Westminster College (Missouri)

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Westminster College
Seal of Westminster College (Missouri) 2.png
Seal of Westminster College
Motto Religio et Scientia (Latin)
Motto in English Faith and Knowledge
Established 1851
Type Private
Endowment $42 million[1]
President George B. "Barney" Forsythe
Academic staff 62 full-time instructional faculty
Undergraduates 1,076 degree seeking students from 24 states and 65 countries
Location Fulton, Missouri, USA
Campus Rural town, 86 acres (34.8 ha)
Former names Fulton College
Athletics 17 varsity teams
SLIAC
NCAA Division III
Colors      Navy
     Light Blue
     White
Mascot Winston Blue Jay
Website westminster-mo.edu
Logo of Westminster College (Missouri).jpg

Westminster College is a private, residential, undergraduate college with a curriculum based on the liberal arts. Located in Fulton, Missouri, the College was established in 1851 as Fulton College. The National Churchill Museum (formerly known as the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library) is a national historic site located on campus and includes the Church of St Mary, Aldermanbury. The church, designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1667, was rebuilt on the campus to commemorate Sir Winston Churchill, who made his famous "Iron Curtain" speech at the college gymnasium in 1946. Mikhail Gorbachev gave a speech there in 1992, declaring the end of the Cold War.

History[edit]

Westminster College was founded by Rev. William W. Robertson and the local Presbyterians in 1851 as Fulton College and assumed the present name in 1853. Throughout the next century, Westminster College continued to be an all-male institution until the first coeducational class in 1979.[2]

Notable speakers[edit]

The John Findley Green Foundation Lecture was established in 1936 as a memorial to John Findley Green, an attorney in St. Louis, Missouri who graduated from Westminster in 1884. The foundation provides for lectures designed to promote understanding of economic and social problems of international concern. It further provides that "the speaker shall be a person of international reputation." The most notable of all Green Lecturers, Sir Winston Churchill, delivered "Sinews of Peace",[3] better known as the “Iron Curtain speech,” on March 5, 1946.

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Other leaders who have lectured on its campus include Margaret Thatcher,[4] former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev[5] George H. W. Bush,[6] Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan, Harry S. Truman, Lech Wałęsa, Dick Cheney, Ralph Nader, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and James A. Baker.

Academics[edit]

Westminster College has produced four Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, and a Marshall Scholar in its history[citation needed]. The college offers 36 majors, 34 minors and 12 pre-professional programs. Students can also choose to design their own course of study, tailoring a major or minor to their specific interests and goals. For higher achieving students, the college offers an Honors Program.[7] Westminster’s Cadaver Program, beginning as a small independent study in the Fall of 2005, is offered for pre-med, biology, and psychology students, who can explore the anatomy of the human body through scientific dissection. Students can continue learning into the summer with the 3-week long May Term and the 6-week long Online Classes during summer holidays.

There are 62 full-time faculty members and most hold the highest degree awarded in their fields[citation needed]. Students can work with faculty members on research. The student-faculty ratio at Westminster College is 16:1[citation needed].

U.S. News & World Report ranked Westminster College in the Top 150 schools for undergraduate education.[8] It also placed Westminster College as 4th among liberal arts colleges for its proportion of international undergraduate students[9] and as one of the Ten American Colleges with the most students in fraternities.[10] Westminster College was also ranked “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review[11] and recognized in Forbes Magazine as one of the nation’s top colleges.[12] Westminster was also ranked the Top Liberal Arts College in Missouri and 53rd nationally by Washington Monthly.[13]

Majors[edit]

Majors at Westminster include: Accounting, Biochemistry, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Computer Science, Communication/Business Communications, Economics, Education, English, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Exercise Science, French, History, International Business, International Studies, Management Information Systems (MIS), Mathematical Sciences, Philosophy, Physical Education, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Self-Designed, Sports Management, Sociology & Anthropology, Spanish and Transnational Studies.[1]

Pre-Professional Programs[edit]

The pre-professional programs at Westminster are Dual-Degree Engineering with Washington University in St. Louis or Missouri University of Science and Technology, Dual-Degree Nursing with the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, Health Professions and Legal Professions.

