Westmont Magazine Parents in Prayer
Have you made plans yet for March 18? If not, Fred and Randy Knee want to recruit you for the first annual Westmont Day of Prayer. Members of the Parents Council, the Knees are working with parents, professors, staff, students, and alums to encourage the College community to gather together for prayer. They hope people will meet for an hour on campus and at 100 remote sites to pray for current concerns, conveniently posted on the Internet.
“Our goal is to touch as many people as possible,” Fred explains. “We’ve scheduled the Day of Prayer a week after Parents Weekend and Spring Sing to encourage parents to be involved. We intend to make up-to-date requests widely available.”
While Westmont is now “embedded in their hearts,” just a few years ago, the Knees had never heard of it. They first learned about the College over breakfast with fellow chaperones on a school trip. “This couple had students at Westmont, and they couldn’t say enough about it,” Fred recalls. “We were intrigued, so we started talking to people to find out more.”
The Knees have always taken a deep interest in their children’s education; they founded a school at their church and ran it for eight years to make sure their family had the best possible academic experience. Not only did they set high standards for the program, which included kindergarten through 12th grade, but they also reached out to disadvantaged children. “We served a wide spectrum of kids, and it was a gratifying experience,” Fred confides.
When the Knees’ children started looking at colleges, Fred and Randy encouraged them to go to a Christian school with a strong academic program. “Westmont seemed to offer everything we wanted,” Randy said.
Fortunately, Elizabeth ’96 agreed and began a family tradition. She works for Oracle Software in the Bay Area after getting a degree in English. Michael ’98 earned a B.A. in communication studies and is assistant to the president at P & J Brands in Phoenix, Ariz. Matthew ’01 is still exploring majors. Joe Knee decided to attend Biola so he could major in film.
The quality of Westmont’s academic program exceeded the Knees’ expectations. “Our kids really worked at Westmont,” Fred notes. “By their junior year, they had all developed an educated view of life, and it was remarkable to watch that change occur.”
“As President Winter says, the academic stress factor at Westmont really pushes kids beyond what they think they can do,” Randy adds. “Professors turn mediocre students into educated adults.”
A former Navy pilot who fought in Vietnam, Fred started a construction business in central California in 1975. He built subdivisions, commercial and industrial buildings, restaurants, and churches. To help pay college costs, he and Randy became representatives for Excel Communications, which sells Internet, long distance, and paging services. This second career proved so successful, they both now pursue it full time.
“We haven’t found one thing we didn’t like about Westmont,” Fred says, “and we’re committed to praying for its future. We hope others will join us on March 18.”