Fall 2023 News in Brief

Record Numbers of Blue Jays Flock to 2023 Homecoming and Family Weekend

The 2023 Homecoming and Family Weekend brought hundreds to campus for fast-paced celebrations that kept the Westminster community hopping from event to event. A record crowd filled the stands for the dedication of the Kent and Judith Mueller Stadium and Vicki Mueller Memorial Plaza, where the College witnessed a heartfelt dedication ceremony that placed the Mueller family front and center of the celebration at the 50-yard line of Blue Jay Field, along with President and Chief Transformation Officer Donald P. Lofe, Jr., and many others.

The weekend was topped off by the highly successful 2023 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Fundraising Auction, and Dinner. Photos of the dedication ceremony can be accessed through Westminster’s stadium dedication photo gallery. Likewise, photos of the 2023 Hall of Fame Ceremony can be found on the Hall of Fame photo gallery.

Around the Town

  • At 12 p.m. on Nov. 8, 2023, at Ohana Pizzeria, President and Chief Transformation Officer Donald P. Lofe, Jr., updated the Fulton Rotary Club on the progress taking place at Westminster College. Loosely based on his recent State of the College address, Lofe’s presentation was well-received by the audience of approximately 30 Rotarians and guests.
  • On Nov. 10, 2023, Westminster’s Blue Blazers Investment Committee (BBIC) made an impact on the local community by conducting a Stock Pitch Competition on campus for students from Fulton High School’s Business Law & Personal Finance class. Through curriculum provided by Junior Achievement and special instruction by the Blue Blazers, the young financial dynamos are well on their way to success as a result of the experiential learning provided by the BBIC. First place went to Natalie Bruno (pictured with BBIC CEO Jonathan Banza).
  • Dr. David Schmidt, Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science; students Vi Lowe, ’27 IND, and Faith McRoberts, ’24 IND; and alumnus John Tosi, ’79 ΒΘΠ, gave a talk at noon on Nov. 15, 2023, before the Fulton Rotary Club at Ohana Pizzeria. The presentation covered last summer’s fossil excavation at the South Dakota location where Shady — the 66 million-year-old triceratops — was discovered in 2019. Four summer excavations later, and the Westminster researchers have unearthed even more of Shady’s bones and other fascinating fossils at the dig site. The team discussed their experiential summer experience and how Schmidt believes Shady died. Another excavation will take place in the summer of 2024. Please contact Schmidt at David.Schmidt@WCMO to learn more.

 The Cold War is Hot (Off the Press)

  • Drs. Mark Boulton and Tobias T. Gibson are the proud editors of the recently published book Red Reckoning: The Cold War and the Transformation of American Life. Boulton is the Chair of the Department of History and a member of the Royal Historical Society, and Gibson is the Dr. John Langton Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science at the College. The book, which the two professors compiled over the last four years, examines how the great ideological conflict of the 20th century transformed the nation and forced Americans to reconsider almost every aspect of society, culture, and identity. Some contributors, including Ann V. Collins, Eric Kasper, Angela Keaton, and Kurt Kemper, were hosted by the College during the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Watch for details on two book signings that will take place on campus during the spring 2024 semester. Meanwhile, the book can be purchased at America’s National Churchill Museum (ANCM), in person or online, and at Amazon.com. Purchases made at the ANCM bookstore support the Museum.
  • Timothy Riley, the Sandra L. and Monroe E. Trout Director and Chief Curator of America’s National Churchill Museum, contributed the first chapter to The End of the Cold War and Its Aftermath, which was published recently by Outskirts Press. Other contributors include editors Mark R. Wilcox, Sean N. Calic, and Col. (Ret.) R. Robert Ulin of the U.S. Army. The 204-page book is available at America’s National Churchill Museum, in person or online, and at Amazon.com. Purchases made at the ANCM bookstore support the Museum.

Veterans Day 2023: Solemn Commemorations On and Off Campus

  • Alumni, faculty, staff, and friends participated in a remembrance service at 12:45 p.m. on Nov. 10, 2023, at the Veterans Memorial at the south entrance of Hunter Activity Center, followed by a Vietnam veterans panel discussion at 12 p.m. in the Coulter Science Center Lecture Hall. The well-attended event, sponsored by the Westminster College History and Museum Studies Club, was covered by KOMU-TV.
  • Alumnus Michael Lavin, ’67 IND, of Kirkwood, Missouri, made front-page news in a story by journalist Julie Brown Patton from the Webster-Kirwood Times regarding his Vietnam War experience. Lavin was drafted into war in December 1969. Today he regularly speaks to high school students and other groups about his wartime experience and subsequent PTSD. His presentations are designed to help individuals deal with the stresses in their day-to-day lives. Lavin’s most recent presentation took place on Nov. 10, 2023, at Kirkwood High School.
    Photo above courtesy of the Webster-Kirkwood Times/photographer Ursula Ruhl.


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Sarah Rummel Backer

Sarah Rummel Backer is the Director of Media Relations and Senior Writer at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. A proud Westminster graduate, Sarah has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and strategic communications in the areas of higher education, medicine, agriculture, and the private business sector.