Westmont Magazine An Intercultural Emphasis
The San Francisco-based James Irvine Foundation has awarded Westmont $400,000 over three years under its Campus Diversity Program. To prepare graduates for effective citizenship in an increasingly multicultural world, Westmont will use the funds to enroll more students of color and to achieve college goals on diversity.
“We are delighted to be awarded this grant from the Irvine Foundation, which has a long history of supporting Westmont and our efforts to improve the experiences of our students,” President Stan D. Gaede said. “This funding is especially important as the college seeks to expand cross-cultural understanding and encourage more students of diverse backgrounds to come to Westmont.”
The college seeks to enroll 20 percent more students of color by 2005 through a combination of efforts that include increased admissions staffing, aggressive recruitment and financial aid award incentives. Students of color make up about 15 percent of Westmont’s current student body.
To realize the goal, Westmont will invest in the expansion of diversity-related knowledge, skills and programs, and will engage in an ongoing, systematic process of assessing and adjusting programs in line with the goals.
Westmont’s expectations for students include that “Students have the understanding and skills to engage people unlike themselves — both individuals and groups — in ways that affirm others as persons created in God’s image. Students are able to approach others respectfully — avoiding the natural tendency to deal with differences by vilifying, romanticizing, or victimizing.”
Westmont’s relationship with The James Irvine Foundation dates to 1969 when the foundation made its first grant to the college. Since that time, the organization has supported the construction and renovation of a number of campus facilities.
In 1988, the foundation provided bridge funds for faculty salary increases payable over three years on a matching basis. It also gave $475,000 in 1998 (over three years) to complete the reform of curricular and student life programs and to expand the college’s off-campus programs.
The James Irvine Foundation is an independent grant-making foundation dedicated to enhancing the social, economic and physical quality of life throughout California, and to enriching the state’s intellectual and cultural environment.
The foundation was established in 1937 by James Irvine, the California pioneer whose 110,000-acre ranch in Southern California was among the largest privately owned land holdings in the state. With assets of $1.2 billion, the foundation expects to make grants of $51 million in 2003 for the people of California. For more information on the foundation, please visit www.irvine.org.