Westmont Hosts 80th Anniversay Gala to Honor Alumni
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From missionaries to doctors, CEOs to teachers, attorneys to non-profit workers, Westmont honored 80 “remarkable” alumni on October 14 in celebration of 2017 being the 80th homecoming of Westmont. As Dr. Beebe wrote in a statement on the event, “paying tribute to 80 representative alumni provides a fitting way to celebrate 80 inspiring years of Westmont history”.
Forever Faithful was the theme for this year’s Homecoming. Dr. Beebe wrote in the program for the event, “We seek to continue investing in the lives of students, preparing them to carry out the legacy of leading and serving in accordance with God’s calling. The world needs people who give their lives to something bigger than themselves, who seek to meet the great and pressing needs of our time”.
Westmont celebrated with a gala at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort. A slide show, and booklet featured all of the 80 honoree’s stories. Three alumni, chosen out of the 80, were interviewed and a more detailed description of their lives were presented. Additionally, this year marked the 50th year anniversary of President Dr. Voskuyl’s retirement.
Beebe spoke of Voskuyl’s lasting legacy at Westmont. During Dr. Voskuyl’s presidency, the post office, Carroll Observatory, Ruth Gapen Hubbard Hall, Ellen Porter Hall of Fine Arts, the Nancy Voskuyl Prayer Chapel, Van Kampen Residence Hall, Clark Residence Hall, and Roger John Voskuyl Library were built. In 1958, under Dr. Voskuyl, Westmont earned its accreditation as a college.
The event featured the Westmont Jazz band and Alumni David Britton ‘94 singing Hallelujah by L. Cohen, arr. Britton, as well as the Westmont Chamber Singers. Honorees, alumni, family, administration, faculty, and students gathered together to look back at Westmont’s past in order to shape Westmont’s future. Beebe presented his future goals for the college, focusing on global mission. The gala ended with attendees singing the college hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” lead by Adams Professor of Music and Worship, Dr. Shasberger. Following the gala was the young alumni dance, to which current juniors and seniors were invited.
Every alumni chosen was as inspiring as the next, from recent graduates to those who graduated over 50 years ago. There were hundreds of nominations for the honor, showing how many Westmont alumni have lived out God’s calling for their lives.
The rest of Homecoming weekend included many other events for alumni. On Friday, Oct. 13, the chapel service featured Steve Yamaguchi ‘75; Professor Don Patterson spoke at the Wallace Emerson Society Luncheon. The main event for the day was the dedication of the Global Leadership Center.
Additionally, Professor Ken Kihlstrom gave an opportunity to see the stars in the Westmont Observatory. Saturday, Oct. 14, included an Alumni Memorial Service which honored alumni who have died in the past two years. Lunch was an All-alumni Barbecue Lunch and Kids fair. There was a Young Alumni Tailgate for the mens and womens soccer games against Master’s College. Sunday, October 15, ended the weekend with an All-Alumni Worship Celebration with a message from
Starting in 1937 as The Bible Missionary Institute founded by Ruth Kerr in Los Angeles, Westmont has been transformed by the different Presidents of the college, the faculty and administration, the students and the alumni. Looking back on these 80 years should give everyone involved with Westmont a sense of hope for all that can be accomplished in the next 80 years, and beyond.