The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art features a unique collection of folk art from all over the United States, showcasing the artists’ spiritual conviction Feb. 20-March 29. The exhibition, “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists,” opens with a free, public reception on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum.
The exhibition includes Family Day: American Folk Art Festival on Saturday, March 22, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in and around the museum and Adams Center at Westmont. This will be a day of free activities, crafts, music, dance, storytelling, food, and more, all celebrating the vibrant culture of America. The Family Festival is free and open to all families and all ages. There will be a small charge for food. It will feature innovative artisans from the Central Coast and Southern California offering their creations for sale. The exhibition features many diverse artists, including Rev. Howard Finster, J.B. Murry, Rev. Benjamin Perkins, Mose Tolliver, Raymond Coins, Ronald Cooper, Tim Lewis, Elder Anderson Johnson, Felix Virgous, Myrtice West, and R.A. Miller.
“At the forefront of the most engaging contemporary art are works made by outsider artists, whose creations are inspired by their own spiritual fervor and unwavering visions,” says Judy L. Larson, Askew professor of art history and director of the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. “We specifically focus on artists who are inspired by spiritual convictions, visions of God, or a passionate desire to spread the Good News through their art. In recent years, outsider art has become highly collectable as the art world discovered the unbridled emotional response communicated through these art forms.” Sponsors include Michael Kidd (in memory of Benjamin E. Ortega), Neunuebel Barrantes Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors and Just Folk in Summerland. Another sponsor, Steven Pattie ’74, has written an essay for the exhibition brochure and lent several objects from his collection to the show. The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and college holidays. For more information, please visit www.westmontmuseum.org or contact the museum at (805) 565-6162. Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Westmont College
2/28/14 - Westmont's Annual Music Guild Competition
Six high school seniors will be competing for Westmont music scholarships at the annual Music Guild Competition on Saturday, March 1, at 7 p.m. at Westmont’s Deane Chapel. The performances are free and open to the public.
The winner of the Guild Scholarship will receive up to $10,000 in annual music scholarships funds (up to $40,000 over four years) to study at Westmont.
The finalists are cellist Timothy Beccue of Westlake Village, violist Erik Fauss of Santa Rosa, violinist Melissa Wong of San Gabriel, harpist Alexandra Nieuwsma of Martinez, bassoonist and organist Michael Rowlands of Irving, Texas, and pianist Jonathan Kok of Sammamish, Wash.
2/21/14 - Westmont Reads: Panel Discussion on ‘The Big Burn’
Westmont hosts a panel discussion about wildfire as part of Westmont Reads Thursday, March 6, from 2-3 p.m. in Voskuyl Library. This year, the annual program focuses on the book “The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America” by Timothy Egan. The program includes a series of events, including book discussions and featured speakers at UC Santa Barbara and at public libraries in Santa Barbara and Montecito. Website
Stargazers might enjoy views of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot at this month’s public viewing at the Westmont Observatory on Friday, Feb. 21, beginning after 6:30 p.m. and lasting several hours. The free event is held every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit. In case of inclement or overcast weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled. Website
Westmont’s production of “The Pirates of Penzance,” which will be performed for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, returns to Porter Theatre Feb. 22-23 at 7 p.m. General admission is $15; $10 for students and seniors. A $25 special benefit ticket entitles the buyer to the play and a dessert reception with the cast, following each encore performance. Tickets may be purchased online at westmont.edu/boxoffice or by calling (805) 565-7140. Website
2/14/14 - “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists”
The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art features a unique collection of folk art from all over the United States, showcasing the artists’ spiritual conviction Feb. 20-March 29. The exhibition, “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists,” opens with a free, public reception on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum. Website
2/14/14 - “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists”
The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art features a unique collection of folk art from all over the United States, showcasing the artists’ spiritual conviction Feb. 20-March 29. The exhibition, “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists,” opens with a free, public reception on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum. Website
2/10/14 - Westmont Downtown: “The Future of Microfinance and the Role of Muhammad Yunus"
Rick Ifland, director of the Eaton Program for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Westmont, explores the challenges and effectiveness of microfinance both in the developed and developing worlds at a free, public lecture Thursday, Feb. 13, at 5:30 p.m. in the University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St. Tickets are not needed; the limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please call (805) 565-6051. Website
The Westmont Orchestra performs Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Russian Easter Overture” as part of its Spring Orchestra Concert Friday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in Page Multipurpose Room at Westmont and Sunday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. Tickets to the concerts, which may be purchased at the door, are $10 general admission; students are free. Website
The Westmont Orchestra performs Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Russian Easter Overture” as part of its Spring Orchestra Concert Friday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. in Page Multipurpose Room at Westmont and Sunday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. Tickets to the concerts, which may be purchased at the door, are $10 general admission; students are free. EmailWebsite
The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art features a unique collection of folk art from all over the United States, showcasing the artists’ spiritual conviction Feb. 20March 29. The exhibition, “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists,” opens with a free, public reception on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum.
The exhibition includes Family Day: American Folk Art Festival on Saturday, March 22, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in and around the museum and Adams Center at Westmont. This will be a day of free activities, crafts, music, dance, storytelling, food, and more, all celebrating the vibrant culture of America. The Family Festival is free and open to all families and all ages. There will be a small charge for food. It will feature innovative artisans from the Central Coast and Southern California offering their creations for sale. Website
2/5/14 - Opening Reception: “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists”
The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art features a unique collection of folk art from all over the United States, showcasing the artists’ spiritual conviction Feb. 20March 29. The exhibition, “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists,” opens with a free, public reception on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum. Website
2/5/14 - Conference Digs into Ancient, Modern Theater
In conjunction with “Electra,” the Westmont Theatre Arts Department hosts the first Westmont Dialogue on Theatre Ancient and Modern on Saturday, Feb. 8, from 1-8 p.m. in Porter Theatre. Tickets cost $15 and do not include dinner. Please RSVP by Feb. 5 to Beth Whitcomb at email@example.com. EmailWebsite
2/5/14 - Lecture to Probe ‘God and the Multiverse’
Deborah Haarsma, president of BioLogos, explores astronomy, cosmology and connections to evolution and other sciences in a lecture Friday, Feb. 7, at 3:30 p.m. in Winter Hall’s Darling Foundation Lecture Hall (Room 210) at Westmont. The Pascal Society Lecture, “God and the Multiverse,” is free and open to the public. Website
Sophomore Christine Nathanson of Chula Vista stars in “Electra,” a masterpiece of dramatic literature, on Friday, Jan. 31, and Feb. 1, 6-8, all at 8 p.m. at an outdoor location northeast of Westmont’s Van Kampen Hall. Sophocles wrote the ancient tragedy, and acclaimed young British playwright Nick Payne has developed a new contemporary version of the text. General admission is $15; $10 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased online at westmont.edu/boxoffice or by calling (805) 565-7140. The play, which contains adult themes, runs 90 minutes without an intermission. Wooden benches provide seating; feel free to bring your own seat cushion for comfort. Directed by Mitchell Thomas. Website
1/22/14 - Erasmus Society Lecture Series: "What is Faith?"
"What is Faith?" by Lara Buchak, assistant professor of philosophy, University of California at Berkeley. The lecture will be in Hieronymous Lounge, in Westmont College's Kerrwood Hall. It is free and open to the public. Website
1/22/14 - Erasmus Society Lecture Series: "The Mystery of Trauma, the Mystery of Joy"
"The Mystery of Trauma, the Mystery of Joy", by Amy Hollywood, Elizabeth H. Monrad Professor of Christian Studies at Harvard Divinity School. Event will be held in Westmont College's Hieronymous Lounge in Kerrwood Hall. It is free and open to the public. Website
1/22/14 - Remembering William Stafford: 8th Annual Community Reading
Paul Willis, professor of English at Westmont and former poet laureate of Santa Barbara, hosts a poetry reading to honor the life and work of William Stafford (1914-1993) on Saturday, Jan. 25, at 2 p.m. at the First Crossing Day Use Area in Los Padres National Forest, across from the Los Prietos Boys Camp, 3900 Paradise Road. This is the former site of the Los Prietos Civilian Public Service Camp, where Stafford served as a conscientious objector during World War II. Website
The Westmont Music Drama Workshop stages “La Canterina,” a comic opera by Joseph Haydn on Jan. 24-25 in Westmont’s Deane Chapel and Jan. 30-31 at Center Stage Theater in Downtown Santa Barbara, all at 8 p.m. The performances at Westmont are free; tickets to the Center Stage performances are $15 for students and $20 for adults and can be purchased at the theater box office or online at http://www.centerstagetheater.org/. Website
Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope will aim for the Double Double star system during a free, public viewing Friday, Nov. 15, beginning at about 7:30 p.m. and lasting several hours. The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening. In case of inclement weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled. Website
12/2/13 - Tickets Available for Saturday Christmas Fest
The ninth annual Westmont Christmas Festival, “Prepare the Way,”
features music spanning 600 years celebrating Advent and Christmas
Dec. 6-8 at First Presbyterian Church. Tickets, which are $25 each and
support the Westmont Choir’s tour to Russia in spring 2014, are still
available for the performance on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 3 p.m. Tickets
can only be purchased online at: westmont.edu/christmasfestival. For
more information, please contact the Westmont Music Department at
(805) 5656040. Website
12/2/13 - Christmas Festival Tickets to Go on Sale
Tickets to the ninth annual Westmont Christmas Festival go on sale Thursday, Nov. 14, at 5 p.m. This year’s performance, “Prepare the Way,” will be held Dec. 6-7 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 3 p.m., all at First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. Website
12/2/13 - Westmont Lights Tree, Sings in the Season
Westmont kicks off the Christmas season with the 12th annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Kerrwood Lawn, Wednesday, Dec. 4. The lights on the 150-foot redwood tree, affectionately known as the Pickle Tree, will glow at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Website
The 24th annual Westmont Business Plan Competition attempts to solve some of the deepest problems encountered by disadvantaged families in poverty-stricken areas on Tuesday, Dec. 10, from 3:15-6:30 p.m. in Hieronymus Lounge at Kerrwood Hall. The event is free and open to the public. Website
11/22/13 - Save the Date! Museum Exhibits Impressive Art Collection -- 12/3
The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art shows works from 29 artists from 1980-2000 in an exhibition, “Impulse and Connoisseurship: Selections from the Forde Collection,” Dec. 3-Feb. 1. There will be a free, public opening reception on Tuesday, Dec. 3, from 4-6 p.m.
The exhibition features the collection of Westmont alumna Marie (May) and Arnold Forde, who began collecting contemporary art with the help of legendary art curator Paul Schimmel. The show includes a selection of works by John Baldessari, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Chris Burden, Jenny Holzer and many others. “This is an exciting exhibition not only because it features so many incredible and respected contemporary artists, but because of the close connection to our Westmont alumni,” says Judy L. Larson, Askew professor of art history and director of the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. “It is wonderful to see where Westmont alumni go and what they do after they graduate, and Mrs. Forde is no exception. She and Mr. Forde are both incredibly knowledgeable about art from this era, and it is exciting to see this within the Westmont community.” “This is an exciting exhibition not only because it features so many incredible and respected contemporary artists, but because of the close connection to our Westmont alumni,” says Judy L. Larson, Askew professor of art history and director of the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. “It is wonderful to see where Westmont alumni go and what they do after they graduate, and Mrs. Forde is no exception. She and Mr. Forde are both incredibly knowledgeable about art from this era, and it is exciting to see this within the Westmont community.” “This impressive collection is visually and conceptually interesting,” says Alisha Paulsen, museum outreach and education coordinator. “Many of them exemplify the minimalist and conceptual realms of the art world during this time.”
The museum is also preparing for the American Family Folk Festival on Saturday, March 22, 2014. The festival will be a day of free activities, crafts, music, dance, storytelling and food, celebrating the vibrant American culture. The festival, held in conjunction with the exhibition “Walking in the Spirit: American Visionary Artists” (Feb. 20- March 29), will be located in and around the museum. The exhibition showcases work from folk artists from all over the United States.
The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and college holidays. For more information, please visit www.westmontmuseum.org or contact the museum at (805) 565-6162. Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art Website
11/22/13 - Dance Concert to Leave ‘Eyes Wide Open’ Friday and Saturday Nights
Westmont’s fall dance concert, “Eyes Wide Open,” breaks from tradition to explore Porter Theatre’s black-box space Nov 21-23 at 8 p.m. Tickets, $10 for general admission; $7 for students, seniors and children, may be purchased at westmont.edu/boxoffice or by calling (805) 565-7140. Susan Alexander, who co-directs the show with Christina Sanchez, says the performance will be full of surprises. “The faculty and student choreographers are going to bring this unusual space to life in a variety of different ways,” Alexander says. “With the audience seated on three sides, an intimacy will prevail as choreographers present challenging and delightful works ranging from pure movement to dance/theatre pieces.” Alexander was professor of modern dance at the Paris Conservatory of Music and Dance from 1989-2008 and for the Paris Opera Ballet Company from 1985-2008. A graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Alexander earned a master’s degree in dance at Mills College. Sanchez, who performs with the Santa Barbara Dance Theatre based at UCSB, has danced and toured throughout Europe, South America and the U.S. with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She has also performed with Ballet Hispanico of New York, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Buglisi Foreman Dance.
Both Alexander and Sanchez have been teaching at Westmont since 2011. Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Porter Theatre's Black-Box, Westmont College Website
11/15/13 - Public Viewing to Feature Celestial Double Double TONIGHT!
Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope will aim for the Double Double star system during a free, public viewing Friday, Nov. 15, beginning at about 7:30 p.m. and lasting several hours. The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening. In case of inclement weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled.
The viewing, which will be challenged with a close-to-full moon in the eastern sky, will focus on objects in near the zenith or to the west. Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor, says he’ll zoom in on Epsilon Lyrae, the Double Double, which is a quartet of stars about 200 light-years away. “One pair of stars takes 600 years to orbit each other and the other pair takes about 1,000 years,” he says. “Now, imagine the fact that the two pairs are separated by 0.2 light-year and would likely take a half million years to complete one orbit.” The Observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through.
