Westmont Magazine The Legacy of Mildred Adams
A Woman Who Transformed Her Farm in Missouri into the “Lord’s Work” at Westmont
When Westmont relocated to Santa Barbara in 1945, a number of students found their way to a small community church on the west side of the city. They volunteered to teach Sunday School and lead the music program. There they met Mildred Adams and her husband, Oscar. She invited them home for Sunday dinners, provided them with transportation to and from the campus, and even housed a number of them in her own home during the summer months.
At the time, she didn’t know that many years later her son Glen would join Westmont’s administrative staff, her granddaughter, Alyson, would attend the College, and her grandson, Trent, would graduate from Westmont.
Mildred and her husband were faithful stewards of the resources God had given them. They supported their church, missionaries, and Christian colleges. After her husband’s passing in 1966, she continued this commitment to stewardship. She met with her accountant before the end of each year to review her giving. Before discussing any other issues, she always wanted to know how much she had given to the “Lord’s work.”
In 1982 she established an endowed lectureship in missions at Westmont in honor of her brother-in-law, Roy P. Adams, who was a retired missionary to China and Japan. She hoped this would spark the interest of Westmont students in missions and provide them with information on the opportunities for service around the world. Today this lectureship is part of Westmont’s Missions Week program, which is directed by the Chaplain’s Office.
Mildred was born and raised on a small farm in Missouri. She attended the local schools before going on to business college in a nearby city. She married her high school sweetheart and moved with him to California to raise a family. Some years later as her mother aged, the responsibility for her care fell on Mildred. Her mother could no longer live alone, so Mildred and her husband purchased the farm and brought her mother to Santa Barbara to live in their home.
The farm produced a very small income each year, but Mildred kept it because it was her birthplace and an important part of her life. Time passed and all her relatives and acquaintances either moved away or passed on. Maintaining the farm became more of a burden than a benefit. Her financial adviser suggested that she consider placing it in a charitable remainder unitrust. This would remove it from her estate and avoid an out-of-state probate procedure, eliminate her management responsibilities, increase her income each year, and ultimately provide resources for the “Lord’s work” at Westmont.
Having already provided for her grandchildren through her living trust, she was happy to be able to make this gift to Westmont, a ministry which had become an important part of her life. Mildred died last year, but her investment in the “Lord’s work” will live on in the lives of Westmont students for years to come.