Student Activities

Co-curricular activities augment classroom experiences, providing students the chance to apply their classroom studies to practical, realistic work and engaging social experiences. The college encourages students to create new activities and organizations that enhance the life of the campus.

At Whitman, students have a plethora of opportunities to get involved all over campus, regardless of their major. Musically inclined students perform with the College Wind Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, Chorale, and, by audition, the Walla Walla Symphony Orchestra; still others perform in solo or small group recitals. Students need not major in Theater to perform or work backstage at Whitman’s Harper Joy Theater, nor must they major in English to submit items for publication in blue moon, the Whitman literary magazine. There are opportunities for work, including some paid employment, on The Wire, the student weekly newspaper. Many students also participate in one or more of the dozens of student clubs on campus, many of which receive funding from Whitman’s student government.

Outdoor Program

The Outdoor Program (OP) is committed to providing equitable access for all to the outdoors. “The OP” fosters personal growth, facilitates learning and creates recreational opportunities through skills and risk management training, leadership development, and environmentally sound trips in a supportive community”. The OP assists people in outdoor pursuits while also managing risks so as to offer safe and rewarding recreational experiences. Additionally, the OP provides quality rental equipment in the fields of hiking, backpacking, climbing, flatwater and whitewater kayaking, rafting, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, telemark and alpine touring skiing. Activities cater to beginner and intermediate skill levels. On campus, the OP organizes visiting speakers, instructional seminars, film showings, and other special events, including the Banff Mountain Film Festival. The OP also oversees the Whitman Climbing Center and contributes to orientation programming.

Another important function of the Outdoor Program is to teach outdoor skills, both elementary and advanced, in such areas as risk management, wilderness first aid, whitewater and flatwater kayaking, rafting, climbing, skiing, canoeing, mountaineering, backpacking, and outdoor leadership. There are over 75 different jobs per semester that students can practice their leadership skills working for the OP in the rental shop, leading trips and instructing in the climbing center. The program is a resource for those interested in planning their own trips, exploring the outdoors surrounding Walla Walla, purchasing equipment, or obtaining instruction. Magazines, instructional videos and books, guide books, maps, and information about outdoor jobs are available at the OP Rental Shop.

The Outdoor Program is not a club. There are no dues; anyone, regardless of ability or skill level, may participate. Through the Outdoor Program, all students interested in noncompetitive, non-motorized pursuits may share adventures. The Bob Carson Outdoor Program Fund enables all students to experience OP trips by providing trip credit to every current Whitman student each year to be able to participate in at least one free outdoor trip. The Leadership Education Advancement Fund (LEAF) offers need-based aid for SSRA Outdoor Leadership courses.

While the OP is not a club it supports and serves as advisors to several ASWC student organized and run outdoor clubs including:, Backcountry Ski Club, BIPOC Outdoor Club, Climbing Club, Club Sports Climbing Team, Mountain Biking Club and the Whitewater Club.

In 2013, the Outdoor Program was granted the prestigious David J Webb Program Excellence award issued by the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education. An AORE press release stated “Whitman College is an outstanding example and embodiment of AORE values. The Whitman College Outdoor Program is an incredible teaching program based in Walla Walla, WA. They are best known for their freshman orientation program and climbing center, but also have strong sea kayaking, backpacking and whitewater programs. The program has been a part of the school for over 4 decades. They also work closely and in collaboration with academic departments to provide general trips and opportunities for the campus at large, and to encourage involvement and dedication to betterment and growth of the [outdoor recreation] industry.”

Whitman Events Board

The Whitman Events Board (WEB) is an ASWC-sponsored student group dedicated to bringing an exciting and diverse set of events to campus. WEB provides and supports a wide array of educational and entertaining programs by maintaining contacts with artists and booking agencies, as well as generating original student-led programs. It is responsible for sponsoring the Drive-In Movie, films, concerts, speakers, and much more! To find out more, call 509-522-5367 or email

Intercollegiate and Intramural Athletics

Whitman College affirms the classical ideal that physical fitness complements intellectual development. Whitman’s programs of sport studies, recreation and athletics are designed to contribute to the liberal education of our students as they engage their minds and bodies in vigorous fitness, wellness, and competitive activity.

