Hail to the Chief

Stan D. Gaede will succeed David Winter as president of Westmont, the college’s board of trustees announced April 11.

The previous afternoon, Board Chairman David Eaton offered the position to Gaede, who accepted. Winter announced the decision the next day at a celebratory campus-wide gathering in front of historic Kerrwood Hall.

The decision caps a nearly yearlong search for a successor to Winter, who is retiring after serving as president for 25 years. The college conducted a national search, and Gaede was one of 28 applicants, including seven presidents, nine academic officers, five professors and four others. The search committee named Gaede the finalist in March.

Gaede steps into his new position July 1. Winter will remain with the college as chancellor, representing the college, maintaining relations with the community and assisting with the college’s capital campaign.

“The board is so pleased to have been able to find such an outstanding candidate to lead this college in coming years,” Eaton said. “Stan Gaede is an exceptional individual who has exhibited distinguished leadership as Westmont’s provost. He will be an excellent president.”

Eaton also thanked the members of the search committee for their work in identifying Gaede as the finalist. Gary Harris, a college trustee and chair of the search committee, said: “Westmont is so fortunate that Stan Gaede has accepted the college’s offer to become president. His experience, skills and depth of character will serve the college well for many years to come.”

Gaede has been provost — the top academic officer — at Westmont for five years. An alumnus of the college who graduated in 1969, he earned his Ph.D. in sociology at Vanderbilt University. Gaede joined the faculty at Gordon College near Boston in 1974, served as dean of students for four years, chaired the sociology department for six years, and spent his last three years at Gordon as provost. During his tenure at Gordon, he received three excellence-in-teaching awards. His areas of expertise include American culture, Christian scholarship, modernization and secularization, and religious and social tolerance.

He has authored a number of books, including “When Tolerance is No Virtue: Political Correctness, Multiculturalism, and the Future of Truth and Justice” (1994), “Surprised by God” (1993), and “Life in the Slow Lane: On the Benefits of Not Getting What You Want When You Want It” (1991). Gaede is a frequent speaker at colleges, conferences and churches.

Gaede and his wife, Judy Brinkman Gaede ’70, met at Westmont and have three children. Their son, Nathaniel, graduated from Westmont and works for CMGI in Boston. Their daughter Heather is an attorney in Palo Alto, Calif., and their daughter Kirsten is a junior at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara.

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