Parent Connection—Fall 2020
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Dear parents,

I’ve been checking in with students throughout the quarter and these are some of the things I’ve been hearing from them (and maybe something for you to ask about during the break):
They are using a variety of techniques to stay on track this quarter, including studying outside of their rooms, using a planner, checking email and D2L regularly, sleeping enough, eating healthy foods, taking breaks, and listening to nature sounds and "chill" music. Someone is even using an app called Forest where their studying time helps grow a little tree! 

Staying connected with each other is important, and they are trying to do that by sending snaps and videos, working in virtual study groups, writing letters (yes, by hand!), monitoring social media, playing video games and generally hanging out (hopefully with COVID-19 safety precautions in mind).

They are excited for the longer winter break, and tell me they plan to work, visit with family, take long naps and spend time with hobbies. Some of them will prepare for winter quarter, or go on mini road trips or ski trips. And at least one is going to get their wisdom teeth pulled.

Though our celebrations may seem unusual this year, I wish you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving holiday!

Claudia Santellano

Director for Alumni and Parent Relations

Finishing fall: Support and safety

About final exams
Final exams will take place Sunday, November 22, through Tuesday, November 24. Your student should review their exam schedule to help with scheduling of travel plans.

Cheer your College Place students during finals
Final tests are just around the corner, and our "Surprise Your Student” program is an ideal way to send your student cupcakes, cookies, macarons, and/or care packages. Cupcakes, cookies, and macarons are delivered fresh from local artisan bakeries and restaurants in downtown Walla Walla. The care packages can be personalized with several different themes: "Birthday,” "Thinking of You,” "Get Well," and "Missing You.” Through this program, you can also order balloon bouquets, and gift cards to local merchants. Order some cheer for your College Place student >

Residence hall and dining hall closures
Residence halls close on November 27 and reopen in College Place on Friday, January 1, and in Portland on Saturday night, January 2. For questions about housing, please contact Kristen Taylor, director of residential life and housing, by phone at (509) 527-2539 or email

The College Place dining hall will close after lunch on Wednesday, November 25, and will reopen for dinner on Sunday, January 3.

Transportation to and from campus
The Grape Line shuttle runs seven days a week, several times a day between Walla Walla/College Place and Pasco (airport code PSC). Cost varies depending on the place of departure and the destination. Find more information or to make an online reservation >

Uber is now available in College Place and Walla Walla. As with any taxi service, we encourage all to exercise utmost care when securing transportation to and from the campus.

View Fall Quarter Exam Schedule

Winter quarter 2021

On Wednesday, November 11, President John McVay announced via email to your student that we are planning to allow the return of all undergraduate students to our College Place and Portland campuses for winter quarter. Our graduate studies programs will remain online.

  • Portland campus begins classes on Monday, January 4.
  • College Place campus begins classes on Tuesday, January 5, to allow for phased residence hall move-ins.

Your student received information about housing arrangements and class formats. If your student lives in a residence hall, they've also received communications from the housing team to guide them through steps for next quarter.

The decision for winter quarter was made after significant review by the university's COVID-19 Response Taskforce, academic and student life managers, and the President's Cabinet. We continue to consult with the Walla Walla County Health Department as we prepare, and to update information on our web page. You may find these links particularly helpful:

Ask A COVID-19-Related Question

Got health insurance?

Wintertime can bring sniffles and sneezes, and sometimes more sinister health bugs that our University Health Clinic may be able to help treat. Here are just a couple of reminders in case your student needs care:

  • All undergraduate students and graduate international students taking more than 6 credits must be covered by a health insurance plan.
  • Be sure to check that Providence Medical Group — the provider that runs our University Health Clinic — is included in your in-network coverage, or consider another health insurance plan.
Take a moment now to find information about University Health Clinic hours and services, the nearest affiliated health facilities, and a list of insurance plans that include Providence Medical Group as an in-network provider.
Learn More About University Health Clinic

Notes from Student Financial Services

FAFSA is open for 2021-2022
The federal government opened the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for next school year on Oct. 1. The FAFSA for 2021-2022 uses 2019 tax information. Since most families have their 2019 taxes done by now, this should make applying for financial aid easier. Students and families whose financial situation has changed since 2019 can work with Student Financial Services on an individual basis, after their initial award letter has been generated.

How do students find a job?
Students needing employment should contact the Student Employment Office by phone at (509) 527-2357, and via a Teams meeting with Heidi Lindstrom, manager of student employment. Visit for current job listings and encourage your student to apply.

Scholarship applications for 2021-2022
This is prime hunting season for scholarships for next school year. Visit for tips on finding scholarships, and resources.

Visit Student Financial Services

WWU String Orchestra concert!

You are invited to join us for a live concert featuring the WWU String Orchestra and directed by Professor Brandon Beck on Thursday, November 19, at 7pm. Watch the livestream at

Is a study tour in your student's future?

Forty-two students will be able to participate in the 2021 Bible Lands Study Tour, they will travel to Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey (ancient Asia Minor) with Dr. Carl Cosaert and Dr. Jody Washburn. 

This special trip is guaranteed to be life-changing and will definitely make your student's reading of the Bible come alive in vivid color all while earning up to eight credits of lower and/or upper division credit that counts toward the general studies religion requirement.

Learn More: Bible Lands Study Tour 2021

Westwind magazine delivery notice

To be thoughtful about our financial resources (so that we can best support students and equip our campus for safe learning during the pandemic),  WWU Westwind magazine will be delivered to parents via email with a link for easy accessPlease be sure your contact information, especially your email address, stays current to continue to receive Westwind magazine.

