Santa Barbara News Press

Westmont College sends off Class of 2021

Dr. Sandy Richter looked out at the Westmont College Class of 2021 during Saturday’s commencement ceremony and asked them: “What is the deal with you people?” more

Montecito Debris Flow, Two Years Later: ‘We never knew we could hurt so much. We’ve also grown stronger than we ever thought possible.’

‘We never knew we could hurt so much. We’ve also grown stronger than we ever thought possible.’ Two years removed from one of the worst natural disasters in Santa Barbara County history, hundreds packed into Murchison Gym at Westmont College Thursday night to remember those who were lost in the Montecito debris flow. more


Michael Oldach was having a bad hair month, not to mention a scruffy start to Westmont College’s cross country season.

The NAIA All-American, who got a “really bad mullet” haircut to honor a promise he made to three track teammates, also cut his day short in the Warriors’ season-opening meet on Sept. 14…more.

PROMOTING DIVERSITY: Westmont welcomes its most diverse class yet as Class of 2023 begins their journey

Westmont College — the Christian, liberal arts school that sits at the foothills of the Santa Ynez Mountains — seems to be attracting more and more students from different backgrounds, as the college welcomed last week one of its largest and most diverse classes. more

DREAMING BIG Hundreds of young singers line up on Cabrillo for a chance at becoming the next “American Idol”

A long line of young musical talent gathered outside the Santa Barbara Veterans’ Memorial Building on Cabrillo Blvd. Friday morning, each eager to become the next American Idol. The singing competition TV series stopped by Santa Barbara for its Bus Tour auditions, an initial try-out for the show’s producers before the televised rounds where contestants sing before the show’s three judges. … 18-year-old Westmont College freshman Sara Sivulka was also among the local talent. Originally from Serbia, Ms. Sivulka is a lifelong “American Idol” fan and expressed gratitude at the opportunity to finally fulfill one of her long-held ambition. more


At the foothills of the Santa Ynez mountains, about 75 individuals came together Tuesday evening to commemorate the victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The empathy of the attendants at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s 25th Annual Sadako Peace Day pierced through space and time. It was as if the years that have gone by since the bombings, 74 of them, and the miles between Santa Barbara and Japan, 6,000 of them, vanished, bringing the spirits of those who lost their lives to the ceremony in Westmont College. The combined death toll of the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ranges from 130,000 to 230,000. Estimates of the lives that the initial blasts took are 70,000 for Hiroshima and 40,000 for Nagasaki. However, the detrimental effects of the bombs — Little Boy on Hiroshima and Fat Man on Nagasaki — did not stop there. Over time, the two atomic bombs also claimed the lives of those affected by the radiation. more

ENSIGN, Arleen (Shennum)

Arleen was born in Seymour in Southern Indiana to Lydia (Hohnstreiter) Cordes and William Cordes on September 11, 1923, a descendant of German immigrant families of the mid- and later 1800’s. She attended two-room rural grade schools and Shields High School, Seymour. In 1940 the family moved to Sandpoint, Idaho, where she was graduated from Sandpoint High School in 1941 and was employed as secretary in several offices in town. In 1949 she was graduated from Pacific Lutheran College, Tacoma, Washington (now Pacific Lutheran University) where she met and married Luther O. Shennum in 1947. In 1950 they moved to Santa Barbara, CA, where Luther attended Westmont College, and were fortunate to live at Oakleigh, in Montecito, where their six children grew up. more

SBHS names assistant principal

The Santa Barbara Unified School District has announced that Cailean Kilroy Villasenor will be the new assistant principal at Santa Barbara High School. Ms. Villaseñor has taught physical and life sciences at Santa Barbara Junior High since 2012. She also served as the district’s secondary teaching integration coach since 2017, SBHS Principal Elise Simmons wrote in a notice to parents. Ms. Villaseñor is also an adjunct professor at Westmont College. more

AN ARRAY OF ADVENTURES: Cal Coast Adventures serves lessons and tours of surfing, kayaking, biking and more

Tucked away in Santa Barbara’s Eastside at the corner of Carpinteria Street and Nopalitos Way, Cal Coast Adventures is serving up all kinds of services for clients’ adventurous cravings. … Mr. Hawkins, a Porterville native, moved to the Santa Barbara area 18 years ago to attend Westmont College. He has not left since graduating, and now he’s thinking about growing the business across generations. more

OUT and ABOUT: Winick joins art board

Barry Winick has been named a member of the board of trustees of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. … He serves on the Arts Advisory Board of Westmont College and is a board member of the Courthouse Legacy Foundation.  more