This spring, Mitch Vance begins his first two-year term as chair of the Westmont College Board of Trustees. He succeeds Peter Thorrington, who has served as chair since 2014. A board member since 2013, Vance previously chaired the Westmont Board of Advisors and served on the Westmont Foundation.
“We’re truly blessed to have such a gifted leader head the board,” says President Gayle D. Beebe. “Mitch has played a key role as a trustee, and he demonstrated his strong leadership skills when he led the Board of Advisors. He has been a huge asset for the college for more than 20 years, especially with his work chairing the Board of Trustees Development Committee. He’s been an effective partner in raising vital support for the college.”
Vance has also served on the board’s Executive, Finance, Investment and Building and Grounds committees.
“Higher education faces a critical time right now, especially with the uncertainties regarding the pandemic,” Vance says. “I believe in Westmont’s mission and look forward to working with an excellent executive team, faculty and staff to make the college even stronger financially and more resilient in responding to a variety of challenges. Westmont has overcome adversity and disasters in the past and always emerged better than ever, and I’m confident we’ll continue to succeed.”
A founding partner of a private equity investment firm and successful businessman, Vance graduated from the University of Oregon. He first visited Westmont with his wife, Leslie Eaton Vance ’83, who earned a degree in education and comes from a longtime Westmont family.
“There is something special about Westmont students,” Vance says. “Four years of study in an environment that requires rich engagement with professors and peers is truly transformational.” The Vance’s daughter, Claire ’16, graduated from Westmont with a degree in art.
Vance is passionate about interacting with and mentoring Westmont students and recent graduates. “In my experience, they all pursue their careers with a remarkable sense of purpose and context,” he says.
He and Leslie have three grown children.