Parents who do not have access to email are encouraged to call (800) 377-2586 to make other arrangements to receive Westwind.

The Fall 2020 issue of Westwind will be available on November 17, be sure to check your spam folder if you don't see it in your inbox.

Access Westwind online

Senior class officers 2021

The Class of 2021 has selected their officers (pictured below), leadership advisers, and sponsors. Class officers have specific roles and responsibilities to fulfill in the coming months and will participate in Senior Recognition (February) and graduation (June). Congratulations to the officers and their families!

Top row: Laura Kaye Reyes, president, and Grant Hartman, vice president
2nd row: Luke Irvine, social VP, and Brooke Thompson, historian
3nd row: Kyle Kropf, parliamentarian, and Zack Hoffer, spiritual VP
4th row: Elena Harris, secretary, and Mariela Smith, marketing VP
5th row: Amara Johnson and Ron Lofy, co-presidents for Portland campus

Looking back: Fall updates   

College Place campus JumpStart orientation — On Labor Day weekend we welcomed members of the Class of 2024 and their families to campus and we loved the time we were able to spend with each of them. This year's freshman class is small by comparison (they follow two historically large freshmen classes) but given the uncertainty of this year we thank God for his blessings.

Capturing the quarter — In-person activity has been limited, but ASWWU has still attempted to capture everyday fall quarter life through photos, videos and Collegian issues.
  • See fall quarter photos here.
  • Read issues of the Collegian, our student newspaper, here.

Spiritual life and service

Fall quarter provided a good mix of in-person and virtual events for all students.

Vespers — ASWWU and Chaplains Office provided opportunity for students on campus and online to participate in vespers. Watch the vespers here. You might particularly enjoy the October 16 vespers when we highlighted returned student missionaries.

Weekend of Worship  — "Love Above All," a weekend of togetherness led by ASWWU Spiritual and Chaplain's Office, was held completely online. Find recordings of this event at

Fall sermon series — "Practicing the Way" and "Christianitics" were themes for this fall quarter sermon series from the Walla Walla University Church. The series provided timely messages for these times we are living in. Watch sermons from the series here.

The Least of These — Each year, ASWWU launches an ambitious year-long service project. Past projects have included funding wells in Africa, building an orphanage in Uganda, starting a school in Indonesia, covering tuition for Rwandan refugees, and supporting a trade school in Haiti. This year, ASWWU Global Service will focus helping the homeless, the hungry, the elderly, and other populations in need in our communities. Learn more about this year's project here.

Logo design by sophomore product design major, Angelica B. Rodriguez.

November 19
Live concert featuring WWU String Orchestra
November 25 – January 3
Winter Break (Thanksgiving and Christmas)
December 7
WWU's 128th Birthday
January 4 and January 5
Portland campus classes begin January 4 and College Place campus classes begin January 5
February 9
Senior Recognition
April 22 – 25
Homecoming Weekend 2020 and 2021
View the Full Calendar Online

Summer internship

Horton combines skills and interests during summer work experience  Read more >

Engineering education

School of Engineering reaccredited by ABET Read more >

The Nature of Christian Belief

Dr. Dave Thomas, professor of practical theology and apologetics, and this year's Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, addressed what constitutes Christian faith and what makes believing in the Christian way both viable and credible.  Read more >

Supportive parents: Get involved!

Support WWU with Amazon purchases
When you purchase items on Amazon, you can help support Walla Walla University. As you make your standard purchases or perhaps as you shop for graduation presents, this is an easy way to help. To get started, go to and use your regular login information. Then enter “Walla Walla University” as your donation choice. Amazon will automatically donate 0.5% of your purchase to the University Fund which goes toward student scholarship, academic innovation and facility improvements. Amazon Smile does not work on the Amazon app.
Stay connected with what's happening on campus!
Visit our website at, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also download our campus app for quick access to the calendar, directory information, and other campus resources.

Visit your student (when campus is open again)!

Local shuttle service from Pasco airport: The Grape Line shuttle runs seven days a week several times a day between Walla Walla and Pasco. Costs varies depending on the place of departure and the destination. Find more information or to make an online reservation >

Reserve a room: There are three guest rooms available on campus for rent. The fee for these rooms is $60/night plus tax. Arrange to stay in one of these rooms or to learn about other area lodging options >

Camper/RV accommodations available: Camper/RV parking is available behind Sittner Hall, the men’s residence hall. Power, water, and sewage hook-ups are included in the $20 nightly fee. First come first served. Call Sittner front desk at (509) 527-2111 for details.

Quick resources for parents

Academic Advisement (509) 527-2132
Academic Records (509) 527-2811
Alumni and Advancement Services (509) 527-2631
Campus Ministries (509) 527-2010
Counseling and Testing Services (509) 527-2147
Marketing and Enrollment Services (509) 527-2327
Parent Relations (509) 527-2644
Student Development Center (509) 527-2466
Student Employment (509) 527-2357
Student Financial Services (509) 527-2815
Student Missions (509) 527-2633
University Health Clinic (509) 527-2425
WWU Church (509) 527-2800
Alumni events
Alumni e-newsletter
Dean’s list
Meal plans
Parent and Family Guide
Payment plans
Scholarship search
Student Life
Student Handbook
University Church
University Health Clinic
Don’t see the number or link you need listed?
Call (800) 541-8900.
Do you have insights to share with next year’s freshman parent? What have you learned since all of this started? Please share your observations and tips with other parents by completing this simple form >
Comments or suggestions? Email the editor at

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