The Keck Telescope is housed in the Observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field. Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Westmont College Observatory Website
11/14/13 - Blondell Directs Two Unique Productions of ‘Henry VI’ on Sunday
Westmont hosts two performances of Shakespeare’s early history play, “Henry VI,” on the same day, in the same space, directed by the same director in two different languages. “Henry VI, Part 3 Times 2,” featuring the Lit Moon Theatre Company and the Bitola National Theatre, is Sunday, Nov. 17, at 2 and 7 p.m. respectively; both in Porter Theatre. General admission tickets to Lit Moon’s production are $15; $10 for students and seniors. Tickets for the Bitola National Theatre production are free, though reservations are recommended. Tickets can be reserved online at westmont.edu/tickets and picked up at the door. The project is the culmination of director John Blondell’s more than two-year odyssey with the play that began as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad at Shakespeare’s Globe. The Bitola National Theatre participated in the Globe to Globe Festival, which presented all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays in 37 different languages. In anticipation of the Bitola production, Blondell and Lit Moon Theatre Company staged the play in February 2012 in Santa Barbara. Blondell says the endeavor will come full circle with Lit Moon and Bitola showing varying versions of “Henry VI” back to back. “The play presents events in the Wars of the Roses, a dynastic and Civil War that took place in England from 1450 to 1485,” Blondell says. “Both productions show the virtues of a wild, eccentric and vividly drawn play — both are something of a thrill ride, and both display the strengths of each company to a high degree. They are also very different — although they share the same essential DNA, they feel different and display varying approaches to character, situation, music and atmosphere.” Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Westmont College Porter Theatre Website
The No. 3 Westmont women’s soccer team captured a first-round bye and a semi-final match at home in the upcoming Golden State Athletic Conference Championship. The Warriors (14-0-3, 8-0-2 GSAC) open the tournament at Thorrington Field on Friday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. against either Biola, Vanguard, San Diego Christian or the Master’s. Website
11/8/13 - Willis Offers Reflective Poems of Comfort
More than 570 students from 15 California high schools join the Westmont College Choir at the ninth annual Westmont Fall Choral Festival on Friday, Nov. 1. Half of the choirs will perform at 4:45 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. The remaining half will perform prior to the Westmont ensembles at 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian. Both performances are free and open to the public, although seating is limited. For more information, please call (805) 565-6040. The afternoon concert features the Westmont Men’s and Women’s Chorales along with the first-year chamber ensemble. The Westmont Chamber Singers and College Choir will be the featured performers on the evening program. The Westmont College Choir will sing works by Hugo Distler, F. Melius Christiansen and Moses Hogan along with new works from Tanzania and the Philippines. The evening concert concludes with all choirs performing a mass choral piece, “Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11” by Gabriel Fauré. At workshops before the performance, singers will work with Westmont professors Grey Brothers, Steve Hodson and Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship, and adjunct instructors Robert Rockabrand and Joanna Wasserman. Tom Davies, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo choir director, and KuanFen Liu, CSU Channel Islands choir instructor, will also be teaching. This year’s participating high school choirs include: Arlington High School Chamber Singers, Cathedral City High School Lions’ Pride Chamber Singers, Frontier High School Concert Choir, Fullerton Union High School Vocal Ensemble, Highland High School Chamber Choir, Irvine High School Irvine Singers, Maranatha High School Mixed Ensemble, Oaks Christian School Oaks Chorale, Providence High School Providence Chorale, Redlands Adventist Academy Kantorei, San Marcos High School Madcappella Choir, Santa Barbara High School A Capella and Madrigal Singers, Saugus High School Concert Choir, Sunnyside High School Cantus Vocem and Woodcrest Christian School Chamber Singers. Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... First Presbyterian Church Website
10/25/13 - Orchestra to Perform a California Premiere Tonight
The Westmont Fall Orchestra Concert features a California premiere by Chicago-area composer James Stephenson on Friday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. at Montecito Covenant Church and Sunday, Oct. 27, at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church. General admission to Sunday’s performance is $10. The suggested donation for admission to Friday’s concert is $10. Students are free. To purchase tickets, or for more information, please call (805) 565-6040. Stephenson’s “Two Brothers,” a musical remembrance of families divided by the Civil War, features narration by John Sider, distinguished professor emeritus of English, and Maurice Lee, assistant professor of religious studies.
The concert includes William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 1 “Afro-American” and Piano Concerto No. 2 by Sergei Rachmaninov, which features sophomore Aaron Wilk on piano. Still’s Afro-American Symphony, which premiered in 1931, was the first symphony by an African-American composer to be performed by a major orchestra. He was the first African-American to conduct a white radio orchestra in New York and in 1936 was the first African-American to conduct a major orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 is one of the most popular pieces of classical music and has been featured in many films. Wilk, who recorded his first full-length CD at the age of 11, has opened for Twila Paris, a member of the Christian Music Hall of Fame. The Centennial, Colo., resident earned a Monroe Scholarship, Westmont’s highest academic honor. Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship, directs the Westmont Orchestra. Han Soo Kim, an award-winning artist who joined the Westmont faculty this fall, is the string coordinator. Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Montecito Covenant Church Website
10/22/13 - Will's Tourney to Feature Stick, Disk Golf on Monday
Golfers and disc golfers will play together at the Montecito Country Club for the sixth annual William Wiersma Golf and Disc Tournament on Monday, Oct. 28. Registration and lunch begin at noon with play beginning at 1 p.m. Hors d’oeuvres will be served, and awards and prizes will be handed out at 6 p.m. All proceeds from the event benefit the William Wiersma Endowment Scholarship Fund and Westmont Fund to support student scholarships. To register, or for more information, please visit www.willstourney.com. Wiersma graduated from Westmont in 2006 after spending his senior year studying at Oxford University. He was killed in a car accident in October 2006 while returning from an Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Phoenix. The following year, the Wiersmas established a scholarship to honor the principles of collaboration for which Will stood. “”Now in its sixth year, Will’s Tourney is, as far as we know, the only simultaneous stick/disc golf tournament in the country,” says Tom Wiersma, Will’s dad. “The nature of the tournament embodies three of the things Will appreciated most — collaboration, competition and fun.” The tournament is played in a foursome, scramble style. The evening is filled with awards and raffle prizes, including a one-night stay and dinner for two at the Biltmore Four Season’s Resort, a $1,000 value. Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Montecito Country Club EmailWebsite
10/18/13 - Kiplinger’s Ranks Westmont as a Top College
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has ranked Westmont among the top 100 liberal arts colleges in its annual list. The report, which named Westmont No. 83, features colleges that provide high-quality academics at a reasonable cost. The rankings will appear in Kiplinger’s December issue and are available online now at www.kiplinger.com/links/college.
Westmont is one of eight liberal arts colleges in California to make the list and the only California member of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) to be included.
Westmont scored well in several attributes that parents and students look for in higher education, including small class sizes, a good freshman-retention rate, and a high four-year graduation rate.
Although private colleges generally carry higher sticker prices than in-state public schools, Silvio Vazquez, Westmont dean of admission, says private schools can actually be more affordable because of their generous financial aid. “Eighty-five percent of Westmont students receive financial aid,” he says. “And what’s more, 76 percent of Westmont students graduate in four years, while the national six-year graduation rate is only 57 percent. This translates to a lower cost in the long run, on-time graduation and the ability to begin their careers or graduate school right away.”
Last month, the U.S. News and World Report ranked Westmont in the top 100 best liberal arts colleges for the fifth straight year. In August, Princeton Review listed Westmont as one of the Best Western Colleges, giving it the top academic ranking among the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Website
10/18/13 - 'Pirates of Penzance' by Westmont Festival Theatre Thru Oct. 27
Artistic dynamos John Blondell, Westmont theatre professor of theater, and Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship, have combined forces, collaborating on the production of a comic operetta. About 30 student-actors/musicians will perform “Pirates of Penzance,” written by W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan, Oct. 17-19, 23, and 26-27 at 7 p.m. General admission is $15; $10 for students, children and seniors. Tickets may be purchased online at westmont.edu/boxoffice or by calling (805) 565-7140. Blondell, who directs the show, says it has been a joy collaborating with Shasberger, student conductor Andrew Combs, Danila Korogodsky (scenography) and Victoria Finlayson (choreography). He says he was attracted to “Pirates” for several reasons. “I had never done a comic operetta,” he says, “so the prospect seemed new and fresh and also rather scary. I enjoy breathing fresh life into plays that we think we know. I wanted to make something fresh and vibrant, and that was satisfying on dramatic, theatrical and musical levels.”
For a moment, Blondell and Shasberger considered a big cast, full orchestra and larger venue. “I was interested in what it meant to play the play in Porter Theatre — in the intimate environment where action and music are very close to the audience. The entire approach to the show, then, led me to make decisions based on what it meant to do a chamber version of the show. “I think the show is going to be terrifically performed, vibrantly sung, beautifully acted and will have scenery, costumes and choreography that are both appropriate to the material and also very modern. I have high hopes for this show — I am constantly and consistently inspired by our students and collaborators. In some ways, I don’t want it to open, because that will mean that my work with it is over.” Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Westmont College Porter Theatre Website
10/18/13 - Save the Date! Public Viewing of the Stars Tonight -- 10/18
Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope will aim for the stars during a free, public viewing Friday, Oct. 18, beginning at about 7:30 p.m. and lasting several hours. The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening. In case of inclement weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled. The observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through. The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field. Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Westmont College Observatory Website
9/27/13 - Kissinger to Speak at Westmont Luncheon Oct. 9
Henry Kissinger, secretary of state from 1973-1977 and a Nobel Peace Laureate, will discuss world events and diplomacy at a Westmont-sponsored luncheon Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club, 1281 Channel Drive. The reception begins at 11 a.m., and the luncheon concludes by 2 p.m. Tickets, which cost $1,500 each, can be purchased at www.westmont.edu/Kissinger. For more information, please call (805) 565-7256. “Renowned for his unparalleled skills in the art of diplomacy, Dr. Kissinger is one of the shrewdest and most articulate people ever to work in Washington,” says Westmont President Gayle D. Beebe. “He understands firsthand the delicate balance of world power and America’s influence. Considering the state of affairs in Syria and other countries in the Middle East, it’s an incredible time to hear his wisdom.”
Kissinger, 90, remains an influential public figure whose opinion on foreign policy is still sought by U.S. presidents, secretary of states and other world leaders.
Founder and chairman of Kissinger Associates, an international consulting firm, he served as national security adviser and secretary of state in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan appointed him to chair the National Bipartisan Commission on Central America until it ceased operation in 1985. Later, he served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy of the National Security Council and Defense Department, and the Defense Policy Board since 2001. Kissinger graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1950 and received a master’s degree and doctorate from Harvard University in 1952 and 1954. He won the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, in 1977 and the Medal of Liberty, given to 10 foreign-born, American leaders, in 1986.
Kissinger was born in Germany, came to the United States in 1938, and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1943. He served in the Army from 1943 to 1946. He taught on the faculty at Harvard University in both the Department of Government and the Center for International Affairs from 1954 until 1969, and he directed the Harvard International Seminar from 1952 to 1969. Kissinger has written several memoirs and more than a dozen books on foreign policy, including “On China” (2011), “Does America Need a Foreign Policy?” (2001) “Diplomacy” (1994), “A World Restored” (1973) and “American Foreign Policy: Three essays” (1969). His first memoir, “The White House Years” (1979), won a National Book Award. Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club Website
9/18/13 - Pianist to Perform in Free Westmont Recital on Sept. 27
Pianist Constantine Finehouse, a scholar-in-residence at Westmont, performs music by Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Alexander Scriabin and Sergey Rachmaninoff at a free, public recital Friday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. in Westmont’s Deane Chapel. For more information, please call the Westmont Music Department at (805) 565-6040. Finehouse, who was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, attended New England Conservatory, Juilliard and Yale. He studied with Fredrik Wanger, Natalia Harlap, Herbert Stessin, Jerome Lowenthal, Boris Berman and Bruce Brubaker. He has performed extensively in the U.S. and abroad, including Lausanne, London, Odessa, St. Petersburg and Trieste. His newest album, which includes cellist Sebastian Baverstam, features the universally-admired Brahms Sonata, Opus 38 for piano and cello as well as several new works in the high romantic style by Boston composer Tony Schemmer. In 2009 he released a solo recording, “Backwards Glance,” which interweaves music of Brahms and Richard Beaudoin.
Finehouse is a member of the American Double, which in 2007 released the Bolcom Project, the first recording of Pulitzer-Prize winning composer William Bolcom’s complete works for violin and piano. He is currently recording Bolcom’s complete piano solo works with fellow pianists Ursula Oppens and Christopher Taylor for Naxos Records.
His awards include the Vladimir Horowitz Scholarship from Juilliard, a 2004 St. Botolph Club Foundation Grant and a 2006 Classics Abroad Project Award. He serves on the faculty of New England Conservatory Preparatory and Extension Divisions in Boston. Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Westmont College Deane Chapel Website
9/17/13 - Harvest Moon Stargazing at Westmont Observatory Friday Night
Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope will aim for a double star and two globular clusters during a free, public viewing Friday, Sept. 20, beginning at about 7:30 p.m. and lasting several hours. The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening. In case of inclement weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled. The observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through.
Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor, says he hopes to turn the 24-inch reflector telescope toward the blue-gold double star Albireo, which will be near zenith an hour after sunset. “The two stars circle one another every 100,000 years,” he says. “It is interesting to note that the light you see from this binary system is 400 years old. You are looking at light that has traveled since the time of Galileo.” Not too far from the moon the viewing may also feature the globular cluster M15 in Pegasus. “A 12 billion-year-old ball of stars, M15 is a magnificent object especially when you consider that it houses a black hole in its center,” Whittemore says. “Although we won’t be able to see the black hole, we can still admire M15’s twinkling members.”
The telescope may also zoom in on another globular cluster, M2, which has about 150,000 very old stars and a noticeable elliptical shape. Most of the viewing will be away from the moon, which will be a day or so after its full phase (The Harvest Moon). Also, early in the evening the planets Venus and Saturn will be very close to the western horizon. They will be visible, but not through the telescopes because they will be too low in the sky.
The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field. Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Westmont College Observator EmailWebsite
9/12/13 - Westmont Faculty Recital to Feature Han Soo Kim on Friday
Members of Westmont’s talented music faculty will perform the works of Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Peter Schickele and Franz Schubert on Friday, Sept. 13, at 8 p.m. in Deane Chapel. The Fall Faculty Recital is free and open to the public. For more information, please call (805) 565-6040. Performers include Grey Brothers (tenor), Neil Di Maggio (piano), Han Soo Kim (violin), Steve Hodson (piano), Paula Hatley (piano), Paul Mori (bassoon), Seungah Seo (piano), and Trevor Welch (piano). Kim, who joined the Westmont faculty this fall as assistant professor of violin, is an award-winning artist who has performed at the Boston Symphony Hall, Isaac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. He has performed in more than a dozen countries, including Italy, Taiwan, Korea, Mexico, Cuba, England and France. He has played at world renowned conservatories, music schools and festivals, including Boston Conservatory, Académie Internationale de Courchevel, Columbia University, Longy School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Morningside Music Bridge, Musicorda and the New England Conservatory. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Julliard School and earned his Doctor of Musical Arts from Stony Brook University in New York. While he regularly performs on violin, Han also enjoys playing the viola and has collaborated with Yo-Yo Ma, the Emerson String Quartet, and the International Sejong Soloists. Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Westmont College Dean Chapel EmailWebsite
Caryn Reeder, Westmont associate professor of religious studies, has earned a prestigious Fulbright award for teaching and research in the West Bank of the Palestinian Territories. The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board award supports Reeder’s year-long sabbatical in the West Bank, where she will be teaching at a Palestinian university and conducting her own research from September 2013 through June 2014 Reeder’s research will examine “women, children and war in biblical and classical antiquity” and consider the “realities and rhetoric of violence,” both in ancient texts and the modern world.
