Dear Class of 1998,
Merry Christmas! We hope that this year has been a rewarding and renewing one for you and your loved ones.
For the December edition of our Class Newsletter, We'd like to share with you the words we received from a couple of our classmates from Westmont. Julie (Gillan) Anderson and Susan McAdams have graciously agreed to give us an update about thier lives since their time at Westmont. A huge thanks goes out to them and their families for their contribution!
Julie Gillan Anderson
About a year and a half ago my identity changed; I went from being known as "Mrs. Anderson," the teacher, to suddenly becoming "Mommy." I loved my 10-years in the classroom, which began weeks after graduating from Westmont and ended just a week before my daughter was born. But, I'm so thankful for this new season of life and I'm really enjoying my role. Our daughter, Natalie, is 19-months old and such fun. She's almost always happy and healthy, she has a dimpled smile that melts our hearts, and she loves to kiss and snuggle us. We are incredibly grateful.
I didn't completely leave teaching behind when I had Natalie. One morning a week I teach at an academy for home schooled students. It's a wonderful community of children, ages 5-17, who receive an arts education in a different historical period each year. I teach history to these students each week, while my daughter is on campus in a mini-preschool. It's the perfect situation for both of us!
My husband, Scott, is a member of the art faculty at Westmont, so we are a part of the faculty community at the College. A few weeks ago we went to a dedication service for the 14 Las Barrancas homes that were recently rebuilt after last year's Tea Fire. It's truly amazing that all of the homes were re-built and families were moving in less than a year from the anniversary of the fire, as most other homes in the area are just now getting their building permits. I've also been able to watch the changes happening on campus. It is wonderful to see the new buildings going up, and we're especially excited about the new art building and gallery that should be finished within the next year.
I hope all of you are well, and I'm already looking forward to our next reunion in a few years!
While at Westmont, I had the opportunity to go on Potter's Clay on the Med/Dent team. It was such a great feeling to be able to help people and do something for them. When trying to figure out the best career path for my life and begging God to give me clear direction, I kept remembering my time on PC. During my 3rd year of dental school, having had some experience working on actual patients, I arranged with Dr. Neuenschwander and Dr. Campbell (who have been going on PC for 25 years) and the student leaders of the now Med/Dent/Opt team to let me come and help as a student dentist. I have been back over 20 times.
Susan McAdams (left) with
student Monica Grieco (right) on the
October Juntos weekend
Just a few weeks ago I was able to go to Juntos (a weekend PC trip). I got to ride down with Westmont students and enjoy time with them and get to know them better and learn more about current happenings at Westmont. I am still amazed by the quality education and life experience that Westmont provides. I am so impressed by the current students—they are young adults with outstanding character. I spent the day doing a dental clinic. Victor, the dentist we work with in Ensenada, was able to have two friends come help, so we had 4 dentists working most of the day. I believe we saw about 90 patients. I had one patient who spoke English well and he thanked me for being there and said that it was such a blessing. I asked him a little more about it, because sometimes I have felt like I was just putting a band-aid on for people. The dentistry we can do is limited: We often just address one or two problems and either pull or fill teeth and I always want to do a complete exam and get everything taken care of. He told me that even for me to pull his one tooth was such a benefit and that he saw God's love in us and really appreciated the time we took to come serve the needy people in Ensenada.
Potter's Clay has been going for over 30 years, completely student-led. I was able to get to know some of the students on core team this year and they are amazing. They started the year with less money in the account than most teams start with. But they are working hard to make sure PC is awesome for the students and adults involved and beneficial to the people of Ensenada. The medical, dental, and optometry clinics are just one small part. There are many much-needed construction projects, vacation Bible school, sports events and continuing relationships with many pastors and churches in Ensenada. It is a great experience and opportunity for Westmont students. If you would like to learn more about Potters Clay, contact Jeremy Fletcher, Westmont's Coordinator of Student Ministries and Missions.
Dentistry, like any other job, has its ups and downs, but it is my work and my ministry. For the past two years I have been working in a small office in Auburn, CA. I get to serve people in such a unique and intimate way. God has reminded me many times that it is what I am called to do. I get to help many people both locally and in Ensenada.
Again, thank you Julie and Susan for your contributions!
Merry Christmas and may God bless all you fellow Westmont Graduates. We hope to see you again soon.
Karl and Kimberly Schafer
P.S. Have you moved lately? Had a child? Changed jobs? Gotten married? Update your profile on Westmont's Alumni Directory and stay in touch with your classmates! Or if you'd like to be included in a future edition of our class newsletter, email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with us.