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.
Happy New Year!
What a joy to welcome the spring semester! We’re thankful for strong enrollment and a full campus. Students got right to work, attending classes and preparing for events such as the short operas “The Telephone” and “Gallantry” January 19 and 21 and the Women’s Leadership Luncheon January 19. Our winter sports teams (basketball, indoor track and field and women’s swimming) keep busy with games and meets. Preview days introduce new students to Westmont, and we hope you'll refer and encourage new students to visit.
Our nursing program earned final accreditation and held its second pinning ceremony.
Congratulations to everyone involved with the nursing program on achieving final accreditation. The Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education approved accreditation for our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing. We celebrated the accomplishments of 18 new graduates of Westmont Downtown | Grotenhuis Nursing, the second cohort to complete the 16-month program, at a pinning ceremony December 14 at Montecito Covenant Church. We launched a fast track to nursing for Westmont students to graduate in four and a half years with two degrees.
We're making plans for Westmont Downtown | Keith Center
We’ve raised the full $12 million needed to renovate the Keith Center across Anapamu Street from the nursing program. Transforming this building will allow us to create new off-campus opportunities for the college. Stay tuned for updates.
A new $1.25 million Lilly Endowment grant
Lilly Endowment Inc. has given a grant to continue the Gaede Institute’s important work strenthening the college's partnersip with the wider church community. This award funds a unique program exploring the meaning and value of Christian preaching in person. The Incarnational Preaching Project will consider how we communicate in the post-pandemic world, examining practices we developed during COVID to extend the reach and influence of our message while recognizing all the new communication modalities that have emerged and continue to be useful. To read more about this, click here.
Our men's soccer team claimed the 2023 National Championship of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) in December.
How thrilling to watch the men’s soccer team celebrate a national title, which they captured in December. This victory marks the 11th national title for the college and the second in a calendar year with baseball winning the 2023 NAIA Baseball World Series. We’ve entered the second year of a three-year transition to NCAA DII. Men's soccer coach Morgan Cathey says, "There's nothing more you can say about this group. They take every challenge and own it. They've grown so much this season in ways I could never have foreseen or imagined."
Monopoly Santa Barbara features Westmont
We’re on the board. Monopoly: The Santa Barbara Edition includes a light purple space featuring Westmont where Virginia Avenue sits in the classic game. The only college appearing on the board, Westmont borders two iconic locations: the Santa Barbara Harbor and the Santa Barbara Airport. We had fun welcoming Mr. Monopoly to campus and appreciate being part of the community represented on the board. The popular game sold out twice in the campus bookstore. Don't miss out!
Retention is on the rise
We’re encouraged to see increasing retention rates for first-year students from spring to the fall of their sophomore year. The rate for our 2022 cohort was 86.3 percent, a significant jump from 75 percent for the 2019 cohort. We seek to keep retention above this level in the coming years. Through our new student success initiatives, faculty and staff work together to provide the best possible experience for students and help them grow in all areas of their lives. It's evident Westmont is attracting and retaining the best-fit students who thrive and belong here.
The President’s Breakfast March 1 features veteran diplomat and prolific author Richard Haass. Tickets go on sale February 2.
The 2023 NAIA World Series Championship Ring Ceremony celebrates the winning team February 3 at 10:30 a.m.
Westmont dedicates the renovated aquatic center, tennis courts and press box in March.
The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art presents Camille Corot to Orthodox Icons: Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree’s Gifts to the Collection, which closes March 23.
The Theater Department presents “The Capuletti Black and White Ball,” after the play ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare,” February 29 and March 1-3
The Campaign for Westmont Finds Strong Community Support
God demonstrates his faithfulness to Westmont in many ways, including financial contributions from alums, parents, foundations and friends. The generous and ongoing support of the community, as well as the two largest gifts in our history, help propel Forward in Faithfulness: The Campaign for Westmont to its $250 million goal. During this academic year, the college reports more than $39 million in contributions to the campaign, making it the second largest year for giving in college history. Key priorities include enhancing the affordability and accessibility of a Westmont education, providing new academic offerings grounded in the liberal arts, positioning the Warriors for continued success in the NCAA, contributing to society through Christian leadership, and connecting the college to the world through its global programs. The largest fundraising campaign ever at Westmont, it includes two consecutive years of record-breaking support. We invite every member of the Westmont community to add a gift of any amount to help us cross the finish line!
Sharing My Leadership Experience
In my 17th year as president, I’ve reflected on many of the experiences that have shaped my leadership. I’m pleased that Inter-Varsity Press is publishing my newest book, “The Crucibles That Shape Us: Navigating the Defining Challenges of Leadership” in April. I’ll share insights from this work in June at the Lead Where You Stand annual leadership conference. If you’re interested, you may pre-order a copy of the book today. You may also listen to Compelling Conversations, the podcast I launched in 2020 to engage thoughtful scholars, grateful servants and faithful leaders in discussions exploring the significant issues of our time.
I'm pleased to share the significant updates and activities of this unique and extraordinary college community. I'm anticipating seeing you at an upcoming event and hope you'll participate in our vibrant campus life!
Gayle D. Beebe, Ph.D.