COLUMNIST BROOKS SPEAKS AT COMMENCEMENT
David Brooks, columnist for the New York Times and political analyst on “PBS NewsHour,” will speak at Westmont’s Commencement ceremony, Saturday, May 9, at 9:30 a.m. on Carr Field. President Gayle D. Beebe presents the Westmont Medal in honor of all the local organizations that serve our community by assisting individuals and families facing enormous financial and personal challenges every day of their lives. Rolf Geyling, president of the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, will be recognized for his strategic and effective leadership of the Rescue Mission and will accept the award.
Commencement is free and open to the public, but no parking is available on campus. Guests must park their cars at Santa Barbara City College and use Westmont’s free shuttle service to campus, arriving at SBCC no later than 9 a.m.
A total of 310 students will participate in Commencement. A third of the students (104) will graduate with honors, 21 summa cum laude (at least a 3.90 GPA), 36 magna cum laude (3.75- 3.89 GPA) and 47 cum laude (3.50-3.74 GPA). Golden Warriors, who graduated in 1965, will march in the procession and celebrate their 50th reunion.
“David Brooks offers insightful observations of American life and intelligent political analysis,” Beebe says. “His current book, ‘The Social Animal,’ creatively explains the importance of neuroscience and sociology in understanding our country’s future. I’m thrilled to welcome him to Westmont as our Commencement speaker.”
His has also written books, “On Paradise Drive” and “Bobos in Paradise,” which was a New York Times bestseller.
Brooks, a graduate of the University of Chicago, has taught at Duke University and teaches a global affairs course on humility at Yale University.
The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission is a ministry of Christian people bringing physical, emotional, educational and spiritual resources to all who struggle with homelessness and addiction. Since its founding in 1965, the Rescue Mission has grown into an organization that provides immediate help in the form of food and shelter 365 nights a year to those with nowhere else to go and lasting hope in a 12-month residential recovery program for men and women desiring to break free from cycles of addiction, poverty, homelessness and crime.
“We’re blessed to live in a community that seeks to serve people in need,” says President Gayle D. Beebe. “Our students learn so much from vibrant non-profit organizations that strengthen and enrich our community and embody the spirit of Santa Barbara. Volunteer work and internships with these agencies help prepare students to make a difference in the world.”
Geyling became president of the Rescue Mission in 2007. Previously he worked as director of development at Fuller Theological Seminary and an online instructor in its Master of Arts in Global Leadership program. Before that, he ministered in South Central Los Angeles for 10 years with World Impact. He graduated with a degree in urban studies from Stanford University and earned a Master of Divinity from Fuller.
Previous Westmont Medal recipients have included Edward and Suzanne Birch, Chad and Ginni Dreier, Walter and Darlene Hansen, Harold and Annette Simmons, and Michael Towbes.
The graduating class includes three Monroe Scholars, Katie Fedor of Stockton, Calif., Peter Matthews of Lombard, Ill., and Sophia Meulenberg of Sandpoint, Idaho, who were awarded full-tuition scholarships.