Presidential Briefing August 2018

Gayle Beebe

Gayle D. Beebe, Ph.D.

Gayle D. Beebe became Westmont’s eighth president in 2007 after serving as president of Spring Arbor University in Michigan for seven years. His inauguration in 2008 featured speeches by Steve Forbes, chief executive officer of Forbes, and Steve Sample, former president of the University of Southern California.

Read More

Welcome Students!

August 2018 Message from President Gayle D. Beebe

President Beebe welcomes new students and families on the first day of Orientation on August 23.


Globally Diverse and Academically Strong 

I love meeting our new students and families each year at Orientation. This year, I greeted new families at our front entrance as they drove on to campus Thursday, August 23. What a great opportunity to welcome them to the first day of college and into the care of our student orientation team who unpacked each car for all new students at their residence halls! I want to especially thank the baseball and soccer teams for assisting in these efforts. This service made a big difference for our new students.

We welcomed more than 400 new students and one of the most diverse groups in college history. We’ve been strengthening and building our global focus and engagement, so it’s encouraging that our incoming class increases the diversity of our college community. The first-year and transfer students represent eight countries and 31 states, with nearly 40 percent identifying as Hispanic, Asian American, African American, Hawaiian Pacific Islander, Native American, and/or mixed-race. About 18 percent say they’re the first person in their family to attend college.

They bring impressive academic credentials: an average GPA of 3.80 and an average SAT score of 1230, and they demonstrate that they’re high-performing students in and out of the classroom. In fact, 92 percent of our first-year students earned academic scholarships, ranging from $6,000 to $37,510 annually.

Another 56 Augustinian Scholars have moved in, bringing the total to 145 in three classes. Every single one of our Augustinians has remained at Westmont to continue in this outstanding program.

For more photos of orientation, enjoy this slideshow.

As we welcome our returning students back to campus for the start of fall classes on August 27, we celebrate a 93 percent retention rate, which demonstrates that our academic and student life offices have done a great job serving and caring for our Westmont students.

Faculty and staff greet incoming students during the traditional First Walk.

Read more 

Watch ABC KEYT's news video on Orientation featuring interviews with President Beebe and Vice President Edee Schulze

My Summer Reading and a Fall Invitation

This summer, my reading list included “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002. The book articulates the difference between thinking intuitively and thinking deliberatively, or as he identifies it, System I and System II. Dr. Kahneman will speak at a special event on campus November 2, and we will post information about his talk and ticket prices in the next few weeks. I hope you will consider joining us.

Discover what some Westmont professors were reading this summer

Join Us for our Fall Activities

Celebrating the Work of Tony Askew

A retrospective of new and old creations by Tony Askew, Westmont professor emeritus, opened at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. A much-loved teacher and an acclaimed artist, he retired from the college a decade ago. His exhibit is on display until November 7.

What we’re reading at Westmont

We’ve chosen “An Unhurried Life” by Alan Fadling as a book to read throughout the school year. The author will speak in chapel Friday, September 28, and share major themes from the volume. You’re always welcome to attend chapel on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. In our anxious and over-committed society, we seek to encourage students to set aside distractions, connect directly with others and practice gratitude.

Meet me at one of our Westmont on the Road events this year

September 21-22 President Beebe and musician Steve Bell kick off Westmont on the Road in Denver
September 29 President Beebe and Professor Greg Spencer speak at Westmont on the Road in Dallas
November 1-2 Author Daniel Kahneman speaks at Westmont
December 1-3 The Christmas Festival in Santa Barbara
January 10 Westmont on the Road event in Santa Barbara
February 5 Westmont on the Road event in Washington, D.C.
February 22 President’s Breakfast in Santa Barbara
March 22 Westmont on the Road event in Los Angeles
April 26 Westmont on the Road event in Seattle
June 5-6 Lead Where You Stand Conference at Westmont

Thank you for praying for a great start to a new year. We hope to see you at some of our upcoming events this fall.


Gayle D. Beebe, Ph.D.