In 2020, the Whiteley Center marked its 20th Anniversary!

We continue to celebrate and we welcome you in marking this important milestone — and in honoring Helen Riaboff Whiteley and Arthur Whiteley.

When Arthur founded the Helen Riaboff Whiteley Center in Helen’s memory, he led with a determined vision.  He wanted to offer a retreat, a phrontistery, located at Friday Harbor Labs that benefitted “scholars” from all fields.

When summer of 2020 arrived, we knew we couldn’t possibly gather together in-person to celebrate so we reached out to past Whiteley Scholars asking them to share their individual Whiteley Scholar experiences with us.  What we heard back was amazing!

We invite you to view the Scholars’ Whiteley Center Anniversary tributes.  There are three volumes — please see the list of contributors below.

In addition, John Meyer, from the College of the Environment, interviewed six Whiteley Scholars and we present their fabulous insights as part of our celebration.
• Christopher Teuton, Professor of American Indian Studies at the University of Washington
• LeiLani Nishime, Professor of Communication at the University of Washington
• Mardy Sears, Multimedia artist from Chicago
• Penelope Moffet, Poet and writer from Los Angeles
• Véronique Robigou,  Artist and geologist from Seattle and Bruce Nelson, Professor of Earth and Space Sciences and Assoc. Dean for Research at the College of the Environment

We are also extremely grateful for the many, generous donations we have received in conjunction with the anniversary.  If you are interested in making an anniversary contribution, please contact Rachel Anderson at or make a gift online.

Here’s to 20 incredibly successful years!  We thank you, Arthur!

We also extend a very special thank you to Kathy Ballard Cowell, our Whiteley Center Coordinator who retired in February 2021 after 15+ years. She did an amazing job of caring for the Center itself and for each and every scholar who visited.   (You can read her April 2021 Tide Bite here.)

And last but not least, we thank Alvin Kwiram, Dennis Willows and the Whiteley Administrative Committee (both past and present) – their commitment and dedication has been invaluable to the Center.

Whiteley Center Tributes.
Volume 1.  Contributors.  Toni Mirosovich • Bill Talbott • Andrea Stolowitz • Barbara Mutscheller • Sarah La Rue • Ellen Gottheil • Michael Honey • Robyn Malcolm • Ted Lefroy • Seibert Farnsworth • Matt Gilligan • Andrew Gardner • Catherine Hodges • Lisa Richards • Moira Linehan • Gerald Baldasty • Margie Fain • Tim Fain • Gordon Fain • Veronique Verbruggen

Volume 2.  Contributors.   Neil Rizos • Stephanie Peters • Albert Gordon • Kathryn Stanchi and Linda Berger • Gail Simpson • Ruth Dickey • Joel Kingsolver • Fred Hamel • Carsten Peters • Sonal Khullar • John Thompson • Kirsten Foot • Josh Tenenberg • Midge Raymond • Steven Emerson • Dianne Aprile • Julie Shayne • William Phillips • Scott Allard • Rae Armantrout

Volume 3.  Contributors.   Sharon Birzer • Sandra Sarr • Ted Goslow • Ilya Shmulevich • Masahia Fujita • Moira Linehan • Suzanne Jill Levine • Patricia Smith • Emily Whitman • Carole Hickman • Paul Nelson • Fred Hamel • Carsten Peters • Martha Silano • Lisa Tubach •  Root Gorelick • Penelope Moffet

Do you have questions about applying to the Whiteley Center?  Please reach out to Stephanie Zamora, the new Whiteley Center Coordinator.  (She’s new to this position but not FHL!)  You can reach Stephanie at or at 206-616-0702.

We offer financial support through our Arthur and Helen Whiteley Distinguished Fellowship and the Macfarlane Artist in Residence Award.  We encourage a diverse group of applicants to apply.  We will open the application process again in summer 2021, so please check this Whiteley Center webpage at that time.

*If you submitted a tribute, but don’t see it, please reach out to Stephanie as well!

Thank you for celebrating with us!

A Retreat for Scholarly and Creative Activities

The Helen Riaboff Whiteley Center (HRWC) provides a refuge for established scholars and artists to study, write, create, and interact in a peaceful and quiet environment. It is located at the University of Washington’s (UW) Friday Harbor Laboratories (FHL), a marine science research and education center north of Puget Sound, Washington. Scholars at the HRWC can work in quiet isolation, and also take advantage of opportunities to meet with other HRWC scholars and with scientists working at FHL.

The HRWC has been funded by the Helen R. Whiteley Foundation. The Foundation has worked with UW to provide a place for scholars as they carry out their creative work in the way that FHL served Helen Whiteley in her career. The HRWC is both a tribute to the faculty of UW and an encouragement for scholars of all disciplines and from all places to perform their work in this inspirational setting.

The HRWC is administered by a committee of faculty members largely drawn from various departments of UW faculty.

Intended Uses of the Helen Riaboff Whiteley Center

The HRWC offers a serene and comfortable environment for scholarly work and creative activity. Scholars can work in solitude or in small teams of collaborators, and interact with other HRWC visitors or scientists working at FHL. The Center welcomes applications from scholars or artists of any discipline, whether independent or associated with a university or scholarly institute, locally or abroad.

The mission of the HRWC is to support the completion or significant advancement of well-defined projects. Applicants are expected to outline specific scholarly or artistic goals to be accomplished during their visits. Visits range from a few days to three months. The HRWC is not intended to be a place for the accumulation of new data, for committee or administrative work, or for loosely-defined departmental retreats. It is a phrontistery — a space for study and thinking.








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