By a unanimous vote, Mesa City Council, at a special meeting this morning, approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to bring a new campus of Westminster College, based in Fulton Missouri, to downtown Mesa. The goal is to negotiate a five year lease with classes beginning in the fall 2013 semester.
"The MOU is a major step towards bringing Westminster and its tremendous academic reputation and tradition to Mesa," Mayor Scott Smith said. "Much more work lies ahead but we look forward to the educational offerings Westminster will offer to students in Mesa, the valley and beyond."
The MOU is a non-binding document intended to establish a period of exclusive negotiations between the City of Mesa and Westminster College to locate in the Mesa Center for Higher Education at 245 W. 2nd St. The former Mesa City Court building will be transformed into a facility that will offer shared academic space. The City expects to announce within the next few months that one or two more institutions of higher learning will also locate there.
Westminster College is a private undergraduate four year college with a liberal arts curriculum in a global community that is centered on graduating leaders of character who are prepared to make a difference in the world. Winston Churchill delivered his famous "Iron Curtain" speech on the Westminster campus in 1946. Founded in 1851, it is ranked as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country and fourth among liberal arts colleges for its diversity with students from 70 different countries, according to U.S. News & World Report.
"We are pleased that the Mesa City Council has recognized the mutual advantages and growth opportunities for Mesa and Westminster with their approval of this exciting partnership," Westminster President Dr. George B. Forsythe said. "Now we are ready to move forward with the planning process in order to bring the same unique educational experience and academic excellence to our Mesa students that we have been providing for students on our Fulton campus for over 160 years."
Initially, Westminster College plans to offer major programs in three areas at its Mesa campus: International Business, Environmental Studies, and Transnational Studies. Opportunities to pursue pre-med and pre-law will also be available.
View the Initial Announcement
Get Fast Facts about the Project
See What Westminster and Mesa Officials Have to Say