Two Firsts for Commencement

The class of 2010 celebrates the first commencement ceremony held on Westmont’s beautiful new baseball field — and online

President Beebe, Michael Towbes and Richard J. FosterFor the first time this year, Westmont offered a live, online broadcast of Commencement. Nearly 5,000 people attended the ceremony in person May 8 on newly renovated Russell Carr Field. President Gayle D. Beebe (left) presided, and Richard J. Foster, author and founder of Renovaré (right), addressed the 330 graduates and their families.

“You have a liberal arts education that has been forged on the anvil of a Christ-centered worldview,” said Foster, best known for his book “Celebration of Discipline.” “This gives you ethical and moral bearings that others simply do not have. Therefore you are in a unique position to discern when words are being misused and abused.” He challenged the graduates to focus their energy on conversations and words that are “significant in content” and “crisp, clear and imaginative.”

Michael Towbes (center), a leading Santa Barbara philanthropist, received the Westmont Medal. “This is a great honor, and I will treasure it,” said Towbes, chairman of both The Towbes Group and Montecito Bank & Trust and chief financial officer of The Towbes Foundation. “Philanthropy means giving back and making the world a better place. Thank you, Westmont, for doing both very well.”

Trinity Hokama of Kaneohe, Hawaii, won the Dave Dolan Award for raising awareness of social and spiritual needs throughout the world. Sean Adams of Castle Rock, Colo., and Britney Scannell of Los Angeles received the Dean’s Award as outstanding scholar-athletes. Andrea Owen of Dallas and Levi Bagdanov of Nuevo, Calif., accepted the Kenneth Monroe Award for their superior academic achievement and leadership. Christopher Morse of Visalia, Calif., won the Faculty Scholarship Award as the graduating senior with the highest cumulative grade point average.

Richard Foster’s address is available at See also commencement-photos.html.Commencement 2010

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