Greetings, Class of 2008! I pray that the year is off to a great start for you.

Many of you remember Mark McCormick, more famously known as "Mark the RD". Mark has served as the Resident Director of the Clark resident halls and mentor to thousands of us Westmont grads since 1989. This spring marks his final semester serving first year students at Westmont. If you were a Clarkster-or even if you lived in Page or transferred to Westmont after your first year-Mark's face is probably a familiar one to you, and his departure draws up a lot of memories for me of hearing "Study Breeeaaakkk!"

His plans for the future, in addition to those of Luisa Gallagher, Page Hall RD since 2006, are mentioned in a recent Horizon Article. As you know, it is through the ministry of people like Mark that students grow into adulthood, building careers and building up communities. To that end, I'd like to share with you something that one of the current Westmont students has written about her experiences at Westmont and her hopes for the future.

In the words of a current Westmont student...

As I walked onto Westmont College's campus for the first time, the fresh aroma of flowers, the greenery and students roaming in shorts and flip flops were in stark contrast to the March months I am used to experiencing in Colorado. With the phrase "from blizzard to paradise" in my head, I decided that I wanted to attend Westmont. The open nature of the students and the academic rigor of the courses persuaded me also, but it was a unique presence that drew me to Westmont. I had been looking at both public and private schools, Christian and secular colleges, but none had the spirit that I found at Westmont. To this day, I cannot describe the welcoming atmosphere I feel when I set foot on campus as anything other than God. My attachment to Westmont was financially worrisome for my parents and me, but scholarships and grants made it possible for me to attend here.

As an out-of-state student, I surprisingly made the transition to college life at Westmont effortlessly, making many friendships that are hopefully long lasting. I am one of the few and proud pre-medicine students; my major is Chemistry in the Biochemistry track with minors in Mathematics and Biology. Even though school work tends to consume my life, I still get involved with on campus activities, such as the preview days. Last year, my roommate and I hosted students in our room and gave them a glimpse into life at Westmont. This year, I am a small group leader for a question and answer session. I really enjoy bonding with the students and showing them what Westmont is really like outside of the pamphlets they get in the mail. The combination of all these activities, along with the Christian environment, has really helped me grow in patience, perseverance, determination, and many other values that were not fully developed before I attended Westmont College.

Although I still have two more years at Westmont, I am constantly planning each step of my life. Through extensive scheduling, I am able to go abroad in the spring of 2011. It is both exhilarating and frightening knowing that I will be in Thailand this time next year, but I know that the knowledge and values that I will develop through the classes, internships and culture immersion will be a cornerstone for the rest of my life. The experiences that I will have during my time at Westmont and in Thailand will enable me to persevere during medical school. I aspire to become a cardiovascular surgeon. Through my previous hospital internships, I know that I have the stomach for blood and the passion for science, so this career is well suited for my personality. After I establish myself as a doctor, I would love to travel and assist those struggling in other countries. Westmont has placed this passion for the global community in my heart, and I am excited to see where it leads me.

Ashley Padgett '12
(B.S. - Chemistry, minors in Mathematics and Biology)

For me, it is good to know that Westmont is turning out bright, determined, and committed students-the kind that our world really needs! This year, for example, about 340 Westmont students are dedicating their Spring Break to serve in communities from Ensenada, Mexico, to Mississippi, to San Francisco, CA. Thinking about Westmont students and alumni, I'm thankful for you and God's grace "given you in Christ Jesus" (1 Cor 1:4). I'm thankful to be a part of the community of Westmont alumni!

I'd also like to invite you to join the Class of 2008's dedicated group on Facebook. Feel free to join, post photos, prayer requests, and updates on the wall, and to keep in touch with each other.

Cora Rose, Class Agent '08

Click Here to find out more about the Class Agent program at Westmont.

Recent and Upcoming Events
  • February 16: Westmont faculty homes went solar. Read more.

  • February 19: Westmont welcomed Mexico's former president Vicente Fox to campus. Watch his chapel address on YouTube.

  • February 26: Dr. Jeff Schloss, Professor of Biology at Westmont since 1981, received the T.B. Walker Chair in the Natural and Behavioral Sciences, which will allow him to collaborate more with students in research.

  • March 27: Spring Sing 2010 is at 6:30p.m. at the Santa Barbara County Bowl. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $23.

  • April 21: The Spring 2010 Student Research Symposium will feature students' research from all disciplines and majors.

  • May 7-8: At Commencement 2010, the Westmont community will honor 330 graduates and welcome them as new Westmont Alumni! Find out more on the Commencement Page.

  • May 17-June 30, Annual Class Challenge. Watch your mailbox for more information in the coming weeks.

  • June 24-26, Ashland Shakespeare Festival: Join Professor of English Paul Willis for 3 days of Shakespeare. Reserved seating is limited. Sign up today for Twelfth Night, Henry IV Part One, and Hamlet.

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