Reeder lived in Jerusalem before and during the Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000, witnessing some of the effects of the conflict. She worked for the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students in Israel from 1999-2001, teaching a semester at Bethlehem Bible College.
“Including the voices of Palestinian and Israeli students, faculty, and members of the community will deepen my research into the realities and rhetoric of violence,” she says. “My own research and teaching will provide students the chance to explore the roots of violence in Judeo-Christian traditions, giving them a new perspective for understanding ancient texts and contemporary experiences. Finally, I will be able to bring what I learn home, helping my students at Westmont understand the global significance of what they are privileged to study in a very peaceful place.”
Reeder, a graduate of Augustana College, earned master’s degrees at both Wheaton College and the University of Cambridge. She earned a doctorate in New Testament at Cambridge and began teaching at Westmont in 2007.
She has authored a book “The Enemy in the Household: Family Violence in Deuteronomy and Beyond,” and several journal articles and book chapters, including “Vindicating Womankind: Aemilia Lanyer’s Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum,” to the book “Breaking Boundaries: Female Biblical Interpreters Who Challenged the Status Quo.” Website
8/27/13 - Opening Reception for New Art Exhibition on Thursday at Westmont Museum
Thirteen diverse artists from around the world will exhibit their work as part of “Invisible Realms: Encountering the Sacred” Aug. 22-Oct. 12 in the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. Most of the artists will be available at a free, public reception Thursday, Aug. 22, from 4-6 p.m.
The featured artists are: Lynn Aldrich of Los Angeles, Fabian Astore of Sydney, Australia, Adam Belt of Carlsbad, Calif., Kent Anderson Butler of Los Angeles, Linda Ekstrom of Santa Barbara, Hadassa Goldvicht of Jerusalem, Mary Heebner of Santa Barbara, Father Bill Moore of Glendale, Calif., Linda Saccoccio of Santa Barbara, Susan Savage of Santa Barbara, Marie Schoeff of Santa Barbara, Duncan Simcoe of Riverside, Calif., and Michael Tracy of Houston.
Savage, who has taught at Westmont since 1991, will retire at the end of the year. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UC Santa Barbara, and has taught at La Colina Junior High School and Santa Barbara City College. “All of our shows this year have a spiritual theme, and Savage’s work is a wonderful way to begin that exploration through what spirituality is,” says Judy L. Larson, director of the museum. “Removed from common use, the domestic objects represented in Susan’s paintings are transformed into symbols of openness, reflection and divine interaction.”
Aldrich, originally from Texas, earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina and an MFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif. She says she makes art that communicates “authentic transcendence.”
Astore, a media artist, received his Master of Arts with distinction from the University of New South Wales. He will exhibit “The Threshold,” which was a joint winner of the Blake Prize, given to artists whose work addresses religion and spirituality.
Belt, who earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of San Diego and an MFA from Claremont Graduate University, enjoys using experimental forms of art, creating mystifying objects that remind us we are small pieces of a large and active environment.
Butler, who earned an MFA from CSU Fullerton and teaches at Azusa Pacific University, has produced numerous videos and video installations. He often uses his own body as the focus of his videos, defining what it means to be human and possess a soul.
Ekstrom, who earned a Bachelor of Arts and MFA from UC Santa Barbara where she lectures, uses altered Bibles to create sculptures. She reassembles pages of Bibles that have been shredded, sliced, twined, twisted and balled to express different ways of interpreting sacred texts.
Goldvicht earned a Bachelor of Arts in printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. She also attended the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. Her video art creates and modifies rituals that make connections between the spiritual and physical.
Savage, who has taught at Westmont since 1991, will retire at the end of the year. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UC Santa Barbara, and has taught at La Colina Junior High School and Santa Barbara City College. “All of our shows this year have a spiritual theme, and Savage’s work is a wonderful way to begin that exploration through what spirituality is,” says Judy L. Larson, director of the museum. “Removed from common use, the domestic objects represented in Susan’s paintings are transformed into symbols of openness, reflection and divine interaction.”
Heebner, who graduated from the College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara where she also pursued her MFA, is a trained painter and distinguished author. Viewers will encounter Heebner’s creations layer by layer, slowly discovering the depth of her artistic imagination.
Rev. Moore, a Roman Catholic priest who serves at the Ministry of the Arts in San Dimas, Calif., says his art has made him a better priest, and his faith a better artist. He earned a Bachelor of Arts at Saint Mary’s University before pursuing a master’s degree in theology at the Washington Theological Coalition. His artistic style is rooted in abstract expressionism.
Saccoccio, whose artwork is influenced by Eastern religions and yoga rituals, graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and earned an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. She paints planes of bright colors often structured as broad stripes to form the backdrop for a mystical handwriting that seems to float above her abstract geometric paintings.
Schoeff, who has taught for many years at Santa Barbara City College and Westmont, graduated from CSU Sacramento and earned an MFA at Hunter College. She refers to her drawings as intensely private and personal traces. She says the very act of drawing is physically and mentally transformative.
Simcoe, who chairs the art department at California Baptist University, will exhibit his figural “Black Drawings,” which explore the biblical narrative of Abraham and his sons, a point of both unity and controversy among Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
Tracy, whose work emerges in response to his Catholic upbringing, creates stations of the cross that are deeply physical. Tearing, puncturing and cutting, Tracy builds up textural, almost grotesque, surfaces. His monochromatic paintings seem to reflect Christ’s physical torment.
The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and college holidays. For more information, please visit www.westmontmuseum.org or contact the museum at (805) 565-6162.
Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Westmont College Website
8/13/13 - Westmonster 5K to Race through Campus on Thursday
More than 100 runners are expected to compete in Santa Barbara’s toughest 5K race Thursday, Aug. 15, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Westmont track. The fourth annual Westmonster, part of the 2013 Santa Barbara Athletic Association Grand Prix Series, is a fundraiser for Westmont student-athlete scholarships. The course, which climbs 284 feet, weaves through Westmont’s beautifully wooded campus in the Montecito foothills. A free children’s 1,000-meter race will follow the Westmonster. Dinner will be provided for all participants after the races.
“We wanted to make it different since we know there are a lot of races in town,” says Dave Odell, Westmont athletic director. “We developed into the course this big hill, which is kind of a monster. It’s very steep, probably a 15 percent grade. So it’s a play on words, we’re Westmonsters and we have the Westmonster hill.” The race is a family-friendly event and is open to everyone. An early registration fee of $35 is available through July 31, after which the registration fee increases to $40. Children can participate in the 5K race for $15.Same-day registration begins at 5 p.m., but participants are encouraged to register online at http://www.westmont.edu/westmonster.
Ricky Ho and Cindy Abrami have each claimed two Westmonster titles in three years. Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Westmont College Website
7/18/13 - Internationally Renowned Violist Roberto Díaz Performs Friday at Montecito International Music Fest
Internationally renowned violist Roberto Díaz performs works by Max Bruch, Paul Hindemith and Tchaikovsky Friday, July 19, at 7:30 p.m. in Westmont’s Porter Theatre. The concert is part of the Montecito International Music Festival, which brings about 160 students to Westmont for a three-week, music-intensive program July 15-Aug. 2. Concert tickets, which are $15 for students/seniors and $30 general admission, will be sold at the door. Tickets to the master classes are $10 for students/seniors and $20 general admission. Díaz, president and CEO of the Curtis Institute of Music, was principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra for 10 years. He was also principal viola of the National Symphony under Mstislav Rostropovich, a member of the Boston Symphony under Seiji Ozawa and a member of the Minnesota Orchestra under Sir Neville Marriner. His recording of transcriptions by William Primrose with pianist Robert Koenig was nominated for a 2006 Grammy Award. Classical cellist Lynn Harrell, who earned Grammy Awards for “Beethoven: The Complete Piano Trios” in 1988 and “Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in A minor” in 1982, performs during a master class on Friday, July 19, at 2 p.m. in Hieronymus Lounge at Westmont’s Kerrwood Hall.
Concert violinist Linda Wang, assistant professor of violin at the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, performs a master class on Friday, July 26, at 2 p.m. in Hieronymus. Famed violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi, a faculty member of the Curtis Institute of Music since 2007, holds master classes on Saturday, July 20, at 1:30 p.m. in Deane Chapel and Sunday, July 21, at 2 p.m. in Hieronymus. Ashkenasi, who formed the twice Grammy nominated Vermeer Quartet, performs in concert on Tuesday, July 23, at 7:30 p.m. in Porter Theatre. Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Westmont College Porter Theatre Website
7/16/13 - Telescope Features Primetime Views of Saturn Friday Night
Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope will aim for the rings of Saturn and a globular cluster during a free, public viewing Friday, July 19, beginning at about 8 p.m. and lasting several hours. The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening. In case of inclement weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled. The observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through.
Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor, says he hopes to turn the 24-inch reflector telescope toward Saturn and its Cassini Division, the gap between the A and B rings. The viewing may also feature the Great Globular Cluster, M13, in Hercules. The cluster, one of the best-known in the northern hemisphere, consists of about 300,000 stars. The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field. Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Westmont College Website
6/20/13 - College Honored for Excellence in Service
Westmont received the Excellence in Service award at the annual South Coast Business and Technology Awards June 13 at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort. An audience of more than 700 people honored five local businesses, organizations and individuals demonstrating “extraordinary commitment to the economic vitality of the south coast of Santa Barbara.” In the past 19 years, the event has raised nearly $1.5 million for scholarships given to local students studying business and technology at Westmont, Santa Barbara City College and UC Santa Barbara.
President Gayle D. Beebe accepted the Excellence in Service award on behalf of Westmont. He described the many “businesses” on campus involved in providing a “dynamic educational enterprise”: a hotel, a food service, a symphony orchestra, a health clinic, an accounting firm, a career planning and placement center, and a landscaping and construction business, among many others. Beebe estimated that Westmont’s economic impact on the Santa Barbara area ranges from $175 to $280 million. Westmont alumni work for nearly 600 local companies, organizations and educational enterprises.
“But a college is more than a business, and it should be measured by more than just economic impact,” Beebe said. “We know of countless way that Westmont administrators, faculty and students serve in our community, contributing more than 300,000 volunteer hours each year to local organizations.
“We work so hard to make life in Santa Barbara better, and we are so pleased to be able to do it alongside so many distinguished and accomplished organizations and companies.”
Westmont senior Filipp Kozachuk, one of the scholarship recipients, spoke at the event. An economic and business major interested in entrepreneurship, he has interned with a local company and plans to earn an MBA. For a class during the fall semester, he developed a business plan for a product that uses wireless technology to back up photos from a digital camera. Born in Ukraine, he came to Santa Barbara with his family as a toddler and speaks fluent Russian. He has also received academic and music scholarships from Westmont.
Other award winners who have “demonstrated excellence in business and technology as well as outstanding innovation, service, and leadership” include Barbara Rosenblum, who founded Strategic Healthcare Programs: Entrepreneur of the Year; Sonos Inc., which makes wireless high-fidelity systems: Company of the Year; Joanne Funari, who helped establish Business First Bank and works as executive vice president and market area president for Santa Barbara and Ventura counties: Executive of the Year; and Larry Barels, who founded numerous companies, including WaveFront Technologies and Aqueous: Pioneer Award. EmailWebsite
6/19/13 - Save the Date! Telescope to Focus on Ringed Planet Saturn -- 6/21
The ringed planet Saturn, sitting in the nearby constellation of Virgo, will be one of the focal points of a free, public viewing Friday, June 21, beginning at about 8 p.m. at the Westmont Observatory. The observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through. The viewing lasts for several hours. In case of inclement weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled. “Although the Moon will be nearly full this evening, 12 days old, and placed in the constellation Libra, we should still get a good look at Saturn,” says Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor. “Saturn’s large moon, Titan, will lie on one side of the planet and the moons Enceladus, Rhea and Dione on the other side of Saturn’s rings. If the seeing is good, we should be able to see the Cassini Division, the beautiful, dark break between Saturn’s A and B rings.” The viewing will feature the Great Globular Cluster, M13, in Hercules by about 9:30 p.m. “This spectacular ball of about a million old stars will be well up for viewing,” Whittemore says. “As you look at this beast the night of the viewing, keep in mind that you are looking back in time 26,000 years. Since the age of these stars exceeds 10 billion years, it’s likely that all of the stars in this cluster still exist and will exist for a long time to come.” During the past few evenings, Whittemore says the planet Mercury has been slipping by the planet Venus. “The night of the viewing, we will find Mercury just to the left and below Venus in the northwest after sunset,” he says. “The public might enjoy seeing this close pairing of the two bright planets with their bare eyes as they wait to look through Westmont’s large telescopes. Unfortunately, the planets are far too close to the horizon to be viewed through Westmont’s observatory-based scopes.”
Westmont students and faculty use the Keck Telescope, a 24-inch reflector, to conduct astronomical research. The telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field. Presented by ... Westmont College Venue ... Westmont College Observatory Website
More than 60 youngsters attended the first week of Westmont’s youth summer athletic camps, developing motor skills for a variety of sports. An additional, third week of Sports Skills (June 10-14, June 17-21 and June 24-28) targeted for children 5-10 years old, has been added due to its popularity. Director Jill Wolf oversees the camp that focuses on skills for soccer, basketball, volleyball and softball as well as many coordination skills.
Westmont has added a new Girls Rhythm and Moves Camp (July 22 – 26) that features dance, tumble, cheer, balance and stretching to fun music. The camp is codirected by Wolf and Chrissie Velazquez, a long-time physical education teacher at Dos Pueblos High School.
Kristi Kiely, Westmont head women’s soccer coach, oversees all the Westmont summer camps with Jeff Azain, Westmont men’s assistant basketball coach. “I’m most looking forward to working with our veteran staff this summer,” she says. “We have longtime, successful coaches working with our campers this summer. At least three of our programs this year have athletes who participated in camps when they were younger.”
All camps, which began June 10 and run through July 26, start at 9 a.m. and cost $225 or $250. Most camps end at 1 p.m., though several camps (basketball, soccer and tennis) last until 3 p.m. with aftercare offered until 4:30 p.m. The price includes a camp T-shirt, photo and instruction by Westmont coaches as well as current and former Westmont student-athletes. Campers also have the opportunity to swim in the Westmont pool throughout the week.
Azain says with so many wonderful camps in Santa Barbara, he’s thankful Westmont has one of the longest running and most successful camps in town. “We have state-of-the-art facilities and tremendous coaches and staff, most of whom are our current athletes or local students who create a safe and fun environment while providing sport-specific instruction,” he says. “Most importantly, we love the kids we get to work with.”
Registration and information about age restrictions are available at http://blogs.westmont.edu/athletics/summer-camps/. Space is limited, and all camps are expected to fill up quickly. For more information, please call the athletics department at (805) 565-6010. Website
4/19/13 - Public Viewing to Feature Saturn, Needle Galaxy TONIGHT!
