Don Whitney, longtime manager of graduate services at the University of Washington Bothell School of Business, died September 11 of pancreatic cancer. He was 64.
Whitney was a devoted champion of students throughout his life and dedicated thirty-two years of service to university students at his beloved Oregon State University and the University of Washington. He served the MBA program at UW Bothell for the last 12 years, helping the program grow and more than double its size, all the while nurturing a strong bond between the school, students and alumni.
Professor Gowri Shankar remembered Whitney as a “dear friend and wonderful colleague who was a ‘stalwart champion’ to students of all ages.
Whitney joined the UW Bothell Business Program in 2000 as the first manager of the MBA program. Before coming to UW Bothell, he held advising and administrative student service positions on the UW Seattle campus, working in the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, School of Social Work and the College of Forest Resources.
A gifted athlete, Whitney was a member of the 1967 Oregon State Beavers “Giant Killers” football team that beat three top teams in one season. At Oregon State, he was the first academic counselor in the athletic department, leading change in support of student-athletes that led to higher graduation rates.
“Don was a gentle man but a fierce, protective and compassionate champion of all students; they reciprocated his kindness in many ways with their lifelong friendships and warmth for him,” said Kathyrn Chester, graduate admissions & student services coordinator. “It has been a privilege to work by his side the past seven years. I am sure that many will join me in saying that he will be greatly missed.”
Prior to 1980, he was a radio newsman and taught part-time in the OSU Department of Religious Studies and Honors Program. Whitney had a bachelor's degree in political science from OSU (1971) and a master's degree in religion from the School of Theology at Claremont (1976) in California.
Whitney is survived by his wife Beth and son Colin.
Read the article about Don Whitney that was featured in the Sept. 10 issue of the Portland Tribune.