Presidential Briefing September 2018

Gayle Beebe

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.

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Thriving in Ministry Grant

I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve just received a $1 million Thriving in Ministry grant from the Lilly Endowment. Our new program, Frontiers will build on Trailhead , our summer program that encourages high school students to discover God’s calling in their lives. This new initiative is two-fold with “New Frontiers” focused on pastors, church planters and other full time Christian workers who have been in ministry for up to ten years and are looking to make a trajectory changing move. Next Frontiers, focused on full time Christian workers who have been involved in ministry but are longing for renewal, will help support and inspire veteran pastors who have been working for more than ten years. We’ll share more about this exciting endeavor next month.


On the road in Denver and Dallas

    We began our Westmont on the Road series with a visit to Denver September 20-21. More than 75 alumni, prospective students and their families, supporters, and friends of the college joined us. I shared several important updates, including the launch of the Center for Student Success, the roll out of the Center for American Democracy , and the work to date on our Center for Technology, Creativity, and Moral Imagination. Other important items include the launch of new academic programs and recruiting for new athletic teams, golf and swimming, that begin next year (fall 2019). Important updates will be shared next month. The evening included a remarkable concert by the singer-songwriter Steve Bell.
  • We’ll travel to Dallas September 29-30, where Greg Spencer, professor of communication studies, will speak about his newest book, “Reframing the Soul: How Words Transform our Faith.” Bring a prospective student! These events provide a great opportunity to introduce Westmont to new friends and families while reuniting with alumni and our many friends in Dallas. Look for us in the D.C. and Seattle areas next spring.

Join us to hear Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman November 2

One of our most important thinkers, Dr. Kahneman has made a profound impact on many fields, including economics, medicine and politics. He won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for his influential work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making as well as being one of the formative thinkers in the emergence of a new field, behavioral economics. In 2011, Foreign Policy magazine named him a top global thinker. The same year, he published his NY Times best-selling book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, which summarizes much of his research. In 2015, The Economist listed him as the seventh most influential economist in the world. 


Register today for the luncheon November 2 at noon to hear Dr. Kahneman in the Global Leadership Center. The Mosher Center for Moral and Ethical Leadership sponsors this speaker series featuring Nobel prize and Pulitzer prize-winning writers and scholars.

Grants for families in ministry

  • This fall we’re pleased to announce the President’s Ministry Grants, a new Westmont award, to benefit the dependents of parents who minister full time for churches and Christian organizations. When generous donors realized that many children of full-time Christian workers could not afford to attend Westmont, they decided to provide a remedy. They’ve helped make a Westmont education affordable for people who have dedicated their lives to ministry. This new grant represents a four-year commitment to cover any unmet remaining need after academic scholarships, need-based grants and need-based loans have been awarded. Incoming new students can qualify for this need-based grant by applying to Westmont and completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at For more information, please call 800-777-9011 or email to learn more.  

A Warrior coach and two athletes receive national awards

Libby Dahlberg
Kirsten Moore 
Cassidy Rea 

Women’s basketball head coach Kirsten Moore (below, center) was named the 2019 NAIA Coach of Character. She joins 14 previous recipients of the award, including Westmont’s track and field coach Russell Smelley, the 2015 honoree. The annual award is given to an NAIA head coach who has been outstanding in embracing the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character initiative, using methods of teaching character through sport, and in community leadership through volunteering or service.

Senior Libby Dahlberg (above, left), a middle blocker on the Warrior volleyball team, has received the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Leroy Walker Champions of Character Award. She is the first Westmont student-athlete to earn this award.

Junior Cassidy Rea (above, right),a right-side hitter for the Warrior volleyball team, was named the female recipient of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics’ A. O. Duer Scholarship Award. She is the first Westmont student-athlete recipient of this scholarship.



I welcomed 14 new employees to Westmont this month at our first Staff Forum of the year! It takes a team of dedicated employees to care for our college’s programs and operations, and I’m grateful to serve alongside these stellar individuals.

I look forward to seeing many of you around our fall events – on and off campus.


God’s blessings,

Gayle D. Beebe, Ph.D.