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Illustration of new Beeksma Family Theology Center at Whitworth University/Courtesy Whitworth

Construction begins on Whitworth’s new family theology center


Construction is underway on the Beeksma Family Theology Center at
Whitworth University and a project blessing ceremony will be held April 12 at 3:15 p.m.

According to a press release, the $2.8 million addition to the Seeley G. Mudd Chapel will allow the theology department, the Office of Church Engagement and campus ministry to be housed in one building, which will lead to greater synergy among the three programs.

The expansion will provide offices for more than 20 faculty, staff and student employees as well as new gathering spaces for students. The chapel will also be renovated to offer additional seating and
improved audiovisual systems, as well as a remodeled conference room.

“We think the space is just right. It’s full of light, places to gather and wide hallways for conversation. Collaboration is a key principle at Whitworth. The Beeksma Family Theology Center will encourage just that,” said Jerry Sittser, Whitworth professor of theology in a press release.

The center is named in honor of Barney and Joyce Beeksma, who provided a $1.5 million gift toward the project. Barney and Joyce Beeksma are Whitworth alumni, Class of 1954.

Tracy Simmons

About Tracy Simmons

Tracy Simmons, who teaches journalism at Gonzaga University, is an award winning journalist specializing in religion reporting, digital entrepreneurship and social journalism. In her 13 years on the religion beat, Simmons has tucked a notepad in her pocket and found some of her favorite stories aboard cargo ships in New Jersey, on a police chase in Albuquerque, in dusty Texas church bell towers, on the streets of New York and in tent cities in Haiti.
Simmons has worked as a multimedia journalist for newspapers across New Mexico, Texas and Connecticut. Currently she serves as the executive director of SpokaneFAVS.com, a digital journalism start-up covering religion news and commentary in Spokane, Wash.

She also writes for The Spokesman-Review and for the Religion News Service.

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