Mentoring Program and Seminar[edit]

All incoming students are provided with two seminar mentors and a seminar professor who will advise students throughout their years at Westminster College. To make the transition from high school to college easier, mentors help orient students to their new life at Westminster and provide guidance in the areas of academics, social and residential life.

Enrollment[edit]

Financial Aid[edit]

At Westminster College, an average total financial assistance package is about 51% of the total cost of attendance. Approximately 98% of Westminster students received some kind of financial assistance. Scholarships are determined through “Scholarship Days.”

Campus[edit]

Historic Westminster Gymnasium[edit]

The Gym was built in 1928 and completely renovated in 1972. This national historic landmark is where Winston Churchill presented his Iron Curtain Speech in March 1946. Vice President Dick Cheney also visited the college during the 2004 campaign and spoke in the Gym. When new bleachers were installed, the old bleachers were recycled into new lockers for the men’s and women’s locker rooms. The floor has been renamed for Henry “Hank” Iba, Class of 1927, who was an all-state basketball, football and baseball player at Westminster before going on to coach Oklahoma State University to two national basketball titles and the U.S. Olympics basketball team to two gold medals. The Gym houses a basketball/volleyball court, athletic offices, indoor swimming pool and an exercise room.

Westminster Hall on Westminster College Campus, Fulton MO

Westminster Hall[edit]

This hall was built in 1911 and renovated in 1973-74. It is the main administrative building on campus and houses the Business Office, the Dean of Student Life offices, the Registrar, the Study Abroad Coordinator, and Dean of Faculty offices along with two classrooms. The lower level houses Westminster’s Health and Counseling Services, and Learning Opportunities Program.

The columns at Westminster College.jpg

The Columns[edit]

These columns are the only remains of the first Westminster Hall built in 1854 and destroyed by fire in 1909. These Columns are the center of a campus tradition, which is known as the Columns Ceremony.

Newnham Hall[edit]

Formerly the Hall of Science and was originally built in 1901. It is the oldest building on campus and was completely renovated and remodeled in early 1970 as a gift of an alumnus. This building houses several classrooms plus some faculty offices. Greg Richard Resource Center—Office of Career Services is located in the basement; a gift from alumnus and trustee.

Reeves Library/Hazel Wing[edit]

The Reeves Library was built in 1951 and expanded & renovated in 1981 and again in 1996. This building houses a collection of more than 100,000 volumes readily available in-house for students and faculty. It is a member of the statewide consortium of 50 academic libraries. The Hazel Wing was dedicated in October 1996 and is the technological center of campus, housing four computer labs, video editing equipment, a multimedia classroom, a language lab, small group meeting and study rooms as well as offices for the Department of Information Technology. Also located in this building is the writing/math lab.

Hunter Activity Center[edit]

Otherwise known as the "HAC" for short, this building is a common area for both faculty and students. Downstairs is the Johnson College Inn (known to students as "JCI") grill/snack bar which is surrounded by ping-pong tables, pool tables, campus mailboxes, and the TV lounge. Upstairs houses meeting rooms and the HAC Gym. Westminster’s HAC Gym includes a racquetball court, indoor track, weight equipment and workout room and is the site for most intramural sports.

Coulter Science Center[edit]

This building was renovated in 2004 with an $18 million gift from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation. Otherwise known as "CSC," this is where science classes and labs such as chemistry, biology, physics, psychology, environmental science, computer science, and math are held. This building is complete with computer labs on every floor. Westminster faculty were asked to provide their input before architects were hired to draw up the plans. The focus is totally on students and how to create a better learning atmosphere and to offer rooms for student research on a large scale.

Champ Auditorium[edit]

This large building was built in 1966 and seats 1,400 people for concerts, lectures, music productions, and other college events such as Commencement and Freshmen Convocation.

