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Home > About > News and Events > News > Member News > Chinese Company to Acquire Westminster Choir College

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Chinese Company to Acquire Westminster Choir College

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May 09, 2018

Facing fiscal challenges, Rider University plans to sell Westminster Choir College to a for-profit Chinese company for $40 million, according to the New York Times. Rider acquired Westminster—a storied institution in downtown Princeton—two decades ago when the college was struggling financially. Now, Rider hopes to sell Westminster to Beijing Kaiwen Education Technology, an educator provider that plans to franchise the Westminster name. Westminster Choir College houses the Westminster Conservatory, a Guild member.

According to the NY times, “some Westminster and Rider professors, armed with fresh financial data, question Kaiwen’s experience in higher education. Many have also lost confidence in [Rider’s President, Dr. Gregory G. Dell’Omo], a former human resources executive in the retail industry, who took office in August 2015.”

Numerous Westminster alumni and stakeholders have argued against the sale. “The Princeton Theological Seminary contended in state court in February that the sale would break a promise made by the original donor of the land, to which it could lay claim. Meanwhile, another group of alumni, faculty, parents and donors, concerned about the Kaiwen transaction, just established a new nonprofit, The Westminster Foundation, Princeton, N.J., ‘to ensure the continued existence’ of Westminster.”

Read the full article here.

About the Westminster Conservatory of Music

The Conservatory was founded in 1970 as the Piano Preparatory division of Westminster Choir College. It began with 30 students and now serves approximately 3,000 students of all ages and abilities throughout the Central New Jersey/Eastern Pennsylvania area. Now at five locations, the Conservatory offers group and private instruction in piano, organ, voice, strings, woodwinds, brass, guitar, harp and harpsichord. It also offers Suzuki instruction in strings, flute and piano; an Early Childhood program; a comprehensive music theory program, music ensemble instruction; jazz classes and ensembles; music therapy; music theater classes; young artists certificate program; a church music certificate program; trips to the Metropolitan Opera; and annual string and piano workshops. In 1995, Westminster Conservatory established an Early Childhood Outreach Partnership Program with Bright Horizons, a child-care management corporation which hosts on-site daycare for employees of large corporations in New Jersey.

This resource brought to you by the National Guild for Community Arts Education.