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Whitman College LGBTQ+ Oral History Project Recordings and Transcripts, 2019
- Robson, Ree
- Whitman College LGBTQ+ Oral History Project Recordings and Transcripts
- 2019 (inclusive)20192019
- 6 gigabytes, (24 digital files)
- Collection Number
- This collection contains transcripts and interviews conducted as part of the Whitman College LGBTQ+ Oral History Project. The Whitman College LGBTQ+ Oral History Project, hosted by the Whitman College and Northwest Archives and supported by the Whitman History Department, was created in 2019 in order to document and preserve the story of Whitman's enduring LGBTQ+ groups.
Whitman College and Northwest Archives
Whitman College and Northwest Archives
Penrose Library, Room 130
345 Boyer Avenue
Walla Walla, WA
Historical NoteReturn to Top
The Whitman College LGBTQ+ Oral History Project, hosted by the Whitman College and Northwest Archives and supported by the Whitman History Department, was created in 2019 in order to document and preserve the story of Whitman's enduring LGBTQ+ group PRISM, previously known as the GLA, GLBA and GLBTQ, and as the alternative activist group, Coalition Against Homophobia. Due to the confidential and off-campus nature of GLBTQ, there is very little record of LGBTQ+ life and activism work on campus. This project aims to address this incomplete history by conducting oral history interviews with alumni as well as former staff and faculty who were involved in the various iterations of the group.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
This collection contains transcripts and interviews conducted as part of the Whitman College LGBTQ+ Oral History Project. The interviews were conducted in the summer of 2019 by Ree Robson, class of 2020, with Whitman College alumni, staff, and faculty who were members or advisors to LGBTQ+ groups on campus.
Use of the CollectionReturn to Top
Any rights (including copyright and related rights to publicity and privacy) were transferred to Whitman College by the interviewees. Permission to publish or reproduce materials in this collection must be secured from the Whitman College and Northwest Archives.
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
Alex Cofield interviewed by Ree Robson, 2019 July 29Return to Top
Alex Cofield was a student at Whitman from 1989 to 1994 and a history major. She got involved in the Gay Lesbian Association at Whitman soon after her arrival and came out publically as a lesbian early in her first year. After spending several years as a member of the Gay Lesbian Association and being an out LGBT student on campus, Cofield helped create the LGBTQ-activist group Coalition Against Homophobia, which was the political and issue-focused counterpart to the GLA. A well-known LGBTQ activist on campus, she was a leader in the community, organizing many events and protests against military recruitment on campus, "Don't Ask Don't Tell," and other LGBT issues, and giving many talks about LGBTQ issues and her experiences as a lesbian. After leaving Whitman, she went on to complete a Master's degree in History at Ohio State, focusing on gay and lesbian history. Cofield currently lives in Ohio with her partner and child.
Lynn Greenough interviewed by Ree Robson, 2019 July 20Return to Top
Lynn Greenough was a student at Whitman from 1982 to 1986 and was a German major. Coming to Whitman from Spokane, WA, she quickly became involved in women's and feminist groups and issues at Whitman. Greenough developed connections to both other LGBTQ folks at Whitman as well as folks in the local community. During her time at Whitman, a small social support group for LGBTQ students formed and Greenough was a member. After leaving Whitman, she traveled before getting a job at Oregon State University, and she now lives in Corvallis with her partner and daughters.
Jed W. Schwendiman interviewed by Ree Robson, 2019 June 21Return to Top
Jed Schwendiman arrived at Whitman in 1988 and graduated in 1992 as a psychology major. A Student Academic Advisor (SA) and a Resident Advisor (RA) while a student, he worked in Residence Life after graduating until 1995 before leaving for graduate school. He returned as a staff member in 2000, working as Assistant Director for Residence Life and later for the President's Office. While a staff member, he took on a leadership role in Whitman's LGBTQ community as an advisor for the student group known as GLBTQ, and established the GLBTQ student internship position. He left Whitman in 2011 and now lives in California with his husband, Paea LePendu.
These files are restricted to Whitman College affiliates only.
Robert Tobin interviewed by Ree Robson, 2019 July 17Return to Top
Professor Robert Tobin was a German Language and Literature professor at Whitman from 1989 to 2008 and was a major presence and leader in Whitman's LGBTQ community. After finishing graduate school at Princeton, he came to Whitman to teach. Soon after his arrival on campus, Professor Tobin became involved with the fledging LGBTQ student group, the Gay Lesbian Association, and he helped found the LGBTQ-issue focused activist group, Coalition Against Homophobia in 1992. First offered in 1993, his class "Sexuality and Textuality" was one of the first classes at whitman focused on sexuality. Professor Tobin served as an advisor and contact person for both GLA and Coalition throughout his time at Whitman and was known as a voice of LGBTQ activism on campus. He left Whitman in 2008 and now works for Clark University. Recently, he helped Professor Yuhl from the College of the Holy Cross and Professor Joseph Cullon from Worcester Polytechnic Institute create "LGBTQ+ Worcester: For the Record", an exhibit focusing on LGBTQ history in Worcester, MA, which can be seen at the Worcester Historical Museum.
|2019 July 17|
|2019 July 17|
Chris Wolf interviewed by Ree Robson, 2019 July 24Return to Top
Chris Wolf was a psychology major and was a student at Whitman from 1994 to 1998. She was involved in theatre and environment activism, and helped found a student group known as SEED (Student Efforts for Equality and Diversity) that was focused on diversity and raising awareness of race and equality issues. Wolf got involved with the LGBTQ-only student group known as GLBA at the time and took on the position as contact person and representative of the group, coming out as bisexual. After Whitman, Wolf got a Master's in Counseling and does counseling work today. She was a co-founder of the group, Growing Veterans, along with vereran Chris Brown. Growing Veterans helps vets find support and community through farming. She currently lives in Bellingham, WA, her hometown.
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- Bisexual college students
- Gay activists
- Gay college students
- Gay men
- Lesbian activists
- Lesbian college students
- Cofield, Alex
- Greenough, Lynn
- Schwendiman, Jed W.
- Tobin, Robert
- Wolf, Chris
- Whitman College
- Whitman College. Coalition Against Homophobia
- Whitman College. Office of LGBTQIA+
- Whitman College. PRISM