Donor in default on $75M gift
Stephen Adams, owner of Affinity Group in Ventura and former owner of the failed Affinity Bank, appears to have defaulted on his $75 million gift to Westmont College, slamming the brakes on the school’s most ambitious building project in a quarter century.
Though Westmont could not confirm it, Adams is believed to be the man behind the massive donation to the Montecito school in 2006. Adams’ other big gift, $100 million given to the Yale University School of Music, continues as planned, according to that school.
A reclusive Montecito resident, Adams built his fortune through a nationwide billboard business, boat and motorcycle magazines and a discount club for recreational vehicle enthusiasts. He’s granted a few interviews in France surrounding his purchase of a Bordeaux vineyard, but Adams was traveling and couldn’t be reached for this story.