Westmont Magazine The Winter Legacy: A Season of Excellence
Excellence in Everything
From his first day in office, President David Winter has worked to make Westmont a truly excellent liberal arts college. Willing to make hard decisions, he has steadily implemented his vision for providing the finest possible undergraduate education. His efforts have strengthened every area of the institution: the quality of the faculty and students; the facilities on campus; student life and outreach programs; the endowment; and off-campus study opportunities. This progress has helped Westmont build a national reputation for excellence and gain significant recognition from publications that rank U.S. colleges.
A Vision for the Liberal Arts
On campus, in the community, and throughout the world of higher education, President Winter has articulated a clear and compelling case for liberal arts education. Emphasizing the importance of teaching essential skills such as communication and critical thinking, he has argued that the liberal arts offer the best possible preparation for leadership careers. Through their many achievements in the workplace, their communities, and their churches, Westmont graduates have consistently proven his point.
Holding Christ Preeminent
While insisting on academic excellence, President Winter has never lost sight of Westmont’s heritage as a Christian college. He consistently affirms a strong commitment to Jesus Christ and to academic rigor and honesty. He is enthusiastic about the motto “Holding Christ Preeminent” and has worked to strengthen spiritual life programs and opportunities for student ministry. An effective champion of faith-based institutions, he has represented their interests in national higher education organizations and accrediting agencies. A man of deep and sincere faith, he lives what he believes.
The Whole Person
While Westmont offers students a rigorous curriculum, faculty and staff also encourage them to grow personally and spiritually. President Winter has advocated this education for the whole person, believing that the world desperately needs healthy and well-rounded people who are competent and well educated and able to make a difference in a variety of careers around the world.
President Winter’s reason for building an excellent college is to provide the best possible program and environment for students. His vision centers on undergraduates, and they always come first in his considerations. With his open-door policy, he has been accessible to students and has met regularly with student leaders for prayer and discussion. He and his wife, Helene, open their home to students on numerous occasions throughout the year, and they go door-to-door in the residence halls to greet first-year students.
While President Winter has earned great praise for his work at Westmont and with higher education organizations, he has inspired profound respect for his character and integrity. He has tackled tough issues in a quiet and sensitive way, working for consensus and civility. Despite the devastating loss of most of his eyesight, he has continued to be optimistic about life and to put the needs of others ahead of his own.
A Good Neighbor
When he first arrived at Westmont, President Winter went door-to-door to meet the college’s neighbors and hear their concerns. He has continued to keep in touch with them and to respond to their questions and concerns with sincerity and action. He has also reached out to the Santa Barbara community, serving on many non-profit boards, and has been widely recognized for his volunteer service.
A Servant Leader
President Winter embodies the servant leader who provides significant vision and direction while thinking first of the needs of others. His winsome humility, quiet wisdom, and keen intellect have made him an effective and much-loved president.