Jun 15, 2024  
Whittier College Catalog 2023-2024 
Whittier College Catalog 2023-2024

College Life

Whittier College students join with faculty and staff to form a community of learners. The purpose of this section is to describe residential living, co-curricular opportunities, student rights and responsibilities, and administrative support for students. The section starts with the faculty, the most important and influential people students encounter in the Whittier College community.

The Faculty

The Whittier College faculty exhibits a rare quality in American higher education: a commitment to balancing the teaching of undergraduate students with scholarly accomplishment. Our finest teachers are also nationally recognized scholars who have won awards for their books, research and other creative activities. In recent years, faculty have published numerous books on topics ranging from the Chinese revolution to European currency, have exhibited in juried art shows and directed plays in Hollywood.

An accomplished faculty wins awards. The Whittier College faculty has a strong history of receiving National Science Foundation fellowships, Fulbright fellowships and lectureships, Graves Awards, NASA summer fellowships, Haynes Foundation awards, and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Accessible to students not just in the classroom or during office hours, Whittier faculty often open their homes to students for honorary society and departmental meetings, or sometimes just good conversation.

The Academic Advising System

Academic advising is an essential part of the educational experience at Whittier, since we believe that advising is closely connected to teaching. In 2009, a new advising resource center was created and housed in the Center for Advising and Academic Success, CAAS, located on the ground floor of the library. The new center offers resources and guidance to students and compliments the faculty advising model at Whittier College.

From the moment new students step on campus, faculty advisors are ready to assist in charting student’s curricular path. This careful advising ensures that our students graduate in four years, not five or six, as in larger institutions. It also results in our students’ admission to the country’s finest graduate programs in medicine, law, and the arts and sciences, in addition to winning prestigious awards ranging from NCAA Student Athlete awards to the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship.

Endowed Professorships

Endowed professorships lend distinction and strength to the Whittier College faculty. These named chairs are bestowed upon faculty whose research, teaching and/or public service have uniquely contributed to the mission of their department and the College. In addition to the academic honor, the endowed professorship provides funding for the faculty member’s teaching, research, and service responsibilities.

The Roy E. and Marie G. Campbell Distinguished Chair in Biology

Dr. Roy E. Campbell, director of the U.S. Entomological Laboratory, provided for the endowment of a chair in biology from the proceeds of his estate. The Campbell Chair supports a distinguished faculty member in that department, and assists the College in enriching teaching and research activities.

The C. Milo Connick Chair in Religion

Named in honor of the late Dr. C. Milo Connick, professor emeritus of religion and college trustee, this endowed chair provides funds for support of distinguished faculty in the field of religious studies. Funding for the chair was made possible through the support of Dr. C. Milo Connick, Richard and Sharon Ettinger, Jr. and Ray and Joan Dezember.

The Genevieve Shaul Connick Chair in Religion

Named in memory of Genevieve Shaul Connick, wife of Dr. Milo C. Connick, professor emeritus of religion and college trustee, this endowed chair provides support for a faculty member in religious studies. The estate of Dr. C. Milo Connick provided funding for the chair with matching funds from Whittier College.

The Richard and Billie Deihl Distinguished Chair

Richard Deihl ‘49 and his wife Billie (Beane) Deihl ‘50, both alumni, established this endowed chair in 1993 to provide funds for support of a distinguished scholar. A prominent executive in the financial services industry, Richard served on the Whittier College Board of Trustees from 1970-1982 and from 1992-2002, and was named Trustee Emeritus in 2006.

The Douglas W. Ferguson Chair in Economics and Business Administration

Named in honor of Douglas W. Ferguson, long-time member of the Whittier College Board of Trustees, the chair was endowed at the time of his retirement as Chief Executive Officer, Quaker City Federal Savings and Loan. The endowed chair provides funds for support of a distinguished faculty member in the field of international economics.

The James Irvine Foundation Chair in the Biological Sciences

Established through the generosity of the James Irvine Foundation, this endowed chair provides for the support of a faculty member in the field of biological sciences, who has distinguished him/herself as an instructor, researcher and author.

The Fletcher Jones Chair in Molecular Biology or Genetics

The funding for the Fletcher Jones endowed chair was generously provided through the Fletcher Jones Foundation. This Endowment provides funds for support of a distinguished faculty member in the field of molecular biology or genetics.

The Hazel Cooper Jordan Chair in Arts and Humanities

The Hazel Cooper Jordan Chair in Arts and Humanities was established in 2007 with a gift from Dr. Chester “Chet” McCloskey ‘40, and his wife, Olive (Jordan) McCloskey ‘44, in memory of Olive’s mother, an alumna in the Class of 1912. Its purpose is to maintain and enhance Whittier College’s contribution to the languages and the humanities.

