Westminster College (Missouri)

Westminster College
Former names
Fulton College (1851-1853)
Motto Religio et Scientia (Latin)
Motto in English
Faith and Knowledge
Type Private
Established 1851
Endowment $56.6 million[1]
President Benjamin Ola Akande
Academic staff
Administrative staff
110 (Fall 2016) [2]
Undergraduates 940 (Fall 2016)[1]
Address 501 Westminster Ave.
Fulton, Missouri 65251
1-800-888.WCMO (9266)
, U.S.
Campus Rural town, 86 acres (0.13 sq mi; 34.80 ha)
Colors Navy blue, light blue, white[3]
Mascot Winston Blue Jay
Sporting affiliations
Website www.westminster-mo.edu

Westminster College is a private, residential, undergraduate college with a curriculum based on the liberal arts. Located in Fulton, Missouri, the College was established in 1851 as Fulton College. The National Churchill Museum (formerly known as the Winston Churchill Memorial and Library) is a national historic site located on campus and includes the Church of St Mary, Aldermanbury. The church, designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1667, was rebuilt on the campus to commemorate Sir Winston Churchill, who made his famous "Iron Curtain" speech at the college gymnasium in 1946. Mikhail Gorbachev gave a speech there in 1992, declaring the end of the Cold War.


Westminster College was founded by the Rev. William W. Robertson and local Presbyterians in 1851 as Fulton College and assumed the present name in 1853. Throughout the next century, Westminster College continued to be an all-male institution until the first coeducational class in 1979.[4]

Ronald Reagan lecturing at Westminster College
Wikisource has original text related to this article:
From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an "iron curtain" has descended across the continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia; all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject, in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and in some cases increasing measure of control from Moscow.
Winston Churchill

Other leaders who have lectured on its campus include Margaret Thatcher,[5] former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev[6] George H. W. Bush,[7] Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan, Harry S. Truman, Lech Wałęsa, Dick Cheney, John Kerry, Ralph Nader, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., John Major, and James A. Baker III.


The college offers 35 majors, 39 minors, and 12 pre-professional programs.[8] Students can also choose to design their own course of study, tailoring a major or minor to their specific interests and goals. For higher achieving students, the college offers an Honors Program.[9] Westminster’s Cadaver Program, beginning as a small independent study in the Fall of 2005, is offered for pre-med, biology, and psychology students, who can explore the anatomy of the human body through scientific dissection. Students can continue learning into the summer with the three-week long May Term and the six-week long Online Classes during summer holidays.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Westminster College in the Top 150 schools for undergraduate education.[10] It also ranked Westminster College fourth among liberal arts colleges for its proportion of international undergraduate students[11] and as one of the 10 American Colleges with the most students in fraternities.[12] Westminster College was also ranked as “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review[13] and recognized by Forbes as one of the nation’s top colleges.[14] Westminster was also ranked the Top Liberal Arts College in Missouri and 53rd nationally by Washington Monthly.[15]

Pre-professional programs

The pre-professional programs at Westminster are Dual-Degree Engineering with Washington University in St. Louis or Missouri University of Science and Technology, Dual-Degree Nursing with the Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College, Health Professions, and Legal Professions.

Mentoring program and seminar

All incoming students are provided with two seminar mentors and a seminar professor who will advise students throughout their years at Westminster College. To make the transition from high school to college easier, mentors help orient students to their new life at Westminster and provide guidance in the areas of academics, social and residential life.


Westminster College Historic District
Location Off Westminster Ave., Fulton, Missouri
Area 18 acres (7.3 ha)
Architect Multiple
Architectural style Colonial Revival, Classical Revival
NRHP Reference # 82004633[16]
Added to NRHP April 12, 1982

The Westminster College Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[16] It encompasses nine contributing buildings and six contributing objects. They include the Hall of Science (1900-1901), Steam Heating Plant (1919-1920), The Columns ("Old" Westminster Hall) (1853-1854), Westminster Hall (1909-1911), the Gymnasium (1928), Swope Chapel Memorial (1967), Washington West House (1907), Re-Union Hall (1903), and Reeves Library (1950-1951).[17]

