Eleanor Armington has the distinction of carrying the first armload of books to the shelves of Westmont College’s Voskuyl Library. That big day arrived in 1968, and Armington, 62 at the time, and her husband, Everett Armington, were a big part of making it happen. To kickstart the construction, the Armingtons — who lived on a Summerland ranch and were friends with Westmont president Roger Voskuyl — had donated $200,000, a charitable gift made possible in part because, back in 1953, Everett had sold his Euclid Road Machinery Company to General Motors.
This story of inception, complemented by historic photos and recounted by Special Collections Librarian Diane Ziliotto, was part of an event held for the library’s 50th anniversary last month. At the event, Westmont President Gayle Beebe said his love of libraries grew with frequent visits when he was a young boy with his mother. He added, “I hope Voskuyl Library will always stand as a place that embodies one of the deepest and best-held values of the college as a center of the mind and a place where students explore the next horizon with their intellect.”
Voskuyl Library — which has more than 150,000 books, music scores, and media, as well as an ocean view — is open to the general public. It is located at 955 La Paz Road in Montecito. For more information visit westmont.edu/library.