Lindaman Center: The Home to the Social Sciences

A World War II building named for a "Futurist President"

Throughout the years, the Lindaman Center has served many purposes at Whitworth University. The building was originally the Music and Arts building and was part of the 1946 Mead Act, which provided Whitworth, as well as several other schools in the area, a number of government buildings. These buildings filled an immediate need for space with the return of significant numbers of veterans who were attending Whitworth with the aid of the G-I Bill.

The building was brought to campus in 1947 and renovated in 1980 with the help of a grant of $600,000 from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust Fund. This renovation added the exterior brick you see today as well as other changes to the building. Currently, the building holds the offices for the departments of Political Science, Sociology, Communications, and Philosophy as well as the Student Success Center.

The Lindaman Center is named after Edward B. Lindaman, who served as the 14th president of Whitworth. He began his tenure in 1970 until he retired in 1979. He is currently the third longest serving president in Whitworth's history.

Lindaman came to Whitworth after working as an executive in aerospace engineering, having worked on the Apollo space program during the 1960's and '70's. Lindaman was a futuristic thinker, concerned with the overall well-being of Whitworth College as well as the community outside of Whitworth. In a 1973 article in the student newspaper, multiple people said that "I think that we hear more about Whitworth College since Lindaman came. . . . He's tremendously community involved, people identify the college more because of him."

Lindaman stressed the importance of applying Christian principles and ethics to contemporary problems such as the environment. He supported the development of a more contemporary approach to Student Development. He approved of Whitworth being known as the "Alternative Christian College" which implied that the college was less conservative than many of its peers.

Lindaman's years in office coincided with some of the most volatile years in American history. For example, the killing of four students at Kent State University in May 1970, spilled onto the Whitworth campus. 350 students gathered in the Loop to debate with one another and request that the administration condemn the war which he ended up doing on a personal level, but he avoided declaring that Whitworth as a whole would take sides during the war.

Beginning in 1984, Whitworth University appoints a professor to what is called the "Lindaman Chair" every four years. The position is a rotational chair that is given to a faculty member who is significantly engaged with regional community and national academic work as well as being engaged in public dialog involving important social issues.