Historic Westminster Gymnasium

The Gym was built in 1928 and completely renovated in 1972. This national historic landmark is where Winston Churchill presented his Iron Curtain Speech in March 1946. Vice President Dick Cheney also visited the college during the 2004 campaign and spoke in the Gym. When new bleachers were installed, the old bleachers were recycled into new lockers for the men’s and women’s locker rooms. The floor has been renamed for Henry “Hank” Iba, Class of 1927, who was an all-state basketball, football and baseball player at Westminster before going on to coach Oklahoma State University to two national basketball titles and the U.S. Olympics basketball team to two gold medals. The Gym houses a basketball/volleyball court, athletic offices, indoor swimming pool and an exercise room.

Westminster Hall on Westminster College Campus, Fulton MO

Westminster Hall

This hall was built in 1911 and renovated in 1973-74. It is the main administrative building on campus and houses the Business Office, the Dean of Student Life offices, the Registrar, the Study Abroad Coordinator, and Dean of Faculty offices along with two classrooms. The lower level houses Westminster’s Health and Counseling Services, and Learning Opportunities Program.

The Columns

These columns are the only remains of the first Westminster Hall built in 1854 and destroyed by fire in 1909. These Columns are the center of a campus tradition, which is known as the Columns Ceremony.

Newnham Hall

Formerly the Hall of Science and was originally built in 1901. It is the oldest building on campus and was completely renovated and remodeled in early 1970 as a gift of an alumnus. This building houses several classrooms plus some faculty offices. Greg Richard Resource Center—Office of Career Services is located in the basement; a gift from alumnus and trustee.

Reeves Library and Hazel Wing

Reeves Library was built in 1951 and expanded & renovated in 1981 and again in 1996. This building houses a collection of more than 100,000 volumes readily available in-house for students and faculty. It is a member of the statewide consortium of 50 academic libraries. The Hazel Wing was dedicated in October 1996 and serves as the technological center on the campus, housing four computer labs, video editing equipment, a multimedia classroom, a language lab, small group meeting, and study rooms as well as offices for the Department of Information Technology. Also located in this building is the writing/math lab.

Hunter Activity Center

Otherwise known as the "HAC" for short, this building is a common area for both faculty and students. Downstairs is the Johnson College Inn (known to students as "JCI") grill/snack bar which is surrounded by ping-pong tables, pool tables, campus mailboxes, and the TV lounge. Upstairs houses meeting rooms and the HAC Gym. Westminster’s HAC Gym includes a racquetball court, indoor track, weight equipment and workout room and is the site for most intramural sports.

Coulter Science Center

This building was renovated in 2004 with an $18 million gift from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation. Otherwise known as "CSC," this is where science classes and labs such as chemistry, biology, physics, psychology, environmental science, computer science, and math are held. This building is complete with computer labs on every floor. Westminster faculty were asked to provide their input before architects were hired to draw up the plans. The focus is totally on students and how to create a better learning atmosphere and to offer rooms for student research on a large scale.

Champ Auditorium

This large building was built in 1966 and seats 1,400 people for concerts, lectures, music productions, and other college events such as Commencement and Freshmen Convocation.


Breakthrough is a sculpture consisting of eight sections of the Berlin Wall. It commemorates the collapse of the Iron Curtain and the end of the Cold War. The sculpture is the work of artist Edwina Sandys, granddaughter of Winston Churchill.[18] It was dedicated to Westminster College in 1990 by former President Ronald Reagan. It is the longest contiguous section of the Berlin Wall in North America.

