Evergreen picks Whitman College leader as its new president

OLYMPIA — The Evergreen State College on Monday picked the president of Whitman College in Walla Walla as its new leader.

George Bridges, who is also a former vice provost at the University of Washington, will replace Thomas “Les” Purce, who is retiring this summer after serving as president since July 2000.

Bridges has been president of the small liberal arts college in Walla Walla for 10 years.

The Evergreen State College board voted on its new president at a meeting Monday afternoon.

“It was clear from our interviews and campus forums, and from speaking with his professional colleagues, that George will be a strong and effective advocate for Evergreen and its bold approach to interdisciplinary teaching and learning. We’re extremely pleased to have him as our next president,” said Keith Kessler, chair of the college board of trustees, in a statement.

Bridges earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

His official start date at Evergreen is Oct. 1. The school announced his annual salary will be $300,000.

Bridges said he was delighted by the decision and the opportunity to serve as Evergreen’s next president.

“I view this appointment as a unique and rare privilege. I look forward to learning about the college’s aspirations and expectations from all members of the Evergreen community,” he said in a statement.

The public liberal arts college, which was founded in 1967 and opened in 1971, focuses on an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning. In addition to its undergraduate program, Evergreen offers three graduate programs. The college has about 4,200 students, which is more than twice the size of Whitman’s student population.

Whitman College has chosen its new president, Kathleen Murray, provost and dean of the faculty at Macalester College of St. Paul, Minnesota.

Talk to us

More in Local News

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

Clinton man, 61, dies in motorcycle crash Friday

Washington State Patrol lists speed as the cause. No other people or vehicles were involved.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Separate road rage incident ends with fatal shooting in Lake Stevens

A man, 41, died at the scene in the 15300 block of 84th Street NE. No arrests have been made.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and law enforcement partners advise the public of of colorful fentanyl.  (Photo provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration)
After rainbow fentanyl pills found in Tulalip, police sound alarms

Investigators are concerned the pastel-colored pills may end up in the hands of children.

Nursing Administration Supervisor Susan Williams points at a list of current COVID patients at Providence Regional Medical Center on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dozens of Providence patients in medical limbo for months, even years

About 100 people are stuck in Everett hospital beds without an urgent medical reason. New laws aim for a solution.

Most Read