Ms. Whitney has been endorsed by Marquis Who’s Who for her contributions in the fields of education, arts and entertainment
LA JOLLA, CA, April 2, 2018, Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Alison Whitney with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. Ms. Whitney celebrates many years of success in her service to women and children. While in full time Christian work with Campus Crusade for Christ, in New England and Michigan (1967-1979), she excelled in leadership, evangelism, teaching, training and public speaking. During the years 1974-1976, she authored and taught The Challenge Of Being A Woman, a 12-lecture study series where four hundred women attended her final class in Ann Arbor, MI and many lives were changed. The enthusiasm was great and she was in demand for more classes, and in time to speak at retreats and seminars across the country. Word of her class quickly spread, including overseas, and more than a million women in America have benefited from her course.
Ms. Whitney (Alison) is known as a writer and speaker by her married name, which she has not used in writing or speaking since coming to La Jolla. Her maiden name was Alice Burton Movius, and she returned to that name after leaving Ann Arbor. The Movius name has been known for distinction in medicine since Roman times, starting with two German brothers who came to Rome to practice medicine and their name was changed from Mevis to Movius. Her grandfather and father and uncles were famous doctors, and her twin brother is a doctor today.
Alison wanted to continue with the Movius name, and to keep the name Alice (which means truth) after she and the children arrived in La Jolla in 1985. However, one of her brothers drove to her new home and said, “I’m going to sue you if you hurt the famous family name”. He knew that she was serious about continuing with her writing and wanted to see her stopped. That night she thought of a new name which she hoped would calm him down—Alison Whitney (Whitney is a family name on her mother’s side). She decided that this new name would have to be her new and permanent name. The new name stopped the threats, but not his desire to hurt her and wear her down. (It is not easy to begin anew with a totally different name.)
Back to her early days: Ms. Whitney (then Alice) got her first taste of leadership when she was voted to be mayor of her elementary school, after being an extremely shy little girl. Her twin brother had been “everything” to her parents, and this affected her greatly. Her second-grade teacher took her “under her wing” to help her gain self-confidence. Alice began making friends and her outgoing personality began to develop. In grades 3-5 her mother enrolled her in art school where she thrived and was praised for her artistic works. She continued to be popular in junior and senior high school, excelled in academics, and was also chosen to be ASB Treasurer, song leader and homecoming princess.
For college she went to the University of California at Berkeley where she continued to excel academically and was chosen for two different honorary groups during her first two years, along with being an Oski Doll, campus model and beauty queen. She also did volunteer work with blind students and became a member of the Delta Gamma sorority. After spending her junior year abroad, in Vienna, Austria, she returned to California and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in humanities in 1967.
While at Cal she was introduced to the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ and became a Christian, and that was the beginning of serious leadership and ministry training for her. She served on staff for twelve years, and it was during these years that she discovered that she had a knack for public speaking. She spoke to women’s groups and she began writing lecture material for sorority girls, where she was well received.
Back to Ann Arbor: After teaching The Challenge Of Being A Woman, Ms. Whitney focused her energies on her two young children and on writing a home-based curriculum for mothers of preschoolers. She taught a nursery school in her home called “The Happy Place” which her children loved and so did she. She started writing songs for preschool age children at that time, and has since written close to 1,000 songs, mostly for children. Her husband, George (not his real name) ordered her to stop doing the nursery school, and to write three more 12-week lecture series for women. He wanted them to become millionaires with the new courses, and was also eager for her to do seminars and retreats (outside of Michigan) where she would receive speaking honorariums. He forbid her to speak locally, which made it impossible for her to get the feedback she needed as she worked on the lectures. Outbursts of anger and more demands followed, and their formerly pleasant home became one of uncertainty and fear.
Alison, at that time, also started writing poems. In contrast to the songs, which were largely happy experiences enjoyed with her children, her poems were an outlet for her to express her anguish to God about her husband’s increasing harshness and rejection. Like many of the psalms (in the Bible), she cried out to God for understanding and help.
In the years that followed, Ms. Whitney tried to please a husband who had told her in their first year of marriage, “I don’t like you. I don’t love you. I married you for looks and money”. She didn’t know what to do and remained silent and calm, as he was easily angered. Over time he became increasingly hostile, but she never considered separation or divorce because of the strong “Christian” teaching she had received in her young Christian life. She had been taught, through Campus Crusade, that God was always against divorce (that He hated it), also that “God will always answer prayer for those who are obedient”. She was also taught to expect happy answers, based on the many “promises of God”. It took her a long time to realize these teachings did not apply to a situation such as hers.
In 1985 the principal of her children’s school and three teachers warned her of impending danger and told her she had to get herself and the children to a new location or they would be murdered. She was forced to flee for safety and felt that her parent’s home in La Jolla would provide that safe place for them. Her parents welcomed her at first, but the sudden illness of her father meant they had to move out. Her parents failed to see the danger they were in, especially when one of her brothers said to her, in their presence, “I’m going to make sure that you never succeed again”. Two days later he threatened to murder her, and made numerous other threats that he would harm her. Then he started stealing expensive equipment and lectures out of her home. Her father never stood up for her and her mother was silent. Alison now had two frightening situations—fear of death from two hostile persons, and two children who were severely traumatized.