Westmont’s Keck Telescope, one of the most powerful along the Central Coast, turns its attention to the ringed planet Saturn and the Needle Galaxy at a free, public viewing Friday, April 19, beginning about 7:30 p.m. at the Westmont Observatory. The observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through. The viewing lasts for several hours. In case of inclement weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled. Although Saturn rises after sunset, Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor, says Saturn should be in a good position as the night progresses. “If the seeing is good this evening, we should be able to see some details on the ball of the planet as well as several of Saturn’s moons,” says Whittemore, who earned a master’s degree and doctorate in physics from the University of Arizona. The evening may also include views of the Needle Galaxy, NGC 4565. “This beautiful, spiral galaxy lies in Coma Berenices and is estimated to be 30 to 50 million light-years away,” Whittemore says.
Another highlight of the viewing may be the globular cluster M3, which was discovered in 1764 by Charles Messier. “It’s probably one of the most studied globular clusters,” Whittemore says. “Some amateur astronomers consider it to be one of the finest globular clusters in the northern sky, second only to the Great Globular Cluster, M13, in Hercules. M3 is unusual in that it contains a very large number of variable stars.” The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field. Venue: Westmont College. Website
4/12/13 - American Double to Play Westmont Finale TONIGHT!
The American Double, a duo featuring violinist Philip Ficsor and pianist Constantine Finehouse, perform its final concert at Westmont Friday, April 12, at 7 p.m. in Westmont’s Deane Chapel. The performance is free and open to the public. For more information, please call the music department at (805) 565-6040.
Ficsor, who joined the Westmont faculty in the fall of 2006, is moving with his family to Colorado this summer. Finehouse currently serves as an artist-in-residence at Westmont. The concert will feature sonatas by Brahms, Bolcom and Ravel. Ficsor says Ravel and Bolcom’s sonatas share a common thread in their reliance on American jazz genres. “In Ravel’s sonata, a middle-movement blues draws heavily on 1920s Paris jazz idioms with the instruments strumming in guitar-like fashion,” Ficsor says. “The outer movements open and close the sonata in a manner which is quintessentially Ravel: a first movement that is gossamer-like in its delicacy and textural transparency and a final movement that closes the work in virtuosic, perpetual mobile fashion.” William Bolcom evokes jazz violinist Joe Venuti throughout his Second Sonata, which has become one of the iconic violin sonatas of the latter half of the 20th century. American Double studied the sonata with Bolcom, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, during their recording of his complete works for violin and piano.
Brahms’ Third Sonata for Piano and Violin in D-minor closes the program. “Truly a monument of the duo sonata repertoire, this four-movement work alternates moods from a brooding, melancholic opening to a songful slow movement and into a bridged third and fourth movement which ends in thunderous fashion,” Ficsor says. Venue: Westmont College, Deane Chapel. Website
4/10/13 - A Dozen Art Students Exhibit in '12 Speed' Open Through May 4
Twelve graduating art majors have created a visual capstone to their Westmont education and will exhibit work April 4-May 4 at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. A free, public opening reception for “12 Speed” will include the artists Thursday, April 4, from 4 -6 p.m. Susan Savage, Westmont professor of art, says the students have plenty of room in the museum compared to last year’s exhibition that featured 23 graduating art majors, the second most ever at Westmont. “This year the students have the luxury of working bigger, and most of them have taken advantage of that opportunity,” she says. The students have worked with several different mediums, including etching, digital photography, drawing, painting, mixed media, digital painting, assemblage and sculptural installation. The artists are: Paige Boies, Benjamin Bisson, Tim Cederwall, Andrew Loy, Avary Mitchell, Amelia Neal, Alisha Paulsen, Bekah Rogers, Talia Sheets, Kalie Stier, Ari Stork and Samantha Watts. worked to develop their initial concepts, while others welcomed the spontaneity of tackling current life challenges to bring their personal stories forward. “All these seniors worked with educational synthesis in mind,” she says. “From themes involving social and cultural content to those developed through deep personal conviction, all the works represented testify to each person’s walk and place in life.
“One of the joys of this exhibit is the revelation that each student’s uniqueness is tangibly demonstrated through the relationship of form and media. As a true test in comprehending the realities and responsibilities of self-direction, this exhibit offers everyone a glimpse of the complex inner dialogue that manifests itself within the artist, and ultimately comes out as art.” Venue: Westmont College. Website
4/5/13 - Westmont Masterworks Concert Tonight and Sunday
The Westmont Music Department performs several concerts this month, beginning with Masterworks on April 5 at 8 p.m. and April 7 at 3 p.m., both in First United Methodist Church, 305 E Anapamu St. General admission is $10 and students are free.
The concert includes the Westmont Orchestra, the Men and Women of College Choir, directed by Michael Shasberger, and Chamber Singers and Men’s Chorale, directed by Grey Brothers. Caleste Tavera is the featured soprano soloist. The 60 voice choir, orchestra and Tavera will perform Francis Poulenc’s “Gloria.” Also on the program, “Vier Gesange (Four Songs)” by Johannes Brahms for Women of College Choir, horns and harp and Dan Forrest’s “His Robes For Mine” for strings and Men of College Choir. The Westmont Chamber Singers will sing the Gloria by the renaissance master Giovanni Pierluigi Palestrina. Venue: First United Methodist Church. Website
3/22/13 - Final Day of the Corot Exhibition is Saturday
The works of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, the most influential French landscape painter in the late 19th century, will be displayed in the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art from Jan. 31-March 23. A free, public reception for the exhibition, “Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot: The Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree Collection in the Context,” will feature live French music Thursday, Jan. 31, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum.
Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree has donated 10 paintings, 12 lithographs and a drawing by Corot to the exhibition. The museum will also feature works on loan from Michael Armand Hammer, Robert and Chris Emmons, Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and other prestigious collections that place Lady Ridley-Tree’s works into the context of nineteenth century art. Judy L. Larson, director of the museum and curator of the exhibition, has worked with a team of scholars to produce a 150-page catalog that includes essays by Larson, Amy Kurlander, a Corot scholar from Houston; Charlene Garfinkle, secretary of the Association of Historians of American Art, and entries by Laura diZerega, a UC Santa Barbara graduate student, and Brandon Waybright, Westmont museum outreach and education coordinator. Three experts will speak at a symposium, “Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot: Conversations about Connoisseurship,” Saturday, Feb. 9, from 10 a.m. to noon in Winter Hall’s Darling Foundation Lecture Hall (Room 210) at Westmont. The talk includes Kurlander, Scott Allan, associate curator at the Getty Museum, and Jill Newhouse, a New York gallery owner and editor of a definitive catalog on Corot’s drawings. “Corot’s work celebrates the ethereal beauty of nature,” Larson says. “Corot was an influential leader among the Barbizon artists. He loved to paint the sunrise and sunset and is among the first landscape painters to capture the specifics of weather and atmosphere by going directly to nature and painting ‘en plein aire.’”
The Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh owned a Corot painting and praised Corot’s figure paintings. “Picasso saw a selection of Corot’s figural works at the 1909 Salon D’Automne, which likely served as the inspiration of his own classical female figures holding mandolins or violins — a direct borrowing from Corot,” Waybright says. “Monet himself praised Corot, calling him ‘the only master. We are nothing to him, nothing …’
“We hope to communicate Corot’s love and appreciation of nature by sharing these paintings with our students and community on the beautiful Westmont campus We also hope that his work will open eyes to the natural world that surrounds us. For art students, there can be few better ways to learn about how to capture a landscape in movement than by encountering the work of Corot.” Venue: Westmont College. Website
Violinist Lalia Mangione of Belmont, Mich., earned a $10,000 annual music scholarship to study at Westmont for winning the Music Guild Competition on March 2. Seven high school seniors performed before a panel of judges in Westmont’s Deane Chapel. The other six musicians won smaller awards.
Mangione, concert master of the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony for the past four years, performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, Op. 64. She is also one of seven finalists in the Music Teachers National Conference Competition in Anaheim.
The other finalists were Tiffany Backe from Laguna Hills High School; Ai My (Chyna) Charbonneau from the Dubai American Academy, Al Barsha, United Arab Emirates; Sofiya Pyrkhitko of San Marcos High School; Anna Reiley from Wailea, Hawaii; Cole Syverson of Thousand Oaks High School and Katrina Whitman of Wenatchee High School in Washington state.
The judges for this competition were Grey Brothers, professor of music, Steve Butler, professor of music and music department chair, Steve Hodson, professor of music, Philip Ficsor, associate professor of music, and Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship.
The Guild Scholarship program is funded by the Guild for Music at Westmont. For information about becoming a Guild member or any aspect of this competition, please contact the Westmont Music Office at (805) 565-6040. Website
3/15/13 - Stargazers to View Jupiter and Nebula Tonight
Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope hopes to show off the planet Jupiter during a free, public viewing of the stars on Friday, March 15, beginning at about 7:30 p.m. The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening. “Jupiter will still be well-placed this evening with Callisto, one of Jupiter’s four Galilean moons, lying very close to the ball of the planet near the onset of tonight’s viewing,” says Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor. “Jupiter will lie above a beautiful, four-day-old Moon and sandwiched between Taurus’ wonderful Hyades and Pleiades open clusters.” The viewing may also feature the Great Orion Nebula. “Last month we had some fine, steady views of this stellar nursery through Westmont’s 24-inch reflector telescope,” Whittemore says. “Let’s hope the viewing is good enough this evening to see six of the Trapezium stars in the center of the nebula.”
Whittemore says the comet Pan-STARRS, lying low in the western sky just after the sun goes down, may also be visible with the naked eye. “It’ll be difficult to see on Friday and it will not be a telescopic object for Westmont’s observatory-based telescopes considering how low in the sky it will be during early twilight,” Whittemore says. “I will, however, bring a pair of binoculars just in case we get lucky.” The best time to view the comet on the western horizon will be March 12-13 between 7-7:30 p.m. Whittemore suggests binoculars to see the tail of the comet, which was discovered in 2011 by the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii.
The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field. Venue: Westmont College. Website
3/13/13 - Novelist Ron Hansen to Speak at Westmont Reading Series on March 27
Novelist Ron Hansen, author of “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” helps launch the Westmont Reading Series on Wednesday, March 27, at 8 p.m. in Fleischmann Auditorium at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, 2559 Puesta del Sol. The event is free and open to the public. “The Westmont Reading Series will annually present writers of national reputation to the Santa Barbara community,” says Paul Willis, Westmont English professor and Santa Barbara poet laureate. “We are pleased to inaugurate our series with Ron Hansen, one of the most versatile and remarkable contemporary writers of fiction. His prose is image-rich and spot-on, and he traverses a wide range of subject matters, from Jesse James to Victorian nuns, plumbing both our depravity and our spiritual depths.” Hansen has written many other novels, including, “Mariette in Ecstasy,” “Atticus,” “Hitler’s Niece,” “Isn’t It Romantic?” “Exiles,” “A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion” and most recently, “She Loves Me Not: New and Selected Stories.”
Hansen, a graduate of Creighton University, served in the military before earning a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 1974 and a Master of Arts in Spirituality from Santa Clara University. He earned a Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship at Stanford University and fellowships from the Michigan Society of Fellows, the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim, Lyndhurst and Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Foundations. Hansen teaches courses in writing and literature at Santa Clara University, where he is the Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. professor in the arts and humanities.
For more information, please contact Paul Willis at (805) 565-7174 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Venue: Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. EmailWebsite
2/22/13 - Westmont Orchestra to Feature a 'Fanfare' Premiere TONIGHT!
The Westmont Orchestra, which just finished a tour from Southern California to the Sierra, presents its Spring Orchestra Concert in Santa Barbara on Friday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. in Montecito Covenant Church, 671 Cold Spring Rd., and Sunday, Feb. 24, at 3 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave. General admission is $10, and students are free. To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact the music department at (805) 565-6040. The concerts, conducted by Michael Shasberger, Adams professor of music and worship, will feature works by Edward Elgar, Giacomo Puccini, Jean Sibilius and Modeste Mussorgsky. The orchestra will also perform a world premiere, “Fanfare on the Hymn Tune Hamburg,” arranged by Westmont student-composer Daniel Gee and based on Isaac Watts’ hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”
“I hope my arrangement arouses in us the profound tension, mystery and triumph that this wonderful hymn of the church has brought to many who have found themselves at the foot of the cross in need of Christ’s transformation,” Gee says. Soprano soloist Emmalee Wetzel, a sophomore studying music and vocal performance with Celeste Tavera, will sing “Musetta’s Waltz” from Puccini’s “La Boheme.”
The orchestra’s spring tour, Feb. 15-19, included stops in Grass Valley, Calif., Yosemite, Mariposa, Calif., and Los Angeles. Upcoming performances include the Spring Faculty Recital on Friday, March 1, at 8 p.m. in Westmont’s Deane Chapel and the Rising Star Concert, featuring world-renown guitarist Mak Grgić on Sunday, March 3, at 3 p.m. in Deane Chapel. Venue: Montecito Covenant Church. Website
2/20/13 - Event Tackles ‘War and Peace as Liberal Arts’ Beginning Feb. 21
The 12th annual Conversation on the Liberal Arts, “War and Peace as Liberal Arts,” features speaker and noted political theorist Michael Walzer Thursday, Feb. 21, at 3:30 p.m. in Winter Hall’s Darling Foundation Lecture Hall (Room 210) at Westmont. The lecture, “What is Just War Theory About?” is free and open to the public.
The conference, Feb. 21-23 at Westmont, is sponsored by the Gaede Institute for the Liberal Arts, which promotes the continued vitality of the liberal arts tradition in American higher education.
Walzer, professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, N.J., has written more than two dozen books on political theory and the ethics of war, including “Just and Unjust Wars” in 1977.
“That book brought just war theory back to prominence in American political thought and shaped public debates over the use of American military force for three decades,” says Gaede Institute director Christian Hoeckley.
This year’s conference will bring together scholars and academic leaders from around the world to address issues of peace and conflict and how a liberal arts education can equip students to address these critical social issues.
Other speakers include Sherman Jackson, noted scholar of Muslim thought, Duncan Morrow, Northern Ireland peace worker, and philosophers Jean Bethke Elshtain and Helen Frowe.
“As American higher education faces major changes, this conference offers scholars and academic administrators a place to gather to address challenges and opportunities facing liberal arts education,” Hoeckley says.
Past conference themes include “The Gendered Liberal Arts?” “The Liberal Education of Students of Faith,” and “Globalizing the Liberal Arts.”
For a complete schedule of lectures open to the public, please visit the conference program page at http://westmont.edu/gaede-conference. EmailWebsite
2/15/13 - TONIGHT! Telescope to Spy on Jupiter, Orion Nebula
Westmont’s Keck Telescope, one of the most powerful along the Central Coast, will offer glimpses of Jupiter and the Orion Nebula (Messier 42) at a free, public viewing Friday, Feb. 15, beginning about 7:30 p.m. at the Westmont Observatory. The observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through. The viewing lasts for several hours. In case of inclement weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been cancelled. Early in the viewing, Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor, says he hopes to focus the 24-inch reflector telescope on the planet Jupiter. “We may be able to see the shadow of Jupiter’s moon, Europa, cast onto the surface of the planet,” says Whittemore, who earned a master’s degree and doctorate in physics from the University of Arizona. “It will lie close to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.”
