Westminster’s first alum First Lady
by Kayla Smith (’07)
Anyone who has met Sandy Morgan (’11) knows that her warmth and charm will put you right at ease. When Sandy arrived for her interview, she immediately noticed I was in discomfort from back pain and insisted that we go to the sitting room of the Alumni House and I lie on the couch for our conversation. This perfectly illustrates who Sandy Morgan is: a kind and compassionate caretaker.
“I like to make people feel comfortable,” Sandy says. “I think it goes back to when I young. I was shy and awkward and often felt uncomfortable.”
Sandy’s relationship with Westminster College began when her husband and high school sweetheart, Steve, took a position as business operations manager during a tumultuous time in the college’s history. Sandy had just transitioned into being a full-time mom after working as an executive secretary to put Steve through school. “It was very scary! We had just bought a house and had our first child, and we weren’t sure he’d get a paycheck that summer,” she remembers.
Steve rode out Westminster’s financial struggles of the 1980s with Sandy by his side, ever the steadfast cheerleader, just as in their days together on the Highland High School cheer squad.
It was also during this time that Sandy became a Westminster student. “Steve came home and told me about a pottery class at the college, so I signed up,” Sandy recalls. After taking several breaks to care for her children and aging parents, Sandy came back to the classroom. “I thought, ‘I guess I’ll go back to school,’” Sandy says. “I always loved being a mom and taking care of my kids and their friends. They called me ‘Momma Morgan,’ but when I went back to school, I was suddenly myself again. Of course I was still a mom and a wife, but I was also just me.” Sandy graduated from Westminster in 2011 with her bachelor in fine arts with an emphasis in ceramics—and a 4.0 GPA.
In February of 2015, Steve was asked to step in as president of the college. And with that, Sandy Morgan was the first alum to become First Lady of Westminster College.
Upon becoming First Lady, she initiated her Westminster Spotlight experiences for the spouses of trustees, making sure they felt a part of the Westminster community. Word got out about Sandy’s spotlights, and soon the trustees themselves were attending the sessions.
“I feel part of my role as First Lady is to make the trustees more aware of all aspects of campus,” says Sandy. Through her spotlights, Sandy frequently identifies needs on campus to facilitate student learning and actively works to fund them.
When asked about her passions beyond campus, one surprising answer was bowling. Her all-female team has been playing together every Thursday morning for 25 years. “My average is about 145, and I throw a 10-lb. ball I bought at Kmart,” she says chuckling. “Steve will play sometimes, but I always beat him.”
Sandy Morgan is a one-in-a-million woman who has made Westminster her home as well as a home for so many others. With her husband’s pending retirement, Sandy’s relationship with the college will soon be changing, but it will most definitely not be ending. She plans to remain on the Woman’s Board and to attend Chamber Singers’ concerts with Steve.
“Westminster is like extended family to us,” Sandy says. “We will always be connected to the college in some way.”
About the Westminster Review
The Westminster Review is Westminster University’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.