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Jed W. Schwendiman interviewed by Ree Robson
June 21, 2019
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 at the time of the interview he lived in California with his husband.
In this interview, Jed Schwendiman ’92, psychology major and former Residence Life and President's Office staff member, reflects on his experiences as a student at Whitman, and then as a staff member and advisor to the LGBTQ student group known as GLBTQ in the 2000s. Schwendiman shares reflections about his childhood and life before Whitman as well as his perception of LGBTQ activism at Whitman during his student years. He discusses his position as a Resident Advisor (RA), when he met his current husband, and how they hid their relationship during their first years together. Schwendiman comments on his journey to coming to terms with his identity as a gay man while at Whitman, and what it was like to come back and work at Whitman when he and his partner were out. The second half of the interview is mostly dedicated to his return to Whitman, how he took over as the advisor for GLBTQ, and how he navigated his role in that group.
1 digital audio recording: 00:58:42
Whitman College and Northwest Archives, Whitman College LGBTQ+ Oral History Project Recordings and Transcripts, WCA159
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