The college enrollment
grew and the liberal arts and sciences curriculum was expanded.
Always aware of the importance of meeting students' needs creatively,
the college offered a naval aviation cadet program during World War II
and operated a venetian blind factory in the 1940s, providing work for
students as well as an education. Employing students in an
aircraft factory and a pioneer radio station.
Western Union College Airport - 1940
In 1948 the name was
changed to Westmar College and it was accredited by the North Central
Association of College and Schools in 1953. A merger with York
College of Nebraska in 1954 resulted in Westmar College being the only
college west of the Mississippi River affiliated with what had now
become the Evangelical United Brethren Church. Westmar was
serving students from a broad geographical area and it continued to
grow reaching enrollments in excess of 1000 students. With the
merger the college assumed the York starting date of 1890.
In 1968 the EUB Church merged with the Methodist Church to
become the United Methodist Church. Now Westmar was one of many
United Methodist Church related colleges and with this loss of unique
geographical position the funding and student recruitment dynamics
changed and maintenance of enrollment became more difficult.
The name was changed to Teikyo Westmar University in 1990
following the affiliation with Teikyo University, a global education
consortium of schools and colleges based in Japan. Shortly
thereafter the formal connection to the United Methodist Church was
In the spring of 1995, a new affiliation agreement was
established with Advanced Worldwide Education of California and the
University adapted to changed times and expanding student needs.
As a result, the institution's name was changed to Westmar
University. In the spring of 1996, the city of Le Mars obtained
ownership of all the buildings and grounds of the University from
Advanced Worldwide Education.
The institution continued as an independent,
non-denominational university with traditional programs but also
innovative international opportunities. However, the financial
and enrollment struggle also continued and in the fall of 1997 when the
university was unable to meet the first rental payment due the City of
Le Mars, the Board of Trustees voted to close the school. The
semester was accelerated so that the last class day was November 21,
1997. A final graduation ceremony was held on November 22, 1997
bringing to a close 107 years of significant contribution to higher
education in Northwest Iowa and the Midwest.