DAVIDSON – At its February meeting, the Davidson College Board of Trustees approved promotions of faculty members to the rank of full professor.

They are Kristie Foley (Medical Humanities), Ann Fox (English), Karen Hales (Biology), Laurie Heyer (Mathematics), Barbara Lom  (Biology), Fuji Lozada (Anthropology), Michael Mossinghoff (Mathematics) and Fred Smith (Economics).

New Davidson fund upholds Whitton’s legacy of mentoring

DAVISDON­ – ­Mathematics professor Robert Whitton’s 67 years touched countless lives at Davidson and beyond.

He formed close, lasting and meaningful relationships with family members, friends, students, colleagues and community members.

Through his passions, Whitton made connections that shaped lives for the better.

In November 2011, Whitton died of injuries suffered after being struck by a car in a crosswalk on Concord Road. At that moment, part of the heart of Davidson was gone, but only in the physical sense.

His devotion and his deep love and admiration for his work and his students live on every day at Davidson College.

One life he touched was that of Ian Nelson ’02 of Asheville. Crediting Whitton’s strong influence in his life, Nelson became a high school math teacher.

"Doc Whitton was an inspiration to me and many others, but he was even more than that," Nelson said. "He was a savior to those who were math-phobic, he could coax a smile out of anyone and he was a refreshingly playful and sincere presence. For me, not only did he influence what I chose to do, but more importantly, he had a great influence on how I approach my profession – and life for that matter. I do my best to emulate Dr. Whitton every day. As I work with students, I try to mimic his genuine enthusiasm for mathematics and his commitment to treating students as human beings first and potential mathematical scholars second."

To continue his legacy at Davidson College, the Robert C. Whitton Mentoring Fund was created to provide opportunities for professors and students to collaborate and form lasting bonds.

Mentors and students will work together to submit applications for funding consideration, and grants will be available for individual projects or broader class efforts.

In order to fully recognize Whitton’s varied interests, funding will be available for projects taking place in and out of the classroom. Through collaboration and partnerships, this fund will be a catalyst for academic enrichment and strengthened relationships across campus.

To date, gifts to the Robert C. Whitton Mentoring Fund total more than $60,000. Gifts may be made online at www.davidson.edu/giving.

Contact Katharine Atkins in the Davidson College Annual Fund office at aatkins@davidson.edu or 704-894-3098 with questions.


Courtesy of Davidson College

Whitton, a Davidson College mathematics professor who passed away in November 2011, often met with students outside of class in the Alvarez College Union.