Academic Updates

During the February faculty meeting I welcomed thoughts about the kinds of courses or programs Westmont might offer in downtown Santa Barbara. Are there new ways that our students can learn in a downtown context—and important ways that we can serve our greater Santa Barbara community? While I have started some preliminary conversations with Rick Ifland about possible courses in entrepreneurship or non-profit leadership, I am open to hearing from any department that would like to be involved in dreaming with us about what might happen in a downtown setting. If interested, give me some sense of that interest before the end of the academic year.

Gary Moon has been working with a faculty group that is helping to define ways that the Martin Institute for Christianity and Culture and the Dallas Willard Center for Christian Spiritual Formation can serve and embody the liberal arts ideals of Westmont. The group is preparing some ideas and language for that endeavor by the end of this semester.

One of the tracks of work in the strategic planning process has been devoted to working on the “Academic and Co-Curricular Partnership.” As part of this effort, Angela D’Amour is developing a comprehensive overview for how we serve first-year students.

The annual Awards Convocation will be held during Chapel on Friday, April 12. In some sense, this begins our Commencement celebration as we honor the academic accomplishments of seniors, honor society inductees, and student-athletes. Music major and Monroe Scholar Daniel Gee will give the First Senior address, and this year's Convocation will feature a new award—which you might call one last Spring Sing prize.