20 for 2014: Memorable Blue Jay Moments

2014 has been a year of celebration and achievement for Westminster College, its students, and alumni. Below, find a few of the memorable moments and stories from the year.

More than 150 Students Showcase Research at Undergraduate Scholars Forum


In April, the Westminster College community came together to learn about topics – from the use of drones in modern warfare to the economic impact of the Olympics – as students showcased research accomplishments in their various academic disciplines. One day is set aside every year for the Westminster Undergraduate Scholars Forum.

Alumni Weekend 2014 and Cardinals Game


Several great events in 2014 brought alumni and Westminster friends together. Hundreds of alums and their family members joined us for events and festivities during Alumni Weekend 2014, held April 25-27. Several special events made this year’s Alumni Weekend notable.  Phi Delta Theta and Sigma Alpha Epsilon both held ribbon cutting and house dedication ceremonies to formally unveil house renovations.  In addition, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Delta Tau Delta both held chapter anniversary celebrations. Photos.


One of the biggest alumni gatherings … More than 1,000 Westminster College baseball fans, including Trustees, faculty, staff, alumni and students gathered for Westminster College Night at Busch Stadium on May 22.

Congratulations, Class of 2014


Diplomas, honors, words of inspiration, and celebrations abounded in May for the Class of 2014. Check out a special proposal at the Columns, and find out where the Class of 2014 was headed. Video recap.

President Forsythe Announces Plans to Retire, Presidential Search Begins


In May, after almost a decade of service, Westminster College President Dr. George B. Forsythe announced his intention to retire as President of the College at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year. He was appointed the 20th President of the College in 2008, after serving as Acting President since October 2007. A search is currently underway for Westminster’s next President.

Lady Jays Basketball Team Earns Number One Academic Ranking in Nation

Westminster Lady Blue Jays basketball

In July, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WCBA) notified the Lady Blue Jays that they had achieved the highest GPA for any NCAA Division III women’s basketball team in the country for the 2013-14 school year (a 3.642 combined grade point average). In December, the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives honored the team for its achievement (photo above).

Money Magazine Names Westminster in Top 10 Percent of “Best Colleges for the Money”

Westminster Campus Photo Students Walking Hill

In July, Westminster College was named in the top 10 percent of “Best Colleges for the Money” across the nation, according to the latest educational rankings of Money magazine. Other accolades for Westminster from the magazine’s latest research and assessments ranked the College one of the top 11 Most Affordable Private Colleges in the country and one of the top 25 Best Colleges That You Can Actually Get Into. Read more.

Move-In Day: Welcome, New Blue Jays!

Shannon McCaul, second from right, poses with her family on Move-In Day 2014.

Relive scenes from Move-In Day 2014 as our new students met the momentous milestone of becoming college students.  Families lugged suitcases, hugged, and looked on proudly as their student walked through the Columns and began their Westminster journey. More about move-in day and freshman convocation. Meet a few of the newest Westminster College Blue Jays.

A Second Start at College, An Unexpected Roommate: Devinn & Caela Ashford

Devinn and Caela Ashford Westminster College MO

When Devinn Ashford ’16 moved back to campus in August 2014, she welcomed a roommate she never planned on having at Westminster: her sister Caela. For Caela, entering Westminster at freshman status this year, it is her second start to the college life. In the fall of 2013, Caela entered Truman State University in Kirksville, but fell ill less than two weeks into her first semester. Caela spent two weeks in ICU and nearly a month in the hospital. One year later, both young women have a newfound appreciation for college life and each other. Read their story.

U.S. News & World Report Recognizes Westminster as Top Liberal Arts College


The prestigious national educational ranking firm, U.S.News & World Report, released its latest rankings in September, recognizing Westminster College as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation. Westminster also ranked #8 among all national liberal arts colleges for the highest percentage of international students. Westminster also ranked #7 among all national liberal arts colleges on the Best Colleges for Veterans list. Read more.

Hancock Symposium, Symposium 2014

Bob Geldof Hancock Symposium Westminster College 2014

Held Sept. 9-17, the 2014 Hancock Symposium – “’So, You Say You Want a Revolution?”: The Arts and Culture in Action” – brought a dynamic week of events and world leaders, including Sir Bob Geldof (above), to Westminster’s campus in Fulton, MO. The annual symposium covers a different topic of global importance each year to challenge students’ thinking, present innovative and opposing world views, and give our students close access to talk with and learn from professionals and leaders who are changing the world. Watch video recap.

