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Westminster College
Westminster College Converse Hall.jpg
MottoDiscendo Vita Abundantior
Motto in English
Through Learning, a More Abundant Life
TypePrivate college
Established1875; 147 years ago (1875)
Endowment$79.0 million (2020)[1]
PresidentBethami Dobkin[2]
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States

40°43′54″N 111°51′18″W / 40.7318°N 111.8550°W / 40.7318; -111.8550Coordinates: 40°43′54″N 111°51′18″W / 40.7318°N 111.8550°W / 40.7318; -111.8550
AthleticsNCAA Division IIRocky Mountain Athletic Conference
ColorsPurple and Copper    

Westminster College is a private college in Salt Lake City, Utah. The college comprises four schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business, the School of Education, and the School of Nursing and Health Sciences.


Westminster College was founded in 1875 as the Salt Lake Collegiate Institute, a preparatory school. Westminster first offered college classes in 1897 as Sheldon Jackson College. Named in honor of its primary benefactor and a Presbyterian minister, Sheldon Jackson, the college operated for many years on the Collegiate Institute campus in downtown Salt Lake City under the supervision of the First Presbyterian Church of Salt Lake City.

The college changed its name to Westminster College in 1902 to better reflect a more general Protestant education. The name is derived from the Westminster Confession of Faith, a Presbyterian confession of faith, which was named for the district of London where it was devised. The University of Westminster, London is a separate higher education institution in the United Kingdom and is not affiliated with Westminster College.

High school level classes ceased to be offered in 1945, and Westminster became the first accredited two-year junior college in the intermountain area. In 1935, Westminster modified its curriculum to qualify as a four-year junior college and in 1949 became a four-year liberal arts university offering baccalaureate degrees in the arts and sciences.

Students from all religions are welcome, as Westminster severed its official ties to the Presbyterian church in 1974. In 2019 the college replaced its traditional crest emblem, a shield emblazoned with the term Pro Christo et Libertate ("For Christ and Liberty"), for a new seal bearing the motto Discendo Vita Abundantior ("Life Made More Abundant by Learning").[5]


Originally located in downtown Salt Lake City, the college moved to its present campus on 27 acres (10.93 ha; 0.04 sq mi) in the Sugar House neighborhood of the city in 1911 where it is still located today.[6] Emigration Creek runs through the campus. This land was donated by Civil War Veteran Colonel William M. Ferry Jr.[7]

On campus are two gyms each equipped with a basketball court, weight room, and studio.

The larger of the buildings, the Eccles Health Wellness and Athletics Center (HWAC), also has an indoor pool, three story rock climbing wall, and racket ball court.

As Westminster College is located on 27 acres in the heart of Salt Lake City, administration has had to be careful and smart about the growing student population. The sixteenth president of Westminster College, Dr. Michael S. Bassis, saw a need for growing into and connecting with the Sugar House community. During his presidency he acquired Garfield School to the east, with plans on converting it into a center for the arts. However, it was sold to the Elizabeth Academy, a private Montessori school in February 2017.

Dr. Bassis also struck a deal to have Westminster on the Draw built on 1300 East, directly across the street from Sugar House Park. This seven-floor space has many uses. The bottom level is used as academic and event space, the second floor (street level) is used as business space, and the remaining floors are used as housing for upper-classmen and graduate students.


Westminster College has had nineteen presidents since its founding; the current president, Dr. Bethami Dobkin, was appointed in July 2018.[8] It has an endowment of $46.1 million as of October 2018.[9]


Westminster College comprises four schools: the School of Arts and Sciences, the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business, the School of Education, and the School of Nursing and Health Sciences. The college operates on a fall and spring semester system with a mini term in May and eight- and twelve-week summer terms.

Westminster offers 38 undergraduate majors conferring BS, BBA, BA, and BFA degrees, which do not include its customized majors and pre-med, pre-law, and pre-dental programs. In addition to a number of post-baccalaureate certificate programs in various fields, Westminster also offers 13 graduate degrees: Master of Business Administration (MBA), Project-Based Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Business Administration in Technology Commercialization (MBATC), Master of Accountancy (MAcc), Master of Arts in Community Leadership (MACL), Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), Master of Education (MEd), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Doctor of Nursing Practice - Nurse Anesthesia (DNAP), Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling (MSMHC), Master of Science in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner (MSN), and Master of Strategic Communication (MSC).[10]

Westminster College recently launched a new program within the Gore School of Business focusing on training students to be entrepreneurs. The Center for New Enterprise will offer graduate and undergraduate degrees as well as community education programs in entrepreneurship.

