Westmont Magazine Giving
President David Winter’s push to complete the campus by 2010 received a boost in April when a Santa Barbara family foundation announced it was giving $5 million to support the construction of two facilities on campus: an art center and a building housing the psychology, physics, and mathematics departments. The donors wish to remain anonymous.
The day after President Winter delightedly announced the gift on campus, the Santa Barbara News-Press gave it significant coverage and printed a supportive editorial the next day.
The donation represents a milestone for the college and the community. “We believe this is the largest cash commitment ever made to private education in our tri-county area,” President Winter stated. “It is certainly the largest single donation to Westmont.”
The family members making the gift are local residents who recently became involved with Westmont. “It is our pleasure to invest in a college committed to values we believe are so important in our society today,” they explained. “Westmont changes the lives of students, and we’re excited about the impact these young men and women can make on our society as leaders in their professional and community lives.
“We want to support Westmont’s distinctive mission by helping the college achieve one of its most urgent priorities: completing the campus,” they added. “This includes a building for the visual arts, which particularly interests us.”
The board of trustees celebrated the good news at their regular meeting in May. “We are exceedingly grateful for this tremendous expression of commitment for the College’s plans and goals,” stated Gary Harris, who chairs the board. “These new facilities will make a significant difference in enabling Westmont to remain a college of distinction and provide great momentum for us as we head into the new millennium.”
Professor Tony Askew, who directs Westmont’s Reynolds Gallery, expressed his delight with the gift. “We are thrilled with the potential of the art center because it will place the visual arts in a central location on campus and make them highly visible to all students.”
“The mathematics, physics, and psychology departments are eagerly awaiting new classrooms equipped for multimedia presentations, more laboratory space, and areas designed to encourage intellectual and social exchange among professors and students,” said Professor Ken Kihlstrom, who chairs the physics department.
Westmont’s approved master plan includes the two buildings, but college officials must still secure building permits and raise additional funds before construction can begin.
The Santa Barbara News-Press editorial concluded: “Westmont College is fortunate to have such friends—and we are all lucky to have such neighbors.” Members of the Westmont family echo this sentiment and express their thanks and appreciation for the exemplary gift.