ABOUT THE FOUNDATION
THE WESTMINSTER FOUNDATION
The Westminster Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey, Inc. is an independent, tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the legacy and ensuring the future of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and to opposing efforts by Rider University to sell or close Westminster Choir College. The Foundation is not affiliated with Rider University or Westminster Choir College.
Given the ongoing uncertainty regarding a secure and lasting future for Westminster Choir College, WCC alumni, former trustees, faculty, donors and friends came together in December 2016 and established the Westminster Foundation. The Foundation advocates for the separation of the Choir College from Rider University and the continuation of its operations on its campus in Princeton, New Jersey. A move to Rider’s Lawrenceville campus, already underway by Rider University, would result in the elimination of a separate and independent Westminster Choir College, possibly leading to the ultimate loss of this renowned and treasured cultural institution altogether.
Formed by a diverse group of stakeholders committed to working together to advocate for Westminster’s future, the Foundation will engage in efforts to secure a strong, healthy and thriving Westminster Choir College. The Foundation will not yield in its efforts to preserve and protect the future of this unique and important cultural phenomenon. The Westminster Foundation is not affiliated with Rider University or with Westminster Choir College.
The Mission of the Westminster Foundation is to ensure the continued existence of and support for Westminster Choir College as a music conservatory of world renown in Princeton, New Jersey. The specific objectives and purposes include, but are not limited to:
· Exploring and developing strategies necessary to separate Westminster Choir College from Rider University in order to ensure that generations to come will have the opportunity to receive its first-rate, broad musical and educational training;
· Providing a solid, self-sustaining network and forum of alumni, supporters, and benefactors to promote this effort;
· Providing support for legal actions to block Rider University’s proposed sale, relocation, or closing of Westminster Choir College;
· Providing independent scholarships to Westminster Choir College students to help foster and nurture the school in this sensitive time; and
· Preserving the Westminster Conservatory and the Westminster Continuing Education program.
WHO WILL LEAD THE FOUNDATION?
A dedicated group of alumni, faculty, donors, and friends of Westminster Choir College, committed to protecting Westminster’s future and preserving its legacy, and working closely together since December 2016, form the Board of Trustees of the Westminster Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey, Inc.
WHAT CONNECTION DOES THE FOUNDATION
HAVE WITH THE LAWSUIT THAT HAS
BEEN FILED AGAINST RIDER UNIVERSITY?
Members of the Foundation, along with tenured faculty from both campuses, filed the McMorris complaint in September 2018 in the New Jersey Superior Court Chancery Division, which successfully blocked a threatened sale of the school, and which was followed by a second complaint, filed in October 2019 by one-third of the Westminster Choir College student body. Plaintiffs in both cases are represented by the Foundation’s legal counsel, Bruce Afran, Esq.
Rider University received the school as a charitable trust in a 1991 merger agreement. The lawsuit contends, among other points, that the agreement with Rider University requires that proceeds from any sale must be used for Westminster Choir College’s programs, its faculty, and its current and future students. With a successful ruling, any sale that would allow Rider University to profit from Westminster’s century-old reputation and property would be blocked.
The Foundation is also cooperating and consulting with the Princeton Theological Seminary in its separate litigation to block the sale of Westminster campus in Princeton. The Seminary has filed court papers in the New Jersey Superior Court Chancery Division asserting that the purpose of Westminster’s merger agreement with Rider University was to protect the school, not to allow Rider to profit from its sale. The Foundation fully supports these efforts and has joined with the Seminary in the mutual effort to force Rider to abandon the plan to sell the Princeton campus.
HOW WILL FUNDS BE RAISED?
We appeal to the many passionate Westminster alumni and friends in the arts community here in Princeton, in the US, and around the world who share our vision of protecting and preserving Westminster Choir College. We invite you to support us financially as well as through the establishment of connections to assist us in achieving our goals in preserving the school and ensuring its future.
Contributions to the Westminster Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey, Inc. are tax-deductible pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. (EIN 82-4291802). Contributions to the Foundation are not refundable. The Foundation’s viewpoints and solicitations are not in any way affiliated with Rider University or Westminster Choir College. Your generous gift in support of current efforts to ensure the future of our treasured school will immediately be put to use and are sincerely appreciated.
HOW WILL FUNDS BE USED?
Funds raised by the Westminster Foundation will be used to engage in the Foundation’s efforts to ensure that generations to come will have the opportunity to study at Westminster Choir College, and will provide financial support through scholarships for students to facilitate their studies. In order to pursue its goals, Foundation funds will also be used to engage the professional assistance necessary to source major donors, explore financing possibilities, and maintain the legal challenge to the proposed sale of the Choir College’s Princeton campus. Foundation leadership is committed to accountability and good stewardship of all funds contributed, minimizing administrative costs to the extent possible. The Westminster Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey, Inc., is not affiliated with Rider University.
WHAT EXPENSES WILL THE
The Westminster Foundation will incur expenses that may include those for administrative, legal, accounting, fundraising, and consultant costs necessary to secure and position the work of the Foundation for its long-term viability and success. As Rider University’s current efforts to sell the Princeton campus continue and increase, the need for legal action to block these efforts is immediate. Raising financial support is necessary in order to secure viable merger partners, provide scholarships for Westminster students, and enable Westminster Choir College to separate from Rider. The Westminster Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey, Inc., is not affiliated with Rider University.
WHY SHOULD I GIVE
TO THE FOUNDATION?
While lawsuits challenging Rider University’s attempt to sell the Westminster Choir College campus remain in place, the need for an entity committed to protecting Westminster’s legacy, ensure its long-term viability, and develop a strategy to achieve these goals is clear.
Rider administration has expressly stated that the purpose of the proposed move of Westminster Choir College from Princeton to the Lawrenceville campus is to blend it with Rider University, eliminate its existence as an independent and separate school of higher education, and create a new brand. This is against the terms of 1991 Merger Agreement in which Rider was given Westminster Choir College under a promise of protection and stewardship. The Merger Agreement requires that the resources of Westminster are to be used by Rider University for Westminster’s programs, and that Rider is obliged to maintain the Choir College’s separate identity.
The Foundation will continue all measures necessary to stop the sale of the Princeton campus, as well as the attempt to use proceeds for Rider University's benefit rather than for Westminster's programs, as they were intended. Your generous financial support is critical to the success of the Westminster Foundation’s efforts to preserve the legacy and ensure the future of Westminster Choir College.
Contributions to the Westminster Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey, Inc. are tax-deductible pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. (EIN 82-4291802). Contributions to the Foundation are not refundable. The Foundation’s viewpoints and solicitations are not in any way affiliated with Rider University or Westminster Choir College. Your generous gift in support of current efforts to ensure the future of our treasured school will be immediately put to use and are sincerely appreciated.
Here is how you can give your financial support today!
MAKE A CONTRIBUTION OR PLEDGE
The generous support of the entire Westminster community is critical to the success of the
CHECK OR MONEY ORDER
If you would like to lend your support today, please send a check or money order to:
The Westminster Foundation
174 Nassau Street #124
Princeton, NJ 08542
ONLINE BY CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD
To contribute online, please click on the Contribute link below.
If you would prefer to make a pledge in support of the Foundation, you may do so by writing to:
Contributions to the Westminster Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey, Inc. are tax-deductible
pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. (EIN 82-4291802).
Contributions made to the Westminster Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey, Inc. are not refundable.
The Westminster Foundation, Princeton, New Jersey, Inc.
is not affiliated with Rider University or Westminster Choir College.
Your financial support is vital and greatly appreciated. Thank you for your contribution.