Across the years, George F. Whitworth’s distinguished and somber countenance has graced alumni magazines, student handbooks, event programs, even the ice sculptures that occasionally appear at Whitworth banquets. In 2007, 100 years after his death, George F. Whitworth came to life in a fun and imaginative way: He appeared in alumni mailboxes as “Flat George,” a portable, pocket-sized paper-cutout wearing a festive Whitworth sweater and spats, and sporting Whitworth’s ever-popular “neck beard.”
Alumni took “Flat George” on their travel adventures, capturing photos of themselves with George in various locations around the globe and sharing the photos with Whitworth’s alumni office. Photos feature George mugging for the camera at the House of Congress in Washington, D.C., the Seine in Paris, France, with a Peace Corps volunteer group in Ecuador, and at the Space Needle in Seattle.
When Facebook became popular, George got his own profile, which quickly prompted hundreds of “friend” requests. His page features biographical information such as his alma mater: Hanover College, in Indiana; his birthplace: Boston, England; and his spouse’s name: Mary. His favorite music? Hymns, of course. Movies? Selections shown in Core classes. His favorite books include Incarnate Leadership, by former president Bill Robinson. George often sends birthday greetings to his friends, who now number near 1,000. He also posts snippets from his mid-1800s diary; sends wise words of encouragement to the Whitworth community; and is frequently tagged by students and alumni in Whitworth-related photos.
George lives on. Huzzah!