Berlin Wall Sculpture- "Breakthrough"[edit]

This sculpture consists of eight sections of the Berlin Wall and commemorates the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the end of the Cold War. The sculpture is the work of artist and granddaughter of Winston Churchill, Edwina Sandys.[14] It was dedicated to Westminster College in 1990 by former President Ronald Reagan. It is the longest contiguous section of the Berlin Wall in North America.

Christopher Wren designed Church of St Mary Aldermanbury, rebuilt at Westminster College, Missouri

Church of St. Mary, Aldermanbury[edit]

Main article: St Mary Aldermanbury

This predecessor of this church building was originally constructed in the City of London during the 12th century, but burned down in the Great Fire of London in 1666. This church was erected as its replacement by Christopher Wren in the 17th century. During World War II, the Wren church was gutted by German bombs and in the mid-1960s, it was dismantled and shipped stone-by-stone to Fulton and reconstructed on Westminster’s campus. Today, the church serves as the College’s chapel. While it is occasionally claimed that St. Mary’s is the oldest church in North America, the statement is not accurate. The transported Wren building is not the original 12th Century building of the St. Mary Aldermanbury parish of London. It is instead the replacement that was built under Wren's direction between 1672-1677, and contains no details of the original, being a new construction made largely of Portland stone that Wren had quarried in Dorset. This would make it considerably newer than such ancient North American buildings as the church of San Francisco in Tlaxcala, Mexico, whose construction began in 1521.

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National Churchill Museum[edit]

Located below the St. Mary, Aldermanbury, this state-of-the-art museum is devoted to Sir Winston Churchill. In 2005, the building underwent a $4 million renovation and reopened in March 2006, marking the 60th anniversary of Churchill’s speech at Westminster. This museum features interactive exhibits about Churchill, WWII, Sir Christopher Wren and the Church of St. Mary, Aldermanbury. The Museum also showcases traveling and temporary exhibits, archival resources for scholarly research and a gift shop with unique “Churchillian” merchandise.[2]




Residential Life[edit]

Westminster College manages and maintains nine residence halls as well as a limited number of residential homes for student occupancy. In addition, the six national fraternities for men operate their own independent living units. New students are generally assigned to Gage, Marquess, Rice, Scott and Sloss Halls, which comprise the Churchill Quadrangle. Westminster’s upper-class students live either in one of the four upperclass residence halls (Emerson, Wetterau, Weigle, Sweazey), Westminster Apartments, an on-campus residential house, Westminster Townhouses or a national fraternity house.

Student Life[edit]

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2012 Student Demographics
1,076 Degree Seeking Students
56% Male
44% Female
15% of student body composed of international students




Clubs and Organizations[edit]

Westminster students can pick from over 70 clubs and organizations [3] to become involved in on campus. Honorary societies include: Alpha Chi, Alpha Mu Gamma, Beta Beta Beta, FMA National Honor Society, Gamma Theta Upsilon, Kappa Delta Pi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Alpha Delta, Phi Alpha Theta, Pi Mu Epsilon, Psi Chi, Phi Sigma Alpha, Phi Sigma Tau, Sigma Tau Delta, and Theta Alpha Kappa.

Greek Life[edit]

Westminster College has a well-established history of Greek Life, dating to 1868 [4]. 43% of students are members of Greek organizations. Participation in this heritage has afforded students ripe opportunities in leadership and involvement, both on-campus and within the greater Fulton community. Consisting of 6 national fraternities and 3 national sororities. Fraternities and sororities receive national recognition for the successful organizations that have been formed and maintained over the last 150 years.

Fraternities[edit]

Sororities[edit]

Global Experience[edit]

Study Abroad[edit]

Students who are enrolled full-time at Westminster College and who wish to study off-campus may choose from Westminster's 150+ approved foreign and/or domestic programs. Westminster can provide assistance with advising, potential credit transfer and financial assistance.[5]

Take a Friend Home Program[edit]

Introduced in the summer of 2006 with the support of the Board of Trustees, the Take a Friend Home program is a global outreach and cultural immersion program through the Center for Engaging the World at Westminster College. International students select a friend with whom they would like to travel and share their family experience. Likewise, American students may select an international friend with whom they might like to share their American family experience. Upon return, participating students agree to share their experiences with the Westminster community.

