Published: Fall 2002 in College News

Building for the Future

A growing interest in the visual arts and a new emphasis in art history has
heightened demand for a larger and more sophisticated arts facility. The new
visual arts building will be located at the center of campus, highlighting the importance of the arts in the context of Westmont’s liberal arts tradition. Expanded gallery space will make this facility an asset in the local community as well.

Westmont has one of the finest science faculties at any liberal arts college in the country, and our gifted science majors attend the most prestigious graduate programs. The new hall for the sciences will provide a more suitable environment for this outstanding program and bring together physics, psychology, mathematics, and computer science. Faculty and students will enjoy increased and more flexible classroom space, laboratory space, faculty offices, computer laboratories, and a multimedia lecture hall.

‘We support Westmont because we hope to make a difference for the college — and to inspire others to make a difference as well. New buildings for the visual arts and the sciences will provide facilities worthy of Westmont’s excellent faculty and students and provide a significant boost to the academic program. The unique intellectual and spiritual experience at the college is beyond compare, and we are delighted to enhance it. The visual arts play an essential role in a liberal arts curriculum, and we’re pleased with the central location of the new center.

We can say from the bottom of our hearts that our gift to the Campaign for Westmont is the best investment we will ever make. God’s hand is truly in this place. What a privilege and joy it is to be his servant at Westmont.”

— Stephen and Denise Adams

The Adams gave $10 million to the campaign, including the $5 million Adams Challenge Match.

‘Students and faculty alike are so eager and ready to embrace the new art facility. We look forward to a well-designed environment that meets the specific needs of art students. The dedicated classrooms and lab will energize and stimulate students to create and perform freely without feeling cramped or limited by their surroundings. The building itself will stand as an aesthetic attribute to the college environment, declaring the value of the visual arts in the liberal arts community.  Students will find it a place where they can watch the creative spirit unfold and define itself. The college community will benefit from the building’s central location. Everyone will be able to experience what goes on in the Art Center, and we hope many will be enticed to incorporate some art study into their lives. The readily accessible gallery will afford the community a greater opportunity to view the products and artifacts of human creativity and contemplation — and share in the discoveries and achievements of student exhibitions. We are grateful for what we have and for what is yet to be.”

— Professor Sue Savage

Art Department Chair

‘We have a vision for raising up computer scientists who are not only technically knowledgeable but are also able to communicate with people and work with others in a diverse team. We encourage and require students to work together, but this has been difficult in our extremely small departmental area. Regularly, the office overflows with students who are working with faculty members. We have planned for a spacious student lounge and study area in the new building. The networks class offered as part of our computer science major includes laboratory sessions that require six powerful Sun Microsystems workstations plus a file server. However, these machines are currently housed in my office because there is no other room for them. The laboratory sessions are thus extremely crowded and hot (there is no air conditioning in our building, and these machines put out a lot of heat). I have been amazed that students have been willing to work under such conditions. In the new building, these machines will be housed in the computer science research lab.”

— Computer Science Professor Kim Kihlstrom

‘One of the benefits of attending Westmont is the opportunity to do scientific research as an undergraduate. Throughout my junior year and during the summer, I assisted Psychology Professor Tom Fikes with his work in the area of neuroscience, which is my major. I am also completing a major honors project on category learning with rats. While we use top-of-the-line equipment, the facilities, located in a cramped temporary lab in the Clark Halls parking lot, are completely inadequate for what we want to do. What a big difference the new science building will make! The operant conditioning chambers and mazes for the animals will have permanent places instead of being shoved in the corner to save space. I have appreciated the opportunity to participate in research and to work one-on-one with a professor — that experience is one of the best things about Westmont. I’m glad that future generations of students will be able to do this kind of work in a well-designed research lab.”

— Jessica Bocaletti ’03

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