The viewing may also focus on the Orion Nebula, regarded as one of the most photographed objects in the night sky. “Located some 1,400 light-years distant, this is one of the winter sky’s most spectacular stellar nurseries,” Whittemore says. “If the view is good, we may be able to discern the six hot, blue stars that make up the Trapezium Cluster in the center of the Orion Nebula.” The viewing may also include a glimpse of Messier 35 in Gemini, the Twins. “Messier 35 is an open cluster of stars located 2,700 light-years away from Earth,” Whittemore says. “Dominated by young, hot, blue stars, this weakly bound cluster is scattered over a 24-light-year-wide region and appears about the same size as the full Moon in the night sky.”
The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field. Venue: Westmont College. Website
2/8/13 - Westmont Stages World Premiere Play-- Feb. 22-March 2
John Blondell, Westmont professor of theatre arts, directs a world premiere, “Platinum Circle: A Play in Three One-Acts,” Feb. 22-23 and 28, and March 1-2, 8 p.m. in Westmont’s Porter Theatre. Tickets are $7 for students and seniors, $10 for adults, and can be purchased online at westmont.edu/tickets or by calling (805)565-7140. Randy VanderMey, Westmont professor of English, spent more than a decade crafting the whole three-play sequence, “Cell Division,” “Fleas” and “Bluetooth Paternoster,” which probe the spiritual underside of our obsession with cell phones. “I’ve hardly made any changes to the initial drafts of any of the three plays,” VanderMey says. “When they came, they all came at white heat.”
The show features an experienced cast, including seniors Jackie Dressler and Shawnee Witt; juniors Paige Tautz, Mak Manson, Lauren White, Chris Wagstaffe and Ben Offringa; and first-year students Laura Shultz and Connor Bush. Most actors appear in one or more shows, and Manson appears in all of “The plays are wild and eccentric — mysterious and quite moving,” Blondell says. “They have a vivid, compelling use of language. We have made a show that’s contemporary, off-center, and also energetic and engaging.”
Blondell is staging one of the three acts utilizing Westmont’s new black-box theater, adjacent to Porter Theatre. The downside is it holds only 45 people, so Blondell recommends audiences get their reservations early. “I know John’s way of working with plays and actors, and I know better than to meddle,” VanderMey says. “I’m eager to see the play performed in order to learn what a brilliant director and talented actors will do with it.” Venue: Westmont College. Website
2/5/13 - Flute, Piano Recital Features Folk Music on Feb. 9
Wife and husband, Andrea (flute) and Neil Di Maggio (piano), perform some of their favorite pieces during “A Tour Through the World of Concert Flute Music: Folk Music in Classical Repertoire” on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 8 p.m. in Westmont’s Deane Chapel. The concert is free and open to the public. The performance includes Six Pieces for flute and piano by Fikret Amirov, “Variations on an Irish Theme: ‘The Last Rose of Summer’” by Friedrich Kuhlau, Sonatine for flute and piano by Henri Dutilleux, “Achat Sha’alti” by Paul Schoenfield and Sonata for flute and piano by Otar Taktakishvili. Andrea says she chose pieces that represent the composer’s country of origin by directly quoting or referencing his own folk music or relying heavily on cultural traditions of the time. “I have always been drawn to pieces that have a heavy folk music influence,” she says. “My goal is for the audience to get a feel for how folk music has made its way into the standard repertoire.” Venue: Westmont College. Website
1/29/13 - Tickets to Westmont President's Breakfast with Colin Powell on Sale Friday Morning
Retired Gen. Colin Powell, who has held senior military and diplomatic positions under four presidents, will be the keynote speaker at the eighth annual Westmont President’s Breakfast Friday, March 1, from 7-9 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom of Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort. Tickets are $125 per person and go on sale Friday, Feb. 1, at 9 a.m. at the Westmont website. Seating is limited, and tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Powell, a retired four-star general in the U.S. Army, was secretary of state under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African American to serve in that position, and the first and only African-American to serve on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Powell’s most recent New York Times bestselling book, “It Worked for Me,” reveals the lessons that shaped his life and career.
He served as President Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser from 1987-1989 and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both President George H.W. Bush and for President Bill Clinton from 1989-1993. During his time as chairman, he oversaw 28 crises, including the U.S. invasion of Panama (1989) and Operation Desert Storm in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Powell was appointed the 65th secretary of state under President George W. Bush, and he led the state department to solve regional and civil conflicts in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Congo, Haiti, Iraq, Liberia, Northern Ireland and Sudan. Powell was widely respected for using diplomacy to build trust, forge alliances and then help transform these unstable regions.
The U.S. military has given Powell many awards and decorations, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (with three Oak Leaf Clusters), the Army Distinguished Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star Medal and the Purple Heart. His civil awards include two Presidential Medals of Freedom, the President’s Citizens Medal, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Secretary of Energy Distinguished Service Medal. In addition, more than two dozen countries have honored him with awards, including a French Legion of Honor and an honorary knighthood bestowed by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain. Powell founded the Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service at his alma mater, the City College of New York, to develop a new generation of publicly engaged leaders. He founded and is chairman emeritus of America’s Promise Alliance, dedicated to improving the lives of children.
The Westmont Foundation and area businesses sponsor the President’s Breakfast to promote discussion and consideration of current issues among local community leaders. This year’s lead sponsor is Santa Barbara Bank and Trust, now part of Union Bank. Gold sponsors include Axia, Chronicle Family Offices, Davies,Ergomotion, Hub International, La Arcada, Jo and Carl Lindros, Matt Construction, Lindsay and Laurie Parton,Rabobank and V3.
Past Westmont President’s Breakfast keynote speakers include: Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state; Robert Gates, former secretary of defense, Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute and former chairman and CEO of CNN; Thomas Friedman, author of “Hot, Flat, and Crowded” and “The World is Flat”; and American historian and bestselling author David McCullough, who has twice won the Pulitzer Prize. Venue: Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort. Website
1/24/13 - Reading, New Sign to Honor Poet Stafford on Saturday
A sign dedication and poetry reading hosted by Paul Willis, professor of English at Westmont and poet laureate of Santa Barbara, will honor the life and work of William Stafford on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m. at the First Crossing Day Use Area in Los Padres National Forest, across from the Los Prietos Boys Camp, 3900 Paradise Road. In case of rain, “Remembering William Stafford: A Seventh Annual Community Gathering” will be held at the Los Prietos Ranger Station, 3505 Paradise Road. During World War II, Stafford (1914-93) spent two years serving as a conscientious objector at the Los Prietos Civilian Public Service Camp. Stafford won the National Book Award in 1963 and became poetry consultant to the Library of Congress in 1970 and poet laureate of Oregon in 1975.
“This year we will be dedicating a permanent outdoor display about William Stafford and the history of the camp and the role it played in the formation of Stafford as a poet,” Willis says. The display, co-sponsored by Westmont College and the Friends of William Stafford, was erected this fall. Paulann Petersen, the current poet laureate of Oregon and board member of the Friends of William Stafford, and Mark Sargent, provost of Westmont, will read selected Stafford works. Others in attendance will be encouraged to read a favorite Stafford poem as well.
Before the gathering, Peterson will lead a free, public poetry workshop, “Writing the Stafford Way,” from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the ranger station. Poets and would-be poets of all levels of experience are welcome to reserve a spot by contacting Willis at (805) 565-7174 or email@example.com. “The most encouraging of teachers, William Stafford urged us to use writing as a vehicle for exploration and inquiry,” she says. “During this workshop — in that spirit of welcoming what might find its way onto a page — we’ll use some Stafford poems as springboards for generating our own poems. Our goal will be to have each of us leave the workshop with an outpouring of new work.”
Those attending the reading or the workshop will not need to buy or display a Forest Service Adventure Pass. Venue: Westmont College. EmailWebsite
1/23/13 - Reading, Workshop to Feature Oregon Poet Laureate on Jan. 24
Paulann Petersen, the sixth and current poet laureate of Oregon, will read selections of her work Thursday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m. in Adams Center, room 216. The poetry reading is free and open to the public. For more information, please call Paul Willis at (805) 565-7174 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Mandi De Vos ’13, editor of the Phoenix, Westmont’s student literary magazine, will read her poetry to begin the event. Petersen, a resident of Portland, has written several books of poetry, including “The Wild Awake,” “Kindle” and “The Voluptuary.” Her most recent publication, “Shimmer and Drone,” is a chapbook of poems about India.
“Paulann Petersen is an exceedingly wise and gracious woman whose poetry, line by line, keeps dropping us into deeper places,” says Paul Willis, Westmont English professor and Santa Barbara poet laureate. Petersen is a former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She earned the Oregon Literary Arts’ 2006 Holbrook Award and serves on the board for Friends of William Stafford. She has taught numerous poetry workshops for colleges, libraries and writers’ conferences. EmailWebsite
1/23/13 - Students Offer Funny ‘Musical of Musicals’ Jan. 24-27
The Westmont Music and Theatre Arts Departments have collaborated to create a hilarious, student-produced show, “Musical of Musicals (the Musical!)” Jan, 24-26, 8 p.m. and Jan. 27, 2 p.m., in Porter Theatre. Tickets to the performance, which benefits the choir’s international tour and the theater’s Fringe Festival, cost $10, $7 for students and seniors. For more information, or to purchase tickets, please visit www.westmont.edu/musicalofmusicals or call 805-565-7140. Only cash or check will be accepted at the door. “Musical of Musicals,” written by Joanne Bogart and Eric Rockwell, premiered off-Broadway in 2003. Director Ben Offringa ’14 says the humorous play is similar to the clever spoofs that have made Spring Sing a lasting Westmont tradition.
“It’s a culminating parody of every major musical produced in the last 60 years,” he says. “I really hope audiences walk away with a smile on their face, a jig in their step and a hummable melody or two.” Offringa has starred in nearly every Westmont theatrical production in the past three years, including “Much Ado,” “Animal Farm,” “The Servant of Two Masters” and “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” Cast members include juniors Mak Manson (“Much Ado,” “Animal Farm,” and “Servant of Two Masters”), Paige Tautz (“Much Ado,” “Animal Farm,” “Peer Gynt,” and “Servant of Two Masters”), and Lauren White (“Peer Gynt”). The show features first-year students Connor Bush (“Much Ado”) and Kendall Shurance (“Much Ado”), Mack Ellis and McKenna Mender. Sophomore Luke Mizuki accompanies the performance on piano. Venue: Westmont College. Website
1/18/13 - Keck Telescope to Observe Jupiter, Moon Tonight
The moon and Jupiter will be the featured attractions of this month’s free public viewing of the stars with Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope on Friday, Jan. 18, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening. In case of inclement or overcast weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled. The moon will be at first quarter this evening of the viewing, showing a host of wonderful craters near the terminator, the dividing line between the illuminated and unilluminated part of the moon. “Among these will be the triplet of Theophilus, Cyrillus and Catharina,” says Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor. “If the seeing is good, we should be able to see many of the mountain peaks in the centers of these craters.” Jupiter will be high in the night sky, sandwiched between the Moon and the Pleiades. “The four Galilean moons of Jupiter will align with Io on one side of the planet and Europa, Ganymede and Callisto on the other side,” he says. “If the weather cooperates, we should be able to see some of the details on Jupiter’s surface.” Whittemore says one of his favorite winter open clusters, NGC 7789, will be in view. “Discovered in 1783 by Caroline Herschel, the sister of William Herschel, this cluster is known as the White Rose Cluster because when seen visually, the loops of stars and dark lanes look like the swirling pattern of rose petals as seen from above,” he says.
The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field. Here is a pdf of the campus map. Venue: Westmont College. Website
1/9/13 - Basketball Game, Fundraiser to Honor Moore on Saturday
Westmont hosts the Alex Moore Classic, a basketball game and fundraiser that honors the life of Alex Moore, on Saturday, Jan. 12, at 5:30 p.m. in Murchison Gym. Proceeds from the event will benefit Kirsten Moore and their baby, Alexis, who was born seven weeks after Alex’s death, as well as research for Crohn’s disease. Alex’s widow, Kirsten, is the Westmont head women’s basketball coach. Tickets begin at $25 for general admission; $10 for children 12 and under. For more information, please visit westmont.edu/alex-moore-classic/ or call (805) 565-6224. Alex Moore, a kinesiology professor at Westmont, died in May from complications following surgery for Crohn’s disease. He was 31.
President Gayle D. Beebe says he has been touched and encouraged to see the Westmont community rally in support for those hurting or dealing with loss. “We seek to assist Kirsten and Alexis in every tangible way possible, including financial,” he says. “I’m delighted to witness the love and concern for Kirsten that has inspired the Alex Moore Classic and the many people who have stepped forward to make this event a success and a blessing for Alex’s wife and daughter.” The event includes a raffle for an all-expense paid, four-night trip for two to New Orleans. The prize includes airfare and a luxury hotel in the French Quarter, and the opportunity to be Kirsten’s guests at the 2013 NCAA Women’s Final Four games. The drawing will take place at halftime of the women’s game. The evening includes live music by the Westmont pep band and choir and special concessions.
Westmont will be defending its Golden State Athletic Conference Championship against San Diego Christian. The men’s basketball game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Kirsten and Alex met at Westmont in 2005 when she became the college’s head women’s basketball coach. They got married in 2008.
Moore, a Wheaton College alumnus, was an adjunct instructor at Westmont for both the kinesiology and biology departments from 2004-06. He earned a doctorate at the University of Missouri and returned to teach at Westmont in fall 2010. His research specialized in microcirculation, focusing on hair-sized arteries and the regulation of blood flow to tissue. Venue: Westmont College. Website
1/8/13 - Talk to Explore Origins with ‘Ancient Eyes’
John H. Walton, professor of Old Testament at Wheaton College, lectures about “Origins Today: Genesis through Ancient Eyes” Wednesday, Jan. 9, at 4:30 p.m. in Page Multipurpose Room at Westmont College. The Westmont Biology, Chemistry and Religious Studies Departments and the Office of the Provost sponsor the talk, which is free and open to the public. After his one-hour lecture, Walton will answer questions from the audience for 30 minutes. Walton’s research focuses on comparative studies between the Old Testament and the ancient Near East. In biblical studies, his particular interest is in Genesis. He was the general editor for a five volume series, “Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary Set: Old Testament,” and the general editor of Baker Books’ “Teach the Text Commentary Series.” He has written many other books, including “The Lost World of Genesis One: Ancient Cosmology and the Origins Debate” and “Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament: Introducing the Conceptual World of the Hebrew Bible.” Walton, who graduated from Muhlenberg College, earned a master’s degree from Wheaton Graduate School and a doctorate from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He joined the Wheaton faculty in 2001 after teaching at the Moody Bible Institute for two decades. Venue: Westmont College. Website
12/10/12 - Westmont to Feature Top Violist Helen Callus TONIGHT!
