History (Part VII)

Westmar Alumni and Friends Association

Westmar Seal

Alumni Directory
Seal of Westmar College
Growth and Demise (1940-1997)
  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 Airfield
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 terminated.
   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.

Credits for part 7

End of History.
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