The Westminster Symposium[edit]

The Westminster Symposium is a premier annual lecture series that encourages study of topics which have a profound global significance. In 2011, Bill Roedy, former CEO of MTV Networks International, joined a long list of luminaries that have delivered Green Lectures at Westminster, including Sir Winston Churchill and his famous “Iron Curtain” speech in 1946.

Churchill Institute[edit]

The Churchill Institute incorporates the life and work of Churchill into the whole Westminster curriculum and across the range of activities and events that underpin the whole Westminster experience, enhancing the College’s mission and elevating its profile. Signature programs of The Churchill Institute include the Westminster Symposium, the Fulbright-Robertson lecture and a new program, Profiles in Leadership.


Traditions[edit]

Graduating Seniors passing through the Columns at Westminster College to enter the "real world"

The Columns Ceremony[edit]

Six columns remain from the original college building which burned down in 1909. All students pass through the Columns as a new student and again as graduates. The first ceremony serves as a symbol of a students’ entrance into college life and the Westminster community. The other symbolizes entering the world prepared with knowledge and experience gained at Westminster.

The Skulls of Seven[edit]

The Skulls of Seven is an honor society, founded in 1898, that prides itself on commitment to seven virtues: tradition, history, scholarship, loyalty and friendship, citizenship, service, and honor. The Skulls of Seven are defenders of college tradition and are chosen for their adherence to the seven virtues with the duty of upholding these values. These six seniors and one junior are selected based on their proven devotion to the college and their positive representation of Westminster. This society has existed for over 100 years. The continuing purpose of the Skulls is always and ever the welfare of the college.

Athletics[edit]

Westminster College Athletics: Winston Blue Jay

Westminster College is a NCAA Division III school and belongs to the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC). Westminster sports include baseball, basketball (M&W), cheerleading, cross country, dance, football, golf (M&W), soccer (M&W), softball, tennis (M&W), track and field (M&W), and volleyball.[15]

Recent titles and accomplishments[edit]

The 2013-14 Westminster College men's soccer team captured its first SLIAC tournament title and advance to the NCAA Division III Sweet Sixteen and finished the season ranked #20 in the nation.

  • The 2011-12 Westminster College men's basketball team captured its second SLIAC tournament title in three years and advanced to the NCAA Division III national tournament for the second time in three years. In the process, the Blue Jays recorded their sixth consecutive winning record.[citation needed]
  • The 2011-12 Westminster College women’s basketball team set a single-season school record with 22 wins, captured the school's second SLIAC title, won the first SLIAC tournament title and advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament for the first time in the 20-year history of the women’s basketball program.[citation needed]
  • The 2011 Blue Jay men’s soccer team captured the second SLIAC title in school history. Second-year Coach Martin Clayes earned SLIAC Coach of the Year honors for guiding the team to an 11-4-4 overall record and a 7-0-1 mark in league play.[citation needed]
  • The Blue Jay men’s tennis team won six consecutive SLIAC titles between 2006–2011, while coming in 2nd in 2012. The men’s team, who have won 11 of the past 12 tournaments, now share the all-time record with Principia with 11 titles each.[citation needed]

Service & leadership[edit]

The Emerson Center for Leadership & Service is named in honor of William "Bill" Emerson, a 1959 Westminster College graduate, who served eight terms on behalf of Missouri’s Eighth District in the U.S. House of Representatives, beginning in 1980. The Center helps enhance Westminster’s student involvement, multicultural student development, spiritual life, international student services, leadership development & education, and community involvement. Westminster College encourages its students to participate in service activities. Some projects and organizations students work with every year include: MLK Day of Service, American Red Cross, United Way, Habitat for Humanity, the Food Bank, the Humane Society, Coalition Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARD-V), the Davis Foundation Projects for Peace, and charity: water.


Notable alumni[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°50′54″N 91°57′22″W / 38.8483°N 91.956°W / 38.8483; -91.956