Back to David. He became seriously ill at the end of his first school year in La Jolla, with the onset of schizophrenia. George, still her husband, refused to accept that anything was wrong with his son. After that first year it was not safe for David to live with his mother or sister (due to his not yet treated illness) and a brother-in-law on George’s side offered to take him and see that he had the needed psych evaluation that Alison had paid for. He promised to take him to weekly therapy sessions to help his adjustment to his new disease. That relative did not follow through on his promises and ended up moving eight hours north, leaving David without a non-critical person to care for him. What he had, instead, were angry people on every side, including a new wife for George, who constantly voiced negative views about Alison. The first year in that city David was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and later had some close calls with death.
Back to George: After he moved out to California, having been fired from two jobs, he told her “I consider myself no longer married to you” and immediately started dating. He repudiated the idea of counseling and denied that he was ever abusive. During Alison’s first three years in San Diego, George continued with his very strong words and efforts to hurt her standing with her family and friends. The lies to and about her continued from that time on until David, in 2004, while living on his own, died from diabetes. The verbal attacks and lies never affected her son’s love for her, in fact, they seemed to increase his love and devotion. Alison wonders if the pressure on David to conform to what he knew was wrong (from 1979-2004) was the reason he became worn down, then ill. It doesn’t matter now (to her), but it is a part of the reason why she is so motivated, even today, to help abused parents to understand the dangers of their situations, also to help pastors and people in churches to realize that abuse education and help is critical.
Ms. Whitney founded WhitneyWorks in 1990 to be the vehicle for releasing her “works” (lectures, studies, songs and poems). At the time she was interacting with women who were using The Challenge (Of Being A Woman). In 2002 her inventory was stolen, at the same time that her son’s health was getting worse, and she felt she had no choice but to let go of her company (not the name). This company will be important to Alison as she completes her many not-yet-finished lectures and studies, partly to get feedback from her audience, also to build momentum once again.
For now, until WhitneyWorks has several employees, she plans to work with Amazon. She will soon be posting her whitneyworks.com website that will list the “works” that will start being available and where they can be obtained. These will be “Happy Little Scripture Songs” (for young children), “Poems That Tell A Story” (her best poems and some about abuse), “Living Successfully With Time” (a 12-lecture series that she has worked on since 1979, with an emphasis on Purpose as well as A Biblical View of Time, Goals, Planning and Successful Daily Living). Following this will be a 12-lecture series called “Esteem, Etc.”, another called “The Challenge Of Loving”, and a 4-lecture retreat series called “Knowing You Are Loved”, which will introduce women (all interested) to a firsthand knowledge of God’s love.
She is restarting The Abuse Education Network (2018) (only as a website for now) as a way to recruit help in this endeavor. Her long-range goal is to help youth and men and women in the church get help that they need—warnings to not get involved in abusive relationships, also practical and spiritual help if those relationships have begun. This will include writing materials for use in churches as well as public high schools and colleges, also for pastors, Sunday school teachers and lay volunteers. Her website abuseeducationnetwork.org, will list important books to read, organizations that can help, and possible seminars. This will not become an actual organization until she has competent and knowledgeable people to run it.
Kermit the Frog once sang “It’s not easy…being green”. Alison would echo those words today saying, “It’s not easy… being me”. She knows that she has a lot of work to do, but is glad to now be in an environment where there is finally a “green light” to proceed with goals and dreams. She will appreciate prayer from any who are so inclined.
Ms. Whitney was born in Billings, Montana, where her grandfather, Dr. A.J. Movius, founded a clinic that is still going strong today. She enjoys reading, being with friends, going out for dinner, seeing movies, following the news, and taking brisk walks.
She has been cited in several editions of Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the West, Who’s Who in the World, and Who’s Who of American Women. Earlier in her career, she was named to Outstanding Young Women of America (in 1978). She has recently been added to Who’s Who of American Professional Women.
In recognition of outstanding contributions to millions of women and children and to the Marquis Who’s Who community, Ms. Whitney has been featured on the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement website. Please visit www.ltachievers.com for more information about this honor.
Emails expressing interest or asking questions can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Final Note:
Alison’s daughter, Lisa, now age 42, is a successful journalist and author, living and working in Shanghai, China. She graduated from Brown University with a major in political science. She has many friends and a life she enjoys. She is a cat lover and a swimmer. Alison was able to help her to get on with a better and successful life, even though the first years were hard. Her parents and twin brother were able to help with this accomplishment.
She also was able to help her son, David, who died at age 30. He never turned his back on her (in spite of ongoing criticism) and was very loving and emotionally supportive of her as he matured, especially in his last eight years. He was a very beautiful person who cared deeply for people and who, like her, wanted his life to count “for good”. He graduated from Harvey Mudd College with a degree in physics, after excelling in math competitions while in high school. After his death, Alison was sent hundreds of photos that she had never seen before (from George’s niece who has remained her only friend in that family). She also sent some wonderful short stories which reveal his interest and compassion for people, especially people who had hard lives. She has nothing but joy in her heart for the contribution that he made in other’s lives, as well. She plans to commemorate his life with a short book about him, which will include some of these stories, also important comments and insights that he shared with her through the years. David was also the inspiration for almost all of her children’s songs, and he longed to see them released, along with her new lecture material. He believed in her 100% and said so often (we all need someone like this in our lives).
Alison also has a male friend, Conan, who has been her best friend for the past 20 years. He also believes in her to the same degree and has been a sounding board and a steady encourager. God has provided this wonderful friendship for both of them, a sign of His goodness! They are also daily prayer partners, who plan to celebrate each of her upcoming accomplishments. With Conan’s devoted friendship Alison never feels alone.
In recognition of outstanding contributions to her profession and the Marquis Who’s Who community, Alison Whitney has been featured on the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement website. Please visit www.ltachievers.com for more information about this honor.