The college’s 75th commencement ceremony is the first following the completion of major new buildings on campus.
The first senior class to study in Westmont’s new buildings graduated May 7. On the ceremonial Last Walk from Kerrwood Lawn to Carr Field, reminders of their college years lined the way: scars from the 2008 Tea Fire, restored gardens and the imposing Adams Center and Winter Hall.
Well-known author Dallas Willard, professor of philosophy at USC, implored the 341 graduates to remember who they are. “You are an unceasing spiritual being with an eternal destiny in God’s great universe,” he said. “When you seize that truth and put it into practice, you are living eternally in the moment.”
President Gayle D. Beebe honored Walter and Darlene Hansen with the Westmont Medal. A trustee since 2002, Walter serves on the Westmont Art Council and the advisory board of the Westmont Museum of Art. He is a professor of global theological education at Fuller Theological Seminary. Darlene also belongs to the Art Council, chaired the group for two years and serves as senior adviser to its executive committee. An artist and patron of the arts, she is a trustee for the Museum of Biblical Art in New York City and for Rivendell Steward’s Trust. “Walter and Darlene have touched many lives with their gentle graciousness, warm hospitality and giving spirit,” President Beebe said. “Their service and generosity to Westmont, local organizations and the Kingdom of God throughout the world make them worthy recipients.”
Elizabeth Evancoe and Daniel Sargent accepted the Dean’s Award as outstanding student-athletes. Mariah Kimbriel earned the Dave Dolan Award for raising awareness of social and spiritual needs. Marina Kookootsedes and Felix Huang received the Kenneth Monroe Award for demonstrating superior academic achievement and excelling as leaders. Keith Cochran earned the Faculty Scholarship Award with the highest cumulative grade-point average.
The Golden Warriors, members of the class of 1961, gathered for a reunion and joined the graduating seniors in marching in the Commencement procession.