Whitman supports athletics for two reasons: 1) as they train and strive to excel, student-athletes complement and strengthen the education they are pursuing; and 2) athletics contributes in unique ways to campus life and fosters a strong sense of community.

To achieve these ends, the College provides the resources to enable teams and individuals to compete effectively in the NCAA Division III, and to enable those individuals and teams who qualify to compete at regional and national levels.

The athletics program at Whitman College is designed to support:

  • the overall mission of the college;
  • the principles of fair play and amateur athletics, as defined by NCAA legislation;
  • the overall academic success of student-athletes;
  • the overall health and welfare of student-athletes;
  • the principle of equal access to athletic opportunities by men and women.

Whitman holds membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (Division III) and the Northwest Conference (NWC). The college fields men's and women’s teams in basketball, swimming, tennis, soccer, cross-country, golf, and distance track. Women also compete in volleyball and lacrosse, and men in baseball. Whitman College, as an NCAA III member, does not offer athletic scholarships; however, all students may apply for need-based financial aid and academic scholarships.

Department of sport studies, recreation and athletics staff members supervise the student run intramural programs; about 70 percent of Whitman students take part in such intramural sports as flag football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, and ultimate Frisbee. The college also sponsors several club sports programs, including rugby, skiing, ultimate Frisbee, and cycling. For a complete and updated list of club and intramural opportunities, please see and follow the links to club sports or intramural sports.

Sherwood Athletic Center, the main athletic complex was completely renovated as of August 2009. It features a 1,200-seat gymnasium, a training room, a strength and conditioning room, a practice gym, batting cages, racquetball and squash courts, dance studios, and a 7,000+ square-foot indoor climbing wall.

The college has four indoor tennis courts in the Bratton Tennis Center as well as six outdoor courts, which support all student, faculty/staff and community use.

Baker Ferguson Fitness Center offers a 10,000-square-foot fitness center, and the Paul and Louise Harvey Aquatic Center features a 30-meter swimming pool.

Baseball games take place at the 3,000-seat Borleske Stadium, which also includes an indoor 3-tunnel batting cage. The golf team practices at the 18-hole Memorial Golf Course, the Walla Walla Country Club, and Wine Valley Golf Club. The Whitman Athletic Fields Complex hosts the men's and women’s soccer and the women’s lacrosse teams in addition to a variety of club and intramural competitions.

Student Organizations

Most groups and organizations are student-run; nearly all involve students in planning and carrying out their programs. The largest of the self-governing groups is the Associated Students of Whitman College (ASWC), of which every student is a member. ASWC conducts its affairs through an elected Executive Council and student Senate. In addition to advocating for student needs and supporting all-campus activities and programs, ASWC is responsible for oversight and budget allocations for the Whitman Events Board, The Wire weekly newspaper, radio station KWCW-FM, and more than 80 student clubs and media groups.

Campus clubs focus on specific interests such as culture and identity, recreation, health, music, leadership, and religious interests. Information on student organizations can be found at:

Sorority and Fraternity Life

Whitman’s fraternities and sororities provide their members with a strong sense of community, belonging, friendship and inclusion. Within each Greek organization, members find academic assistance, personal support, leadership, community service, alumni connections, and social opportunities.

All eight Greek organizations at Whitman have well-established scholarship programs, incorporating one-on-one tutoring, study tables, seminars, and connections with faculty. Whitman’s sororities and fraternities are actively involved in local and national community service efforts, supporting such organizations as the SOS Clinic, the STAR Project decreasing recidivism in the correctional system, Humane Society, Service for Sight, Children’s Home Society, and Court Appointed Special Advocates. As each self-governed sorority or fraternity makes decisions, ranging from creating budgets to implementing social policies. Sorority & Fraternity Life is an excellent vehicle for learning how to be the best version of yourself.

The four national sororities reside in Prentiss Hall, where each group maintains its own section, complete with a chapter room and a lounge. Each of the four fraternities has a house on the edge of campus, where members reside and dine together. On average, 15% of students are involved.