Westmont Magazine Alumnus Becomes Board Chair
It’s an exciting time to chair the Westmont board, and Steve Stong ’75 knows it. “The next few years will be significant in the history of the college,” he says. “We will introduce a new president and break ground on long-awaited and much-needed buildings. Our endowment will grow rapidly, thanks to investments by many friends. Westmont will pursue its mission with even greater excellence, providing a quality liberal arts education while holding Christ preeminent.”
Stong has succeeded David Eaton as the chair of the college’s board of trustees. After graduating from Westmont, Stong earned an M.B.A. at Harvard. He purchased Steven Label in 1986 and has run the company as president and CEO ever since. A trustee for the past decade, he has served much of that time as chair of the finance committee. He was also a member of the presidential search committee that chose Gayle Beebe.
Denise Adams is the new vice chair, filling the vacancy Stong left. She belongs to the Westmont Art Council and splits her time between her art studios in Montecito and Roxbury, Conn. She graduated from Kent State University and earned her master’s degree from Connecticut University. She serves on the board of visitors for the Yale School of Music, the board of trustees of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, and the advisory board of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. She joined Westmont’s board of trustees eight years ago and has been on the campaign task force and the presidential search committee.
“I have known and admired both for many years, and I am delighted by their appointments,” says Chancellor David K. Winter, who serves as interim president. “We are very blessed by the quality and commitment of our trustees.”
The board also welcomes two new members who are both parents of Westmont graduates. Peter Thorrington and Bruce Bickel join 29 other trustees who oversee the operation of the college.
Thorrington is a member of the board of directors for Opportunity International, a Christian-based ministry that gives loans to the poor around the world. He is the former president and chief operating officer of UTi Worldwide, a global air freight company. He graduated from the University of Natal, South Africa, and earned his master’s degree from the University of Cape Town. He and his wife, Monique, live in Palos Verdes Estates. Thorrington says he will focus on making sure campus facilities are improved for students and that the college remains firmly rooted in Christ. “It’s important that we maintain and reinforce our belief that Christ is preeminent in all things,” he says.
Bickel is a Seattle-based writer, speaker and executive coach. He also maintains a trust business in Central California and is a partner in a Christian media company. A graduate of the University of Redlands, he earned a law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law. He says he has always been impressed with Westmont’s passion for the Lord and its strong emphasis on academics. “I want Westmont to continue its emphasis on a search for truth rooted in Christ,” he says. “That expression of God’s truth flourishes in all areas of life: in the sciences, the arts, and the social sciences. In turn, then, students reflect that expression in their respective disciplines and relationships.”