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Parent Support Net - january 2015

Dear Parents,

Happy 2015! I hope you enjoyed your Christmas holiday and caught up with your son or daughter. I loved having my daughter home and hearing more about her first semester—when she wasn’t visiting high school friends or her new Westmont friends. Having students “home” for the holidays is a bit of a misnomer!

The year has started with great energy and promise. Exciting events include our engaging lecture series on Moral and Ethical Leadership in the American Presidency, the growth of off-campus programs that expose students to different cultures and opportunities, and progress toward the fall 2018 opening of the new Westmont Institute for Global Leadership and Leadership. The institute features both a residence hall for students in leadership and programs that help them develop as leaders as well as seminars for executives in businesses and organizations during the summer.

Teri Bradford RouseThis semester, we’ve designed some activities to serve you, especially Parents Weekend, March 20-21. Please mark your calendar today! Parents Weekend provides an opportunity to reconnect with your son or daughter and features our popular and traditional Spring Sing student production. You’ll love it!

As always, please feel free to contact our office with any questions, concerns or ideas you might have. We value your partnership with us and want to hear from you.

Blessings as you begin a new year,


Teri Bradford Rouse ’77
Senior Director of Alumni and Parent Relations

Meet the Alumni & Parent Relations Staff

Life As a Junior: One Student’s Perspective

We continue our series giving you insight into the lives of students and focus this month on a junior working in our office, Mackenzie (Mack) Ellis. He offers an interesting perspective on studying abroad and then returning to campus. Westmont crafts programs and experiences to support students re-entering campus life after being overseas, and Mack’s experience shows the importance of these endeavors.

Mack"You might think a third-year student has had enough experience to better understand and grasp the college life. On the contrary, junior year is full of continued surprises, altered beliefs, shifts in relationship dynamics and many more challenges. I spent four months of my spring semester sophomore year abroad in Thailand. Being exposed to the many subcultures within a larger, unfamiliar culture changed the way I view life.

... The city, countryside, beaches and mountains expanded my appreciation of God’s creation, and the hospitable and communal lifestyles of the Thai people introduced new ways I could express my love for the people around me. However, coming back to America proved to be disappointing as I was limited in the ways I could bring those lessons to others who lacked my direct and tangible experience. Westmont has served as an outlet where I can talk with others who have studied abroad, but opportunities for dialogue have been limited.

I serve as a resident assistant (RA) this year, investing much of my energy in understanding and helping 23 men. On top of that, many of my close friends who have supported me in the past two years now live off campus. It can feel very overwhelming and frustrating to transition from a relaxed, comfortable time abroad to a place that seems to take all your energy away and spread you thin.

However, as a naturally positive person, I tend to not let these aspects of life keep me from figuring out how I can be a better me and how I can serve as a positive influence for others. Because of the loneliness I’ve experienced this semester, I’ve strived to improve intentional relationships with friends, especially if they live off campus or in different dorms. I’ve been gifted with both my RA team and the resident director, and they have shown much support for me and have allowed me to enjoy consistent community. Westmont has also provided great opportunities to be heard and to receive support with counseling sessions, intentional professors, and chapels that stay relevant to our changing world. From these influences, I’ve realized the great importance of having mentors and outside forces that invest in me while I spend energy investing in others. My third year has not gotten easier, but I’ve learned how to manage my experiences to leave much room for meaningful growth."

Upcoming Study Abroad Opportunities

Urban HouseThis spring semester, 41 students will grow and be challenged while studying at Westmont in San Francisco and 15 international off-campus programs.

Looking ahead, your student may have the opportunity to study in one of the following locations in fall 2016:


  • Westmont in Europe
  • Westmont in Northern Europe
  • Westmont in San Francisco
  • Westmont in Mexico

Don’t delay, because most application deadlines for fall programs are February 2 and may be sooner. For more detailed information and application deadlines, please check the website. Or contact ocp@westmont.edu for specific questions and further information.

Welcome New Students and Their Parents

New StudentsWe’re delighted to welcome our new parents to the Westmont family. This semester about 30 new students have joined us on campus. The majority have transferred in, although a few are beginning their education and others are visiting for a semester from other Christian colleges.

