President’s Briefing November 2020

Gayle D. Beebe, Ph.D.

Gayle D. Beebe became Westmont’s eighth president in 2007 after serving as president of Spring Arbor University in Michigan for seven years. His inauguration in 2008 featured speeches by Steve Forbes, chief executive officer of Forbes, and Steve Sample, former president of the University of Southern California. Read more about the President.

We’re Open and Grateful

One of the few colleges in the country to fully repopulate successfully this fall, Westmont is bucking national trends for the coronavirus. Keeping campus safe requires intensive effort, additional financial resources and a commitment to love one another through careful behavior. Current students express deep gratitude for being on campus. We’re grateful for the continued support of the Westmont community, which makes it possible for the college to persevere in these challenging times. We greatly appreciate the generous donations we’ve received to help us with COVID-19 costs. Stay connected with our daily updates about how the college responds to the coronavirus. 

Can Westmont Save Downtown Santa Barbara?

As we look to Thanksgiving and the Christmas season, Westmont has many reasons to give thanks. We’re celebrating the recent purchase of a building in downtown Santa Barbara that will extend our campus into the city and serve as a thriving hub for some of the college’s innovative centers and institutes. The building’s proximity to nonprofits, start-ups, and local businesses generate a variety of opportunities for scholarships, student internships, and local partnerships. Westmont Downtown will allow for the future growth of off-campus programs and student research projects and will create more connections to our local community. “To have the college downtown is part of what this city needs to keep downtown alive and vibrant,” said Tom Parker, a local philanthropist, and chair of the Hutton-Parker Foundation.

Click here to see the full article published in the Santa Barbara Independent.

Diversity Discussions and Cross-Cultural Collaborations

I’m pleased with the progress and momentum we’ve experienced from this fall’s discussions on race and equity. Our chapels and virtual events provide our community with many opportunities to participate and engage in meaningful conversations. I’m particularly grateful to David Bailey and Arrabon for facilitating our discussions centered on five key pillars:

  1. Understanding reconciliation as spiritual formation.
  2. Increasing our community’s cultural intelligence.
  3. Learning our community’s diverse shared narrative.
  4. Participating in cross-cultural collaboration.
  5. Engaging in reconciling culture-making

Arrabon has committed to working with us for two years, and this team effort will help us make meaningful contributions toward becoming a healthy and resourceful global and intercultural community. Professor Carmel Saad’s talks and workshops for students, faculty and staff on implicit bias have also been dynamic and effective. Our ongoing efforts dedicated to diversity and our multicultural programs will continue—there’s no finish line. Join us in praying for our country and our Westmont community as we continue to persevere in our efforts to grow in our faith, knowledge, and expression of God’s love.

Save the Date to Celebrate a Westmont Christmas

This year, Westmont presents the annual Christmas Festival as a virtual musical event filmed on campus. Watch for announcements and for the link to the broadcast beginning Friday, December 4, at 5 p.m. and remaining available online throughout December. This year’s theme, “Ris’n with Healing in his Wings,” offers a response to the current pandemic. “Music and readings remind us of God’s presence and grace in all things, even if we don’t understand the trials,” says Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship. As the concerts by Westmont’s Music Department demonstrate, God truly uses all things for good.

Advent Concerts with Steve Bell, Online Friday, December 11 and 18, and Thursday, December 24

Drawing on poetry, music, history and tradition, Steve Bell takes us on a prayerful journey for Advent as we await the birth of Christ. A Canadian Christian songwriter and storyteller, Steve is a dear friend of Westmont who has blessed us in many settings with his deeply personal and uplifting performances.

He has produced 20 solo CDs and won numerous music-industry awards, including Gospel Music Association of Canada Covenant Awards: 2018 Album of the Year (“Where the Good Way Lies”); 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award; 2018 Collaboration of the Year (“Where The Good Way Lies”); and 2018 Inspirational Song of the Year (“Wait Alone in Stillness”). He has performed more than 2,000 concerts to more than half a million people in 15 countries. Steve has written and co-authored a number of books to encourage Christians in their faith, including “Pilgrim Year,” a seven-book series on the spirituality of the Christian calendar.

Art Auction Supports the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art

The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art celebrates its 10th anniversary with a fundraising exhibition, “5×5: Celebrating Ten Years,” featuring about 450, five-inch-square works of art from available to view online December 3-18. The art will be available for purchase through an online auction at westmont.edu/museum/5x5 that ends Friday, December 18, at 5 p.m.

The countless blessings I have seen unfold before me this fall are astounding. Being together on campus is nothing short of a miracle, and I’m filled with hope and gratitude as I see the work of God in this dynamic and resilient Westmont community. Thank you for praying and supporting us throughout the fall.

Pam and I pray you have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving,

Beebe Signature

Gayle D. Beebe