Recent Press

Foundation Gives $20,000 to Help Westmont Students Affected by Tea Fire

The Sempra Energy Foundation has given $20,000 to Westmont College students affected by the Tea Fire. Flames damaged the residences of 62 students, destroying computers, books, school gear, clothing and other personal items. more

Westmont students hope they have the right business stuff

Westmont College is giving undergraduates a place to grow their business ideas outside the classroom. “It really lights a fire under them,” said David Newton, professor of entrepreneurial finance, referring to the college’s 19th annual business plan competition scheduled for Dec. 11 in Kerrwood Hall. The program starts at 5:30 p.m. Four student venture teams from Westmont’s entrepreneur class, chopped down from about 20 plans submitted in the first round, are putting the finishing touches on their pitches in advance of the scrutiny from a panel of five business experts. more

SBARTL : Winter coaches present wish list for teams

There’s no place like home for the holidays, so says the familiar adage. But ’tis the season for tournaments, and the term ‘home’ might be more appropriate if one considers their court, pitch, or pool of choice as their primary residence. With many of the south coast’s athletic teams busy trying to fit in good tidings and cheer around an abundant slate of sports action, coaches at Harry Plaza Cafe got in their last words at the last Round Table press luncheon for 2008. “Contrary to reports, I still have a home,” said Westmont men’s basketball head coach John Moore, correcting an error in Sunday’s News-Press that stated that his home had been lost in the Tea Fire. While several other staff and faculty members did lose their homes in the recent disaster, Moore’s was not among them. more

CURRAN, John Robert

God saw you getting tired and a cure was not to be. So He put His arms around you and whispered “come to me.” With tearful eyes we watched you, and saw you pass away. Although we loved you dearly, we could not make you stay. A golden heart stopped beating,hard working hands at rest. God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the best. (Irish Funeral Prayer) In 1968, on a visit to Santa Barbara to visit his parents, he met and fell madly in love with a Westmont Senior, Pamela Foxen. She was to be his soul mate, his best friend, and his lover for over 40 years. more


Santa Barbara’s Master Chorale offers its annual holiday concert tomorrow evening at 7 p.m. over at Unitarian Society. Director Steven Hodson – winding up his first year as the ensembles new music director – is also a professor of music at Westmont, so this concert has extra poignancy for the community in the wake of Tea Fire. more

Court gives green light to Westmont construction

Just days before Westmont broke ground, opponents of the project and school attorneys made oral arguments to the court of appeal. Opponents alleged the school relied on an environmental impact report that didn’t adequately assess the scale of the project. But the appeals court didn’t agree, saying in its ruling that it concurred with a Superior Court ruling that found Westmont had done nothing wrong. more

Opinion: Heroes and Perpetrators – Miracle on Chelham Way

I have lived on Chelham Way for 20 years and absolutely love it here. I have a great family and terrific neighbors. My story is about my neighbors and the recent Tea Fire. My neighbor then went on to help other neighbors evacuate. I returned to my home and continued watering stuff down. We met a short time later and were watching the fire when we noticed the ever-closing flames from the direction of Westmont College. There were new flames up by the campus housing area and then another set of flames over by Coyote Road. He immediately said we were being flanked and that it was time to go. more

Westmont Okayed for Expansion — Once Again

A year after a Santa Barbara Superior Court judge rejected a lawsuit from the Concerned Citizens Over Westmont Expansion group, the California Court of Appeals on Dec. 3 denied an appeal by the same group of that decision, which means Westmont College can proceed with plans which will drastically change the landscape of the campus. The Westmont Master Plan, already with its first phase underway, will add roughly 345,000 square feet to campus. Opponents were arguing that Westmont had “slapdash analysis” in its final subsequent environmental impact report, and that the FSEIR (Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report ) issued in 2006 didn’t meet California Environmental Quality Act standards. They argued this in part because—of the approximately 345,000 square foot expansion project—they said only 145,000 of it has been subjected to environmental review over the years 44 years Westmont had been talking about updating its Master Plan. more

Local poets hold reading for fire victims : Professor loses priceless poetry, fiction collection

Westmont College English Professor Paul Willis remembers that he was due to participate in a poetry reading at Santa Barbara City College on the night the Tea Fire broke out. By 6:10 p.m., he and his wife Sharon, a nurse at the Westmont Health Center, knew they had better evacuate. They lived in Carpinteria during the Painted Cave Fire in 1990 and recalled all too well how quickly it roared from the mountains above Goleta to the ocean. From the time they realized the Tea Fire was nearby to the time they fled from their now-destroyed campus residence to the college gymnasium only 10 minutes had passed. more

D.A. calls Tea Fire No charges made yet in case that is ongoing

Apparently inundated with inquiries regarding the Tea Fire investigation, an official with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office Thursday said investigators are poring over materials connected to the case — and will not be commenting on the matter until the case has concluded. No one was arrested, and the names of those involved were withheld. Amid speculation that Westmont College students were involved given the campus’ proximity to the Tea House, the president there on Nov. 19 issued a statement to the contrary. more