Westmont Magazine Inaugurating Celebration
With joyful ceremony, the Westmont community celebrated the inauguration of Stan D. Gaede as the college’s seventh president. The two-day event, Jan. 25-26, included a variety of activities, ranging from a scholarly colloquy to an inaugural ball.
A moving chapel service began the festivities on Friday. Hundreds of students showed their approval by wearing “Gaede for President” shirts. Participants included: John Sider, vice chair of the faculty, who spoke on “Loving to Learn”; Jane Hideko Higa ’73, vice president and dean of students, who addressed “Learning to Live”; and Trustee Carol Houston, pastor of Bethel Unspeakable Joy Church, who discussed “Living to Love.”
Harold Bussell, senior pastor of El Montecito Presbyterian Church participated, as did Harold Heie from the Center for Christian Studies at Gordon College. Three student leaders, Megan Shrader, WCSA president, and Abby Diepenbrock and Jake Reid, co-directors of Christian Concerns, joined Campus Pastor Ben Patterson in praying for President Gaede.
Friday evening, members of the Santa Barbara community attended a reception honoring President Gaede and his wife, Judy. Following the reception, the Gaedes dined with the 20 college presidents attending the inauguration.
The installation occurred Saturday morning. Former President Lyle Hillegas and Chancellor David Winter participated in the ceremony, as did David Eaton, chair of the board of trustees. Jud Carlberg, president of Gordon College, and his wife, Jan, presented a humorous and inspiring charge to the Gaedes. The Westmont Choir performed a selection from “Grace,” a work composed by Professor Steve Butler.
More than 500 people gathered for lunch at the DoubleTree Resort, where English Professor Paul Willis read his inaugural poem.
During “Colloquy and Cappuccino,” Interim Academic Dean Shirley Mullen moderated a panel of scholars who drew on their own confessional traditions to offer advice.
Westmont Professor and Free Methodist Russell Howell noted the danger of sentimentality. Shirley Showalter, president of Goshen College, spoke as an Anabaptist about the need for roots and growth. Notre Dame Provost Nathan Hatch urged President Gaede to keep intellectual, spiritual and moral formation closely connected. Pepperdine’s Richard Hughes proclaimed that the Gospel answers the questions at the center of the liberal arts. Sociologist James Hunter warned of consumerism in higher education, and Robert Wennberg from Westmont urged continued adherence to the Reformed tradition.
The most popular inaugural event proved to be the ball, attended by more than 1,000 trustees, faculty, staff, alumni and students. With the Westmont Jazz Ensemble providing live music and students in a mood to dance, the floor was crowded and lively.