A Passion for Students
by Trustee Merlin Call
The hallmark of David Winter’s presidency has been his loving and passionate dedication to the students of Westmont College. St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians appropriately states what Dr. Winter reflected as his attitude toward students: “I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for you . . . And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight, to help you determine what is best . . . .” (Philippians 1:3, 9-10)
David consistently focused students, as well as faculty and trustees, on his desire that they be excited about learning, on the need to be good stewards of God’s great gift of the mind, on taking an honest, thoughtful approach to all of life, on embracing all of God’s creation and thinking as global Christians, and on the importance of critical thinking and character development in addition to the acquisition of knowledge.
His passion for students and for launching them with excellence into a lifetime of learning has been a quiet one, clothed with humility and always with the greatest respect for the integrity of each personality. His own life is marked by balance, integrity and purity of heart.
David has also had a mission beyond the mission of Westmont College. As a respected leader and spokesman in circles of higher education, Christian and secular, he has left his mark for good. His influence across the country enhances the rich legacy he leaves to Westmont College.
My Tribute to David K. Winter
By Trustee Carol Houston
It was June 1998 when I discovered how important David K. Winter was to God. I was informed that David experienced a measure of sight lost. My first response was, “This is so unfair; David has much more to contribute to Helene, Westmont, the Santa Barbara community and life in general.”
Those who love David were asked to pray. As I began to pray and ask God why, my answer was soon revealed. “David’s contributions are shifting to a higher, more in-depth level.” What I soon came to understand was God had begun to call David to a more intimate relationship with Himself. This call would reveal that David could begin to distinguish God’s voice clearer and contribute more intensely to the lives which matter most to him.
There is something mystical about one’s natural eyesight diminishing and one’s spiritual eyes escalating. I am reminded of the Proverb which states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge the Lord and He will direct your paths.” Life really extends beyond the natural and David has been seen worthy by God to walk more by faith (understanding the hidden things of God) than by his natural sight. Where God directs, there must be clarity to follow.
I salute David K. Winter. I am convinced that this man has yielded to God’s authority and direction in his life. As David moves to a higher, more in-depth level in his intimacy with God, all who know him will be blessed.