Westmont Magazine Treasuring the Beauty of Kerrwood
by David K. Winter
A few years ago the winning Spring Sing skit (VK men again) was built around the theme of Westmont moving to Bakersfield. It was a hilarious piece—one of the best in my memory. Part of the humor resulted from imagining such a preposterous event. In the skit the students were mainly concerned about their inability to surf, but, as I briefly considered the effect of such a move, I concluded that for all intents and purposes Westmont would no longer be Westmont.
But let me ask you: can you imagine Westmont being located any other place? The neighborhood and the campus represent the experiences, the friendships, the challenge, and the inspiration of these four important years. We sometimes take it for granted, but I suspect that our campus is one of the most beautiful in the world. And for those of us who have been privileged to live or work here the setting is inextricably connected—and will be throughout our lives—with many powerful images and memories.
We expect a high-quality college education to take place on a high-quality campus. At this special and attractive place, students grapple with the significant issues of life, make fundamental choices regarding their values and mission in life, meet life-long friends, and find inspiration and challenge in developing their faith. The 100 acres of our central campus are more important in creating the distinctive Westmont experience than we may realize, at least until we are alums with the perspective that comes from the distance of time and space.
The entire college campus is important to us: Bauder Hall, the stone bridges and winding paths, the Voskuyl Prayer Chapel, Porter Hall, the Kerr Student Center, the Abbott tennis complex, Murchison Gym, and so forth. But Kerrwood Hall rises above the rest in our thoughts of Westmont. What a grand and elegant structure. It may be even more precious to us because of the fires that have threatened its survival, particularly the terrifying fire of 1970. And even with the many changes required over the years, Kerrwood still speaks of a heritage central in our history and a tradition we wish to take into the future.
We define our style and manner as a college as we move in and out of Kerrwood. And I believe the quality and beauty of our “home” during this crucially important period in our lives even affects who we are as Westmont graduates. We find identity and fulfillment from the enjoyment of grace and beauty, as fitting expressions of our God, who is the ultimate source of dignity and beauty, and in the works of art that reflect His creative powers.
In this first issue of our new Westmont magazine we recognize and celebrate the memories that surround this wonderful building. I am sure you thank God as I do for providing Kerrwood and the Westmont campus as a beautiful environment in which to spend an important part of our lives. After college we encounter and deal more directly with a chaotic, messy environment. Four years are not too long to enjoy and experience the peace and serenity of Kerrwood and the Westmont campus. But don’t just read about it. Come back and spend some time in Hieronymus Lounge. Let it refresh and encourage you once again.