Wednesday, October 17 , 2018, 10:29 am | Fair 69º


Westmont Commencement to Be a Day at the Beach

The college is forced to move Saturday's ceremony to SBCC's La Playa Stadium

New building construction and Tea Fire reconstruction have forced Westmont College to relocate its graduation ceremony closer to the beach.

Paul and Natalie Orfalea and the Orfalea Foundations will receive the Westmont Medal during the commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday at Santa Barbara City College’s La Playa Stadium.

The Orfalea Foundations reflect the family’s personal choices, supporting preventive and experiential community programs that directly affect children, youth and underprivileged families in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties.

Paul Orfalea, who founded Kinko’s Inc. in 1970, teaches at University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business and through UCSB’s Global and International Studies Program.

Natalie Orfalea, who had a career at Xerox Corporation, ran an independent product development firm and raised her two sons, who sit on the family foundation’s board and attend college and high school.

The Westmont Medal is given each year to recognize individuals in our community whose lives embody the principles associated with the Christian character of the college: integrity, service, compassion, responsibility, faithfulness, discipline and generosity.

Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary since 1993, will give the Commencement address, “What’s It All About?” Mouw, a philosopher, scholar, and author, joined the Fuller faculty in September 1985. He served the seminary for four years as provost and senior vice president before becoming president.

Commencement will feature 311 graduates, 100 with honors. Four Monroe Scholars will graduate: John Carstensen, an engineering physics major from El Cajon; Kristen Gaylord, an art history and English double major from Fullerton.; Sze-Fern Lim, a physics and art double major from San Diego.; and Ian Redford, a Spanish major from Fullerton. The Monroe Scholarship is a four-year, full-tuition scholarship offered to a few exceptionally high-achieving first-year students each year. It is the highest academic honor an incoming student may receive.

Thirty-four members of the Westmont class of 1959 will march during commencement along with Robert Hall, who graduated from Westmont in 1949. Hall’s granddaughter, Laura Diaz of Chico, will graduate with a degree in liberal studies.

This isn’t the first time that Westmont has held commencement at SBCC. In 1998, unusually heavy rainfall saturated the Westmont field where the college holds commencement, forcing the relocation of the graduation ceremony to La Playa Stadium.

— Scott Craig is public relations manager at Westmont College.

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