Greetings Class of 2009! I pray that the year is off to a great start for you. It's hard to believe that a year ago most of us were anxiously anticipating graduation!

Many of you may remember Mark McCormick, more famously known as "Mark the RD. Since 1989, Mark has served as the Resident Director of the Clark Resident Halls, making the transition to college as fun and easy as possible. Through his work he has touched the lives of thousands of Westmont students and alumni. This spring signifies his final semester serving freshman at Westmont. If you were a freshman in the Clark Halls-or even if you lived in Page or transferred to Westmont—Mark's face is probably a familiar one to you, and his departure reminds me of many fond freshman memories.

Mark's plans for the future, in addition to those of the current Page Hall Resident Director, 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 raising families of their own. To that end, I'd like to share with you something that one of the current Westmont students has written about his experiences and hopes for the future.

In the words of a current Westmont student...

When you sense the direction the Lord wants you to follow, it's been my experience that it is futile to struggle against His will. As a second-generation minority, growing up in a gang-infested neighborhood in Saticoy, California, it would have been easy to fall into that cyclical poverty mindset. But that was not the Lord's will. I believe He specifically brought people into my life who would guide and show me how impactful a college degree would be.

From teachers to spiritual mentors, relatives to the admissions councilor at Westmont, I know that the Lord has a special plan predestined for me. Skipping the essential steps that lead me to Westmont, I can begin the story with the enrollment process. I appreciated Westmont's commitment to seeking Christ-centered individuals who have a passion for learning and not narrowing the application process to merely grade point averages and test scores. Westmont placed emphasis on character though clearly, they also assessed whether the student could handle the rigors of an academically challenging liberal arts institution. Once I was accepted into Westmont, I faced the harsh reality of paying the tuition bill. But here again the Lord showed His will, and with the combination of the generous financial aid package and help from my grandmother, I had a clear path to a college degree.

Now I stand on the edge of graduation, looking back at my four years at Westmont College. I cannot impress to you how many lasting memories I have made with these special, God-given friends and professors. I can say with all confidence the liberal arts education I received will serve me well throughout my life. The critical thinking skills I learned will allow me to assess every situation I encounter and make an informed decision. As a Business & Economics major, I see the importance my faith will play in my career choices. I learned that success is not measured by my bank account but rather by the lives I can positively impact. I'm so grateful to all the people who made my experience at Westmont life-changing. As I transition into the next phase of my life, my simple prayer for myself and for all who read this letter is this: Lord, may you always be held preeminent in our lives. We thank you for what you have done, what you are doing, and what you will do. Be ever near to us. Never let us stray, but if we should, grant us mercy. Amen.

Sammy Acosta '10
(B.A. - Economics and Business, minor in Religious Studies)

For me, it is good to know that Westmont is turning out bright, determined, and committed students—the kind that our world really needs more of! This year, for example, almost 340 Westmont students gave up their Spring break to serve in the underserved communities from Ensenada, Mexico to San Francisco, Ca. Thinking about Westmont students and alumni, I'm reminded of the verse "I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus" (1 Cor 1:4). I'm thankful to be a part of the Westmont community, and more specifically the Class of 2009!

Sincerely,
Carolyn Joens '09


Click Here to find out more about Westmont's Class Agent program.

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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