Westmont College has announced two major gifts totaling more than $15 million, the two largest cash gifts in its history.
In late August, the Montecito college received $8.2 million from Ed and Mollie Miller, the largest single gift ever. It supports the Paul Raymond Miller Scholarship Endowment, named in honor of Mr. Miller’s father and originally established 35 years ago when their daughter, Barbara, enrolled at Westmont.
In the intervening 35 years, this scholarship has supported hundreds of students who depend on financial aid to attend Westmont. In addition, Mr. Miller served on Westmont’s Board of Trustees for 17 years.
“I loved working with Ed when he was a board member, and Mollie is a delightful human being,” said Westmont President Gayle D. Beebe. “Ed is a straight shooter. You never have to guess where he’s coming from or how he’s thinking through a situation. Both are highly principled people of faith, and their priorities in life shine through in this gift.”
Earlier in August, Westmont received a $7.25 million gift from Celeste and Dr. Robert White, the second largest single donation to the college.
This gift has funded the purchase of 29 W. Anapamu, a four-story building in downtown Santa Barbara directly across the street from the Westmont Downtown Center at 26 W. Anapamu. Together, these two facilities provide nearly 30,000 square feet for several downtown programs, including the new nursing program in partnership with Cottage Health as well as the semester-long program in capital and social entrepreneurship.
The new facility will provide space for several programmatic initiatives that will extend the college’s reach and impact in ways that benefit the local community. Celeste Miller, a 1976 Westmont graduate and current board member, and Robert Miller have been involved in the college since Mrs. Miller’s time as a student.
“I’m so grateful for Celeste’s service as a board member,” Dr. Beebe said. “She demonstrates her deep and abiding loyalty and commitment to the college in numerous ways. For example, all four of their children attended Westmont. In addition, Robert has been a great partner with Celeste in embracing all things Westmont. Together they have given generously and cared deeply about the college’s life and mission.”
Scott Craig is manager of media relations at Westmont College.