President’s Holiday Season Briefing November-December 2019

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 give thanks for God’s blessings during Advent as we prepare to celebrate the astonishing birth of Jesus. In this season of gratitude, we think especially of you, our extended community of alums, parents and friends who support us so faithfully and generously. Thank you.

We encourage our students to embrace gratitude knowing it can help them be happier, less depressed and more resilient. Milan Barrero ’21, in her blog about gratitude, which we shared on our website for Thanksgiving, says she has grown significantly through this daily practice. “I believe when we have an open heart and practice living with intentions of gratefulness and growing in a Christ-like mindset, it makes all the difference in the world,” she says.

Extending Our Outreach and Services to Veterans

We welcome students enrolled in ROTC programs as well as those who’ve already served in the military, and we seek to recruit even more of these dedicated men and women. We’re also proud of our alums who join the armed forces after they graduate.

Maya Davis, a sophomore from Ontario, Calif., participates in the Surfrider ROTC Battalion at UC Santa Barbara. A kinesiology major on the pre-med track, she aspires to be a medevac pilot, field nurse or physical therapist. She serves as vice president of the new Westmont Veterans Club. Read more about Maya.

Do you know a veteran or someone interested in the military who would be a good fit for Westmont? Let us know at

Women’s Volleyball Finishes as National Runner-up and Makes Westmont History

Our women’s volleyball team persevered through challenging matches against top-ranked opponents to reach the national championship game, where their string of victories ended with a loss to Marian (Ind.). In their fourth straight appearance at the tournament, they upset No. 7 Eastern Oregon, No. 1 Park (Mo.) and No. 6 Viterbo of Wisconsin to advance to their first ever national championship game. The Warriors have made 12 trips to the NAIA National Tournament and placed third in 1993.

Women’s and men’s soccer also competed in their national tournaments, losing in the quarterfinals and opening round, respectively. All three Warrior teams won Golden State Athletics Conference (GSAC) championships to advance to nationals.Read more about the volleyball and soccer tournaments.

We’re Increasing Our Presence in Downtown Santa Barbara

We’ve always been involved in the Santa Barbara community, and we’ll be even more visible there with the expansion of our space in the Hutton Parker Foundation building on AnapamuStreet. Since 2015, we’ve operated our Center for Social Entrepreneurship, which includes the Westmont Downtown semester, the Center for Applied Technology program, and the WestHub business incubator out of the third floor. Starting this fall, we now occupy the fourth floor as well, and we’ll hold an open house there late in January.

We’ll introduce some new programs, including an executive education program beginning in 2020. Fee-based courses will serve mid-level executives who want to expand their knowledge of subjects such as data analytics, effective leadership, finance and communication. Eventually, we hope to accommodate several hundred students at our downtown location as we’re capped at 1,200 students studying on campus. We expect the new space will help us form even more partnerships between students and regional businesses and nonprofits.

Frontiers Helps Pastors Thrive in their Ministry

Westmont’s new Frontiers program will launch this spring and summer. Supported by a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment, Frontiers will help pastors discern and carry outtheir calling to ministry. Small cohorts of pastors in seasons of visioning or transition will engage in a yearlong intensive experience of mentoring, retreat and spiritual and leadership development. Frontiers draws in part on work Westmont already does in vocational discernment, especially through the Martin Institute’s endeavors in spiritual direction and the Gaede Institute’s Trailhead summer program that helps high school youth discover their place in God’s redeeming work.Recommend a high school junior you believe would benefit from this wonderful summer program on campus. Scholarships are available.

Look for the Westmont Magazine in Your Mailbox Soon

The fall issue of our magazine focuses on promoting the health and wellness of our students at a time when college students nationwide report increasing levels of anxiety and depression. We seek to support students personally as well as providing a world-class education and encouraging spiritual growth. You’ll see many stories about our activities, our professors, our students and our alums stepping forward to fulfill their purpose and calling in extending Christ's work around the world.

The Beebe Family Wishes You Christmas Blessings

We celebrated the glories of Christmas this past weekend at our magnificent Christmas Festival. The Westmont Orchestra and all our choral groups delivered a moving and heartfelt performance glorifying God. My family and I wish you a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year as we close out this decade and anticipate God’s amazing work in 2020 and the coming years.


Beebe Signature

Gayle D. Beebe, Ph.D.