Christopher Wren designed Church of St Mary Aldermanbury, rebuilt at Westminster College, Missouri

Church of St. Mary, Aldermanbury

Main article: St Mary Aldermanbury

This predecessor of this church building was originally constructed in the City of London during the 12th century, but burned down in the Great Fire of London in 1666. This church was erected as its replacement by Christopher Wren in the 17th century. During World War II, the Wren church was gutted by German bombs and in the mid-1960s, it was dismantled and shipped stone-by-stone to Fulton and reconstructed on Westminster’s campus. Today, the church serves as the College’s chapel. While it is occasionally claimed that St. Mary’s is the oldest church in North America, the statement is not accurate. The transported Wren building is not the original 12th Century building of the St. Mary Aldermanbury parish of London. It is instead the replacement that was built under Wren's direction between 1672 and 1677, and contains no details of the original, being a new construction made largely of Portland stone that Wren had quarried in Dorset. This would make it considerably newer than such ancient North American buildings as the church of San Francisco in Tlaxcala, Mexico, whose construction began in 1521.

People visiting a World War II exhibit at the National Churchill Museum, located on the Westminster College Campus

National Churchill Museum

Located below the Church of St. Mary, Aldermanbury, this state-of-the-art museum is devoted to Sir Winston Churchill. In 2005, the building underwent a $4 million renovation and reopened in March 2006, marking the 60th anniversary of Churchill’s speech at Westminster. This museum features interactive exhibits about Churchill, World War II, Sir Christopher Wren and the Church of St. Mary, Aldermanbury. The Museum also showcases traveling and temporary exhibits, archival resources for scholarly research and a gift shop with unique “Churchillian” merchandise.[19]

Residential life

Westminster College manages and maintains nine residence halls as well as a limited number of residential homes for student occupancy. In addition, the six national fraternities for men operate their own independent living units. New students are generally assigned to Gage, Marquess, Rice, Scott and Sloss Halls, which comprise the Churchill Quadrangle. Westminster’s upper-class students live either in one of the four upperclass residence halls (Emerson, Wetterau, Weigle, Sweazey), Westminster Apartments, an on-campus residential house, Westminster Townhouses or a national fraternity house.

Student life

2016 student demographics[1]
940 degree-seeking students
57% male
43% female
14% of student body composed of international students

Clubs and organizations

Westminster students can pick from over 50 clubs and organizations to become involved in on campus.[8] Honorary societies include: Alpha Chi, Alpha Mu Gamma, Beta Beta Beta, FMA National Honor Society, Gamma Theta Upsilon, Kappa Delta Pi, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Alpha Delta, Phi Alpha Theta, Pi Mu Epsilon, Psi Chi, Phi Sigma Alpha, Phi Sigma Tau, Sigma Tau Delta, and Theta Alpha Kappa.[20]

Greek life

Westminster College has a well-established history of Greek Life, dating to 1868. 43% of students are members of Greek organizations. Participation in this heritage has afforded students opportunities in leadership and involvement, both on-campus and within the greater Fulton community. Consisting of 6 national fraternities and 3 national sororities. Fraternities and sororities receive national recognition for the successful organizations that have been formed and maintained over the last 150 years.[21]



Global experience

Study abroad

Students who are enrolled full-time at Westminster College and who wish to study off-campus may choose from Westminster's 150+ approved foreign and/or domestic programs. Westminster can provide assistance with advising, potential credit transfer and financial assistance.[22]

Take a Friend Home Program

Introduced in the summer of 2006 with the support of the Board of Trustees, the Take a Friend Home program is a global outreach and cultural immersion program through the Center for Engaging the World at Westminster College. International students select a friend with whom they would like to travel and share their family experience. Likewise, American students may select an international friend with whom they might like to share their American family experience. Upon return, participating students agree to share their experiences with the Westminster community.

The Westminster Symposium

The Westminster Symposium is a premier annual lecture series that encourages study of topics which have a profound global significance. In 2011, Bill Roedy, former CEO of MTV Networks International, joined a long list of luminaries that have delivered Green Lectures at Westminster, including Sir Winston Churchill and his famous “Iron Curtain” speech in 1946. Renowned producer and philanthropist Bob Geldoff keynoted the most recent Westminster Symposium in 2014.

Churchill Institute

The Churchill Institute incorporates the life and work of Churchill into the whole Westminster curriculum and across the range of activities and events that underpin the whole Westminster experience, enhancing the College’s mission and elevating its profile. Signature programs of The Churchill Institute include the Westminster Symposium, the Fulbright-Robertson lecture and a new program, Profiles in Leadership.


