Westmont begins a nationwide effort to complete a $102 million campaign funding essential tools for transforming students’ lives
Westmont kicked off its Bright Hope for Tomorrow campaign with an exciting announcement: Montecito resident Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree has pledged $5 million to the college. President Gayle D. Beebe thanked her publicly at an April 10 dinner held at the Santa Barbara Biltmore, the first of 12 such events scheduled throughout the country. Westmont is raising $40 million to complete the $102 million cost of essential new facilities now under construction.
Ridley-Tree is deeply involved in the Santa Barbara community, with art and education being her greatest passions. She has established more than 120 scholar-ships at different educational institutions, including Westmont, where she also serves on the Westmont Music Council. In 2003, the college honored her and her late husband, Lord Paul Ridley-Tree, with the Westmont Medal.
“Westmont prepares students to go into the world to help people,” Ridley-Tree said at the dinner April 10. “The greatest joy I have is to be able to make this gift to Westmont to make the world better.”
President Beebe said Ridley-Tree has chosen to make a difference by investing generously in the lives of others. “Lady Ridley-Tree’s philanthropic efforts reflect an exceptional selflessness and love for the people who live in this community.”
Gifts from generous friends like Ridley-Tree — and from alumni and parents as well — have helped Westmont raise more than $68 million to date, 67 percent of the $102 million goal. “We’re excited about the momentum of the campaign and look forward to all our upcoming events,” Beebe says. “I believe the love and support of the extended Westmont community at this critical time in the college’s history will help us succeed in our effort to provide essential new facilities on campus.”