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David Winter dies at 84; long-serving Westmont College president

David Winter dies at 84; long-serving Westmont College president
David Winter led Westmont College during an era of expansion and growth. (Westmont College)

David Winter, the long-serving president of Westmont College who oversaw an era of growth and expansion at the small Christian college, has died at the age of 84.

Winter died Saturday in Santa Barbara as a result of cancer, Westmont announced.

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During his administration, the Montecito-based college was pledged what then was thought to be one of the largest donations made to a liberal arts college in America -- $75 million. When the donation was announced in 2006, only DePauw University in Indiana had received a larger gift.

But the donation, which was to help construct several long-planned buildings and other facilities on the leafy campus, was rescinded during the economic collapse in 2008.

Winter was born Sept, 15, 1930 in South Pasadena and served in the U.S. Navy as an air intelligence officer. He went on to earn degrees at UCLA and a doctorate from Michigan State University.

He taught at Wheaton College in Illinois and Calvin College in Michigan before becoming the academic vice president at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash. He arrived at Westmont in 1976.

Though he retired in 2001, Winter returned to campus in 2006 as the college's interim president and chancellor. He later served as headmaster of Providence, a Christian high school in Santa Barbara.

Winter is survived by his wife, Helene; three children; two grandchildren and his wife's three children and eight grandchildren.

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