Published: Fall 2002 in College News

Growing the Endowment

The truest measure of Westmont’s strength lies in the quality of our outstanding faculty and students. Accordingly, the capital campaign has increased the college’s endowment to provide our community with the learning environment and financial support it deserves, now and in the years to come.

Every aspect of the college will benefit from the increased revenue generated by greater unrestricted endowment. Building a strong financial base gives Westmont a stable source of income independent of annual gifts and tuition increases. Permanent funds for college programs will keep the college’s offerings competitive, varied and timely. Endowing scholarships and faculty chairs helps us attract students and professors with the highest possible credentials. Providing funds for the maintenance of college facilities ensures that the campus environment will enhance the educational program.

‘The value of a Westmont education lies in living in community with other Christians. I learned this last year,  which was a time of growth for me. Westmont was harder than I expected as I wasn’t prepared mentally for the academic rigor I experienced. The environment on campus is very competitive. I came in as a Presidential Scholar, and I wasn’t doing as well as I wanted to during my first semester.

But while I was being challenged, I was also being encouraged and affirmed. I saw that support everywhere: in the classroom, in dorm life, in the dining commons and in chapel. Westmont is difficult academically, but that difficulty makes it much more valuable. God used last year to show me how much I need him. He also showed me his grace and that he would get me through it. I have learned that I can be challenged and comforted at the same time.

I chose Westmont over UCSB because I thought a small college would better facilitate the deep relationships with people that are important to me. But I couldn’t have selected Westmont without the scholarships and loans I received, including a cultural diversity award from the college. I’m not sure whether I will major in biology or religious studies, but I do want to continue being involved with Juntos, Potter’s Clay, the Gospel Choir and the Westmont Activities Council, where I am one of 12 members. I also work as an academic tutor and peer adviser at the Boys and Girls Club and at a local junior high to help students excel in school and go to college. I’m grateful that Westmont can provide financial assistance to help me achieve a college education.”

— Megan Acedo ’05

‘It takes money to be an academically excellent institution — and it takes money to recruit outstanding students with financial need. As a college trustee and the father of two Westmont alumnae, I support both of these goals and consider them equally important. That’s why I’ve worked since 1988 to help the college build its modest endowment. Increasing the number of endowed funds will maintain a high-quality program and support scholarships for students who otherwise couldn’t afford to attend Westmont.

My wife, Mollie, and I have established an endowed scholarship named in honor of my father, Paul Raymond Miller, because he lacked the money to stay in college. The purpose of this fund is to ensure that financial need doesn’t deter the brightest students from attending Westmont.

Professors profoundly influenced the lives of our daughters, and we appreciate the excellent education they received. We want to make this experience available to all qualified students. The capital campaign has taken an important step in this direction by adding resources to the endowment, and we are honored to have played a role in the effort.”

— Ed Miller, Trustee

‘When thinking about Westmont’s endowment the old adage, ‘If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day; if you teach him how to fish, he eats for a lifetime,’ comes to mind. There is focus here on teaching, and on the investment of resources it takes to support the teaching. The giving of fish is important, but to be really effective it must be complemented by a more holistic approach.

At Westmont, we believe strongly in the Christian education we provide for our students. To be really effective in our mission it is imperative that we build our endowment, as it can sustain the institution in powerful ways. For example, considering insurance, electricity, janitorial, and other costs, we will need about $1 million per year just to maintain the two new academic buildings we plan to construct.  Annual giving will be important in meeting that cost, but if we had $20 million in maintenance endowment we could meet that expense permanently.

Westmont’s endowment, however, totals only about $31.5 million. In the judgment of many, it should be $200 million. Setting this amount as a goal is admittedly an expensive proposition, but so, too, is teaching someone how to fish.”

— Mathematics Professor Russell Howell

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