Talk Probes ‘Shaping of an Effective Leader’

President Gayle D. Beebe

President Gayle D. Beebe

Westmont president Gayle D. Beebe will draw on his own leadership experiences in higher education and his book, “The Shaping of an Effective Leader,” in a free, public lecture Thursday, Feb. 21, 5:30 p.m. at 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.

The lecture is part of Westmont Downtown: Conversations about Things that Matter, which is sponsored by the Westmont Foundation. The talk relates to the sold-out Westmont President’s Breakfast that features Retired Gen. Colin Powell speaking about “Leadership — Taking Charge,” on March 1.

Panelists Rick Pointer, Westmont professor of history, and Eileen McMahon McQuade, associate professor of biology, will respond to Beebe’s remarks and engage in dialogue.

Beebe says he will explore the qualities of dynamic leaders such as Powell. “Leaders must possess both character and competence to succeed and seek what is best for their companies and organizations,” he says.

During his six years at Westmont, Beebe has overseen major construction on campus, led rebuilding and recovery after the disastrous 2008 Tea Fire, and successfully raised funds for new facilities at the college.

Beebe came to Westmont from Spring Arbor University in Michigan, where he served as president for seven years. Previously he was dean at the Haggard School of Theology, Azusa Pacific University. He has also co-authored a book, “Longing for God,” with Richard J. Foster.

Pointer, who served as acting provost at Westmont for three years, specializes in American history. He holds the Fletcher Jones Foundation Chair in the Social Sciences, and has written two books, “Protestant Pluralism and the New York Experience” and “Encounters of the Spirit: Native Americans and European Colonial Religion.”

McQuade, who chairs the Westmont Biology Department, joined the faculty in 2004. She conducts research on multiple sclerosis and the immune-mediated pathways of rheumatoid arthritis. She earned a doctorate in microbiology and immunology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and post-doctoral training at Northwestern University in Chicago.

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