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Grants Guide Graduates in Growing Globally
June 7, 2023
A record three Westmont graduates have earned prestigious Fulbright Scholarships this year to teach and conduct research around the world. Ebun Kalejaiye ’23 will teach English in Spain, Cody LeFebre ’22 will teach English in Colombia and Valerie Swisher ’22 will study personal experiences and perceptions of mental health care in Hungary.
Also, recent graduate Madelyn Simonsen ’23 won a highly competitive Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grant to support her participation on Westmont’s Mayterm trip to Turkey, Greece and Rome.
Event Honors ‘Mixed Up’ Artists
June 5, 2023
Rae Dunn, a popular Bay Area artist and juror of this year’s annual Tri-County Juried Exhibition, handed out cash awards to local artists on May 18 at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. “Mixed Up,” celebrates the multitude of talented artists in our local region.
Symphony Teaching Artists Join Teen Academy
May 16, 2023
The Westmont Academy for Young Artists (WAYA), a unique two-week summer music program for talented music students ages 12-18, has grown to include esteemed teaching artists from the Santa Barbara Symphony along with Westmont music faculty Aug. 7-11, 14-19 on Westmont’s all-Steinway campus.
Trailblazing Leaders, David Brooks Speak at 9th Annual Lead Conference
May 15, 2023
A stellar lineup of internationally renowned speakers, authors, CEOs, visionaries and luminaries descend on Westmont’s ninth annual LEAD Where You Stand Conference May 31-June 2 at the college's Global Leadership Center. The Santa Barbara event has quickly gained momentum in attracting powerhouse speakers and participants who share inspiring and empowering leadership principles and best practices for any sphere or line of work and service.
Famed Ceramist Juries ‘Mixed Up’
May 9, 2023
The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art highlights the exceptional talent of local artists in its annual Tri-County Juried Exhibition, “Mixed Up,” May 18-June 17. The public is invited to a free, opening reception on Thursday, May 18, from 4-6 p.m. Award winners will be announced at 5:15 p.m.
Grads Urged to Sink Their Roots
May 9, 2023
Under scattered skies two days after a rare May rainstorm, the 332 graduates of the Westmont College Class of 2023 marched to Thorrington Field on May 6 led by bagpipe fanfare. The celebration, which featured the inaugural graduating classes in both engineering and nursing, included speeches full of colorful imagery from the class verse, “Let your roots grow down into Him” (Colossians 2:7).
College Choir Travels to Tokyo for an International Tour
May 8, 2023
Following Commencement 2023, the Westmont College Choir and Chamber Singers embark on a nine-day tour to Tokyo, Japan — the first international choir tour since the COVID-19 pandemic. Led by Daniel Gee ’13, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities, the choirs’ itinerary includes joint concerts with Japanese collegiate ensembles, including those from Waseda University and the Tokyo College of Music, as well as performances at Tokyo Union Church, Tokyo Christian University and the Christian Academy of Japan.
Celebrating the Outstanding Graduates of 2023
May 3, 2023
Each year before Commencement, Westmont’s annual Academic Awards Celebration reminds us of the joy of accomplishment and the opportunity we have to excel and fulfil the full range of gifts and abilities God has given us.
Program Aims to Energize Young Adult Ministry
May 2, 2023
Westmont kicked off its new Young Adult Leadership Lab (YALL), which supports the spiritual lives of young adults in their 20s, with 100 local clergy members and lay leaders at a day-long seminar held on campus. Steve Argue, applied research strategist for the Fuller Youth Institute and associate professor of youth, family and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary, headlined the event earlier this year in the Global Leadership Center.
Soul Care Offered at Pastors Conference
April 26, 2023
Westmont College, which develops Christian ministers and leaders capable of serving in every sphere of society, hosts a one-day Pastors Conference dedicated to encouraging, refreshing and supporting pastors. The event features President Gayle D.
Beloved Professor Speaks at Commencement
April 26, 2023
Students Win Servant Leadership Awards
April 21, 2023
Two Westmont students won David K. Winter Servant Leadership Awards for showing vision, courage, humility, integrity and competence as leaders. Angela D’Amour, dean of student engagement, introduced the 23rd annual awardees, junior Joy Sturges from Redding and sophomore David Shiang from West Hills, on April 14 in Westmont chapel.