Acclaimed British violist Helen Callus, professor of viola at UC Santa Barbara since 2003, will perform works by Bach, Beethoven, Jean-Marie LeClair and Dmitri Shostakovitch at a free, public concert, “The Viola Alone Plus Friends,” Monday, Dec. 10, at 8 p.m. in Westmont’s Deane Chapel. For more information, please contact the Westmont Music Department at (805) 565-6040. Callus, who has performed with such world-class ensembles as the Tokyo and Juilliard String Quartets and the BBC Concert Orchestra, will be joined with Michael Lieberman (viola), viola faculty at Westmont, Jacob Braun (cello), a lecturer in cello at UCSB, and Pascal Salomon (piano), a Doctoral of Musical Arts degree candidate at UCSB. Callus is also an award-winning recording artist, having released “J.S. Bach: Six Cello Suites on Viola,” a two-CD recording in 2011, “Romeo and Juliet” in 2007, “Helen Callus performs Walton, Vaughan Williams, Howells and Bowen” in 2006 and “A Portrait of the Viola” in 2002. Callus has performed around the world at venues in Russia, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and throughout the U.S. As a visiting professor, she has taught more than 40 master classes and given residencies at some of the nation’s leading schools of music, including the Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, Rice School of Music, Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music, as well as for the American String Teachers Association National Conference and the Suzuki Association. Venue: Westmont College. Website
12/7/12 - Family Event to Feature ‘Story Painting’ on Saturday
The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art, in conjunction with its current exhibition, “Dreamkeepers: Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art,” hosts an educational, family workshop, “Story Painting,” Saturday, Dec. 8, from noon to 3 p.m. at the front of the museum. The hands-on painting event is free and open to the public, especially families with children age 6-12. Didgeridoo player William Thoren will perform and tell two children’s stories to explain the history of the didgeridoo. Families will be able to tour the exhibition, which features the vibrant works of 15 contemporary Australian aboriginal painters, and learn about Australia, its culture, and how to paint similar stories using the same symbols and techniques as the aboriginal artists. Art supplies and snacks will be provided for the hands-on, family-friendly activity. “The family workshop is a great way to introduce children and their parents to a new culture,” says Judy L. Larson, Askew professor of art history and director of the museum. “Families will hear the stories behind these incredible paintings and learn a little about the makers.” The exhibition will be on display in the museum through Jan. 19. The museum is open weekdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and will be closed for Christmas break, Dec. 17-Jan. 6. For more information, call (805) 565-6162. Venue: Westmont College. Website
12/5/12 - Entrepreneurial Students to Present Business Ventures
Four final venture teams will face off at the 23rd annual Collegiate Entrepreneurs Business Plan Competition on Thursday, Dec. 6, from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in Westmont’s Founders Room. The competition is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served and networking will begin at 4:45 p.m. Thirty-four students in Westmont’s Entrepreneurship and New Venture Development class formed 10 venture teams, and a separate screening panel, which included David Newton, professor of entrepreneurship, selected the final four. In August, the students began looking at the market, searching for gaps before creating a feasibility study. The final four ventures are: Earthos Corp., an online, interactive marketplace for service-ministry and other non-profit organizations to sell products direct to like-minded conscientious consumers (Dave Gaultiere, Aaron Bailey, Nick Cruz); INtertainment LLC, arranging advertising agreements for emerging product companies in video games, film and music videos (Dallas LaPrelle, Colby Dundas, Spencer Cripe); LEEF by S.K.S. Technologies, providing immediate, reliable, digital back-up and storage of photos (Ryan Stalker, Taylor Skidmore, Filipp Kozachuk); and Nomad.com, a one-stop planning/booking resource for camping trips and equipment (Davis Darnall, Sterling Montes, Tyler Nordlund, Henry Prevette). The judges include Susan Block, investment banker at Block-Bowman & Associates; Peter Dealy, president of West End Partners; Eli Eisenberg, founder and CEO of Straight Line Management; Barry Fay, president of McConnell’s Ice Cream and owner of Montecito Growth Advisors; and Jason Spievak, CEO of RingRevenue and former CFO of Callwave.
Since 1990, more than 70 former students of Newton’s have launched and managed their own ventures, and 28 venture teams have gone on to compete in national venture forums. “The students learn the importance of teamwork while managing their time and meeting deadlines on multiple tasks and projects,” Newton says. “They oversee an entirely self-directed endeavor from conception of the idea through their formal presentation.” Venue: Westmont College. EmailWebsite
More than 20 dancers will perform nine pieces choreographed by Westmont students and faculty members, Susan Alexander, Leah Benson and Christina Sanchez, in the fall dance recital, “Motion/Emotion,” on Thursday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 8, both at 8 p.m. in Porter Theatre. Tickets, $10 for general admission; $7 for students and seniors, can be purchased at the door. Miller James, adjunct professor of theatre arts, has designed the costumes for the show that includes the lighting design of Robert Hamel, assistant professor of theatre arts. Alexander, who directs the recital, says the program includes many different styles of dance, including abstract, pure-movement pieces and dance/theatre creations. “The audience will interpret the works differently, while being inspired by the physicality of the dancers and the emotion-evoking content,” she says. Student choreographers Emily Auman and Candace Adams will perform their own works. Benson, an alumna and adjunct faculty member, has choreographed a dance for the students in her jazz class. Alexander and Sanchez, both adjunct faculty members, have worked with the seven female students in their dance performance class.
Alexander was professor of modern dance at the Paris Conservatory of Music and Dance from 1989-2008 and for the Paris Opera Ballet Company from 1985-2008. A graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Alexander earned a master’s degree in dance at Mills College. Benson earned a bachelor’s degree from Westmont in 2006, trained with Aerial Dance Chicago (ADC), Trapeze School of New York (Chicago) and Aloft Loft (Chicago) before graduating from the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA). She is an accomplished dancer and circus artist, having performed with NECCA and ADC, where she also taught.
Sanchez, a member of the Santa Barbara Dance Theatre, directed by Christopher Pilafian, performs a solo choreographed by Pilafian. She has performed and toured throughout Europe, South America and the U.S. with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She has also performed with Ballet Hispanico of New York, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Buglisi Foreman Dance. Venue: Westmont College. EmailWebsite
11/30/12 - Exhibit Showcases Colorful Aboriginal Art
The Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art features the works of 15 contemporary Australian aboriginal painters in “Dreamkeepers: Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art” through Jan. 19.The museum is open weekdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and will be closed for Christmas break, Dec. 17-Jan. 6. For more information, call (805) 565-6162. The exhibition includes large and colorful paintings with energetic patterns and rhythmic compositions. The artwork is used to preserve the stories of Australian aboriginal people, the oldest surviving culture in the world. “It is my hope that our visitors will respond not only to the beauty of these contemporary art works but will learn something about aboriginal history, the relationships between individuals and families and the aboriginal people’s relationship to the land,” says Judy L. Larson, Askew professor of art history and director of the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. “Each painting describes a unique narrative treasured by the family who owns that story.” According to Australian aboriginal tradition, life on Earth began with the Dreaming. Rather than a point in history, it is something that informs the spiritual lives of aborigines and defines nearly every aspect of their day today. “There is a world behind the dots and lines of these paintings,” says Brandon Waybright ’09, Westmont museum outreach and education coordinator. “They represent history, growth, community, ceremony and even life itself. “While Western cultures often focus on reproducing a visual impression, these works are made through reduction — distilling stories and activities to signs, symbols, points and lines. What is perhaps most difficult to grasp is that these paintings are created not only as representations, but as an outgrowth of spiritual experience. The painting emerges as a part of the Dreaming itself.” Venue: Westmont College. Website
11/26/12 - Pickle Tree Lighting to Usher in Christmas Season
Hundreds of Westmont students, faculty, staff and alumni will crowd onto Kerrwood Lawn for the 11th annual Christmas Tree Lighting, featuring the college’s famous 150-foot redwood tree, affectionately known as the Pickle Tree, on Wednesday, Nov. 28. Festivities outside Kerrwood Hall will include the Westmont Gospel Choir singing Christmas carols and the annual Pickle Tree Address, beginning at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Inside Kerrwood Hall, there will be warm apple cider and cookies. Santa will pose for pictures with alumni beginning at 4 p.m. and at 5 p.m. for others who bring canned goods to donate to the Unity Shoppe, a local volunteer program that helps the less fortunate in Santa Barbara. The Westmont College Student Association (WCSA) has selected Ken Kihlstrom, professor of physics, to deliver the often-humorous Pickle Address. The WCSA is also keeping secret who will throw the switch to light the tree For more information, please call (805) 565-6056 or email email@example.com. Venue: Westmont College. Website
11/15/12 - Ceramic Art Show, Sale to Break the Mold
Visitors to the Holiday Ceramic Show and Sale, which opened Thursday, Nov. 15, in the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art, will be able to purchase and walk out the door with items from the exhibition. The show runs through Dec. 14. “It’s different than past ceramic exhibitions in the gallery, in that this is going to be a cash-and-carry sale,” says Christopher Rupp, museum collections manager, who will also be exhibiting his artwork. “People will be able to buy work on the spot and take it home with them.” The exhibition features the works of 18 different artists from eight different states, including Sunshine Cobb, Victoria Christen, Ann Tubbs, Ryan Greenheck, Michael Hunt and Naomi Dalglish, Sean O’Connell, Ronn Linn, Kyle Carpenter, Sue Tirrell, David Crane, Kristin Pavelka, David Eichelberger, Sandra Torres, Deanna Pini, Joan Rosenberg-Dent and Rupp. “There will be all kinds of ceramics displayed, functional and non-functional,” Rupp says. “There’ll be some beautiful mugs and a mix of other things too.”
The museum closes the year with “Dreamkeepers: Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art,” which opens Thursday, Nov. 29. Venue: Westmont College. Website
11/2/12 - TONIGHT! Students to Showcase Their Musical Talents
Westmont student composers, vocalists and instrumentalists showcase their talents in several concerts this November. All performances are free and open to the public. The new works of 10 student composers highlight the Composers Concert on Friday, Nov. 2, at 8 p.m. in Deane Chapel. Students Steven Yoo, Peter Harrison, Liz Nadolny, Emilee Letsinger, Andrew Combs, Emily Rutherford, Jacob Elliott, Nathan Frank, Joshua Stratton and Daniel Gee will present an eclectic mix of pieces performed by the composers and/or fellow students. Venue: Westmont College. EmailWebsite
Westmont professors Jeff Schloss and Tremper Longman III will explore a range of issues in the relationship between Genesis and science in a free, public lecture, Thursday, Nov. 8, at University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St. Tickets are not needed, although the limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please call 565-6051. The lecture, “Origins: A Biologist and a Biblical Scholar Discuss Genesis and Scientific Accounts,” is part of Westmont Downtown: Conversations about Things that Matter, which is sponsored by the Westmont Foundation. Schloss, T.B. Walker professor in the natural and behavioral sciences and director of the Center for Faith, Ethics and the Life Sciences, says although the relationship between science and religion has generated prominent debate, there is room for enriching consonance. “Some theists and atheists assert that we must choose between evolution and the Christian faith,” he says. “Others claim there is no conflict or even any significant overlap between the two. Actually, there may be deep concord yet also some tensions, depending on the issue and how we interpret the science and the Scriptures.”
“Genesis celebrates God as Creator of everything, but it does not tell us how he did it,” says Longman, Robert Gundry professor of biblical studies.
Longman has written dozens of books, including “Science, Creation and the Bible: Reconciling Rival Theories of Origins,” “Making Sense of the Old Testament: Three Crucial Questions,” “How to Read Genesis” and “The Expanded Bible,” which includes the Old Testament. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio Wesleyan University, a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary and a Master of Philosophy and doctorate from Yale University. He has been teaching at Westmont since 1998. Schloss has written and edited several major books about the interactions between evolutionary theory and religious faith, including “The Believing Primate: Scientific, Philosophical, and Theological Perspectives on the Origin of Religion,” “Evolution and Ethics: Human Morality in Biological and Religious Perspective” and “Altruism and Altruistic Love: Science, Philosophy, and Religion in Dialogue.” He earned a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and a doctorate from Washington University. He has been teaching at Westmont since 1981.
The lecture series is sponsored by the Westmont Foundation, which hosts the annual President’s Breakfast in Santa Barbara to promote discussion and consideration of current issues among local community leaders.
Venue: University Club. EmailWebsite
As part of the college’s 75th anniversary celebration, Westmont Festival Theatre features the work of seven alumni in William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” Oct. 26 at 8:30 p.m., Oct. 27 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Nov. 1-3 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7 for students and seniors, $10 for adults, and can be purchased online at www.westmont.edu/boxoffice or by calling (805) 565-7140. Award-winning director Mitchell Thomas says “Much Ado” is his favorite Shakespearean comedy, and he’s wanted to direct it for some time. “Whenever I tell people that I am directing ‘Much Ado,’ they say, ‘Oh! I love that play!’ he says. “I love it too. There is always a bit of pressure when directing something from the canon, but what’s remarkable is how fresh, funny and modern the play feels in the rehearsal room. Expectations fall away and we just get to revel in the opportunity to work on a very, very good play.” The alumni design/production team includes: Jonathan Hicks ’04 (lighting design), Elizabeth Hess ’97 (dramaturgy), Lynne Martens ’08 (costume design), Cameron Squire ’05 (production management/technical direction), Gregory Wadsworth ’06 (composer / sound design), Leah Benson ’08 (choreography), and Ben Johnson ’11 (art design). “All of the alumni have gone on to graduate school or professional careers in their respective areas, and we’re very excited to showcase their work for our community and to have them interact with our current students,” Thomas says. The play is set on the idyllic coast of Italy at the turn of the century on a winemaker’s seaside estate. “It will be a beautifully designed show that we hope gets at the heart of the romance, danger, passion, farce and love that this play contains,” he says. “‘Much Ado’ is a riotously funny, beautiful and challenging play and I am grateful to get to work on it and share it with our audiences.”
Thomas, associate professor of theater arts, racked up two more Indys this year for his acting roles in “Peer Gynt” and “Creditors.” He earned an Indy in 2010 for directing “The Bald Soprano.” Venue: Westmont College. Website
10/19/12 - Save the Date! -- Telescope to Zoom in on the Blue Snowball -- October 19
Westmont’s powerful Keck Telescope will focus on a planetary nebula known as the Blue Snowball (NGC 7662) during the monthly viewing of the stars, Friday Oct. 19. The free event is held every third friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit and begins after 6:30 p.m. and lasts several hours. The best viewing generally occurs later in the evening. In case of inclement or overcast weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled. “The Blue Snowball, located in Andromeda about 1,800 light-years away, is a wonderful object that should appear as a blue haze with its white dwarf at its center,” says Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor.
