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Pop Whitten Heritage Society

Ray Howard Whitten became the sixth president of Woodbury Business College in 1922. Students soon began addressing him as “Pop” Whitten because of his openness and genuine concern for all Woodbury students. During his tenure, Whitten transformed the school from a traditional business school into a college of higher learning.

Whitten increased enrollment from 63 to 236 students in only three months. Woodbury continued to grow under his leadership, moving to 727 South Figueroa Street in 1924 and, thirteen years later, to 1027 Wilshire Boulevard. Sensing the changing business climate, Whitten realized students would need more advanced courses in order to assume increased leadership positions in the business world. Woodbury acquired a state charter allowing academic degrees to be given to graduates. Woodbury Business College officially became Woodbury College.

Whitten is best known for his philosophy of education. He believed in using professionals to teach courses and sending students to local business leaders to gain firsthand knowledge of practices in specific areas. Professors taught students how to think and gave students projects to actively participate in their education. Whitten said, “Business ability is what a graduate has left after everything he has learned has been forgotten—including the answers he gave on tests. So we aim everything—including tests—along the line of developing skills, viewpoints, and resources that will be most useful to our students in their careers.” Woodbury University adheres to this philosophy today.

“Pop” Whitten is remembered as an innovative educator who left a lasting mark on our university. Friends of Woodbury University can share in “Pop” Whitten’s legacy by leaving gifts from their estates, whether through a will or other estate-planning vehicles, to Woodbury University.

For details about the “Pop” Whitten Heritage Society, please contact the Office of University Advancement at (818) 252-5212.


The following are members of the “Pop” Whitten Heritage Society:

Professor Sydney Lawrence Balbes (’60)
Brian & Linda Bowman
Roa Brand, VCA (’62)
Dr. Helen Gurley Brown (’41)
Don & Laura Butler
Dr. Ellen Campbell
Gary (’56) & Collene Campbell
Harvey S. (’56) & Marilyn Cova (’55)
Mrs. Hal Evry
Dr. Maxine Stussy Frankel
Theodore (’71) & Joan Fuller
Patricia Gamble
Joan Geisbush
Drs. Paul & Zelda Gilbert
Russ & Norma Hanlin
Dr. George R. Hensel (’53)
Frederick P. Hutchirs, FIIDA, CID (’74)
Lynni Hutton
James R. Inman
Dr. George E. Issacs (’52)
Joel Jaffe, AIA
Drs. Richard & Carol King
Richard W. Knowles (’63)
Dr. Rozella S. Knox
Mr. & Mrs. Roger Kringen (’49)
Dr. Robert & Barbara Kummer
Gregory N. Lippe, CPA (’67)
Bob (’52) & Dorothy Lucas
Frank Thomas Murphy
Sandra & Dr. Louis Naidorf
Dr. Kenneth & Rose Nielsen
Richard M. Nordin
Dr. Warren C. Owens (’47)
Myron W. “Mike” (’48) & Beth Reed
Michael W. (’71) & Jan D. Saba
Dr. Ronald E. Soderling (’57)
Jack Solomen (’56)
Edward (’60) & Shondell Spiegel
Mr. & Mrs. Hugo Standing
Dr. S. Jerome & Judith D. Tamkin (’49)
William R. Thomas (’69)
Professor Carolee Toon
Jim & Susan Whiting (’64)
Norma J. Woelfel (’56)

Deceased:
James and Helen Ayers
Harriet H. Brylant
Anthony J. Ferrantino (’57)
Stephen Gamble (’56)
Tip Geisbush (’49)
Ted Kirkendall (’49)
Kerr-Cagney-Klim (’50) Foundation
Gerald G. Mehuron (’48)
Gordon E. Meinert (’82)
Linda Snyder Rackley, Ph.D., C.Ht., VCA (’66)
Dr. Julius Shulman
Diana Lilley Smith (’41)
Jeanne Woodbury
George William Ziegler (’37)