Westmont Magazine Taking the Next Step
Longtime President’s Associates Have Become Members of the Wallace Emerson Society
It’s been 30 years since Phil Palmquist ’76 graduated from Westmont, but his ties to his alma mater hold tight. That’s where he met his wife, Robyn Ragan Palmquist ’78, and connected with John Cargill, a part-time Westmont instructor and CPA whose practice Phil’s firm acquired. Professor John Lundberg helped put the deal together.,/p>
Tim Denton ’77, one of Phil’s colleagues at Hocking Denton Palmquist, also attended Westmont. The Palmquists’ older daughter married the son of fellow alums Craig ’76 and Janet Knutsen ’75 Squire; the two couples served on the alumni board together. As a CPA, Phil advises a number of faculty, staff and alumni. Robyn is a Bible Study Fellowship leader, and several fellow graduates belong to her group.
“Westmont is intertwined in our adult lives,” Phil says. “It’s been such a blessing. We’re especially thankful that college networking helped us move to Santa Barbara 15 years ago so we could raise our daughters here.” Sarah graduated from Concordia College and teaches art and art history at L.A. Baptist High School; her husband,Jeffrey, is an attorney. Mary Kate, who is 15, plans to go to Westmont like her parents did.
“We just keep receiving from Westmont,” Robyn says. “We got an excellent education, and the college continues to be a big part of our lives. That’s why it’s important to us to give back.”
The Palmquists made their first gift at their five-year reunion, and they’ve been members of the President’s Associates — donors who give at least $1,000 each year — for 25 years. “We want Westmont to continue being a fabulous Christian liberal arts college,” Robyn says . “We want to give others the kind of education we received — especially if our daughter goes there.”
That’s one reason Phil and Robyn have decided to take the next step and make a provision for Westmont in their living trust. “If the majority of Westmont graduates did this, the college could really build its endowment,” Phil says. “Together we can make a difference. Even modest legacies such as $10,000 add up if many alumni remember Westmont in their wills, trusts or estate plans.”
“We wouldn’t be where we are today without the influence and impact of Westmont,” Phil says. “We don’t want to be ungrateful or take the college for granted.”
Planning and careful financial management are important to Phil and his family. Thanks to their savings plan, they have put one daughter through college and are prepared for the next one to enroll. They are also on course in funding their own retirement accounts.
But their planning will benefit others as well — future Westmont students who receive financial assistance through the Palmquist legacy to the college’s growing endowment.
For more information about the Wallace Emerson Society, call the Office of Gift Planning, (805) 565-6058 or (800) 998-5652.