The Chester and Olive McCloskey Chair in Chemistry

This fund was established in 2007 by Dr. Chester “Chet” M. McCloskey ‘40 and Olive (Jordan) McCloskey ‘40 to support the teaching, research, and services of an outstanding professor of chemistry who embodies inspirational and dedicated teaching in the sciences.

The John Murdy Chair in Business and Economics

Funded by the Murdy Foundation and Trustee Emerita Maxine Murdy Trotter ‘47, the John A. Murdy Chair in Business and Economics is named in honor of Mrs. Trotter’s father, former state senator John A. Murdy, Jr. and her brother John A Murdy III, a member of the Class of 1950 and a former college trustee. The Chair provides support for a faculty member in the departments of business or economics.

The W. Roy and Alice Newsom Chair in Chemistry

Named in honor of the late Roy Newsom, tenth President of Whittier College, and his wife Alice. The Newsom Chair provides support for an outstanding scholar/ teacher in chemistry. W. Roy Newsom was a leader at Whittier College for forty years: 1934 graduate, Professor of Chemistry and department chair, Dean of the College, Vice President for Administration, and President of the College.

The Yao Yuan Sze Endowed Chair in Kinesiology

Established in 2015 through the generous support of the Yao Yuan Sze Foundation of Bellevue, WA. Before his death in 2013, Yao Yuan Sze-a successful businessman, aerospace engineer, and philanthropist-came to appreciate Whittier College and its positive impact on students. He wished to support the College’s work in providing transformative education in the areas of health and science.

The C. Wright Mills Chair in Sociology

This endowed chair was created through a generous bequest from the late Professor Emeritus Les Howard ‘62 and many of his supporters. In his work, The Sociological Imagination (1959), C. Wright Mills wrote, “Neither the life of an individual nor the history of a society can be understood without understanding both.” Sociology at Whittier embraces this Millsian belief, and the holder of the endowed professorship will apply sociological theory to practice within a local or international community; promote social justice, especially for the disenfranchised; and use the resources of the appointment for student-centered activities.

The Albert Upton Chair in English Language and Literature

The Albert Upton Chair in English Language and Literature commemorates the director of Whittier’s earlier liberal education curriculum, the General Studies Program, and the designer of a semantically oriented freshman English course, Design for Thinking. The holder of the Upton Chair is committed to the teaching of writing and plays an important role in the College’s writing program.

The Nadine Austin Wood Chair in American History

Named in honor of Nadine Wood, the late wife of Donald “Bill” Wood L.H.D. ‘98, trustee and college treasurer, this endowed chair provides support for a faculty member in American History. Nadine was active in community organizations, particularly the Whittier Historical Society, and the Friends of the Shannon Center. Bill has been a college trustee since 1975.

Recognition of Student Academic Achievement

Honoring our students’ academic achievements is among the most important things Whittier College does. From national honor societies to the Dean’s List and honors at graduation, we take pride in and recognize academic achievement.

Whittier College supports the following national honorary and leadership societies:

  • Alpha Pi Delta (Business)
  • Alpha Psi Omega (Drama)
  • Delta Phi Upsilon (Education)
  • Gamma Delta Kappa (Chinese)
  • Lambda Alpha (Anthropology)
  • Nu Mu Rho (Chemistry)
  • Omicron Delta Kappa (Collegiate Activities)
  • Phi Alpha (Social Work)
  • Phi Alpha Theta (History)
  • Phi Epsilon Kappa (Kinesiology)
  • Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science)
  • Psi Chi (Psychology)
  • Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish)
  • Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics)
  • Sigma Tau Delta (English)
  • Theta Alpha Kappa (Religion Honor Society)

Honors Convocation. A formal convocation, with faculty marching in full academic regalia, is held each spring semester to honor students with outstanding academic achievements. In addition, students and faculty honor one faculty member each year with the Harry W. Nerhood Teaching Excellence Award.

Career Planning

The Career Planning Office assists students in choosing, planning, and implementing their career-related goals. The primary services include consultation in choosing a major career planning, career preparation, and job search assistance for Whittier College students, as well as for alumni.

Career planning services include individual counseling, self-assessment workshops, assessment inventories, a career planning course, and materials in a career resource library. Career preparation involves the development of internship and other forms of career-related work opportunities to assist students in acquiring career-related skills and experience prior to graduation. The Career Planning Office also maintains directories and information on graduate school programs as well as offers practice graduate and professional school exams. An annual Graduate and Professional School Fair provides exposure to post-graduate opportunities for those interested in the pursuit of a higher degree. Sources for funding can be accessed through an online fellowship database located on the office webpage at www.whittier.edu/career.

