Westmont Magazine Forward in Faithfulness: The Campaign for Westmont
“There’s never been a better time to invest in Westmont’s Christian liberal arts education,” says President Gayle D. Beebe. “Society — and the wider world — need more Westmont graduates. For more than 85 years, the rigor of our Christian liberal arts education, coupled with our comprehensive and holistic student life experience, have produced men and women capable of leading in every sector of society. Westmont alums can be found in every corner of the globe, tackling great challenges and pursuing faithfulness and excellence in their families, fields, churches and communities.”
Investing in Future Leaders
Forward in Faithfulness, which launched its public phase in October 2022, announced a historic fundraising goal of $250 million to educate the next generation of scholars, athletes, pastors, musicians, artists, scientists, educators and innovators. Westmont gratefully announces that through the generosity of alums, families, friends, foundations and others, the college is now focused on raising the final $40 million for the campaign’s priorities.
“We encourage every member of the community to help us reach the finish line,” says Reed Sheard, vice president for advancement and chief information officer. “These dollars represent transformed lives. We seek to increase the number of students experiencing this life-changing education on campus, at the Westmont Downtown facility or abroad by 300 more students, for a total of 1,500 each year.”
You can assist Westmont in accomplishing these goals:
- Enhance the affordability and accessibility of a Westmont education.
- Contribute to society by developing Christian leaders.
- Provide new academic offerings grounded in the liberal arts.
- Position the Warriors for continued success as Westmont moves into the NCAA DII.
- Connect Westmont to the world through global programs.
These priorities all shape Westmont’s ability to recruit, develop and launch more students who are a great fit for Westmont and seek a life of learning and service.
Purchase. Renovate. Innovate.
Donors have funded new facilities and programs that allow Westmont to increase enrollment. The county’s conditional-use permit limits the number of students on campus to 1,200. So the college is taking a fresh approach to new programs in downtown Santa Barbara while continuing to invest in Westmont in San Francisco and other locations throughout the world.
In two buildings in Santa Barbara, Westmont Downtown will house creative new opportunities for students. By purchasing and renovating 26 and 29 W. Anapamu Street, Westmont has created a secure home for centers and institutes, our nursing program and new offerings now being developed.
Westmont’s first post-baccalaureate program, the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN), is located at 26 W. Anapamu Street. With the acute nursing shortage plaguing California and the limited number of nursing programs, this new initiative with partner Cottage Health helps prepare more nurses. The first cohort of students graduates in May, celebrating with a pinning ceremony. Donors generously supported this program and provided scholarships for nursing students.
The post-baccalaureate Certificate in Theological Leadership finds a home across the street at 29 W. Anapamu. This exciting venture launches in January 2024. Westmont supporters have committed $1.5 million to fully renovate the facility for this program, which will serve pastors, ministry leaders, prospective seminary students and laypeople interested in studying theology in more depth. The college seeks to raise an additional $5.5 million to invest in developing Christian leadership.
Putting a Life-changing Education within Reach
Increasing the student body to 1,500 students ensures a fiscally strong institution able to provide generous financial aid and keep tuition down. As the number of high school graduates declines nationwide, Westmont needs to expand its efforts to reach the next the generation of students who value Christian higher education, inform them about Westmont’s excellence and innovative programs and provide resources so they can attend.
Higher education — and particularly the liberal arts — faces increasing pressure to justify the value of college degrees. Westmont responds to challenges students encounter in affording education with a multifaceted approach, from enhancing career readiness to engaging in ongoing dialogue about the extensive benefits of a liberal arts education as a foundation for life. New programs, including cutting-edge fields, benefit students more profoundly when grounded in the liberal arts — and that grounding better prepares students for professional success.
Westmont has made a profound commitment to students by steadily increasing financial aid. For example, first-year students with demonstrated need received an average award of $40,025. Financial partners have options for alleviating students’ financial burdens with gifts to annual or endowed scholarships. Whether you’re making your first scholarship gift or interested in establishing something permanent, your support can make a crucial difference. The campaign also includes support for the Augustinian Scholars Program (see the related story on page 70). Emma Silver ’25 speaks for countless students when she says, “Knowing that someone I have never met is supporting my education is very humbling and gracious.”
Growing and Thriving
The name of this campaign, Forward in Faithfulness, honors the unfailing faithfulness of God. It also celebrates the many thousands of gifts made during 85 years by those who believe in Westmont’s mission and have faithfully helped sustain it. “Today, there are tremendous pressures on higher education,” President Beebe says. “Thanks to God, Westmont is thriving. We’re drawing students from around the world eager for a Christian liberal arts education and community. Our supporters help students find a way to be ‘the salt and light needed today,’ as our founder, Mrs. Ruth Kerr, said.”
For more information and to make a gift of any amount to communicate your support for Westmont’s mission and vision, go to westmont.edu/donate. Learn more about the campaign at westmont.edu/ forward-faithfulness or contact Reed Sheard, vice president for college advancement.