Westmont Magazine Westmont's Future and the Master Plan
by David K. Winter, President
These are exciting days at Westmont! Many things are converging at this particular time in our history that we believe will give us a tremendous boost and lead us into the next century with strength and leadership potential.
It may be that the majority of Americans do not care about character, but we believe there are many people who feel it is a crucial quality for their own families and the leaders of the future. Westmont is especially designed to help students grow in their personal and spiritual lives, as well as in their intellectual depth and competence. So when people look for a college experience that will truly prepare young men and women for leadership, Westmont stands out as highly respected within American higher education for doing precisely that.
Over its still brief history, Westmont has continued to grow in stature and in its reputation for academic quality. The college is now included in the Carnegie category of 159 schools considered the best national, selective liberal arts institutions in the United States. Only three other Christian colleges also belong to this group.
Westmont has not only continued but has actually strengthened its overall commitment to Christ and the Christian church. At no time during my tenure have the student leaders demonstrated the same level of commitment and purpose to make their lives count for Christ as they do this year. This is not an accident, but the result of clear purpose and direction in all areas of our campus program.
And so I believe it is fair to say that our basic program is in place. Westmont has a strong and effective academic and spiritual program and is highly regarded within the Christian community nationally. But there is a major block to gaining increased stature, and that is the inadequacy of our campus. It amazes me that we have done so well over these years without adequate academic facilities or sufficient rooms in our residence halls, much less an auditorium, bookstore, etc. Now is the time to complete the campus, for I know of no college that has gained national stature without an adequate campus.
We will soon be submitting a revised campus master plan to the County of Santa Barbara for their approval. It does not add any buildings to the document county officials approved 20 years ago, but it brings that plan up to date by placing buildings in the best locations given the ecology of the site and provides more detailed information about the campus as a whole. When the county approves the refinements to our plan, we expect to go to our alumni and friends and seek the resources to complete the campus as soon as possible.
When we reflect on the job Westmont has done in these early years of its history without an adequate campus, it is very exciting to consider the future of the institution with facilities that match the quality of our program. I am so thankful to be at Westmont during these formative years, and I am deeply grateful to God for His continued presence and blessing to the College.