February 2020 Parent Newsletter
Dear Westmont Parent,
As he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. - Colossians 1:18
If you have ever been rock climbing, you know the importance of the one who belays the climber. This person, also in a harness, is attached to the rope attached to you as you ascend and descend. The one who belays holds the line, feeds one end out and up with one hand and pulls down sharply with the other to lock the line in place. The climber is secure. So secure that a climber who tires can relax and even push off the wall and hover even though dangling many feet up. The more the climber grasps the dependability of the one who holds them, the more they can tackle the ascent with gusto in spite of the challenges.
At Westmont, we point your student toward the steadfastness of Jesus Christ every day through academics, extra-curricular activities, spiritual formation, opportunities to serve, and personal conversations. Like you, we’re overjoyed when we see them step out in faith as they learn and grow, trusting the one who holds them securely all the way. I pray that you also know the steadfastness of God’s love in Jesus Christ. We join you in praying for your student’s progress intellectually, socially and spiritually this semester and particularly for their deepening appreciation of the supremacy of Christ.
What a privilege to be on this journey with you. We look forward to seeing you at Parents Weekend, March 27-29.
Assistant Vice President for College Advancement,
Interim Senior Director of Alumni and Parent Relations
Register Now for Parents Weekend
Spring will arrive soon and so will Parents Weekend and Spring Sing. We’ve planned a full weekend of events for you beginning with the opportunity to attend some classes with or without your student. Spring Sing provides the finale, a must-see event for parents who’ve never experienced it. Eighty percent of the students participate in this hilarious stage show, this year at the Arlington Theatre. See competitive skits by each residence hall, a showcase of musical talent by Westmont students and faculty, and almost always a surprise guest. You’ll learn so much about life on campus and leave with a sore stomach from laughing so much. Make your travel plans now. See a list of local hotels on our website that features discounts. Reserve your room today for this popular weekend in Santa Barbara. Buy your tickets to Spring Sing separately from Parents Weekend Registration.
Does Your Student Need a Job?
If your student is planning on staying in Santa Barbara over the summer and is looking for a summer job, now is the time to start the search. Handshake is the Office of Career Calling and Development's online job search portal to find work both on and off campus.
Student Alumni Association at Westmont College
By Ariel Abdalla, SAA President
Time and time again, I’ve been told to read and memorize Proverbs. While I’m still working on the immense task of learning each verse by heart, I am pursuing its commandments. Proverbs 19:20-21 states, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (ESV) As a sophomore economics and business major, I find it dangerously easy to mistake knowledge for wisdom. Instead, I must ask the Lord to impart his wisdom to me and allow me to glean it from those he has set in my path.
The most special way I’ve pursued God’s wisdom at Westmont is through the Student Alumni Association (SAA). The SAA leadership team consists of 15 students seeking personal and professional growth. At our weekly meetings, we gather to hear from valued alumni and community members. We listen to our speakers’ professional journeys and the advice they share. Additionally, our team takes trips to meet with alumni in the Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco areas.
I’ve learned countless lessons as a member of the SAA leadership team. Most of all, I’ve gained tremendous gratitude and respect for the Westmont community. By meeting alums in all walks of life, I’ve gotten a broader look into what it means to be a Westmont student: serving others with your whole heart through the abilities Christ has given us. Every alum I’ve met has displayed a deep love for the relationships they formed at Westmont, which reminds me how truly special this school remains. We may not have water balloon fights or senior pranks anymore, but we’re connected by being kingdom builders for the Lord.
To be a servant for God’s purpose is all I can ask. I’ve had the privilege of meeting with alums in countless industries from art to finance to law. Yet each one has showed me that trusting our Father is essential when our goals do not pan out quite as anticipated. They reaffirm verse 21. While I may have specific goals, they are all in the hands of God. I’m humbled by his grace that is vividly displayed in each of the stories I hear. It reminds me how small I am compared to his grandeur and how much I still have to learn. It’s an honor to gain insight from alumni who can point out the deeper meaning of their time at Westmont. The Lord has used my involvement with Student Alumni Association to transform my sophomore year, and I am confident he is using those I encounter to mold my goals to fit his will instead of my own.
Meet Your Parent Council
We are Max and Wendi Bublitz, co-presidents of the Westmont Parents Council. Our daughter, Lisa, is a senior majoring in psychology. We represent the eight parent couples who have served this year on the Parents Council because we want to support the college and our fellow parents. Between us, we have a wealth of experience and insights about the college and the local community that may be helpful. Please reach out to us—we would love to hear from you. We’re deeply grateful for the involvement of Loyal and Kate Makaroff from Vancouver, B.C. Their son graduated in December, and we’ll miss them! Read more about our Parents Council members.
Important Information for Senior Parents
Just 68 days remain until Commencement on May 2, so make your travel plans now. See local hotel deals on our website as well as some of our favorite restaurants. Your student will want to attend the Senior Fair in the Global Leadership Center March 4, where they’ll order cap and gowns, invitations and much more. Learn more about the Commencement schedule and graduate events.
By Meriah Velasquez, Associate Director Martin Institute & Dallas Willard Center
"Your life is God's paintbrush on the canvas of history. You are here as part of an eternal plan of an infinite God. You are yourself an eternal never dying spirit....God has put you here in this point in time and space for you to create with Him that part of the universe that makes up your life." Dallas Willard
It can be overwhelming, even paralyzing, to try to discover significance and purpose. Take a moment to pause, to be aware of the carpet or tile or dirt underneath your feet. What sounds do you hear around you? Slowly reread the above quote, asking God how he wants to create with you today, right here. Then be aware of his invitations as you move throughout the day. Pray for Westmont students as they also discern God's invitations to paint.
Want more? Learn about practicing the presence of God with Dallas Willard: http://conversatio.org/classroom-series/practicing-the-presence/
Get your President’s Breakfast Tickets Today
Just a few tickets remain for the Westmont President’s Breakfast. Daniel Kahneman, one of the world’s most important thinkers, will speak Friday, March 6, at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. He won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002 for his influential work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making and behavioral economics. He has made a profound impact on many fields, including economics, medicine and politics, and his groundbreaking book, “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” is an international bestseller. Mr. Kahneman will also speak at Convocation on campus March 6 from 10:30-11:15 a.m., so your student will get a chance to hear him. Parents may attend chapel anytime, so feel free to join us that day.