Westminster is no longer a college, but receives a university award

Westminster College will usher in its next era as Westminster University after the university’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the change at a meeting last week. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

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SALT LAKE CITY – Westminster College has called Salt Lake City home for almost 150 years and will now herald its next era as a full-fledged Westminster University.

“We went from a small collegiate preparatory academy in 1875 to a junior college and then a four-year baccalaureate institution in 1949,” said Westminster President Bethami Dobkin. “Since then we have grown in size, stature, activities and academic offerings. It is time for the next chapter of Westminster.”

The institution’s board of trustees unanimously approved the change in a meeting last week after Westminster presidents debated the university’s designation for nearly 20 years.

Westminster currently offers more than 50 undergraduate courses, 11 graduate courses and two doctoral courses, with more doctoral courses to start shortly.

“The transformation into Westminster University demonstrates our strengths and our journey as a small, comprehensive institution,” Dobkin said in a video announcing the change.

Although Westminster has garnered recognition at universities, Dobkin was adamant it will not change the longstanding institution’s size, campus culture, or core commitments.

“It will change the way people find us, get to know us and see the outstanding opportunities we offer at Westminster,” said Dobkin.

The latest US News and World Report college rankings revealed Westminster as the #12 university in the West and the #5 best value school.

“We will always be a place where students forge strong connections with some of the best faculty in the country and where a liberal arts foundation encourages leadership to think broadly, critically, collaboratively and in ways that solve complex problems and builds professional confidence,” said Dobkin.

Westminster aims to officially start as Westminster University in autumn 2023.

An FAQ page will be updated to keep the Westminster community informed as it becomes Westminster University.

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Logan Stefanich is a reporter for KSL.com covering the communities, education, economy and military of southern Utah.

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