Published: Fall 2000 in College News

Building the Endowment

During its short history, Westmont has elevated the quality of its faculty and students, strengthened its academic program, and enhanced the campus environment. To sustain and build upon these achievements, Westmont must increase its permanent endowment to support student scholarships and faculty recruitment and fortify our program. Raising $5.2 million for endowment through the campaign will advance this goal.

Virtually every aspect of the college will benefit from the increased revenue created by greater unrestricted endowment. This permanent and predictable income, which is independent of annual gifts and tuition increases, is vital to the college’s present and future economic health and builds a strong financial base.

Unrestricted endowment also helps enrich current academic programs and develop new ones by increasing flexibility and keeping offerings competitive, varied, and timely.

In addition, it sustains and augments facilities such as classrooms, residence halls, laboratories, art studios, the library, and athletic fields.

The expansion of technology in the classrooms, library and study areas, residence halls and administrative offices must be funded on an ongoing basis, as should the corresponding needs for additional software and training. Technology, including Internet access, plays a pivotal role in a first-rate liberal arts education, and unrestricted endowment allows the college to keep up-to-date in this critical and rapidly changing area.

Westmont’s lovely environment remains one of our greatest assets. Creating physical spaces conducive to learning and other activities enhances our program. Maintaining the campus takes significant resources, and unrestricted endowment will provide an important source of funds for this essential purpose.

Westmont professors are special people who are committed to teaching undergraduates while doing impressive scholarly research. As mentors, they become involved in the lives and personal development of students, and, as advisers, they actively explore faith-related issues within and outside the classroom.

The college has been blessed with wonderful professors who have exemplified these attributes — people like Jan and Gezina Kingma, Arthur Lynip and Ken Monroe. Their legacy continues to flourish among the dedicated and richly talented faculty at Westmont today. To continue this tradition, the college seeks to endow more faculty chairs and professorships.

Endowed faculty chairs and professorships are some of the most powerful assets the college can use to recruit and retain distinguished faculty members. The presence of nationally known scholars and teachers at Westmont contributes greatly to an environment of academic distinction and will, over time, attract other worthy scholars to our community.

Most important, our students benefit from a strong commitment to excellent teaching. By increasing endowment for chairs and professorships, the college ensures that our students are well-prepared for lives of scholarship, leadership and service.

Every year, well-qualified prospective students, who have much to contribute to the life of the campus, apply for admission. But many of those accepted will face a difficult decision based on financial realities. Although about 87 percent of our students receive some form of financial aid, they often have to take on significant additional debt if they wish to attend Westmont.

Unfortunately, the college continues to lose highly capable applicants who can’t afford the cost of an education here. We would like to provide every student who could make the most of a Westmont education with the opportunity to do so. Securing greater endowment for scholarships will enable us to offer more support to these deserving young people.

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