Blue Blazers Portfolio Tops $500,000

Westminster College Blue Blazers Investment Group New York City 2014

Last September, Westminster College’s Blue Blazers Investment Committee (BBIC) hit a milestone as their stock portfolio reached a record half million dollars. In 1990, the Westminster Board of Trustees seeded the BBIC account, part of the Westminster endowment, with $200,000 to facilitate firsthand student learning about investing in the stock market. Read more.

Celebrating 35 Years of Women of Westminster (WOW)

WOW Photo at Columns

In 1979, Westminster College welcomed its first class of women students to campus. This group of pioneering women called themselves WOW, which stands for the Women of Westminster.  In hopes of highlighting these amazing women and the many female students who have followed in their footsteps, Westminster is hosting events all year to celebrate them! Learn more about the Women of Westminster.

President’s Dinner 2014


Every year, Westminster College honors generous and loyal donors with a special dinner hosted by the President. This year, Westminster supporters from near and far attended the gala on October 17, 2014. A highlight of the night was the keynote address by professor emeritus and College historian Dr. William E. “Bill” Parrish, whose fascinating talk highlighted a few of the transformational gifts from the past 16 decades of Westminster’s history. Relive the night in photos.

Westminster Students Reflect on “The Year That Changed My Life”

Jeremy Straughn 1989 Class

Members of Dr. Jeremy Straughn’s Fall 2014 seminar “1989: The Year the World Changed” share their stories – deeply personal, poignant, harrowing, heart-breaking, inspiring – in reflection essays on the subject of “the year that changed my life.” Hailing from Arkansas, Arizona, and Missouri, from Great Britain, Gambia, Somaliland, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, the students tell of tragic losses and new beginnings, of sudden epiphanies and fears conquered, of times of trial and journeys to independence.

Churchill’s Granddaughter Returns to Westminster

Edwina Sandys Breakthrough

Edwina Sandys, granddaughter of Winston Churchill, returned to the National Churchill Museum and Westminster College to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in October 2014. During a lecture as part of her visit, Sandys shared the story of how she acquired the sections of the Berlin Wall that were used in her “Breakthrough” sculpture, the piece of art and history that stands tall outside the National Churchill Museum at Westminster.

Westminster Ranks in Top 20 Colleges in Nation for “Best College for the Money”


In its 2015 national rankings, College Factual, in partnership with USA Today, names Westminster College 16 out of 1,223 colleges and universities nationwide as “Best College for the Money.” A data-driven national education firm, College Factual ranks colleges by their total cost as compared to the quality of the education students receive.  Rankings also consider how long it takes an average student to graduate from a particular school.

Giving Thanks: Scholarship helps this Chicago “College Girl” make it on her own

Rebecca Cameron Berlin Wall

Chicago-born and raised, Becca Cameron ’17 has a gift for optimism and seeing far beyond what is in front of her. Conversation with her is dotted with her laughter and big smiles as she talks about her journey as a first-generation college student to Westminster. She is a recipient of Westminster’s Triple S Scholarship. “I didn’t exactly live in the slums, but it was close,” the Westminster sophomore says. “Poverty is a cycle. When you are born without money, it’s hard to get to a point where you do … Without scholarships, I wouldn’t be here.” Read her story.

Blue Jay Basketball Player Receives Surprise at Game

Verdis Lee Brother Surprise

After being overseas in Afghanistan, senior Verdis Lee Jr.’s brother surprised him at a home game in Westminster’s historic gym on December 9. Check out the homecoming video.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without you: Faculty Change Students’ Lives

Blake Stonecipher '16 Elise Bartley

When it comes to working with students, Westminster faculty are known for forging lifelong friendships and changing lives. In this story, five students share what their faculty mentors mean to them. Bonus story: Morgan “Tyler” Knorr ’15 gives his view of his mentor, Dr. Irene Unger, Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science.

Benton Painting Given to Churchill Returns to Westminster

Benton Painting Unveiling

A Thomas Hart Benton painting given to Sir Winston Churchill in 1946 as a gift for coming to Westminster College to deliver his historic “Iron Curtain” speech has returned to the College. The 12” x 9” Benton portrait of a Missouri farmer mending his fence is entitled “The New Fence.” The Benton painting is a gift from James Henry Hance, Jr., Class of 1966, his wife Beverly, and the Bank of America. Hance is General Partner, Operating Executive and Director of The Carlyle Group LP.  From 1988 to 2004, he was Chief Financial Officer and Vice Chairman of Bank of America Corp.

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