may be sad to see Kathy go, but the misconduct was far too grave. Uprooting is always hard, but resilient flora such as former President Murray will have no trouble blossoming elsewhere.