Graduating Seniors passing through the Columns at Westminster College

The Columns Ceremony

Six columns remain from the original college building which burned down in 1909. All students pass through the Columns as a new student and again as graduates. The first ceremony serves as a symbol of a students’ entrance into college life and the Westminster community. The other symbolizes entering the world prepared with knowledge and experience gained at Westminster.

The Skulls of Seven

The Skulls of Seven is an honor society, founded in 1898, that prides itself on commitment to seven virtues: tradition, history, scholarship, loyalty and friendship, citizenship, service, and honor. The Skulls of Seven are defenders of college tradition and are chosen for their adherence to the seven virtues with the duty of upholding these values. These six seniors and one junior are selected based on their proven devotion to the college and their positive representation of Westminster. This society has existed for over 100 years. The continuing purpose of the Skulls is always and ever the welfare of the college.


Westminster College Athletics logo

Westminster College is a NCAA Division III school and belongs to the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC). Westminster sports include baseball, basketball (M&W), cheerleading, cross country, dance, football, golf (M&W), soccer (M&W), softball, tennis (M&W), track and field (M&W), and volleyball.[23]

Service and leadership

The Emerson Center for Leadership & Service is named in honor of William "Bill" Emerson, a 1959 Westminster College graduate, who served eight terms on behalf of Missouri’s Eighth District in the U.S. House of Representatives, beginning in 1980. The Center helps enhance Westminster’s student involvement, multicultural student development, spiritual life, international student services, leadership development & education, and community involvement. Westminster College encourages its students to participate in service activities. Some projects and organizations students work with every year include: MLK Day of Service, American Red Cross, United Way, Habitat for Humanity, the Food Bank, the Humane Society, Coalition Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARD-V), the Davis Foundation Projects for Peace, and charity: water.

Notable alumni


  1. 1 2 3 As of June 30, 2015. "Westminster College". Regional Universities Miswest. US News & World Report. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  2. "Faculty & Staff Directory". Westminster. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  3. Westminster College Graphic Identity Standards Manual (PDF). Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  4. Parrish, William E. Westminster College: An Informal History, 1851-1999. Fulton, Mo: Westminster College, 2000. Print. OCLC Number 45495552
  5. "50th Anniversary of Winston Churchill's Iron Curtain Speech," Margaret Thatcher. C-SPAN. March 6, 1996, Fulton, MO.
  6. "River of Time and Imperative of Action," Mikhail Gorbachev. C-SPAN. May 6, 1992, Fulton, MO.
  7. "Bush Rally at Westminster College," George H.W. Bush. C-SPAN. October 18, 1988, Fulton, MO.
  8. 1 2 "Facts About Westminster". Westminster. 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2016.
  9. Archived May 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. "Best Colleges" Rankings and Reviews. U.S. News & World Report.
  11. "Most International Students: National Liberal Arts Colleges." U.S. News & World Report.
  12. McMullen, Laura. "10 Colleges With Most Students in Fraternities" 2011. U.S. News & World Report.
  13. "Best Midwestern Colleges" Princeton Review College Ranking. The Princeton Review.
  14. "#113 Westminster College" America's Best Colleges. Forbes.
  15. "2012 Liberal Arts Colleges Rankings. Washington Monthly.
  16. 1 2 National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  17. Warren Hollrah, Ann Stimble, Eve Saunders, and Karen Grace (August 1980). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Westminster College Historic District" (PDF). Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  18. edwinasandys.com
  19. "Winston Churchill Museum in Fulton, MO". National Churchill Museum. 2015-11-13. Retrieved 2016-01-07.
  20. http://www.westminster-mo.edu/studentlife/activities/clubs/Pages/default.aspx
  21. http://www.westminster-mo.edu/studentlife/greek/Pages/default.aspx
  22. http://www.westminster-mo.edu/academics/international/studyabroad/Pages/default.aspx
  23. St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
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Coordinates: 38°50′54″N 91°57′22″W / 38.8483°N 91.956°W / 38.8483; -91.956

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