First Lecture 2016

The Lecture

Every year, one faculty member is chosen by Westmont's President, Dr. Beebe, to give what is known as the First Lecture during Orientation. The First Lecture was inaugurated in 2008 and serves as a transition between a high school and college learning environment.

The LectureR

M Nelson headshotThis year's distinguished faculty member who is facilitating the talk is Dr. Mark Nelson, professor of philosophy.

Mark grew up near Chicago, graduated from Wheaton College (B.A., Philosophy) and the University of Notre Dame (M.A., Ph.D., Philosophy). Before coming to Westmont in August, 2006, he taught at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, the University of St Andrews in Scotland and the University of Leeds in England.

He is married to Pauline, and they have three daughters, a dachshund and a cat. He still has opposable thumbs.


The Great Divorce In The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis's classic vision of the Afterworld, the narrator boards a bus on a drizzly English afternoon and embarks on an incredible voyage through Heaven and Hell. He meets a host of supernatural beings far removed from his expectations, and comes to some significant realizations about the nature of good and evil.