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Dear 2008-ers,

I hope your summer went well. If you're going to be in Santa Barbara on October 14-15, come by Homecoming and take a look through some of the improvements that are (still) being made to campus!

After the completion of Westmont's new buildings for Art and Science last year, the Art Department vacated the old "Reynolds Gallery" (you remember the old building situated below Armington near Deane Chapel). Crews spent the summer transforming the interior of Reynolds into a state-of-the-art Music building, complete with 12 soundproof practice rooms (up from just 4 in their previous home) and faculty offices. Check it out when you're on campus next. The improvement is stunning! And now that Music has moved out of Porter Theatre, the Theatre Arts and Biology departments are getting new spaces for their students as well.

As always, I welcome and invite you to send me a bit about what you've been up to recently. I'll collect your responses and include them in our next newsletter in December. For this newsletter, I'd like to thank Casey Caldwell for sharing his theatre journey with us!

Grace and peace,
Cora Rose, Class Agent for 2008

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Casey Caldwell

I spent at least two years after graduation getting my footing. There are few clear paths in the art world - most people make their own way the best they can, and I spent a lot of time stumbling around. But as every month goes by, I find myself feeling more and more purposeful; I'm even starting to feel every now and then like I know what I'm doing.

As things stand now, I'm acting with theater companies across Santa Barbara and elsewhere, and I've founded a new company with some other alums: Ratatat Theater Group. (You can check us out at I get to do meaningful work that I'm very proud of and have a ton of fun with.

Life after graduation was of course different than I expected. None of the dreams I had went quite the way I planned. And I'm actually glad for that. My theater career has been less glamorous, but more substantial, that I had imagined when I was a student, and God has led me in new, wonderful directions that I had not planned for at all. I've gotten both less ambitious and more ambitious. I'm less ambitious for my own career and success, but I've become incredibly ambitious about making work that enlivens the community of which I'm a part.

I don't know what the future will hold. As always, I've got big, elaborate dreams and plans, but I expect that they won't work out the way I think. Which is kinda fun.

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