Westmont Magazine Endowing an Institute
Fletcher Jones Foundation Provides Crucial Support for the Institute for the Liberal Arts
The Fletcher Jones Foundation has given $500,000 to endow the Institute for the Liberal Arts at Westmont, the lead grant toward a $2 million goal.
Founded in 2000, the institute promotes the continued vitality of the liberal arts tradition in American higher education. Annual Conversations on the Liberal Arts bring together educators from colleges and universities nationwide.
“We are deeply grateful to the Fletcher Jones Foundation for supporting our commitment to the liberal arts,” President Stan D. Gaede said. “The institute fills a gap in American higher education by providing a forum for discussing the most fundamental questions facing the liberal arts tradition. Westmont seeks to create a hospitable place where participants can address these foundational issues with substance and meaning.”
“Through the work of the institute, Westmont has an opportunity to serve the larger world of higher education while sharpening our own educational vision,” Provost Shirley Mullen said.
“Given that it is fairly rare for foundations to provide funds for endowment, this gift from Fletcher Jones represents a vote of confidence in both Westmont and the institute,” she added. “We are well on our way toward building an endowment that will permanently fund the institute.”
The institute’s annual Conversations on the Liberal Arts have featured topics such as “Educating for Justice,” “Vocation, Vocationalism and the Liberal Arts” and “The Sciences as Liberal Arts.” Speakers have included leading scholars: liberal arts education champion Robert Erburu; historian of education Bruce Kimball; Cambridge literary scholar Dame Gillian Beer; Carnegie Foundation senior scholar William Sullivan; and Yale philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff. Participants have represented premier colleges and universities, including Yale, Georgetown, Emory, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, Pomona, Claremont McKenna and Occidental.
In 2002, the Fletcher Jones Foundation gave Westmont a $500,000 lead grant for state-of-the-art science equipment for the future David K. Winter Hall for the Sciences. Other gifts supported a student loan fund and provided science equipment and technology-related upgrades. Fletcher Jones, the co-founder of Computer Services Corp., established the foundation in 1969.