Item Listing

Retiring Shasberger to Address Grads

Michael Shasberger, who retires as the inaugural Adams professor of music and worship, delivers the address at Commencement Saturday, May 7, at 9 a.m. on Westmont’s Thorrington Field. Westmont President Gayle D. Beebe presents Westmont Medals to Steven A. and Denice D. Fellows for their tireless service and dedicated leadership in improving the delivery of healthcare. The ceremony, which is closed to the general public, will be livestreamed at

President Gayle D. Beebe at Commencement
President Gayle D. Beebe at Commencement 2021 on Thorrington Field.

About 267 graduates will participate in Commencement, and 119 will graduate with honors. Also, 117 Golden Warriors who graduated in 1970, 1971 or 1972 will march in the procession to celebrate their 50th reunions. Graduates Michael Kong and Taylor Mache will offer reflections.

Acting Provost Rick Ifland will give Faculty Scholarship Awards to graduating seniors attaining the highest cumulative grade-point average during their four years at Westmont: Talia Bjelland, Hannah Grierson, Maggie Hine, Kong and Joshua Phillips all earned perfect 4.0 GPAs. John Corbett graduates with a triple major in biology, chemistry and religious studies.

Acting Provost Rick Ifland
Acting Provost Rick Ifland at Commencement 2021

“Our graduating students not only endured but have triumphed,” Ifland said of the class of 2022 at the Academic Awards Convocation April 25. “You are impressive, every one of you. Thank you for your patience, for your diligence and for your ability to adapt to changing circumstances. What an unusual college experience you’ve had. We appreciate your fantastic attitude toward each other and all that you’ve done to enrich campus life and to further the work of Westmont. You’ve been such a positive influence on campus during a very trying time. So, congratulations to all of you on your great accomplishments both in and out of the classroom.”

Michael Shasberger hugs his daughter, Rebecca '15, at Commencement
Michael Shasberger hugs his daughter, Rebecca '15, at Commencement.

Shasberger, who will speak about “Profiles in Learning,” arrived at Westmont in 2005, bringing a whirlwind of energy, enthusiasm and excellent music. That year, he staged the first of 17 extraordinary Christmas Festivals. During his time at Westmont, Shasberger has recruited outstanding student musicians, added significant scholarships, grown the orchestra, strengthened vocal programs and taken the Christmas event to new heights. He retires this month after taking the orchestra overseas for 10 days, performing in Salzburg, Vienna and Prague and participating in the American Celebration of Music in Austria.

Denise Fellows
Former Westmont Foundation President Denise Fellows

The Fellows have faithfully supported Westmont and countless other non-profit organizations and boards throughout our community. Steven worked for more than 40 years in healthcare leadership and retired recently after 16 years as the executive vice president and chief operating officer for Cottage Health in Santa Barbara. He previously served in various leadership roles at hospitals in Los Angeles and Sacramento. Denice served as the volunteer coordinator for Sutter Health and as a scout executive for the Boy Scouts of America. She has served on the Westmont Foundation Board, including two years as president.

The Westmont Medal honors those whose lives embody the very principles associated with the character of the college. Past recipients include Ron Werft, Katherine Wiebe, Lindsay and Laurie Parton, Christine and Robert Emmons, David and Anna Grotenhuis and Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, to name a few.