Westmont Magazine President Winter to Retire
In May, Dr. David Winter announced plans to retire effective June 30, 2001. Westmont’s longest-serving president, he will step down after leading the college for 25 years.
While the board of trustees accepted his decision with regret, they asked him to remain on the staff as chancellor, without administrative responsibilities, to complete several ongoing college projects.
Under his leadership, Westmont has become a highly selective, nationally ranked liberal arts college with outstanding faculty and programs. Today the college is considered among the top liberal arts institutions in the country by many organizations and publications such as the U.S. News & World Report, the Carnegie Foundation and the John Templeton Foundation.
“I feel so privileged that I had this opportunity to be at Westmont for these years,” he says. “There is a right time for all decisions, and this is the right time to hand over the leadership of this extraordinary place.
“Through the work of so many, those who have preceded me and those who have worked with me, I believe the college is very strong and has an exciting future. We have assembled one of the finest boards of any college of our kind in the country, a truly outstanding faculty, an extraordinarily bright and gifted student body, and a staff with the talent and vision to carry the college forward.
“The seeds of true greatness have been planted at this relatively young institution through the efforts of so many. I look forward to helping Westmont’s new leader in any way that I can to ensure the continued advancement of the college’s mission and purpose.”
Winter and his wife, Helene, will stay on until 2002 to complete several important projects, including the funding of two new facilities, a center for the visual arts and a second comprehensive building for the sciences.
“David has provided tremendous leadership for Westmont and helped the college join the ranks of the best liberal arts colleges in the nation,” said Gary Harris, chairman of the board of trustees. “He leaves an impressive legacy and a compelling vision for the future.”
Harris, vice president at Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, will appoint a search committee, which will begin work immediately. This group of trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni and parents will conduct a national search.
“Dr. Winter has not only had a tremendous impact on the Westmont campus, but also on the Santa Barbara community,” says U.S. Rep. Lois Capps. “Under his leadership, Westmont has grown into a highly regarded institution of higher learning that has opened its doors to the public through lecture series and other educational opportunities. He is an inspiration to me, and, although he may retire, I know he will continue to inspire students, faculty, and members of our community for years to come.”
A 1986 survey of higher education officials and scholars named Winter as one of the nation’s most effective college or university leaders. The John Templeton Foundation included him in a 1999 list of 50 college presidents noted for leadership in character development. In 1998 he received the Santa Barbara News-Press Lifetime Achieve-ment Award, and the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse honored him as one of the community’s “Twelve Men of Distinction.”
Winter is a recognized leader in higher education organizations. He served three years as the chairman of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges’ Senior Commis-sion, the accrediting organization for all higher educational institutions in the region. He has also been a director for the national Council on Higher Education Accreditation.
An editorial in the Santa Barbara News-Press praised Winter for his many accomplishments and involvement in the community and concluded, “Westmont officials may find a new president, but they will never find a replacement for David Winter.”