Westmont received this sad news just as the magazine was going to press. The next issue will feature a lengthy tribute.
David K. Winter, Westmont’s longest-serving president to date, died Saturday, August 15, at the age of 84. He served as president of Westmont from 1976-2001 and returned as interim president and chancellor in 2006-07. Under his leadership, Westmont became a nationally ranked liberal arts college. He helped strengthen the quality of the faculty and students, facilities on campus, student life and outreach programs, the endowment, and off-campus study opportunities.
“Westmont continues to benefit from Dave’s contribution during his long and distinguished ser vice,” says President Gayle D. Beebe. “The college and our local community are fundamentally different and better because of his vision and the work he accomplished. The Kingdom of God is also richer and better for the many ways Westmont graduates serve throughout the world.”
Winter articulated a compelling case for liberal arts education, which develops essential skills such as communication and critical thinking. He described it as the best possible preparation for leadership careers. A man of deep and sincere faith, he enhanced spiritual life programs and opportunities for student ministry. Actively involved in national higher education organizations and accrediting agencies, he championed faith-based institutions. He promoted student life programs and sought to create a strong campus community for students to help educate the whole person. In 1986, Bowling Green State University released a study naming him as one of the 100 most effective college leaders in the nation. A major building on campus bears his name: Winter Hall for Science and Mathematics.
Winter strengthened relationships between the college and the community, gaining approval for important initiatives such as building 41 homes in Las Barrancas for faculty families.
Winter faced cancer with the same courage and acceptance he displayed in 1998, when he suddenly lost 80 percent of his eyesight. He continued to serve and lead others in his warm, quiet, gracious way, remaining faithful to the end. For more information, see www.westmont.edu.