The viewing may also feature the Double Cluster in Perseus, which is generally easily visible to the naked eye. “This twosome is a beautiful sight in a telescope at low power,” Whittemore says. “They are both located in close proximity towards the Perseus arm of our galaxy about 7,000 light-years away, which is very young for open star clusters. Their apparent size is about the diameter of the full moon, so they fill the field of an amateur telescope.” Whittemore says he also hopes to show off the Blinking Planetary (NGC 6826) in Cygnus, the Swan. “This planetary nebula plays tricks on your eyes,” he says. “If you focus on its central white dwarf star, its haze vanishes. However, if you pay attention to the haze, the star’s atmosphere shooting out into space, you see the white dwarf. You be the judge. Is it really blinking?” The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field. Venue: Westmont College. Website
10/17/12 - Penksa Discusses the EU, Its Nobel Prize
Susan Penksa, Westmont political science professor and co-author of the book “The European Union in Global Security: The Politics of Impact” reacts to the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to the EU. She says that European integration played an indispensable role in fostering peace and security in Western Europe.
“The rationale behind the EU was to make another war in Europe both ‘unthinkable and materially impossible,’” she says. “The Nobel Peace prize lauds six decades of remarkable successes by the EU in building ‘peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights.’ It also serves as a symbolic encouragement to Europe during a period of economic crisis, social upheaval, and xenophobic nationalism. The European idea of peace and security through integration is as salient and transformative today as it was in the aftermath of the Second World War. The solution to the problems facing Europe is more integration, not less. And, as our book details, when the EU speaks and acts as a coherent bloc in global affairs, the international community benefits.”
Penksa, senior associate at the IES in Brussels where she was a visiting research fellow in 2010, speaks at two upcoming events in Brussels. She will give a presentation and sign books on Nov. 6 at Waterstones Bookstore. She will also discuss the outcome of the U.S. presidential election and its implications for Europe and trans-Atlantic relations at an event sponsored by the Heinrich Boll Foundation on Nov. 7.
Penksa serves as a member of the research team on European foreign and security policy, led by Eva Gross, senior IES research fellow. The U.S. Department of State awarded Penksa a follow-on Fulbright grant in 2010, which allowed her to return to Bosnia and Herzegovina to build on the work of her 2007 fellowship. She is currently consulting for the U.S. Army Combat Studies Institute on post-conflict military and police reform. EmailWebsite
10/16/12 - Save the Date! -- Museum Features Diverse Works of Alumni -- October 18
For the first time, Westmont dedicates an entire art show to its talented alumni in “Journeys: Westmont Alumni Artists’ Invitational” on Oct. 18-Nov. 17 in the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. An opening reception with the 12 artists on Thursday, Oct. 18, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum is free and open to the public.
The alumni, including Ben Caldwell ’06, Robin Eley ’01, Cheyenne Ellis ’00, John Morra ’85 and Cheryl Ann Thomas ’65, will display several different types of art such as painting, photography, sculpture, furniture design, assemblage and drawing. “They’ll be some great art in varying media — it will be diverse,” says Judy L. Larson, Askew professor of art history and director of the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art. “All the artists have a similar undergraduate education, yet they have gone in different directions. The work speaks to the foundation in art that our students are receiving here.”
“The show is an important reflection of some success stories from our art department over the past 26 years,” says Christopher Rupp ’00, museum collections manager who will also be exhibiting his artwork. “The show is in conjunction with the college’s 75th anniversary and is a retrospective of where we have come and where we are going. By no means is this an all encompassing show — it’s merely a selection of some featured alumni. There are many more doing great things.” Other alumni who will be showing their work include David Shelton ’70, Judy Neunuebel ’69, Joel Phillips ’11, Nicholas Price ’06, Sharon Schock ’06, Cory Steffen ’97.
The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and college holidays. For more information, please visit www.westmontmuseum.org or contact the museum at (805) 565-6162. Venue: Westmont College. Website
10/3/12 - Save the Date! -- Shedding Light on Election Fallacies -- October 15
Tom Knecht, Westmont associate professor of political science, examines the U.S. election process and voter’s misguided approach to the system in “You’re Voting Wrong! How Americans Get Elections Wrong and Why It Matters,” on Monday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. at Kerrwood Hall in Hieronymus Lounge.
The Paul C. Wilt Phi Kappa Phi Faculty Lecture is free and open the public. Jesse Covington, assistant professor of political science, and Wayne Iba, professor of computer science, will respond to Knecht’s talk. As the 2012 presidential election approaches, Americans’ confidence in government has never been lower, but Knecht says much of the blame is attributable to voters, not politicians. “To view elections as a selection process means you believe a single vote might affect the outcome of an election,” Knecht says. “It won’t. In fact, you have a greater chance of being struck by lightning on your way to the polling booth than your vote mattering in an instrumental sense. Instead of instrumental voting, I argue that voting only makes sense as an expressive act. “I hope my talk will lead people to reevaluate their philosophy of voting and elections.” Knecht, a Stanford graduate who earned a master’s degree and doctorate at UC Santa Barbara, has written a book, “Paying Attention to Foreign Affairs: How Public Opinion Affects Presidential Decision Making.” He has also published research papers, “A Pragmatic Response to an Unexpected Constraint: Problem Representation in a Complex Humanitarian Emergency” to Foreign Policy Analysis, Vol. 5 and “Humanizing the Homeless: Does Contact Erode Stereotypes,” for the journal Social Science Research. An article, “Engaging the Reluctant? Service Learning, Interpersonal Contact and Attitudes Toward the Homeless,” was recently published in the journal, PS: Political Science & Politics. Venue: Westmont College. EmailWebsite
9/27/12 - Save the Date! -- Talk to Probe Religion in the 2012 Election -- October 11
Two Westmont professors discuss how religious factors are influencing the upcoming U.S. presidential election. Jesse Covington, assistant professor of political science, and Telford Work, associate professor of religious studies, will talk about “Religion in the 2012 Election: What Difference Is It Making?” Thursday, Oct. 11, at
5:30 p.m. at the University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St. The event, part of Westmont Downtown: Conversations about Things that Matter, is free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed, although the limited seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please call (805) 565-6051.
The talk will explore the interrelation of religion and party affiliation in the electorate, the salience of religion-specific issues, such as the Health and Human Services mandate regarding insurance coverage of contraception. Covington and Work will also explore the way in which religious subcultures have shaped the character and leadership of candidates, religious dimensions of foreign policy and ways in which candidates’ theology relates to public policy.
“I hope that the talk will help provide a more nuanced understanding of the ways in which religion has shaped the candidates’ character and policy views,” Covington says. “I also hope that it will facilitate careful and self-conscious appreciation of the role that religion plays in our own assessment of candidates and in the ways that others evaluate the candidates.”
Covington earned a master’s and doctorate in political science from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree in religion from Westminster Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree from Pepperdine University. The California native recently contributed a chapter on Augustine to a book, “Natural Law and Evangelical Political Thought,” which he also co-edited and will be published later this year. He also contributed to a chapter, “John Locke: Toward a Politics of Liberty,” in “Freedom and the Human Person.” In 2010, he earned Westmont’s Teacher of the Year award in Social Sciences.
Work, who earned a doctorate in religion from Duke University, has written several books, including “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg: Living Through the Lord’s Prayer,” “Deuteronomy (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible)” and “Living and Active: Scripture in the Economy of Salvation.” Work earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stanford University and a master’s degree in biblical studies and theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. The lecture series is sponsored by the Westmont Foundation, which hosts the annual President’s Breakfast in Santa Barbara to promote discussion and consideration of current issues among local community leaders. Venue: University Club. EmailWebsite
9/21/12 - Sargent to be Installed as Westmont Provost, Dean
Westmont officially installs Mark L. Sargent as provost and dean of faculty at a special convocation Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 10:30 a.m. in Murchison Gym. Speakers will include Eileen McMahon McQuade, vice chair of the faculty and chair of the biology department; Jane Higa, dean of students and vice president for student life; former Westmont president Stan Gaede; Carla Sanderson, provost and executive vice president at Union University; Ron Mahurin, vice president of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities; and members of Sargent’s family.
Westmont will hold several free, public events in conjunction with Sargent’s installation, including a panel discussion on the theme “Awakening the Moral Imagination” on Oct. 3 from 3:30-5:15 p.m. in Page Multipurpose Room. Sargent and Gaede will host the conversation that will include comments by several faculty members.
Sargent and a few faculty colleagues will also host Reel Talk on Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 8:30 p.m. in Porter Theatre, reflecting on various cinematic scenes that have been meaningful in their lives. Reel Talk, sponsored by the Gaede Institute for the Liberal Arts, gives the Westmont community an opportunity to discuss challenging social, philosophical, or theological questions raised in films. An American literature professor, Sargent has also been a commentator on film for National Public Radio.
Ben Patterson, campus pastor, will lead a time of prayer for Sargent Oct. 3 at 7:30 a.m. in Hieronymus Lounge in Kerrwood Hall.
Sargent has worked in higher education for more than 30 years and the past 16 as provost of Gordon College in Wenham, Mass. Previously, he was vice president and chief academic officer at Spring Arbor University in Michigan and the associate dean at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif. He has served as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands and been selected as the national Chief Academic Officer of the Year by the Council of Independent Colleges.
Sargent earned a bachelor’s degree at UC Santa Barbara and a master’s and doctorate at Claremont Graduate University. He is married to Arlyne, who graduated from Westmont, as did their son, Daniel, who is currently pursuing graduate studies in London. Their daughter, Andrea, is a sophomore at Westmont. Their oldest son, Bradford, a graduate of Houghton College and American University, also lives in Santa Barbara. EmailWebsite
9/20/12 - Entrepreneur, Alumnus to Lead New Westmont Program
Rick Ifland ’83, a successful entrepreneur and private equity investor, will direct Westmont’s Eaton Program for Entrepreneurship and Innovation beginning Nov. 1. He will also teach business courses as associate professor of economics and business, a non-tenure-track position. During his interim appointment, Ifland will take a leave of absence from the Westmont Board of Trustees and Board of Advisors.
Drawing on his experience as volunteer chairman of Westmont’s Bright Hope for Tomorrow Campaign, Ifland will work to complete funding for the Eaton Program and the Eaton Chair in Economics and Business. To fill the endowed faculty position, Westmont will seek a distinguished, effective leader with business experience and a passion for undergraduate teaching who can strengthen the economics and business program and expand its global focus. Trustee Emeritus David Eaton and his wife, Carol, contributed the leadership gift for the faculty chair.
“I love the ministry of Westmont, and I look forward to a more active involvement with the academic program,” Ifland says. “Westmont, with its rich history and tradition of combining academic rigor with a deep Christian faith, stands at the crossroads of faith and learning, giving it an unmatched positional advantage in engaging the business world for eternal significance. We have the opportunity, through the Eaton Program, to demonstrate how faith can inform and shape successful businesswomen and businessmen around the globe.”
“Rick is one of our most distinguished alumni,” says President Gayle D. Beebe. “He’s been a faithful board member — I’ll never forget how he dropped everything to fly to Santa Barbara the day after the Tea Fire to help us with our recovery. He’ll be a terrific mentor for our students and an effective networker in the Santa Barbara business community.”
“Rick’s considerable business experience and heart for the college will benefit us as we develop plans for the future of the economics and business program,” says Westmont Provost Mark Sargent. “I have been impressed by how deeply he wants to serve our students — to mentor and advise them as they chart their own journeys.”
Professor Edd Noell, who chairs the economics and business department, is pleased to welcome Ifland. “As an alumnus, parent of Westmont students, and member of the Board of Advisors, Rick has faithfully demonstrated a clear identity with our mission to prepare students to be thoughtful persons of integrity in representing Christ in the fields of economics and business,” Noell says. “He brings valuable experience as an entrepreneur and reflective scholar in the legal and moral dimensions of business. We’re confident our students will benefit from his work both in the classroom and in building their connections to the Santa Barbara business community.”
Ifland majored in economics and business at Westmont and earned an M.B.A. at the University of Kentucky and a master’s degree in international law at Oxford University. He started a company that transformed automation in the mortgage credit industry, eventually selling it to a Fortune 500 company. He has since purchased 24 companies, improving and then selling 17 of them. Still active in seven ventures as the general partner of Oxford Holdings LLC, he plans to engage students in his work, exposing them to businesses as varied as construction infrastructure, aeromedicine and global research.
While excellence in business typically translates into making a profit, Ifland also seeks to make a difference. He’s led and established non-governmental organizations to help the poor in the Middle East and Africa and uses his business experience to advise various ministries.
Ifland met his wife, Neile Allen Ifland ’84, at Westmont, and their two oldest children are graduates. Dani Ifland Upton ’07 stays home to care for her toddler while expecting a second child. Kirby ’09 graduates from Harvard Law School in 2013 and will practice law in Kentucky. Crawford ’15 just began his sophomore year at Westmont.
Ifland looks forward to sharing his passion for business with students. “Westmont changed my life,” he says, “teaching me how to learn, how to think and how to care. I want to inspire students to embrace hard work, avoid easy answers, seek daily excellence and dive deeper into the important things in life.”
9/18/12 - New Professor Examines Psychology of Culture
Carmel Gabriel Saad, who joins Westmont this fall as an assistant professor of psychology, is an Egyptian-American whose research focuses on bicultural identities and is interested in studying dual non-cultural identities and creativity.
Saad’s parents are both Egyptians who immigrated to the United States about 30 years ago. “I was raised in a traditional Egyptian family and had to reconcile it with my American identity,” she says. “That’s where my research comes from — it’s a natural extension of my personal experiences.”
“I examine how individuals reconcile sometimes competing cultures into a cohesive sense of self,” she says. She also hopes to study individuals with dual, non-cultural identities, such as people integrating their Christian identity in a secular society. “I am interested in how bicultural individuals, who have been able to integrate their dual identities into a cohesive sense of self, are more creative in multicultural contexts,” she says.
Saad graduated from UC Santa Barbara and earned a Master of Arts degree and a doctorate from UC Davis. She has taught at Napa Valley College, UC Davis and the University of the Pacific.
“I really like the balance that Westmont has in devoting time to the students and to the creation of knowledge, and the integration of the Christian faith into the curriculum,” she says. “Sharing my Christian faith with students and integrating it into the teaching, that’s something unique. Coming from public institutions, I do not have a lot of experience with that, but am certainly eager to learn. It makes the undergraduate experience more meaningful when you can develop the whole person: the intellectual side and their faith and character.
“The students are very engaged, welcoming and eager to learn, which is one of the reasons I chose to come to Westmont. I can have a more intimate relationship with the students and important conversations about the discipline.”
Saad, who was born in the U.S., has traveled to Egypt a handful of times throughout her life, visiting relatives and experiencing the Egyptian way of life. “It’s a life-changing experience,” she says. “It’s something you can’t learn about without actually being there and seeing it with your own eyes.
