Westmont Magazine A New Story Begins
As one of his last official duties, President David Winter presided over the college’s 2001 commencement ceremony. In personal remarks to the graduating seniors, he expressed confidence that God would be faithful to them throughout their lives. He based his hope on God’s blessings to him since losing most of his eyesight three years ago.
Phil Eaton, president of Seattle Pacific University in Washington, gave the commencement address. A professor at Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash., in the 1970s, he became a successful businessman in Phoenix, Ariz., and later returned to Whitworth as interim president. He then served as provost at Seattle Pacific and assumed the presidency in 1996.
The John Templeton Foundation named Eaton one of 50 U.S. college and university presidents preparing students for lives of personal and civic responsibility. Eaton, who is Winter’s brother-in-law, honored the retiring president for his contributions to higher education.
In “What Will Be Your Life Story,” Eaton urged students to use their gifts in a hurting world.
“The question of the morning is this: What will you do now with these precious gifts?
“And here are your choices: You can squander these gifts by keeping them to yourself, by thinking you are elite, by thinking you don’t have to get involved in a world that desperately needs just the gifts you hold. You can squander these gifts by choosing bitterness or arrogance, by counting your losses, by indulging in self-pity, by seeking your own comfort as your main goal in life.
“Or, you can use your two gifts quite literally to change the world. That’s it. Those are your choices. That’s the fork in the road this morning. That’s the choice you will have to make when you get up each morning. Will I hoard these gifts for myself? Or am I a world-changer, a culture-shaper?”
Betty Rosness, a tireless community volunteer, accepted the Westmont Medal. Her many affiliations include the Goleta Chamber of Commerce, the Girls Club, the Santa Barbara Cancer Center, the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation, and the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission.
Her awards are also numerous: Santa Barbara County Woman of the Year and Ad Club Woman of the Year in 1978; Soroptimist International Woman of Distinction in 1989; the News-Press Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997; Goleta’s Finest (Woman of the Year) in 1999; and the Paul Harris Fellow Award from Rotary Club North.
John, the youngest of her five children, attended Westmont and is a minister in Reno, Nev.
Three Westmont professors received Teacher of the Year awards: Cheri Larsen Hoeckley (English), Niva Tro (chemistry), and Brad Berky (urban studies).
Student award winners included: Angela Crowell and Robin Eley (Dean’s Award); Hilary Chandler and Kevin Baldizón (Kenneth Monroe Award); Nathan LaFont (Dave Dolan Award); and Sarah Lee Jirek (Faculty Scholarship Award).