Westminster College is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Programs throughout the college are accredited as well.[11]


U.S. News & World Report ranked Westminster in its 2022 “Best College” guide in the following lists: “Best Regional Universities” (No. 18); “Best Value Schools” (No. 19); "Best College for Veterans" (No. 9); "Best Undergraduate Teaching (No. 15).[12]

Student life

The college has over 70 campus clubs and organizations. The Associated Students of Westminster is the student association on campus. The school newspaper is a bi-weekly called "The Forum". There is also a nationally recognized literary journal known as Ellipsis. The Estonian, Westminster's student yearbook, was last published in 1987. The college publishes an alumni magazine, The Westminster Review, on a bi-annual schedule.[13]


Main article: Westminster Griffins

The Westminster athletic teams are called the Griffins. The college is a member of the Division II level of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), primarily competing in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) for most of its sports since the 2015–16 academic year (which they were a member on a previous stint from 1967–68 to 1978–79 before suspending its athletics program); while its men's and women's alpine skiing teams compete in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association (RMISA) affiliated with the NCAA. The Griffins previously competed in the Frontier Conference of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) from 1998–99 to 2014–15.

Westminster competes in 15 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include alpine ski, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer and track & field; while women's sports include alpine ski, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, track & field and volleyball. Current non-NCAA sports include cheer, cycling, dance, men's soccer (club) and snowboard.


More than 50 Olympians have pursued their educational aspirations at Westminster, earning degrees along with 10 medals. The Griffins have competed in at least four Winter Olympic Games. Most of them as part of a 2005–2018 partnership between the college and U.S. Ski and Snowboard. Twenty-three Westminster students made up 10% of Team USA in Sochi and 18 students competed in the 2018 Pyeongchang games. In the 2022 Winter Olympics, 8 Olympians from Westminster will represent four different countries in Beijing: the U.S., Philippines, Ireland and Slovenia. One alum will compete in qualifying races for the 2022 USA Paralympic alpine skiing team. [14]


Prior to 1979, Westminster College athletic teams were called the Parsons, and the school was a member of the RMAC, which was a member of the NAIA at the time. The school joined said conference in the 1967–68 academic year. Football, basketball, and other team sports were offered at the intercollegiate level. That year, however, a financial crisis at the school caused it to discontinue its intercollegiate athletic program. Beginning in the 1990s, Westminster gradually began to restore an intercollegiate athletic program. After playing for many years in the NAIA, Westminster joined the NCAA Division II ranks and returning back to the RMAC in 2015, which later gained full member status in 2018.

Notable alumni


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ "404 Not Found". ((cite web)): Cite uses generic title (help)
  3. ^ "Westminster College: Westminster Fact Sheet". Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved December 18, 2008.
  4. ^ a b "About Westminster College Salt Lake City". Archived from the original on August 12, 2021. Retrieved September 11, 2021.
  5. ^ Westminster College. "History". [1] Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  6. ^ About Us | Westminster College | Salt Lake City, Utah
  7. ^ "The Woman's Board | Westminster College | Salt Lake City". Retrieved March 15, 2021.
  8. ^ Trojan, William (June 21, 2015). "Westminster Announces New President and Board of Trustees Members". Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  9. ^ "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 14, 2017. Retrieved February 19, 2010.
  10. ^ Westminster College Academics. "[2]". Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  11. ^ Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). "[3]". Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  12. ^ National Universities Rankings. U.S. News & World Report. "[4]". Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  13. ^ "Westminster Review".
  14. ^ "Eight Olympians from Westminster to Represent Four Countries in Winter Games." (January 25, 2022). Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  15. ^ "Maddie Bowman". United States Olympic Committee. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  16. ^ Forbes (2012). "30 Under 30 Finance". Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  17. ^ Osterlund, Peter (October 13, 2013). "Forbes 30 under 30: Colleges They Don't Talk About". 60 Second Recap. Recap Media. Archived from the original on April 1, 2016. Retrieved August 20, 2014.
  18. ^ Monson, Gordon (April 18, 2012). "Monson: Utah no-name comes out of nowhere to sign with Miami Dolphins". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  19. ^ Hanzus, Dan (April 19, 2012). "Former accountant chases NFL dreams with Dolphins". Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  20. ^ Minnesota Legislators Past & Present Janet H. Clark
  21. ^ Kragthorpe, Kurt (February 19, 2014). "Olympics: Utah's Westminster College influential in Sochi". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved June 19, 2016.
  22. ^ "Otto Abels Harbach". History to Go. Utah Division of State History. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  23. ^ "David Litvack". Archived from the original on April 23, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  24. ^ "Michael Stockton Westminster Griffins bio". Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  25. ^ Jolley, Craig (February 8, 2005). "Meet Ladd McIntosh". All About Jazz.
  26. ^ Matray, Margaret (May 27, 2012). "Spencer West: Redefining possible". Casper Star-Tribune Online. Retrieved February 28, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  27. ^ "Die Preisträger". Meyenburg-Stiftung (in German). April 30, 2005. Retrieved June 19, 2016.