New Sustainability Coordinator Grounded in Faith and Science
April 20, 2023
Janell Balmaceda uses a pitchfork to spread mulch over the walkways that weave between the garden rows below Thorrington Field. Student intern Peter Schramm ’25 hammers together pieces from several wooden pallets to create new compost bins. This spring, the Westmont garden is flourishing again, thanks in large part to Balmaceda, Westmont’s new sustainability coordinator and garden manager. A team of student volunteers began planting vegetables in March, which the Dining Commons served at the end of the semester. After some repairs, the chicken coop houses egg-laying hens.
Symposium Offers Glimpse of Student Research
April 17, 2023
More than 40 Westmont students will present their findings on 29 posters at the 2023 Spring Student Research Symposium on April 20 from 3:30-5 p.m. around the Winter Hall third floor atrium. There will also be four students reading selections of their original works of fiction and poetry as part of their English capstone project.
Talk Examines Christian Spiritual Formation
April 14, 2023
Steve L. Porter, the new senior research fellow and executive director of Westmont’s Martin Institute for Christianity and Culture, offers his inaugural lecture Friday, April 28, at 3:30 p.m. in the Global Leadership Center. The talk, “Knowing Christ Today: The Shape of Christian Spiritual Formation in the Academy and Church for the Sake of the World," is free and open to the public.
Alums Win National Research Fellowships
April 12, 2023
Two Westmont alums have received prestigious Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation. Braden Chaffin ’23 and Chisondi Warioba ’21 have been chosen for the program whose purpose “is to ensure the quality, vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States.” The five-year fellowship provides three years of financial support that includes an annual stipend of $37,000.
Music Abloom in April
April 11, 2023
The Westmont Music Department is ending the spring semester with a flurry of concerts, nearly all are free and in Deane Chapel on lower campus, unless noted otherwise.
Art Museum Offers ‘A Space of Her Own’
April 4, 2023
Six senior art majors will present their capstone art projects ranging from paintings to prints, photography to a sculptural installation April 6-May 6 at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. A free, public opening reception for “a space of her own” is Thursday, April 6, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum.
Mentorship is Key at Women’s Leadership Luncheon
April 4, 2023
Westmont will give the inaugural Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree Spirit of Santa Barbara Award to David and Anna Grotenhuis at the annual Women’s Leadership Luncheon on Friday, April 21, at 11:30 a.m. in the Global Leadership Center. The award recognizes people who exemplify the life and spirit of Lady Ridley-Tree. Her generosity made a profound impact on Westmont College and touched the lives of many people and organizations throughout the Santa Barbara community.
Celebration Praises New Provost Kim Denu
April 4, 2023
Westmont officially installed its new provost as the community celebrated the life, faith and career of Kimberly Battle-Walters Denu. Her accomplished career spans nearly three decades of teaching, preaching, mentoring, and executive leadership.
Offering a New Certificate in Theological Leadership
March 29, 2023
Westmont launches a new program to cultivate wisdom in Christian leaders and offers a post-baccalaureate Certificate in Theological Leadership. The initiative begins January 2024 with an inaugural cohort of 25 students. It’s designed for ministry professionals, laypeople eager to grow spiritually, and recent college graduates considering seminary. For more information, please visit westmont.edu/theo-leadership.
Festival Awards Student Filmmakers
March 29, 2023
The curtain may have closed on the inaugural Montecito Student Film Festival, but there is still a buzz about the spectacular young filmmaking talent in our community. For about five hours, cinephiles filled Westmont’s Porter Theatre to screen 20 student films on March 25.
Talk Examines Medieval Suicide and Care
March 22, 2023
Rebecca McNamara, Westmont assistant professor of English, speaks about care and compassion for those struggling with suicide or affected by the trauma of suicide in late medieval England in a Westmont Downtown Lecture on Thursday, April 13, at 5:30 p.m. at the Community Arts Workshop (CAW), 631 Garden Street, in downtown Santa Barbara.