“I’m impressed that many Westmont students study abroad to experience other cultures because it makes for a very meaningful educational experience,” she says. EmailWebsite
9/13/12 - Save the Date! -- Philosophy Professor Probes Faith, Reason -- September 13
Westmont alumnus Jerry H. Gill ’56, adjunct professor of philosophy, religious studies and humanities at Pima Community College in Tucson, Ariz., explores the relationship between faith and reason in a free, public lecture, “Faith and/or Reason,” Friday, Sept. 14, at 3:30 p.m. in Hieronymus Lounge at Kerrwood Hall. Gill, professor emeritus of philosophy and religious studies at the College of St. Rose in Albany, N.Y., will focus his talk on Blaise Pascal’s statement, “The heart has reasons that reason knows not of.” He will also consider Michael Polanyi’s idea of tacit knowledge, which is the type of knowledge that’s relies on intangible factors, such as personal intuitions, and is difficult to articulate with language. After graduating from Westmont, Gill earned a master’s degree at the University of Washington, a Master of Divinity from New York Theological Seminary and a doctorate in philosophy of religion from Duke University. He has authored 20 books, including “Deep Postmodernism: Whitehead, Wittgenstein, Merleau-Ponty and Polanyi,” “Enduring Questions: Traditional and Contemporary Voices” and “If a Chimpanzee Could Talk and Other Reflections on Language Acquisition.” He has published more than 100 articles in professional journals such as Mind, Theology Today, Philosophy Today, Religious Studies and Process Studies.
He has also taught at Seattle Pacific University, Rhodes College, Eckerd College, Eastern University, Barrington College and Dongbei University of Finance and Economics. Venue: Westmont College. EmailWebsite
9/10/12 - Save the Date! -- Westmont Faculty to Perform in Fall Recital -- September 14
Members of the music faculty at Westmont present a recital featuring the works of Mendelssohn, Bach and Stephen Sondheim on Friday, Sept. 14, at 8 p.m. in Deane Chapel. The event is free and open to the public. Performers include John Sant’Ambrogio, cello; Nichole Dechaine, soprano; Andrea Di Maggio, flute; Neil Di Maggio, piano; Paula Hatley, piano; Steve Hodson, organ; Robert Rockabrand, tenor; Michael Shasberger, baritone; Celeste Tavera, soprano; and Anthony Ybarra, guitar. The diverse program also includes R. Vaughan Williams’ “Love-Sight” from the House of Life and Francois Borne’s “Carmen Fantasy.” The music department welcomed seven new instructors this fall including Tamsen Beseke, violin; Yue Deng, violin; Trey Farrell, clarinet; Marisa McLeod, string chamber ensemble; Adelle Rodkey, clarinet; John Wakefield, percussion; and Laurence Young, music history and clarinet.
For more information, please call the music department at (805) 565-6040. Venue: Westmont College. EmailWebsite
9/5/12 - Save the Date! -- Lecture to Explore Hume, ‘True Religion’ -- September 6
Lee Hardy, professor of philosophy at Calvin College, lectures about “Hume’s Defense of True Religion” Thursday, Sept. 6, from 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. at Hieronymus Lounge in Westmont’s Kerrwood Hall. The talk, based on an essay in a forthcoming anthology from Notre Dame University Press, is free and open to the public. Jim Taylor, Westmont professor of philosophy, says many scholars think that the 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume was an anti-religion agnostic — or even a closet atheist. “However, Dr. Hardy reads Hume as an Enlightenment deist who likes the design argument for God’s existence and is critical only of what Hume calls ‘vulgar religion,’ as opposed to ‘genuine theism.’” Hardy, who has written several research papers, published a book, “The Fabric of This World: Inquiries into Calling, Career Choice, and the Design of Human Work,” which describes the philosophy of labor and explores career choice, management and job design. Hardy earned a bachelor’s degree from Trinity Christian College, master’s degrees from Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh and a doctorate from Duquesne. In 2007, Calvin College gave him the Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching. Venue: Westmont College. EmailWebsite
9/4/12 - Save the Date! -- Orchestra to Perform at Santa Ynez Church -- September 16
The Westmont Orchestra, under the direction of Michael Shasberger, Adams professor or music and worship, will perform during two worship services Sunday, Sept. 16, at 9 a.m. and 10:20 a.m. at Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church, 1825 Alamo Pintado Road. The worship service is free and open to the public. The orchestra will perform “All Creatures of Our God and King,” “Be Thou My Vision,” “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” and “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” the college hymn. For more information, please contact the church at (805) 688-4440. Venue: Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church. Website
8/31/12 - Save the Date! -- Students to Show Off Summer Research -- September 6
Twenty-five students will exhibit their summer research projects Thursday, Sept. 6, from 4-6 p.m. in Winter Hall. “A Celebration of Summer Research at Westmont” is free and open to the public. Students will present their findings on poster boards and be available to answer questions during the reception in the rotunda. The event includes a lecture, “Curiosity and Practice: Learning Scientific Methods,” by Amanda Sparkman, assistant professor of biology, at 4:30 p.m. in Winter Hall’s Darling Foundation Lecture Hall (Room 210). Sparkman, who graduated from Westmont in 2003, joined the faculty last spring, bringing expertise in evolutionary biology and a love of field research. Students researched a wide variety of topics in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, English, economics and business and religious studies. One of the hallmarks of Westmont’s academic program is the opportunity for undergraduate students to work with faculty on significant research projects. The college is working to fully endow the chemistry department’s Summer Science Research Program by matching a $500,000 challenge grant from John Stauffer Charitable Trust. Venue: Westmont College. EmailWebsite
8/29/12 - Popular Westmont French Professor is Knighted
Mary Blackwood Collier, who has taught French at Westmont for 31 years, was knighted by David Martinon, consul general of France, Los Angeles, as a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques on Aug. 26 at a private reception at Birnham Wood, attended by about 100 colleagues and friends.
“Your love for France is absolute, and I want, in the name of our country, to thank you for that long-lasting passion,” Martinon said. He quoted French novelist and filmmaker Marcel Pagnol, who described the honor as “the highest distinction the French Republic can give because it celebrates not only knowledge but the art of spreading it amongst students.”
Collier, a Santa Barbara native, completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in French at UC Santa Barbara. She earned a doctorate with highest honors in French literature from the Université de Paris, Sorbonne. Since 1976 she has served on the faculty of the Music Academy of the West as French diction coach in the vocal department, now under the direction of Marilyn Horne. She was a student herself in two departments at the academy, piano under Emmanuel Bay and voice under Martial Singher.
“It is not that often that a foreigner is distinguished in that order,” Martinon said, “but for your tremendous passion for France and for your unstoppable action for promoting French culture, Madame Collier, I am very proud to give you this insignia today.
Martinon affixed the purple ribbon with the medal to Collier’s collar as the crowd applauded. “I am thrilled and grateful for this distinction that your nation has conferred upon me and I am very proud to represent the French language and culture,” she said.
Westmont President Gayle D. Beebe spoke before the presentation, as did Scott Reed, president of the Music Academy of the West, and Frederick Sidon, past president of Opera Santa Barbara and president of Le Réseau Français de Santa Barbara, who nominated Collier. DeAndre Simmons, bass-baritone, and Natasha Kislenko, piano, performed Henri Duparc’s “Phidylé” and Gabriel Fauré’s “Mandoline.”
Collier, who has published several scholarly articles and presents papers regularly at international academic conferences, wrote the book “La Carmen essentielle et sa réalisation au spectacle” about the character of Carmen, both Mérimée’s literary and Bizet’s musical creations. She continues to immerse herself in French life and culture by living part time in Paris.
8/23/12 - Save the Date! -- Norwegian Printmaker Opens New Season -- August 23
Norwegian printmaker Jan Albert Fürst Kolstad, who uses light and nature to create mood and atmosphere in his art, opens a new season at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art Aug. 23-Oct. 13. A free, public opening reception for “Jan Albert Furst Kolstad: Prints” will be held Thursday, Aug. 30, from 4-6 p.m. at the museum.
“His exploration of life’s beginnings and meanings within etching’s depths, textures and happenstances will add much to this community’s understanding of printmaking’s potential for conversation,” says Martha Ensign Johnson, former Westmont instructor of printmaking. Kolstad studied at the College of Art and Design in Oslo and the California College of Arts and Crafts. In San Francisco, he encountered Asian art, which made an impact on his work. “(This) was of decisive importance for Kolstad’s further development, and one can hardly imagine his pictorial world without having to refer to this,” writes Øivind Bjerke, professor of art history at the University of Oslo.
A master printmaker and artist, Kolstad has received numerous grants and shown his works in more than 30 solo exhibitions. A professor at Oslo National Academy of the Arts, he has taught for nearly 25 years at Asker Art School.
“I look at the world through the eyes of a printmaker,” Kolstad says. “In our discipline there are dimensions but no edges, diversity but no limits.” In conjunction with Kolstad’s exhibition, Los Angeles-based sculptor Brad Howe displays “Kukorica,” a stainless steel and polyurethane form, on the lawn outside the museum.
Howe, a Riverside, Calif., native, studied at Stanford University and the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. His welded metal sculptures have been exhibited in Mexico, Brazil, Germany, South Korea, Japan, France and throughout the United States.
“He brings playfulness to his work through bright colors and undulating forms,” says Judy Larson, director of the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art and Adams professor of art history. “The freshness and spontaneity in Howe’s sculptures make the viewer smile.” The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. It is closed Sundays and college holidays. For more information, please visit www.westmontmuseum.org or contact the museum at (805) 565-6162. Venue: Westmont College. EmailWebsite
8/14/12 - Save the Date! -- Westmonster 5K Race to Challenge Runners -- August 16
Westmont opens up its campus for a unique 5K race that winds through varying terrain Thursday, Aug. 16, at 6:15 p.m., beginning near the track and Thorrington Field. Registration fees to the third annual Westmonster, which benefits Westmont College Athletics, are $35, $15 for students, $10 for children under 15 and free for children under 11. The fee includes a T-shirt and post-race meal provided by Eric Widmer of La Cumbre Country Club. “It’s a really cool course with a lot of ups and downs, some challenging hills and varying terrain such as dirt, asphalt and grass, finishing with a lap on the track,” says Dave Odell, athletic director.
Another enjoyable feature is members of the soccer and volleyball teams, who are training on campus, line the course, giving directions and cheering on the runners. “Two years ago the women’s soccer team surrounded the last-place runner and ran with her the final quarter mile,” Odell says. “The Thorrington Field area is such a beautiful place to hang out and enjoy the local running community, especially that time of evening.” Registration is available at http://westmont.edu/westmonster or in person beginning at 5 p.m. at the track the day of the race. For more information, please contact Trisha Beaudin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (805) 565-7164. Venue: Westmont College. EmailWebsite
7/23/12 - Save the Date! -- Montecito International Music Festival -- July 26
The Montecito International Music Festival returns to Westmont for its fifth season with a stellar lineup of visiting artists and talented faculty. About 140 students from around the world take part in a three-week, music-intensive program July 16-Aug. 3. “They are among the most talented young musicians in the world, coming together to learn from today’s masters and to share the joy of chamber music with their contemporaries,” says Director Chan Ho Yun.
Legendary violinist Ida Haendel performs at a Jascha Heifetz tribute concert Thursday, July 26, at 7:30 p.m. in Porter Theatre. Tickets, which are $15 for students/seniors and $30 general admission, will be sold at the door.
Premiere concert violinist Anne Akiko Meyers, a Southern California native who played with the Santa Barbara Symphony earlier this year, performs in a master class Saturday, July 28, at 2:30 p.m. in Porter Theatre. Tickets, which are $10 for students/seniors and $20 general admission, will be sold at the door. Meyers will also headline a performance Sunday, July 29, at 7:30 p.m. in Porter Theatre, joining the Arensky Trio, which includes Yi-Ju Lai and Ko Iwasaki, and the Mendelssohn Octet, which includes Sam Fischer, Rebekah Durham, Mai Ke, Bethany Pereboom, Yi Zhou, Xian Zhuo and Marek Szpakiewicz. Tickets, which are $15 for students/seniors and $30 general admission, will be sold at the door.
Violinist Philip Ficsor and pianist Constantine Finehouse, a duo named American Double, present a master class Monday, July 30, at 2:30 p.m. in Porter Theatre. Tickets, which are $10 for students/seniors and $20 general admission, will be sold at the door. The American Double will also perform a concert Tuesday, July 31, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, which are $15 for students/seniors and $30 general admission, will be sold at the door. Ficsor, who begins his seventh year as an assistant professor of violin at Westmont, recently released his third recording, “Summer Day,” featuring the complete works for violin and piano of Emma Lou Diemer, with the composer at the keyboard.
Finehouse, who has performed extensively in the U.S. and abroad since receiving his master’s degree in piano performance from Yale University, is a champion of music by Bolcom, whose complete solo piano works Finehouse is currently recording for Naxos Records. He has been an artist-in-residence at Westmont. Venue: Westmont College. Website
7/18/12 - Save the Date! -- July Viewing Features Globular Clusters -- July 20
The Great Hercules Globular Cluster, Messier 13, will dazzle viewers at a free, public stargazing event with the powerful Keck Telescope Friday, July 20. The sun will not set until after 8 p.m., making the best viewing after 9 p.m. The observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through. The viewing lasts several hours. In case of overcast skies, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at (805) 565-6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled. Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor, says other globular clusters will be high in the night sky for the July viewing, including Messier 3 and 92. The remnants of a dying star in the constellation of Lyra, the Harp, will be on tap as well.
“This is the famous Smoke Ring Nebula, Messier 57,” Whittemore says. “Our own Sun, which will become a white dwarf, will enter this particular stage at the end of its stellar career. This stage in our Sun’s life, however, is many billion years away.” A reasonably bright collection of nearby galaxies located in the constellation of Ursa Major may also be on the celestial viewing menu, including Messier Objects 101, 51 and 63, the Pinwheel, Whirlpool and Sunflower Galaxies. “These galaxies lie between 27 and 37 million light-years from Earth,” Whittemore says. “Since a telescope is a time machine, the light from these large galaxies has traveled 27 to 37 million years to reach our eyes — the Earth was a very different place when this light left its source.” The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field. Venue: Westmont College. EmailWebsite
5/15/12 - Save the Date! -- Reception Lifts Off Juried Art Show -- May 17
Montecito’s only juried art exhibition moves to the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art after a one-year hiatus, featuring the works of 58 different artists May 17-June 30. “LIFT 2012” celebrates the lift off of the college’s new museum space with a varied collection of paintings, sculptures, textiles, ceramics and printmaking. The exhibition opens with a free public reception Thursday, May 17, from 4-6 p.m. Howard Fox, curator emeritus of Contemporary Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, juried this year’s show, selecting 68 works from more than 500 submitted pieces.
Though many fine artists live in Santa Barbara, Judy L. Larson, director of the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art, says there are few opportunities for them to exhibit art. “Westmont continues a tradition begun by Tony Askew, John Carlander and James Dow in organizing a juried art exhibition for our local artists that dates back more than 20 years,” Larson says. “Every time we think the idea has run its course we hear loud and clear from local residents how much they anticipate this exhibition each year.”
All works in the exhibition will be for sale with proceeds benefiting the artists and museum. Cash awards, determined by Fox, will be given to the artists at the opening reception. “This is an important opportunity for artists to show their work in a wonderful contemporary space,” says Chris Rupp, museum collection manager. “It also represents what’s happening in our arts community.”
The museum is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, please visit www.westmontmuseum.org or contact the museum at (805) 565-6162. Venue: Westmont College. EmailWebsite