Published: Fall 2000 in Giving

Historic Gifts to Westmont

$10 Million Gift Largest Ever

Stephen and Denise Adams surprised and delighted 200 guests at an “Evening of Giving Thanks” Oct. 27 by announcing a $5 million gift to Westmont. When added to an earlier $5 million commitment, their gift totals $10 million, the largest in the college’s history.

The evening, designed to thank donors, announce a $47 million capital campaign, and recognize leadership gifts,  featured talks on the theme “With Gratitude.” President David Winter expressed deep and sincere thanks for raising an amazing $43 million toward the $47 million goal.

The Adamses previously donated $5 million of the $10 million gift anonymously. The additional $5 million is a one-to-one challenge grant from the Adams Family Foundation for a planned visual arts center and a science building.

“We are overjoyed with the generosity of this tremendous gift,” Winter said. “The fact that this comes when we are announcing our campaign is very special. We are grateful to the Adamses and all the donors who are leading the way to the successful completion of this campaign.”

Denise Adams, a gifted artist, is a college trustee and a member of the Westmont Art Council. Stephen Adams is chairman of the board of Affinity Group, headquartered in Ventura.

The planned new visual arts building will be named after the Adamses, Winter said.

“It is our hope that this additional gift will make a difference and that it will inspire others to make a difference as well,” the Adamses said. “We can say from the bottom of our hearts that this is the best investment we will ever make.”

For more information about the campaign, see the article beginning on page 22.

Orfalea Gives $3 Mil-lion for Scholarships

P aul J. Orfalea, founder and chairperson emeritus of Kinko’s Inc., has given Westmont $3 million toward an endowment for scholarships for needy students, one of the largest gifts in college history.

“Paul Orfalea’s commitment to education and the financial needs of students who want a quality liberal arts education is evident in this generous gift,” said President David Winter. “We’re extremely grateful.”

Orfalea, who lives in Montecito, started Kinko’s in Isla Vista in 1970 and grew it into an international company with 1,100 branches. It has become the world’s leading business services chain, offering high-speed color digital printers, videoconferencing and e-commerce support.

“Education is so important in our society today, and so many students are unable to pursue their higher education dreams because of finances,” Orfalea said. “I’m pleased to be able to help some students achieve the kind of quality education that Westmont provides.”

Orfalea is a graduate of the University of Southern California. Since assuming the role of chairperson emeritus in April, he has devoted most of his efforts to philanthropy.

“More than 80 percent of our students receive some kind of financial aid, and so this endowment will make a tremendous difference for us,” Winter said. “A significant priority of ours is to build our endowment to ensure that cost doesn’t prevent qualified students from attending Westmont.”

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