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Love of Learning

Love of Learning


Though Peter and Cathie Meldrum didn’t attend Westminster, the college’s vision has always resonated with them and their family. In fact, they are so passionate about it that the Meldrum Foundation donated $5.5 million to support what will be known as the Meldrum Science Center.

A Westminster trustee, Pete said that helping make the Meldrum Science Center a reality was a pleasure for his family. He and his wife are supportive of President Michael Bassis’s vision and wanted to make a major commitment to advancing these philosophies.

“I like the learning concept at Westminster and the direction the college is going: not teaching, but encouraging students to learn,” said Pete. “You can’t understand science unless you are actually doing it. A part of this new learning concept is getting students comfortable with a different way of learning. But you need the proper facilities.”

Pete is president and CEO of Salt Lake City-based Myriad Genetics, a leading molecular diagnostic and pharmaceutical company. “Our managers have long been impressed by Westminster graduates,” he stated. “They’re noticeably different than their peers from other institutions. They possess a greater depth of understanding.”

Instilling in students a love of learning throughout life and gaining knowledge is important to both Pete and Cathie. In fact, their son gave them a plaque—with a quote by Michelangelo at age 87—that now hangs in Pete’s office. The quote in Italian is “Ancora imparo,” which means “I am still learning.”

“You can’t take material possessions with you,” said Cathie. “Experiences and knowledge are the only things that really matter.”

The announcement of the foundation’s gift caused much joy in the president’s office, but it’s open to debate who was more pleased. While President Bassis was justifiably delighted to hear of the gift, the Meldrums laughed and said, “We had more fun giving it.”

Pete and Cathie have been associated with the college for decades. Pete’s mother, Grace, was on the Woman’s Board for 30 years, and Cathie has served since 1980. Pete joined the Westminster Board of Trustees in 2005. Prior to that, he chaired the Science Task Force, an industry group that advised the college’s science faculty. He and his wife also established aviation scholarships in honor of both of their fathers, B. N. “Nibs” Meldrum and George Roper.

Now the latest gift from the Meldrum Foundation, composed of Pete, Cathie, their son, Chris, and daughter-in-law, Jen, will have a lasting benefit for generations of Westminster students.