Westmont College, founded in 1937, is an interdenominational Christian liberal arts college in Santa Barbara, California.
Ruth Kerr, owner of the Kerr Mason Jar Company, established the school as the Bible Missionary Institute (1937), later renamed the Western Bible College (1939). During these early years, Ruth and the other founders decided that a liberal arts curriculum was the best direction for the school. In 1940 Dr. Wallace Emerson, the first president, renamed the school Westmont College, named for the fact the school was located at WEST Moreland and VerMONT in Los Angeles, envisioning a Christian liberal arts college that would take its place among the best in the nation. By 1944, Westmont College had outgrown its facilities in downtown Los Angeles. After a failed attempt to move the campus to Altadena in early 1945 the desperate search for a new campus led Mrs. Kerr and the trustees to the former Dwight Murphy estate in Montecito with its 125 acres (51 ha). Westmont purchased this property and moved to the Santa Barbara area in the Fall of 1945. Set in the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains, Westmontï¿½s wooded and scenic acres provide an environment for a residential college. The campus includes buildings and land from two former estates and the historic Deane School for Boys. The grounds still feature the pathways, stone bridges, and garden atmosphere typical of Montecito, a suburb of Santa Barbara. While Westmont has sought to preserve and use the original structures, it has also built new facilities, including Voskuyl Library, the restored Westmont Art Center, the A. Nelson Science Building, the Murchison Gymnasium Complex, and the Ruth Kerr Memorial Student Center. In 2008 Westmont broke ground for the construction of the Winter Hall for Science and Mathematics and the Adams Center for the Visual Arts. In 2006, Westmont received a gift of $75 million from an anonymous donor, the second largest gift ever to a national liberal arts college at the time. In September 2009 Westmont was informed that the donor withdrew the pledged $75 million gift which caused the college to put off construction of two new buildings. In 2008 Westmont and the surrounding Montecito community was devastated by the Tea Fire that burned numerous structures on the campus, including dormitories and faculty housing. Luckily there was no loss of life on the steep and wooded campus which has numerous oaks and eucalyptus trees and semi-arid vegetation. Westmont emphasizes the intellectual, social, and spiritual growth of students. With approximately 1300 undergraduate students, Westmont attempts to provide a rigorous academic program along with a personalized, residential Christian undergraduate experience
Westmont College is an undergraduate, residential, Christian, liberal arts community serving God's kingdom by cultivating thoughtful scholars, grateful servants and faithful leaders for global engagement with the academy, church and world.
Chad Kammerer, assistant basketball coach for the Miami Heat. Alvin O. Austin, 1964, President, Le Tourneau University, Longview, Texascitation needed Priya David - CBS News correspondent. Anita Perez Ferguson speaker and consultantcitation needed Allen Hopkins - Sportscaster for ESPN and FSN Bob Huff - California Senator for the 29th District Jean-Louis Ravelomanantsoa - Malagasy Olympic sprinter and professional Track athlete of the 1970s.citation needed George Alan Rekers - American psychologist and ordained Southern Baptist minister, anti-homosexual activist who was mired in a 2010 scandal involving a young male escort. Ron Shelton - US film director of several films, including Bull Durham and White Men Can't Jump. Megan Alexander - TV Host. Correspondent for the syndicated TV show "Inside Edition" and also appears on "Showbiz Tonight" on HLN and the Wendy Williams Show. Is also freelance writer and contributor. Greg Bahnsen - Theologian. Christian Reconstructionist, Presbyterian minister, and Calvinist apologist. Kristen Olsen - California State Assemblywoman
Suburban, 111 acres (45ï¿½ha)