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story.lead_photo.caption Students gather at the columns at Westminster College in Fulton. Westminster will partner with the Coalition Against Rape and Domestic Violence to provide a resource — in the form of an advocate — for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and any other form of gender-based violence. Photo by Jenny Gray / Fulton Sun.

After receiving a $4.4 million bequest, Westminster College is looking forward to improving programs and faculty compensation.

The gift comes from the estate of alumnus Charles Scott Griesa, who graduated from Westminster in 1949 and who donated to the college consistently before his death in 2006.

"This is going to be used strategically to ensure that the college provides the absolute best program it can for students," Westminster College President Fletch Lamkin said.

College administration is still considering how to allocate funds from the gift, and the Board of Trustees will have to approve budget plans. But Lamkin already has some ideas about what to do with the funds.

"Now, what are some of the areas we really want to take care of? First is the student experience, and for us that goes back to academics," Lamkin said. "A portion will help us form new programs and help those programs that need more support."

The second area Lamkin said the gift could help fund is compensation — faculty and staff might be able to look forward to a pay raise.

"For several years now, we've had no raises or new contributions to retirement funds," Lamkin said.

The third area relates to cosmetic updates to the campus.

"We've got some cracked concrete and some chipped paint," Lamkin said. "We'll look at things that will really sharpen the appearance and aesthetic value of campus."

Westminster College often receives bequests from the estates of alumni, but Griesa's gift is unique in its size. In August, lawyers from Griesa's estate told the college to expect a gift.

"It wasn't until January that we knew the size of this bequest was $4.4 million," Lamkin said. "We receive bequests several times a year, but not of this amount. We did not know it was going to be that substantial."

During his time at Westminster, Griesa was an economics major and member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

"Westminster was a stepping stone for him to go to Harvard Business School and get his MBA," Lamkin said. "That's what Westminster is for so many of our students — a pathway to a fulfilling and successful life."

For many years, Griesa served as a member of the Westminster Alumni Council.

"Our college really is grateful for our alums who have made the Westminster experience available for generations," Lamkin said.

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