Job search assistance includes providing referrals for on campus work-study positions; off-campus part- and full-time job listings; workshops on résumé writing, interviewing skills, job search strategies; on-campus interviews and an annual Career and Internship Fair. The Career Planning Office’s web page www.whittier.edu/career contains helpful information and links for career exploration, graduate school, internships, summer jobs, full-time positions, conducting a job search, and much more.

Center for Advising and Academic Success

The mission of the Center for Advising and Academic Success (CAAS) is to empower all Whittier College students to become successful, self-directed, and collaborative lifelong learners. CAAS will provide a supportive and holistic learning environment for anyone who is willing to seek help and work towards achieving their educational and personal goals. CAAS services are free to Whittier College students and include:

  1. Academic advising and guidance
  2. Peer tutoring
  3. Supplemental instruction
  4. Peer academic coaching
  5. Academic strategies workshops
  6. Computer lab
  7. Comfortable study space.

Please call (562) 907-4816, visit our website, or stop by the Center for more information. CAAS is located on the ground floor of the library.

Counseling Services

The Whittier College Counseling Center provides the opportunity for students to discuss personal, emotional, and academic problems with a counselor in a safe, confidential environment. Services are provided by psychologists, psychology interns in training, and postdoctoral associates under the direction of a licensed clinical psychologist. Services are free to currently enrolled undergraduate students and include short-term, problem-focused individual and couples counseling. Outreach programs and workshops on topics relevant to students and campus life are presented throughout the year. Staff members are available to make presentations to classes, small groups and/or clubs on campus. Counselors also provide crisis intervention, consultation and referrals to students who need resources not offered by the counseling service.


College-Initiated Wellness Withdrawal

The Behavior Intervention Team or CARE designee may place a student on Wellness Withdrawal following an individualized assessment of a student in which the College determines in the exercise of its judgment that a student reasonably meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • The student’s behavior poses a direct threat to the health and safety of any person or the campus community.
  • The student’s behavior has substantially disrupted others or the academic environment. This includes behavior that causes emotional, psychological, or physical distress substantially above that normally experienced in daily life or that disrupts College operations, as outlined in the Student Code of Conduct. This will be done in consultation with Academic Affairs. Circumstances will be considered as part of this process which may include but is not limited to a third-party mandatory assessment with a mental or medical health professional, adjusted academic courseload, housing relocation, withdrawal from the college for a minimum period of time, etc.
  • The student fails to comply with an assessment or intervention recommended by the College because of academic, medical, or behavioral concerns.

The College will conduct an individualized assessment, considering the circumstances and duration of the withdrawal, which may involve a mandatory assessment with a mental or medical health professional, adjusted academic courseload, housing relocation, and withdrawal from the college for a minimum period of time, among other measures as deemed necessary.


The College will inform the student of the assessment process, which will evaluate the specific circumstances leading to a College Initiated Wellness Withdrawal. Students will have an opportunity to submit their own information for the college’s consideration during this process and can choose to appeal the College Initiated Wellness Withdrawal (see the appeal process).


Criteria for Return Following Wellness Withdrawal

A student who is returning to Whittier College after a Wellness Withdrawal must initiate the process no later than 60 days prior to the semester of enrollment by completing the Application for Readmission. Decisions regarding a return from Wellness Withdrawal will include a review of current medical documentation and will be made on a case-by-case basis. The Office of the Registrar will connect the student with the CARE Team to submit necessary medical documentation for clearance to return.


To receive clearance, the Director of Counseling and/or Student Health Center will make a recommendation to the Dean of Students Office with student consent. Students must provide written documentation from a licensed medical or mental health professional based on the deadline stated above for the semester for which the student intends to return. The documentation must include the following:

  • Recommendations supporting the student’s readiness to return to the academic, social demands, and residential living of full-time enrollment at the College by the beginning of the term for which the student is petitioning to return from Wellness Withdrawal. The recommendation should address all information requested on the treatment provider’s form on the student’s readiness to return.
  • If there are concerns about the student’s readiness to return to full-time enrollment, the treatment provider should explain. The treatment provider should include any recommendations that would mitigate those concerns, including any reasonable modifications, such as a course load reduction, that would enable the student to successfully participate in Whittier’s programs.
  • The Counseling Center, Student Health & Wellness Center, or Dean of Students may request additional information on a case-by-case basis.


