Ask an Alumna: Kim Adamson
by Kayla Smith (’07)
September 19 marks the 10-year anniversary of the opening of the Kim T. Adamson Alumni House. This building provides graduates of Westminster a permanent place on campus to call home. Over the past decade, hundreds of Parsons, Griffins, and friends of the college have gathered at the house to connect, learn, and strengthen our Westminster College community.
To commemorate the occasion, I sat down with the house’s name sake, alumna Kim Adamson (’79), to reminisce about her experience as a student and to thank her for her continued support of Westminster and our alumni.
What drew you to Westminster as a student?
“I attended the Utah State Police academy that was held on campus in the basement of Foster Hall. This is how I discovered Westminster. I was working for South Salt Lake police at the time and they sent me to the academy. I started my education at the University of Utah in the nursing program. I wanted to go to Vietnam and support the war effort as a nurse in the Army or Navy. When the war ended, I still wanted to serve so I postponed my education and enlisted in the Marine Corps.”
What was your student experience like?
“I graduated from the Police Academy in 1975. I had such as positive experience in the academy and felt so comfortable on campus I decided to finish my degree at Westminster. I discovered that I qualified for a Law Enforcement Education Fund (LEEF) scholarship, and that covered my tuition so I was able to attend.
By the time I came to Westminster I had most of my credits from the University of Utah, so my experience as a Westminster student was short. I wasn’t able to get involved on campus as much as I would have liked because I was working for the police force. Regardless, Westminster became my home and holds a very special place in my heart.
I’m proud to be a Parson and I remember fondly taking classes from Jay Lees. The campus was a close-knit, welcoming community, just like it is today.”
What inspired you to stay connected with Westminster as an alumna?
“I joined the Alumni Board so that I could stay involved. I made an effort to be connected to the college even though I was traveling a lot with the Marine Corps. Eventually, I was asked to sit on the board of trustees and I’ve enjoyed being able to influence the direction of the college. My family also has a long history with Westminster. The Anne Newman Sutton Weeks poetry series was named after my grandmother. She wasn’t an alumna herself but she loved Westminster; she knew it was a very special place.”
Why did you decide to support the Alumni House project?
“I had funded other projects on campus, like establishing the first endowed chair at Westminster and several scholarships. It was important to me to support the college in any way I could. The college and I both saw the importance of an alumni house. When I was approached about naming the house after me, I was extremely flattered and excited to be a part of something so crucial for Westminster’s alumni community.
I believe in Westminster. I believe in the faculty and staff. I received a great education here, and I knew we needed a home on campus for alumni. I also believe money is meant to roll, so roll it. I very much enjoy being able to do philanthropy while I’m still young enough to enjoy the results and see the impact.”
What did you enjoy most about being involved with the Alumni House?
“We started the conversation in early 2000, and just as the project was really gaining momentum 9/11 happened. I was deployed to Afghanistan. I traveled back and forth during this time and stayed as involved as I could with the project while I was abroad. Once I was back in the states, the college allowed me to be as engaged in the process as I wanted to be. The building process was an exciting experience and it all culminated with the grand opening. We had the Parsons and Griffins join us as we cut the ribbon. It really symbolized bringing the entire alumni community together under one roof, regardless of what mascot you identified with.”
What do you hope for the alumni program going forward?
“Once you attend Westminster you become part of the family, it feels just like becoming a Marine. You are a part of the community for life. Your passion for the institution is deep in your core and heartfelt.
The Alumni House has been a vital addition to the alumni program. I’m proud of the progress the college has made engaging the alumni and I hope the house continues to be a place where alumni feel welcome and at home. There are so many opportunities at Westminster for individuals to excel and not just be a number. Those opportunities continue even once you become an alumni.”
Visit the Westminster Alumni Facebook page for stories celebrating the Kim T. Adamson Alumni House 10th Anniversary.
About the Westminster Review
The Westminster Review is Westminster College’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.