Whitman students look to revive yearbook

Joe Volpert

Nearly two decades following its discontinuation, there is a group of Whitman students who want to bring back the school’s yearbook. The original yearbook, entitled “Waiilatpu,” ceased production in the 1990s due to the misuse of funds and deposits.

Senior Gary Wang, an ASWC senator, is one of the students who spearheaded the project to create a yearbook. He believes that Whitman is uniquely qualified to have a yearbook because of the small community of students and faculty.

“I think it would be great if Whitman had one because it is a small campus and it would be a lot more personal,” Wang said.

The yearbook would potentially include photos of seniors, academic departments, sporting events and other memorable campus events.

“We want to have a document or keepsake for everyone,” said sophomore Ben Lerchin, another student involved in the process.

Wang and Lerchin, who are also employed by The Pioneer as opinion editor and production manager, respectively, think that a yearbook would sell well at Whitman.

“I think it will sell really well if it wasn’t like the standard high school yearbook,” Wang said.

With this in mind, Wang hopes to include lots of photos and not too much text in the yearbook. One idea that he is considering for the yearbook is having students submit their own photos or candid shots.

The group of students would prefer to make the yearbook in a physical, book form, rather than an electronic version. They think that a digital version would not be very permanent, due to changing data forms.

“We think that compared to anything digital, the yearbook will sell because that is something that you have on your bookshelf,” Lerchin said.

Wang also wants to make the yearbook affordable for students. The aim to have it cost less than 30 dollars.

“Our goal is to make the yearbook as cheap as possible this first year because it is just coming back again,” Wang said.

“Alumni at Whitman feel really connected to their alma mater,” Lerchin added.

Various offices on campus support the idea of creating a Whitman yearbook. The Development Office believes a yearbook will help build class unity and solicit donations from alumni.

Jed Schwendiman, associate to the president, also showed his support of the idea of having a yearbook.

“It would be great to have a yearbook again. It could be a fun and important record of the year,” Schwendiman said.

With momentum building, the students are now working to find a publisher and get funding.

“We are in the process of contacting publishers and working through the ASWC process,” Wang said.