The appropriate campus health professional will make a recommendation for return to campus to the Dean of Students Office. Students will be cleared to return from Wellness Withdrawal if the following conditions are met:

  • The student no longer presents a direct threat to health or safety to themself or the community.
  • Student may return with the following accommodations if health related. This is done in consultation with Student Accessibility Services.
  • The student is able pursue their education without substantially disrupting others.
  • The student is otherwise qualified to participate in Whittier’s educational program. Any other conditions outlined in accordance with this policy and/or any conduct sanctions must also be completed.
  • The student meets all the health requirements (i.e. immunizations).
  • The student resolves all incomplete coursework. This must be in consultation with Academic Affairs.
  • Must not have an outstanding tuition balance with the institution (approval of the Business Office).


The College may extend the timeline for submission of documentation based upon extenuating circumstances. The College will provide the student with written notice of any decision to deny the student’s request to return from a Wellness Withdrawal.

Appeal Process

Students may appeal either a College-Initiated Wellness Withdrawal or denial of clearance to return from a Wellness Withdrawal within five business days of notification.

The student should submit their appeal with any new or relevant information in writing to the Vice President for Student Life/Dean of Students. Appeal decisions will be communicated to the student within ten business days of the appeal deadline.

The Office of Equity and Inclusion

The Office of Equity and Inclusion (OEI), located in the Campus Center next to the bookstore, seeks to create opportunities for diversity exchange and dialogue that foster mutual respect for the uniqueness of each member of the campus community. By sponsoring various programs and events, the Office of Equity and Inclusion promotes awareness, learning, critical thinking, identity development, and advocacy. In addition, the OEI serves as a liaison to connect underrepresented populations of students to academic services, career counseling, and support networks that foster student persistence and success. The Office of Equity and Inclusion is a great place to cultivate new friendships, memories, and enjoy the rich diversity Whittier College has to offer. The OEI also provides religious and spiritual student groups with the support they need to pursue their respective missions and goals.

The Ortiz Programs, formerly coordinated through the Center for Mexican American Affairs, were founded by Martin Ortiz ‘48 to enhance the college experience of Latino students. The Ortiz programs continue to provide academic, social, career, and financial aid guidance to all Latino students on campus, and in particular to those who are the first in their families to attend college. The Ortiz Programs also serve as a liaison between students, faculty, parents, alumn~ and community organizations. As a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) Whittier College is proud to recruit and graduate a large percentage of Hispanic students. This commitment has contributed to Whittier’s distinction as one of the country’s most diverse liberal arts colleges.


Disability Services

Purpose and Mission: Disability Services is committed to ensuring equal treatment, educational opportunity, academic freedom, and human dignity for students with learning, physical, and psychological disabilities. Disability Services is committed to providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations to students with disabilities, assisting students with disabilities in self-advocacy, providing academic support and counseling, educating the Whittier College community about disabilities and services provided, and by ensuring legal compliance with state and federal disability laws.

Disability Services provides students with disabilities access to the programs, services, and activities of the college as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990) and by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973). Section 504 states: “No otherwise qualified individual shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

Who Qualifies for Services and Student Expectations? Any student with a documented physical, medical, psychological or emotional condition or a learning disability may make an appointment to see the Director. The student must submit documentation according to Whittier College’s documentation guidelines. Please visit our website or call us for more details. Students are expected to self-identify to the Director of the Disability Services office.

Receiving Accommodations and Services: After the student submits appropriate documentation to Disability Services, the Director will determine eligibility to receive services. Types of services provided are based upon the functional limitations of each student’s condition.

For students with Asperger’s, ADHD, and Psychological/Emotional Conditions Supportive Education Services (SES): Non-clinical Counseling, and Case management, are available.

Health Services

The Student Health & Wellness Center provides comprehensive care for the treatment of common illnesses, minor injuries, immunizations, TB skin tests, women’s and men’s health exams, Rx and OTC medications and laboratory services. The center also provides health education, illness prevention information, workshops, and referrals to local medical services when needs cannot be addressed on campus. In addition, we offer massages, nutritionist services, and facials on certain days of the month. An RN is available from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. on Fridays. We are closed for lunch between 12:30-1:30 p.m. A provider is on duty M-F either in the morning or the afternoon. There is no charge for a visit; however, there is a small charge for medications, vaccinations, TB skin tests, and sometimes lab tests. After hours or emergency care is available through PIH Health hospital or Bright Urgent Care.

All full-time students must be covered by health insurance while attending Whittier College. Students who are not covered by a personal or family policy are required to participate in the Kaiser Permanente Student Health Plan provided by the college for a fee.