Musical Talent Shines at Guild Competitions
March 22, 2023
The Westmont Music Department awarded large scholarships to instrumentalists and singers as part of its annual guild competitions, attracting stellar young musical talent to the region. Aaron Wu, a cellist from Glendale, won the 11th annual Instrumental Guild Competition Feb. 25 and will receive more than $10,000 in annual music scholarships (more than $40,000 for four years). Each finalist will receive $10,000 in annual music scholarships.
Goodwin Offers Historic Perspective on Ukraine
March 16, 2023
Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer-Prize winning historian and bestselling author, drew parallels between the United States’ response to aid Britain in the early years of World War II and the U.S.’s partnership with Ukraine in its war with Russia at the 18th annual Westmont President’s Breakfast March 10.
Talk to Examine Faith, Racial Violence
March 6, 2023
Malcolm Foley, pastor and religious historian at Baylor University, where he directs Black Church Studies at Truett Seminary, examines how Black Christians resisted and advocated against racialized lynching in a free, public lecture, "On Love and Lynching: Racial Violence and Its Black Christian Opponents," Thursday, March 23, from 3:30- 5 p.m. in the Page Multi-Purpose Room.
Montecito Home to Inaugural Student Film Fest
March 1, 2023
Westmont launches the inaugural Montecito Student Film Festival to showcase the impressive work of undergraduate students from California colleges and universities with screenings throughout the day March 25 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Porter Theatre. A jury of industry professionals and special guests will judge and award the top prizes while audiences will be polled regularly to determine the winner of the Audience Award.
Conference Examines Liberal Arts, Climate Change
February 28, 2023
The 21st annual Conversation on the Liberal Arts explores how a liberal arts education can prepare us for the future, March 2-4 at the Global Leadership Center. “Educating for the Unknown: Liberal Arts in the Age of Climate Change,” sponsored by the Gaede Institute, attracts teachers, administrators, and students from around the country.
Talk Explores ‘Street Art Now’
February 22, 2023
G. James Daichendt, art critic, curator, art historian and dean of the colleges at Point Loma University, examines how street art is changing the art world and how we engage art in a free, public lecture, “Street Art Now” on Thursday, February 23, from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art.
Denu to be Installed as Provost, Dean
February 15, 2023
Kimberly Battle-Walters Denu will be officially installed as provost and dean of the faculty at Westmont on Friday, March 31, from 10:30-11:20 a.m. in Murchison Gym. The event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP here.
College Hosts Competition of Mathletes
February 15, 2023
La Cañada High School ran circles around the competition in Westmont’s 34th annual Mathematics Field Day on Feb. 11 in Winter Hall. About 100 regional high school students matched math wits in the event on the eve of Super Bowl, but it was La Cañada that was the Overall Winner for 9-10th grade and 11-12th grade.
Stargazing Features Great Nebula
February 14, 2023
This month’s Stargazing at the Westmont Observatory features a diverse celestial menu of planets, Messier objects, open clusters and double stars on Friday, February 17, beginning about 6 p.m. and lasting for several hours. The observatory, home of the powerful Keck Telescope, is open to the public every third Friday of the month and held in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit (SBAU) whose members bring their own telescopes to share with the public.
Teens to Match Wits in Math Contest
February 10, 2023
About 100 high school students will compete at Westmont’s 34th annual Mathematics Field Day on Saturday, Feb. 11, from 1-5:15 p.m. in Winter Hall. Team and individual awards will be handed out at a banquet, featuring Erik Lucero, site lead of Google Quantum AI in Santa Barbara, from 5:30–6:30 p.m. in Westmont’s Global Leadership Center.
Orchestra Tour Features French Romantics
February 9, 2023
The Westmont Orchestra performs at several locations as part of a Presidents day weekend tour February 16-18. These concerts are open to the public and free. The orchestra The orchestra will perform “Amazing Grace,” Bizet's “Carmen Suite” and Franck's Symphony in D minor on Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. in San Marcos High School (4750 Hollister Ave., Santa Barbara); Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. in Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church (1825 Alamo Pintado Rd., Solvang); and Feb. 18 at 7 p.m.
