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.