Westmont Magazine Gifts Support Students and the Liberal Arts
Estate Gifts Add to the College’s Growing Endowment
Two separate estate gifts totaling $3.3 million will help endow student scholarships and the Institute for the Liberal Arts at Westmont. In its sixth year, the institute explores and promotes liberal arts education, which offers knowledge in a broad range of subjects as well as skills students need to succeed at work and in life.
During their lifetimes, Robert and Margaret Swift and Milton and Mildred Owens, all of Orange, Calif., set up charitable remainder trusts with Westmont as the primary charitable beneficiary. They were able to support Westmont and receive lifetime incomes and tax benefits from their trusts.
Together, the distributions from these trusts provide $2.8 million to endow student scholarships. The remaining $500,000 will fund the institute, which is more than halfway to an initial $2 million goal. In February, the Fletcher Jones Foundation gave a lead grant of $500,000 toward endowing the institute.
“These gifts address two of our highest priorities,” President Stan D. Gaede says. “We are grateful for the support and foresight of these friends of the college.”
The institute’s ongoing conference, Conversation on the Liberal Arts, benefits from these endowments. Administrators and faculty leaders from colleges and universities nationwide gather to explore challenges and opportunities facing liberal arts education. The sixth meeting, “Globalizing the Liberal Arts,” will take place at Westmont in February.
The Westmont art department has received a $10,700 Worship Renewal grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in Grand Rapids, Mich., for a project titled “Stations of the Life of Christ.”
Student artists will create a series of 14 images interpreting moments in Christ’s life that speak to Westmont’s identity as a Christian liberal arts college. Each artist will form informal, small groups to study and think about the artist’s inspirational biblical passage. Rooted in scriptural meditation and understood from the perspective of art history, the art pieces will be installed around campus as aids to public worship. The project aims to create images that invite more intentional practices of visual devotion to the imitation of Christ.
Professor Lisa DeBoer will act as the program director. “It is very rewarding to see a project like this receive funding,” she says. “The proposal was written by students and the project will be carried out by students. It is the best sort of engaged learning.” Santa Barbara artist Marie Schoeff will be the supervising artist.