Westmont Magazine An Affinity for Westmont
Why do parents who are paying tuition decide to donate to the Campaign for Westmont as well? Rich and Janice Nagler, parents of Kevin ’01 and former members of the Parents Council, give their answer.
“There are plenty of fine educational institutions that deliver research and technology, but very few that have the object of teaching values,” Rich begins. “That was really important to us. By giving money to technology and computer science at Westmont, we are promoting the values we believe in. We also knew the college could really use it, and that made our gift more meaningful.
“Kevin grew a tremendous amount at Westmont and was very active in a church group,” Rich adds. “His values stayed true to form. We’ve seen that in the families at Westmont. There’s a real closeness between parents and children and an ability to communicate one-on-one, and we respect that.”
“Westmont turns out wonderful human beings,” Janice notes. “We wanted to participate in that and do something to make a difference.”
When they moved from Westlake Village, Calif., to Reno, Nev., several years ago, the Naglers sought a simpler life. Janice retired as the owner of a welcoming service and the office manager for a financial planner, and Rich left Merck Pharmaceutical to become vice president of marketing for AdvancePCS. His works requires a lot of travel, and he expected an easier time getting in and out of the small Reno airport.
Even though Kevin has graduated and they have ended their term on the Parents Council, the Naglers plan to move close to Santa Barbara and build on land they own in Ballard.
They are no strangers to new home construction. While in Reno, they have built and sold several houses, one at a time. Janice oversees the design, construction and decorating. which means she is far from being retired.
Rick keeps busy managing the pharmaceutical component of health plans for insurance companies, unions, and corporations. “Health care is a very dynamic field,” he notes. “It’s kept me very stimulated as there is always a new frontier and a better way of doing things.”
Both their sons are interested in the arts. Chris earned a degree in literature from UC Berkeley and went to graduate school at Johns Hopkins. He is a playwright who hopes to earn a master of fine arts degree at UC Los Angeles or Yale University.
Kevin majored in art at Westmont and wants to study film through a master of fine arts program at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. But first, he is spending a year traveling across the United States, visiting family, friends and national parks.
According to his parents, Kevin loved Westmont. “It was absolutely perfect for him,” Rich says. “Westmont was indeed a perfect fit,” Janice agrees. A frequent participant in Potter’s Clay, Kevin served as an assistant coach for the Westmont women’s volleyball team and also played intramural volleyball. He was a volleyball player in high school.
As members of the Parents Council, Rich and Janice helped out at Orientation and called prospective parents in their area who had questions about Westmont.
“We loved being involved with the Parents Council,” Rich states. “The people were wonderful,” Janice adds.
“Those parents really cared about Westmont,” Rich explains. “Naturally, they cared about their kids, but they cared about Westmont in a completely different way. They always tried to be helpful and constructive.
“We felt a lot of affinity with the other parents,” Rich continues. “Our kids have similar values, interests, and devotions, so it’s not surprising that the parents become close.
“Westmont is a family kind of place, and we really appreciate that,” Janice states.