September 23, 2023
You are here:  Home  >  Higher Education  >  Current Article

Westmont receives biggest gifts in its history


Westmont College in Montecito announced Sept. 15 that it had received the two largest cash gifts in its history, totaling more than $15 million.

In late August, Westmont received $8.2 million from Ed and Mollie Miller, its largest single gift ever. The donation supports the college’s Paul Raymond Miller Scholarship Endowment, named in honor of Ed’s father and established 35 years ago when the Millers’ daughter, Barbara, enrolled at Westmont. Ed also 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,” Westmont President Gayle Beebe said in the college’s news release.

The scholarship has supported hundreds of Westmont students who rely on financial aid to attend, the college said.

Additionally, Westmont recently received a $7.25 million gift from Celeste and Robert White, its second-largest single donation. The gift funded the purchase of 29 W. Anapamu St., a four-story building in downtown Santa Barbara adjacent to the Westmont downtown center at 26 W. Anapamu St.

The two facilities provide nearly 30,000 square feet for several off-campus programs, including the new nursing program in partnership with Cottage Health, as well as Westmont’s capital and social entrepreneurship program.

Robert and Celeste, a 1976 Westmont graduate and current board member, have been involved in the college since her time as a student.

“Together they have given generously and cared deeply about the college’s life and mission,” Beebe said in the college’s news release.

Founded in 1937, Westmont is an interdenominational Christian liberal arts school that offers 26 bachelor of science degrees, 12 pre-professional programs and an elementary and secondary teaching credential program.