Check out the Student Handbook

Whether you are a new parent or not, you may be interested in knowing that the Westmont Student Handbook 2014-2015 supersedes and replaces all previous versions. This handbook serves as a resource of key documents related to the aspirations and expectations that students, faculty and staff share as members of the campus community. It outlines policies and procedures, educational programs, the student conduct process, and important information regarding various campus services. Students are responsible for reviewing and adhering to all published college policies. As parents, you might find this searchable HANDBOOK to be informative and helpful.

Financial Aid Note

GrassNow is the time start the process of applying for financial aid for the 2015-2016 academic year. All students who receive any kind of assistance (yes, even merit scholarships, athletic and other talent-based scholarships or other non-need-based awards) must complete the 2015-2016 Financial Aid Data Sheet. That and other forms will be available soon on the Financial Aid website. If your student is applying for loans or other need-based financial aid, the FAFSA for 2015-2016 is now available online at www.FAFSA.gov. The priority date to submit these documents to ensure that all financial aid appears on the first billing for the fall semester is June 1, 2015. You may submit items by mail, email (finaid@westmont.edu) or fax (805-565-7157). Please contact the Financial Aid Office if you have any questions. You may reach them at 888-963-4624 or finaid@westmont.edu.

New Westmont Trustees

Mike AllenHelga HoustonVerne Sharma

Two parents of Westmont graduates and an alumna have joined the 29-member Westmont Board of Trustees, which oversees the operations and strategic direction of the college. Mike Allen of Dallas, Helga Houston ’83 of Columbus, Ohio, and D. Verne Sharma of Pasadena, Calif., began serving in October. For more information on our new trustees, click here.

Operation Valentine

ValentineOperation Valentine has returned in response to popular demand. Order now, because Valentine’s Day will arrive before our next newsletter! Our student-led Urban Initiative (UI) program offers a special opportunity for you to treat your son or daughter. The UI student team will deliver either long-stem, premium roses or a valentine gift box full of wonderful chocolates—or both! A personalized message included with each order will let them know you’re thinking of them on this special day!

All proceeds support Urban Initiative, a Westmont student organization that seeks to promote discussion and understanding of issues that plague the inner-city, such as racism and poverty.

Please place your ORDERS no later than Wednesday, Feb. 11, to ensure it can be delivered in time. Since Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday this year during President’s Day weekend, the deliveries will be made one day early, on Friday, Feb. 13. On the web form, please fill in the first and last name of the recipient as well as any personalized message you want included with your order.

Did You Know?

BeebeDid you know that President Gayle Beebe co-teaches a 10-week staff development course several times each year? He and Vice President Chris Call initiated the Westmont Institute in 2012 to give staff a better understanding of Westmont’s history and heritage, core college documents, current programs and operations, and the role of staff in building the college and “nurturing a culture of integrity, care and respect.” About 25-35 people participate in each 10-week course.

... The curriculum will be offered in Spanish this winter for staff members who are not as proficient in English.

The Westmont Institute encourages each staff member to memorize the mission statement and to better understand the college’s five distinctives:“Westmont College is anundergraduate,residential, Christian,liberal artscommunity serving God’s kingdom by cultivating thoughtful scholars, grateful servants and faithful leaders forglobal engagement with the academy, church and world.” Nearly all staff have now participated in the 10-week course and accomplished this goal!

Important Dates

Martin Luther King Holiday: January 19

Last Day to Order Operation Valentine: February 11

President's Holiday: February 16-17

Parents Weekend and Spring Sing: March 20-21

Commencement: May 9

Important Links

Parents and Families – Find information specifically for YOU!

Student Life - Find information for all student life offices, such as the Counseling and Health Centers, Office of Life Planning, and more

Campus Life - Find information about student-run organizations, clubs and ministries

Westmont Athletics – See Warrior Sports calendars and subscribe to the Warrior Update

Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art - Discover information about the museum and exhibits

Westmont Bookstore - Shop for gifts online

iTunes U - Access the archive of Westmont chapels, lectures and events at itunesu.westmont.edu

Give to Westmont