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History and Traditions

History and Traditions at Westminster College

A Brief History of Westminster College

Westminster College was founded by Rev. William W. Robertson and the local Presbyterians in 1851 as Fulton College and assumed the present name in 1853.

On September 10, 1909, old Westminster Hall was destroyed by fire - only the Columns remained. Since then, the Columns have been restored and serve as a symbolic rite of passage for new and graduating students.

On March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill put Fulton on the map when he delivered his world-famous Iron Curtain Speech on Westminster College's campus after accepting Harry S. Truman's invitation. Many other world leaders have lectured at Westminster over the past several decades.

On May 7, 1969, Westminster College dedicated one of its most recognizable landmarks - the Church of St. Mary, the Virgin Aldermanbury. The Church was moved here from London and has quite a history. The undercroft of the Church is now home to the National Churchill Museum.

Westminster College was traditionally an all-male institution until 1979, when the first coeducational class was admitted in a dramatic move that propelled the College into the future.

In recent years, the creation of the Churchill Institute for Global Engagement has expanded the Westminster educational experience with new academic programs and global initiatives.
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