College Hosts Nursing Open House
February 7, 2023
Westmont hosts an information session for its accelerated bachelor of science in nursing (ABSN) program on Wednesday, February 15, from 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m. at Westmont Downtown | Grotenhuis Nursing, 26 West Anapamu Street. The open house will be an opportunity for prospective students to meet faculty, admissions and financial aid representatives and tour the downtown campus that houses the nursing program.
Study Examines Suffering, Feelings of Religious Doubt, Abandonment
February 3, 2023
A study of chronically ill U.S. adults suggests that people who experience greater degrees of suffering also experience greater degrees of religious uncertainty and struggle. The research, which examines the link between the depth of suffering and feelings of religious turmoil, including doubt, abandonment and uncertainty regarding God’s love and power, also suggests the more religious the individual, the more acute the struggle.
Talk Explores Bringing SB’s Flying A to the Stage
January 31, 2023
Pratt Takes Leading Role in Filmmaking
January 31, 2023
The Santa Barbra International Film Festival was a small local event when Sean Pratt began working for it two decades ago. Pratt, SBIFF managing director and Westmont adjunct professor, Roger Durling, SBIFF executive director, and their team have grown the festival from one featuring adventure-sport and nature films into one of the top 10 in the country.
Mori to Share about Japanese Internment Camps
January 31, 2023
A Westmont music professor participates in a community conversation about the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Paul Mori, whose grandparents and parents were all incarcerated under President Franklin D.
Theater Premieres Historic “Flying ‘A’ Fantasy”
January 20, 2023
The Westmont College Festival Theatre brings Santa Barbara’s treasured cinematic history to the stage in a world premiere. “Diamond to Dust: a Flying A Fantasy,” directed by Westmont’s John Blondell and written by local actor, educator and playwright Michael Bernard, explores the silent film industry and its historical significance.
Talk Examines the Soul, Cultural Disillusionment
January 19, 2023
Brandon Rickabaugh, known for his work at the intersection of metaphysics, philosophy of religion, and Christian spiritual formation, speaks about “Mechanizing Ourselves to Death: The Human Soul and Cultural Disillusionment,” on Monday, January 30, at 7:30 p.m. in Westmont’s Global Leadership Center.
Goodwin Returns to Speak at Breakfast
January 17, 2023
Doris Kearns Goodwin, world-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, speaks at the 18th annual Westmont President’s Breakfast on Friday, March 10, from 7-9 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom of Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. Tickets cost $125 per person and are on sale now at westmont.edu/breakfast. Seating is limited, and tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
Spring Opera Offers Double Bill of Humor
January 11, 2023
Westmont performs an ambitious operatic double bill of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Trial by Jury” and Rossini’s “The Silken Ladder” Friday, January 27, and Sunday, January 29; both at 7 p.m. in Center Stage Theater. To purchase tickets, which cost $20 for general admission, $15 for seniors or military members, please visit the Center Stage box office at centerstagetheater.org.
Professor Speaks at Vatican, Meets Pope
January 10, 2023
Professor Wins Prestigious Philosophy Award
January 4, 2023
David Vander Laan, Westmont professor of philosophy, has won the American Philosophical Association’s 2022 Alvin Plantinga Prize. Coincidentally, the prestigious award honors Vander Laan’s doctoral adviser, one of the most influential people shaping Christian philosophical thought during the past 50 years.
‘Entangled’ Exhibit Explores Environment
December 16, 2022
The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art features two artists whose work responds to climate change.
December Skies Offer Starry Viewing
December 14, 2022
Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope will zoom in on a several celestial objects Friday, December 16, from 6-10 p.m. at the Westmont Observatory. Westmont hosts the monthly viewings, held on the third Friday of the month, in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit whose members bring their own telescopes. Visitors are asked to enter the Westmont campus through the main, upper entrance, since the kiosk at the Colds Spring Entrance will be unmanned.
The Need for Speed: Engineers Put Creations to the Test
December 7, 2022
Westmont’s junior engineering students were revved up for the annual remote control car competition on Dec. 8 in front of Kerrwood Hall. The students spent the last 10 weeks working in teams to assemble hundreds of parts to create their race cars, which count for 5 percent of their overall grade in the Machine Design course.