Magazine Fall 2023 Sustaining Our MOMENTUM at Westmont

Gayle Beebe Fall Magazine 2023

Now in our 17th year, my wife, Pam, and I are incredibly grateful for the many ways God has been faithful to Westmont, especially for the success we’ve achieved during the fall semester. Our incoming class has been amazing, demonstrating palpable energy and interest in all things Westmont. We’ve been blessed to welcome them to our home and enjoy the vibe that society is wide open again. Seeing all that is getting done through the work of the college encourages us.

We continue to make significant headway on important strategic fronts, including the latest news that our nursing program has received full accreditation! Accomplishing this in record-setting time reflects well on all those who were key players in launching the program and getting it fully accredited, including Associate Provost Eileen McQuade, nursing directors Carol Velas and Di Hoffman, nursing consultant Steve Fellows, our strategic planning adviser Tim Fallon, vice presidents Irene Neller (enrollment, marketing and communications) and Reed Sheard (CIO and college advancement), the entire Nursing Task Force Committee (Carol Velas, finance vice president Doug Jones, Tim Fallon, Irene Neller, donor relations director Nathan Snyder, campus planning director Randy Jones, Steven Fellows, Eileen McQuade, Reed Sheard, executive assistant Addie Smith, and professors Rick Ifland, Cynthia Toms and Kristi Lazar Cantrell), key personnel at Cottage Hospital including CEO Ron Werft, and so many more.

We continue to benefit from other new programs, including data analytics, engineering and a post-baccalaureate Certificate in Theological Leadership. We’re expanding efforts in many areas, including our athletic program, the ongoing partnership between academics and the Student Life Office, enrollment, marketing and communications, finances, resource acquisition, internal and external relations, and technology. Simultaneously, we’ve felt some real challenges.

Let me highlight just a few areas to provide a more in-depth perspective.

Best Colleges U.S. News Rankings
We’re ranked No. 107 in the U.S. News & World Report, and the No. 1 Christian liberal arts college in California and the western U.S.  
  We finished the 2023 fiscal year in the black and have a balanced budget for 2024.  
  Our successful enrollment efforts resulted in a total of 380 new students: 320 first-years and 60 transfers (see page 5).  
  The ongoing development of new programs will keep enrollment on campus at its optimum and maximum level of 1,200.  
  Fundraising in the 2023 fiscal year totaled $26,734,966. Gifts through the first five months of the current fiscal year already exceed $22 million, including two seven-figure gifts ($5 million and $2 million), for the renovation of Westmont Downtown | Keith Center at 29 W. Anapamu Street (see page 46).
Westmont Downtown Campus
  Academics and student life continue their effective partnership in key initiatives, including the ongoing work of our Center for Student Success and engaging a variety of cutting-edge topics with Conversations that Matter.  
Mosaix Logo
We continue to address key social issues in all sectors of the college through Mosaix’s work and training.  
  We’re making excellent progress on providing the appropriate level of personnel and resources for the college while being attentive to the changing needs of a diverse workforce.  
  We’ve begun renovations to the Martin Institute (909 La Paz Road), the tennis complex, the aquatic center, the baseball stadium, the golf practice facility, the Dining Commons, and Westmont Downtown | Keith Center. All these projects will enhance our academic, student life and athletic efforts and help us develop new programs, opportunities and experiences.
Make it Yours NCAA DII Logo
As we transition to NCAA Division II, we face tougher competition that will require perseverance and patience. It will take four years to integrate fully into our new conference and level of competition (see page 32).  
  Our marketing and communication strategies and assets continue to bring great acclaim while communicating our mission and vision in compelling ways.  
  Our strategic planning continues to guide our overall engagement with the college’s work. This fall, Tim Fallon guides us through the development of a new strategic map in conversation with our 10 desired outcomes.  
Salesforce Placeholder Avatar
We continue to broaden and upgrade our technology infrastructure with our significant move to the Salesforce platform.  
  On the personal front, my new book, “The Crucibles that Shape Us: Navigating the Defining Challenges of Leadership” (IV Press), will be released in early May.
The Crucibles That Shape Us: Navigating the Defining Challenges of Leadership
  We’re one chapter away from completing the full draft of “Leadership and the Liberal Arts: An Education to Last a Lifetime,” with members of the Westmont faculty and administration writing all the book’s chapters.  
  Finally, the Chapel Window project has given Pam and me a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with the Voskuyl family, including Roger Voskuyl’s three surviving children. It has been incredibly meaningful to host the family on campus and to see their joy in being back at Westmont (see page 27).  
  We’re gradually returning to pre- pandemic levels of activities in all sectors of the college. A few of the highlights include the Christmas Festival at the Granada (December 2-3); the President’s Breakfast on March 1, 2024, with Richard Haass, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations; Parents Weekend, including Spring Sing at the Santa Barbara Bowl on April 6; and Lead Where You Stand, featuring David Brooks, June 6-8, 2024.  

I believe our vision always has to exceed the inconvenience, and we need to sustain the level of active engagement necessary to generate real-time results to achieve enduring success. As I reflect on the tendency to overestimate what we can get done in one year — and underestimate what we can accomplish in 10 years — I’m reminded of the godly ambition we carry for the college. We encourage every member of our community to be aspirational and embrace a desire to pursue the next horizon. As I move deeper into my 17th year as president, I remain optimistic and hopeful about all the good that lies ahead and thankful for the presence of God and the broad support from so many people in our college community. May our vision for what God wants us to accomplish always exceed the inconvenience of our daily work.

Blessings and thanks,

Signature of Westmont President Gayle Beebe




Gayle D. Beebe