David MacCulloch ’84 likes to keep an active mind; at Westmont he majored in both English and economics and business. After graduating, he went into the insurance business, working as a broker, managing a claims office, and opening branch offices. But he got bored after nine years and started looking for something more intellectually satisfying. At the age of 30, he enrolled at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, Calif.
“It was great to go back to school,” he says. His father, who left Canada with a wife and three small children to start a new life in California, inspired him to make the change. Not only was David one of the oldest students at the law school, but he was probably the only one whose wife had a baby during finals week. “Being in school actually gave me more time to spend with my son, Campbell, after he was born,” he notes.
David practiced law in the music industry until his wife, Hillary, got a job as a graphic designer in Santa Barbara, and they moved. He worked for a local firm for awhile, but didn’t like litigation. With his insurance background and interest in estate law, he decided to join Mercer Global Advisors in Santa Barbara as manager of their estate planning service. Hillary is now with QAD.
Returning to Santa Barbara gave David an opportunity to get involved at Westmont, where he serves on the Homecoming and President’s Associates steering committees. But he really reconnected when he became a prayer partner with Evie Calhoun ’03.
“She has an amazing amount of maturity for her age and such a desire to be an agent of Christ,” he notes. “She’s intelligent and articulate and a great beacon for Westmont.”
Through Evie, David has gained new respect for the quality of the students, faculty and program at Westmont today. He says a lot has changed in 16 years. Evie has also opened his eyes to students’ financial difficulties.
“I had a renewable academic scholarship when I went to Westmont, and I never worried about money,” he notes. “But Evie has struggled to find aid and stay at Westmont. She’s a good student, involved in Potter’s Clay and outreach to the homeless, and she plays lacrosse, works for the admissions office, and serves as communications co-director for WCSA. Last summer, she was an intern for DC/LA. She shouldn’t have to worry about tuition.”
Evie put together quite a package of financial aid to afford Westmont, including a scholarship from McDonald’s that offered free food every day. “I gave the meals to homeless kids and made some incredible relationships with them,” she explains.
David was delighted to get an enthusiastic e-mail message from her last spring saying she had enough money to return for her sophomore year. “It’s truly a miracle how the money comes through at the very last minute for each semester,” she wrote. He shared her story later that day when he spoke at a President’s Associates event.
“Evie is a remarkable person, and I think alums and constituents want to know about students like her. It makes them feel confident that Westmont is still following its mission and purpose,” he notes. “Prayer partners has been a great way for me to connect with the college on a different level.”