A group of Westminster student leaders came away from a Monday luncheon with President and Mrs. Lamkin excited for what the future holds for the College.
Honors Commission President Sydney Sexton summarized the visit: “The meeting was a great success. It is refreshing to see both President Lamkin and his wife so involved already in this campus. It is very apparent that they care so much for Westminster and have it as their number one priority. It is exciting that they want to hear from us students, and it was nice to hear that most of the concerns we voiced were already on their radar. I am very excited to see the future of Westminster under President Lamkin.”
What stood out in the mind of Tenzin Tsuendue, who is President of the International Club and a Student Ambassador among his many campus activities, was when President Lamkin told the students: “I have a 100-day plan for what to do, and I think the first thing, which is the most important thing, is faith, belief, and trust that we are okay, and we will be great.”
The group met to get acquainted over lunch and hold an open discussion about Westminster issues that concern students.
Some of the topics discussed included the campus wifi system, recruitment of international students and continuing to increase the diversity of the student population, attracting and retaining outstanding faculty and staff, and recruitment in southwestern states such as Oklahoma and Texas, which have been the home of many Westminster students in the past.
“The luncheon was very encouraging,” said Hanna Macon, who is a member of Student Foundation, the Black Student Union, and the women’s basketball team. “I honestly feel that President Lamkin and Mrs. Lamkin were very genuine about every issue that was brought forth. Whether it was recruiting, school spirit, facilities, or whatever, there wasn’t anything sugar-coated, and they gave true and realistic answers.”
One particular issue of concern for Kaely Fitterling, Vice President of Student Foundation and SGA Senator, is student retention. “We talked a lot about retention of students once they decide to come to Westminster and that is something important in my eyes,” Fitterling stated. “Once we get a student here, how do we get them to stay? As the Vice President of Student Foundation, I want to see enrollment go up.”
Students in attendance at the luncheon included seniors Ben Davis from Jefferson City, Missouri; Kaely Fitterling from Bridgeton, Missouri; Sydney Sexton from Independence, Missouri; Fathimath Shafa from the Maldives; and Tenzin Tsuendue from Flekke, India; juniors Hannah Macon from St. Louis, Missouri and John Martin from Houston, Texas; and sophomore Margaret Morris from Eugene, Missouri.
The new Westminster First Lady was as big a hit as the President. “Mrs. Lamkin was awesome,” Fitterling said. “She is just as involved as President Lamkin and wants to really connect with the students. They both have great stories to tell, and I was more than appreciative that I was chosen to attend the luncheon. I am excited that President Lamkin is here, and I cannot wait to see his success with the College grow.”
Maggie Morris, Co-captain of the Cheer Squad and a Student Ambassador, also left the luncheon feeling good. “I was very impressed with President and Mrs. Lamkin. This lunch was a great start in getting to know them. They were eager to hear our opinions on the state of the College, and we were able to voice many concerns that I’m sure have been on everyone’s minds. I walked out of the luncheon confident that the College has been placed in good hands and will be able to continue providing students with an excellent education.”
Hannah Macon agreed. “After the lunch, I left feeling great because I am a Westminster Blue Jay, and I know that great things are ahead. It has definitely been a good day to be a Blue Jay.”