Internships and Community-Based Learning

Students at Whittier College have many opportunities to apply what they learn in the classroom by working in the community. The Center for Engagement with Communities (CEC) and the Center for Career Planning and Internships both serve as important resources. The goal of both offices is to work with students and faculty to foster the effective use of applied experience as an integral part of a liberal arts education and to empower students and prepare them for professional lives upon graduation.

The Center for Engagement with Communities, located in Hanover House on campus, is dedicated to developing and strengthening partnerships between Whittier College and the community in order to enhance student learning and benefit community partners. Together, faculty, students and community partners identify and address important needs, encourage a culture of civic engagement and promote healthier and more educated communities. The mission of the CEC is to promote life-long learning and civic engagement. Community engagement and service learning activities are facilitated by faculty and take place as part of class-based and/or extra-curricular activities.

Internships are academically related, experiential learning opportunities that allow students to test themselves and learn from professionals in the field. Internships are available in business and industry, government, and non-profit community organizations. The Center for Career Planning and Internships assists students in all disciplines and at all academic levels who seek internship and community-based, service-oriented learning. Services for students include: individual appointments with the staff to discuss your experience goals; the Early Email Alert list so that you can be notified of new internship/community-based opportunities just as soon as they are posted; 24/7 internship/community-based learning database access; assistance with your internship resume and cover letters; how to create your own intern position; strategies for finding summer positions when you are out of the Whittier area; and how to earn academic credit for your internship work; and internship/community-based learning fairs and campus events during the academic year. The Office of Internships & Community-Based Learning is located in the Campus Center on the second level.

The LEAP Office

The Leadership, Experience and Programs Office works closely with the student government and officers of various clubs and organizations to promote and encourage co-curricular activities that meet the interests of the student body. Numerous student organizations initiate a variety of programs with the financial support of the student activity fee. The Leadership, Experience and Programs Office also advises programming in Club 88, our on-campus nightclub and performance venue. Comprehensive information about opportunities for leadership and involvement at Whittier College through societies, publications, broadcasting, clubs and organizations is available in the Student Handbook, on the College website and through the Leadership, Experience and Programs Office.

Residential Life

Most Whittier College students live in one of six campus residence halls. Residence halls accommodate from 20-210 students. They are staffed by full-time professional staff (www.whittier.edu/reslife/contact) and undergraduate Resident Advisors who provide students with continuous support, assistance, and program opportunities for learning and development.

Whittier College is committed to providing a co-curricular environment which enhances and enriches the academic
program and which provides students with opportunities for personal and social growth, self-discovery, and an
appreciation of one’s responsibilities to self and others. To those ends, Whittier College sees residential living as an
integral part of the student’s education. Residential living fosters a sense of community, facilitates the integration of
the individual into campus activities and organi7.ations, exposes students in a very direct and personal way to a
pluralist community, encourages an atmosphere of free and wide-ranging expression of ideas, and develops in each
person capacities for self-direction and deep concern for others.

For these reasons, all Whittier College students are required to live on campus through their junior year unless they
reside with their parents or legal guardians within a twenty-five mile radius of the College, are twenty-two years of
age or older, or are married (www.whittier.edu/reslife/offcampus). It is the goal of Housing & Residential Life to expose as many students as possible to the benefits of living and learning at Whittier College. Residential students are additionally required to subscribe to one of the meal plans offered through the Campus Inn (minimum 10 meal plan).

In addition to the variety of social and educational programs offered by the Housing & Residential Life staff, each residence hall is also affiliated with a Faculty Master House. This out-of-the-classroom living and learning opportunity creates a
learning environment unmatched on the West Coast. The Faculty Master House tradition at Whittier College is
modeled after those established at Oxford and Cambridge universities. It is designed to extend the classroom
learning experience to all aspects of students’ lives. Educational and social programs including such events as
scholarly lectures, dinners, musical performances, and cooking classes are hosted by the faculty members in their
homes. To enrich student experience at Whittier College, faculty masters also frequently sponsor trips to museums,
galleries, theaters, and concerts in Southern California.


Students Rights and Responsibilities

A student enrolled at Whittier College assumes an obligation to conduct himself or herself in a manner compatible with the College’s function as an educational institution. While the College believes in the ability of all Whittier College students to uphold the highest standards of behavior that is consistent with membership in an academic community, it does have jurisdiction over student conduct that is considered harmful or unacceptable.

The Code of Students’ Rights and Responsibilities, created jointly by faculty, students, and administrators, is published annually in the student handbook and describes the principles and procedures employed at Whittier College. All members of the Whittier College community are expected to uphold and protect the values of the College.