Westmont Magazine A Parents Council Q & A
By Kirk and Bonnie Steele
Co-Chairs, Westmont Parents Council
The Parents Council includes approximately 20 mothers and fathers of Westmont students from a variety of classes.
The purpose of the Parents Council is fostering communication between the college and parents in order to improve the quality of the educational experience for Westmont students and their parents. The group represents and reflects the views of current parents while assisting the college in communicating its goals and plans to parents. We work with administrators and faculty to preserve and strengthen Westmont’s mission.
The Parents Council meets twice a year: in August during Orientation and in March for Parents Weekend and Spring Sing.
Five primary activities occupy the Parents Council: fund raising, student and parent orientation, admissions, Parents Weekend, and student intern programs.
Our first fund raising effort focused on rebuilding Westmont’s fitness center. A $100,000 challenge grant from the Wiegand Foundation which required us to raise $129,000 provided the impetus for this project. The successful campaign actually exceeded the goal, which helped with the inevitable cost overruns. We send our most sincere thanks to all the parents who gave so generously to this important project. The Wiegand Fitness Center has opened, and we invite all parents to stop by and see this tremendous new campus resource.
Student and Parent Orientation
During Orientation, Parents Council members welcome new students and their parents and answer questions from a parent’s perspective. Not only do we staff booths at several residence halls, but we participate in panel discussions to share our experiences as Westmont parents.
We telephone parents of prospective students to help them make that important college choice. We enjoy sharing our children’s experiences at Westmont—they confirm our initial decision.
We help plan and staff Parents Weekend events and emphasize a well-rounded glimpse of life on campus—academic, social, and spiritual—through attendance at classes, Spring Sing, and chapel.
Student Intern Programs and Job Placement
We envision and are working to establish “The Westmont Connection,” a formal network of alumni, parents, faculty, and staff designed to provide students with basic career planning services such as summer internships, permanent job placements, informational interviews, and career counseling.
You can get involved at Westmont by participating in our next fund raising drive (to be announced soon!) which will support a project enhancing your student’s life at Westmont. You have an opportunity to help us make Westmont even better! Please watch for future mailings, or call Mary Given, director of alumni and parent relations, at (805) 565-6056 with any questions or concerns. To participate in “The Westmont Connection” and facilitate students’ entry into the workplace, contact Tina Kistler, assistant director of career and life planning, at (805) 565-6059.