Converse Hall in Front of the Wasatch Mountains

Year in Review

Students are home for the holidays and another semester has come to a close. With a new year and decade on the horizon, the time has come to reflect on all of the amazing accomplishments, new beginnings, recognitions, and causes for celebration the Westminster College community has experienced over the past year.

2019 Year in Review

Westminster students making angels in the snow

Official Snow Day Feb. 6, 2019

Snow days are hard to come by in Utah, but in February, students put down their textbooks, layered on their winter gear, and relished in a rare and coveted snow day.

Westminster's Lacrosse team

RMAC Championship

In April, the Men’s Lacrosse team became Regular Season Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference champions, claiming the first championship for Westminster since joining the RMAC in 2015. Westminster scored 3 goals in the fourth period bringing the final score to 17–6.

Spring 2019 Commencement

Spring 2019 Commencement

In May, 763 students completed their Westminster education and prepared to face their next adventure. Our newest alumni received 520 bachelor’s and 243 master’s degrees and represented 35 states, 1 territory, and 28 countries.

Eliza Van Dyk

Photo credit to The Salt Lake Tribune

Climate Change Activism

In May, Westminster student Eliza Van Dyk (’21) helped organize 20 young climate activists at the annual Governor’s Energy Summit to use their voice to demand that government officials prioritize renewable and regenerative energy sources.

HRC Equality Award

Human Rights Campaign Equality Award

In July, President Dobkin accepted the Human Rights Campaign Equality Award on behalf of Westminster. The award honored the college for a demonstrated campus-wide commitment to prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Students moving in

New Griffins Welcomed Home

In August, Westminster welcomed a fresh batch of Griffins. President Dobkin and First Dude, Randy Chiotti, passed out popsicles to volunteer faculty and staff as they helped students get settled into their new home.

Holt Home

Holt Home Dedication

In August, the Holt Home was formally dedicated. The restored 1926 French chateau was generously donated to the college just over a year ago and now serves as a home for President Dobkin and Randy Chiotti. The Holt family has a longtime connection to Westminster, with 4 children and 1 grandchild attending over the years.

Alumni Madison Denkers and Mitch Dumke at the United Nation Civil Society Conference

Alums on the International Stage

In August, Alumni Madison Denkers (’15) and Mitch Dumke (’11) served as co-chairs for the United Nations Civil Society conference held in Salt Lake City. They helped bring the international event to Utah–the first time it’s been hosted outside of UN headquarters in New York.

Doctorate graduates

First Doctorate Class Graduates

In December, 7 nurses earned their Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees in the college’s first-ever doctorate class. Sisters Siosi Fonua (DNP ’19) and Emanita Mounga (DNP ’19) were among the graduates, fueled by a promise made to their father and their professional drive to pursue the highest level of education in their field.

Fulbright Award

Fulbright Award Winner

Camille Stanley (Honors ’19), a Music program major, received a Fulbright US Student Program award for an English Teaching Assistantship in Moldova. She is part of over 2,100 US citizens who are studying, conducting research, and teaching abroad during the 2019–20 academic year through the program.

Gilman Scholarship

Gilman Scholarship Recipients

Lasana Trawally (’22), Genevieve Perry (’20), Alyson Pinkelman (’20), Sara Mollner (’20), and Charidan Maltby (’21) studied or interned abroad during the summer of 2019 thanks to the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship. They are a part of 395 students selected for the program from 152 colleges and universities across the US.

Junior McKenzie Campbell

First-Ever Truman Scholar

McKenzie Campbell (Honors ’20), an undergraduate student pursuing a degree in psychology and justice studies, became the first-ever Harry S. Truman Scholarship recipient at Westminster. She plans on pursuing a master’s of public administration at the University of Colorado—Denver through the scholarship after taking a gap year.

First Forward Institution

First-Forward Institution

This year, the college was named a First-Forward institution by the National Association of Student Affairs Professionals, acknowledging Westminster for its commitment to first-generation student success, allowing the college to expand current programming for students on campus, like the Legacy Scholars Program.

Photo credit to Utah Business Magazine

Photo credit to Utah Business Magazine

Utah Business 40 under 40

Interim Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students Karnell McConnell-Black and alumna Bahar Ferguson (’09) were recognized in Utah Business magazine’s “40 Under 40 list” for their innovation in the future of the business landscape in Utah and their efforts to build communities to inspire future entrepreneurs.

Photo credit to Justin Hackworth Photography for Utah Business Magazine

Photo credit to Justin Hackworth Photography for Utah Business Magazine

20 in Their 20s

Westminster alumna Becca Rettenberger (’15) was recognized in Utah Business magazine’s “20 in Their 20s” list. Becca joined the company Friendemic as a junior writer in 2014 and was named director of operations 4 years later.

Day of service sticker

Day of Service

The Katherine W. Dumke Center for Civic Engagement enhances student education through community-based learning and leadership opportunities. This year, Westminster students worked with students from Hawthorne Elementary to make fleece blankets for the VA Hospital, hygiene kits for homeless shelters, and dog treats for Salt Lake County Animal Services.

Group of students

Climbing the Ranks

Westminster climbed rankings in 2019, getting recognized as one of the best colleges in the US for veterans, a best college in the West, and a best value school for 2020, among other recognitions.

Students in the organic garden

Green College

Westminster College was recognized as one of the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges in The Princeton Review’s 2019 “Guide to Green Colleges,” and recently earned a Silver STARS Rating for its continuing efforts in sustainability. Schools in the “Guide to Green Colleges” are selected based on academic offerings, campus policies, initiatives, activities and career preparation for students.

Great Salt Lake

Great Salt Lake Institute

The Great Salt Lake Institute made a world-record attempt to float in the Great Salt Lake. Although cold weather kept them from breaking the record, they still had a lot of fun in the lake.

Westminster's Griffins crossing 1300 East

1300 East Opening

1300 East is open again! Phase one of Salt Lake City’s reconstruction project wrapped up in November after more than a year of teeth-rattling construction. You can now enjoy the freshly marked crosswalks, new bike lanes and ADA-compliant bus stops, and water/sewer lines.