Alumni Westmont Magazine

Bringing Justice and Mercy Through Music

Renovare - Westmont Magazine

Rebecca Shasberger ’15 crafted a career as a cellist, teaching students of all ages, playing with orchestras and chamber music ensembles and freelancing for weddings and parties. “But I wanted my life to be about something more,” she says. “I wanted to belong to a cohesive community of musicians and not go in so many directions.” She envisioned musicians joining together to serve marginalized people and connect divided communities through music. In 2018, she established Renovare Music, a nonprofit organization in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Paying It Forward: Giving Loans that Transform Lives

Fourteen years ago, Jay (Ofori) Diallo ’08 planned to serve with the United Nations or World Vision, but he has pursued a different path with the same passion to help the less fortunate. Since earning a degree in political science from Westmont, he has spent his entire career in banking, transforming the lives of economically disadvantaged people in his community.

Training Teachers in Ethiopia

“My great-grandfather was a Baptist preacher in the Shetland Islands of Scotland, so my faith and my family go way back,” says Harry Atkins ’47. As early as his teenage years, he sensed the Lord calling him to missionary work. For three decades, he served the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea, most of that time with fellow missionary Blanche, his wife of 70 years.

At Home in Thailand

Mike Leming ’70 retired 11 years ago after teaching sociology at St. Olaf College in Minnesota for four decades. But he and his wife, Ann Lundquist Leming ’70, continue their outreach in Thailand, where they live from January through April. For years, they directed Westmont’s Spring Semester in Thailand, a program they started in 2001 that extended beyond classroom education.