College lands $1.5M for Social Sciences

The Fletcher Jones Foundation has awarded Westmont $1 million toward the creation of the college’s first endowed chair in the social sciences. The grant is being matched with a $500,000 gift from an anonymous donor to fully endow the chair.

The Fletcher Jones Foundation Chair in the Social Sciences at Westmont will honor the work of an outstanding faculty member in history, sociology and anthropology, kinesiology, economics and business, education and liberal arts, political science or the Urban Program in San Francisco.

The chair will be awarded to a current Westmont professor every three to five years. It includes an annual stipend and in order to focus on research, the professor will teach one less class each year. The first Fletcher Jones professor will be installed in fall 2008.

“The Fletcher Jones Foundation grant and matching gift create an exciting opportunity for us to expand our research within the social sciences,” says President Gayle Beebe. “It also allows us to reward our exceptional faculty for their distinguished teaching, scholarly efforts and personal investment in students.”

Westmont has three endowed chairs in the humanities division, the Gundry Chair in Religious Studies, the Monroe Chair in Philosophy and the Adams Chair in Music and Worship. The natural and behavioral sciences division is represented by the Smith Chair in Chemistry. The Fletcher Jones Foundation Chair will be the first rotating chair at Westmont.

Fletcher Jones established the Fletcher Jones Foundation of Los Angeles in 1969. Jones founded Computer Sciences Corp. at the vanguard of the computer revolution in the 1950s and 1960s. For its entire history, the foundation’s mission has been to support private colleges and universities in California. In addition to the new chair at Westmont, there are 24 other endowed chairs at other worthy institutions representing a broad spectrum of disciplines. The foundation’s board believes that endowed chairs are valuable because of the very positive multiplier effect on current and future generations of faculty and students.