College Honors Its Employees of the Year

By Scott Craig   |   June 11, 2024
Lisa Vincent and Ryley Oroku with President Gayle D. Beebe (photo by Brad Elliott)

Westmont honored a number of employees for their outstanding contributions at the May 9 Faculty and Staff Appreciation Brunch, an annual ceremony that recognizes individual work anniversaries and accomplishments. President Gayle D. Beebe and members of the college’s executive team selected the recipients from a peer-nominated pool. An endowment set up by the late Bruce and Adaline Bare funds the awards; he was a longtime college trustee. Westmont Human Resources hosted the brunch.

This year the college honored Lisa Vincent, Director of Conferences and Event Services, and Ryley Oroku, IT’s business process analyst and API programmer. The Westmont Athletics Administration, which includes Jacob Norling, Jeff Raymond, Ron Smith, Jill Heckman, Dave Odell, Jeff Azain, Robert Ruiz, and Kirsten Moore, was honored with the Department of the Year Award. 

Vincent, who has served at the college for 15 years, was lauded for how she works with others. “Nominators highlighted her generosity and graciousness, her quick sense of humor to keep things light, her cheerful demeanor, and her willingness to go the extra mile to make sure campus events go well and summer clients are well cared for,” said Doug Jones, Vice President for Finance. 

Athletics Administrators: Jeff Raymond, Robert Ruiz, Beebe, Ron Smith, Jill Heckman and Kirsten Moore  — not pictured: Dave Odell, Jeff Azain, and Jacob Norling (photo by Brad Elliott)
Edee Schulze and Eileen McQuade with Beebe

Oroku, who graduated from Westmont in 2020, earned praise for how well he listens and considers ideas and perspectives of others. “(Ryley’s) expertise and assistance are experienced by others as unassumingly, never intimating that their opinion is the only valid option,” said Reed Sheard, Vice President for Advancement and IT. “Smart people who can make others feel smart are exceptionally rare.”

Westmont athletics has successfully completed its second year of a three-year review toward full membership of the NCAA DII. “We wanted to celebrate the great contribution that you’ve made and the way in which this sets us up for the future,” Beebe said. “I appreciate the competitive integrity that you bring to our sports program. It’s important not only that we compete, but that we compete well and with the highest principles.”

Beebe gave Edee Schulze, Vice President for Student Life, and Eileen McQuade the Jane Higa Award for Academic and Co-Curricular Partnership, recognizing the significant role that Higa played in promoting and fostering curricular and co-curricular partnerships during her 24 years as Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students. 

The brunch also served as a way to thank Schulze, who is retiring after a decade at Westmont, and Paul Delaney, English professor emeritus, who taught at Westmont for 52 years. Brad Elliott, who continues to serve as campus photographer and on the chapel worship team, celebrated his 40th year at Westmont. 


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