A Stunning New Facility Strengthens the College’s Focus on Leadership
With a living-learning center and five innovative programs About 400 people crowded into the Global Leadership Center (GLC) to officially dedicate the central building and two surrounding residence halls October 13. The idea for the facility developed during a 25-city listening tour led by President Gayle D. Beebe.
“We kept hearing that students went away for a semester abroad and when they returned had difficulty reconnecting with the college, orre-engaging campus life,” he said. “That coincided with conversations with local people who said, ‘I go to the Hoover Institute and get everything right of center. I go to the Aspen Institute and get everything left of center. I wish we had one organization that would do values driven leadership right down the middle.’
“This facility grew out of that idea. We began to pursue not just residence halls, but living-learning centers, places where students could live in community and develop as leaders—and where executives would also feel comfortable.”
The new buildings house the college’s executive leadership training program during the summer. It features 70 rooms in two residence halls, each with a private bathroom, and a central leadership building with a large lounge, classroom, seminar room, office spaces and a coffee shop. Each floor features 800-square-foot kitchens with multiple cook stations, refrigerators and storage. The Strength for Today Campaign raised $34.1 million forth facility and another $8.7 million for leadership programs.
The GLC supports five programmatic initiatives: Mosher Center for Moral and Ethical Leadership; Eaton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Hughes Center for Neuroscience and Leadership; Goble Center for Global Learning; and the Montecito Institute for Executive Education.
Reed Sheard, vice president for college advancement and CIO, thanked the audience. “It takes a community to do something that matters,” he said. “It’s a special moment for me personally. I was fortunate enough to be in the room the first day we talked about the Global Leadership Center. My heart is very full.”
“The Great Recession required us to defer construction of the original residence hall,” said Doug Jones, vice president for finance. “Reimagining it moved us from a basic facility to a Global Leadership Center with a vision much grander than simply as a space for students to sleep and study.”
Edee Schulze, vice president for student life, said she hopes the new building “will help us further the mission of the college by translating meaningful global experience into lifelong global engagement.”
Other speakers included: Ben Patterson, campus pastor; Robert J. Emmons, trustee of the Mosher Foundation; Roy Goble, Westmont trustee and alumnus; and Peter Thorrington, chair of Westmont’s board of trustees.