Westminster College opens new alumni house
Sugar House Journal
Oct. 16, 2008
By Sara Weikel
Westminster College brought the new and the old together at the grand opening of the Kim T. Adamson Alumni House on Sept. 19.
Two students dressed as mascots from two periods of Westminster’s history performed the ribbon-cutting ceremony that made the opening official. Jonathan Jemming, who graduated from Westminster in 1997, wore the costume of the former Parson mascot and current student Bryan Craven (‘10) was the school’s present Griffin.
Designed to help keep alumni connected with the school and its current students, the new alumni house is the first Westminster has ever had.
“It was an opportunity to share a vision with not only the staff but the past, present and probably the future alumni,” said Kim T. Adamson, herself a 1979 alumna who donated funds for the house and to many other causes at Westminster over the years. “Whenever they come back to Westminster in the future, they have a home now.”
Located on Blaine Avenue just west of the health and wellness center, the 5,000-sq. ft. building boasts a great hall, two reception rooms, offices for alumni and parent relations staff, space for Westminster memorabilia and alumni art and more. Before the house was built, the alumni offices moved several times to wherever space was available, and reunions and other events were held all over campus. Not only will the alumni house provide an official gathering place, but it will also give alumni from out of town a place to reconnect with their old home.
Having a specific meeting place for alumni is more important now than ever for Westminster, said Michelle Barber Lyhnakis, assistant director of alumni and parent relations. During the past 15 to 20 years, the college has grown a lot and alumni have become a larger percentage of the Westminster community.
“My hope is that this shows just how much Westminster cares about them,” Lyhnakis said.
The alumni house will also impact the school’s current students, who are closely involved with the alumni. Having a physical place with the word “alumni” on it will build their awareness of life after college, Lyhnakis said.
Despite all she has given to Westminster over the years, Adamson did not expect to have the alumni house named after her.
“It was a surprise, but I’m quite honored and humbled by it,” she said. Adamson was part of the police academy in 1975 when it was at Westminster and graduated from Westminster with a BS in behavioral science. She has spent 22 years in law enforcement, 34 years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and served a tour of duty in Iraq. She is currently a senior justice court judge in Salt Lake City.