September 2021 News In Brief

September was a busy month at Westminster College! Below are just a few highlights of on- and off-campus events that involved students, faculty, and staff.


Dr. Barri Bumgarner, Assistant Professor of Education and Digital Blue guru, conducted a True Crime Writer’s Workshop at 6 p.m. on Sept. 21 in the Columbia Public Library and via Zoom. The author of more than four novels, Bumgarner appeared on Dateline NBC in 2020 for her research into a Columbia, MO, murder.




On Sept. 18, 2021, the Blue Jays football team won 30-9 over the Sewanee Tigers in Sewanee, TN. Head coach John Welty later summarized his feelings about the game. He said, “It was a great win for the Blue Jays.” Read more about the victory  on the Blue Jays Athletics website.





Westminster College and America’s National Churchill Museum participated together in the Missouri Bicentennial Parade hosted by Gov. Mike Parson on Sept. 18, 2021, in Jefferson City, MO. Crowd-pleaser Winston the Westminster mascot strode along a 1935 Chevy Coup graciously provided by Fulton’s Auto World Museum. Various students, staff, and friends joined Winston for the parade festivities.



Junior Eryka Wanyonyi of Columbia, MO, broke a 25-year Westminster volleyball record on Sept. 10, 2021, for 30 kills in a single game. Read more about Wanyonyi in an in-depth article from the July-August 2020 issue of Sports Locker magazine.





Westminster College and America’s National Churchill Museum conducted a solemn Ceremony of Remembrance at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury. The hybrid event honored the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the nearly 3,000 lives lost during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, PA. The ceremony can be viewed on Westminster’s YouTube page.


Political science, history, and education faculty members introduced a series of hybrid-format panel discussions this semester on Fridays at noon. The series, sponsored by various student organizations, is designed to broaden students’ political and global perspectives while fostering open debate and discussion. The panels are available in person to students in various classes and to other students, faculty, and staff via Zoom. Recent topics include the fall of Afghanistan, the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and the judicial history of students and the First Amendment. Panels in September featured Zoom discussions with Maj. Byron Bagby (Ret.), ’78, and John Allen Gay, Executive Director of the National John Quincy Adams Society.

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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.