Local Tennis Star Returns

Montecito native and former professional tennis player Alex Nizet is back in his hometown as director of athletic development at Westmont. Nizet, a UC Berkeley grad who recently earned his master’s degree at Yale University Divinity School, oversees efforts to raise funds, resources and community support for Warrior athletics.

Nizet was a High School All-American in 1985 while at Santa Barbara High School and a two-time NCAA All-American. He competed as a touring professional on the ATP Tour from 1989 through 1993.

“Athletics plays an important role in both the development of the individual and the culture of the college,” Nizet says. “As a former student-athlete, I’m excited to be part of Westmont athletics and hope to contribute to the growth of what I believe to be an invaluable piece of the overall college experience.”

He believes he’s coming to Westmont at one of the most dynamic times for the college’s athletic department.

“Plans are underway for a new baseball facility, soccer field, all-weather track and field facility and a full renovation of Murchison Gym,” Nizet notes. “And President Gayle Beebe’s support have added momentum and encouraged everyone involved.”

Nizet formerly served as the director of partnerships and business development at St. Hope Academy, a non-profit community development organization founded near Sacramento by NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson. After he earned his law degree at McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, Alex headed business and legal affairs for Jaffe/Braunstein Films, a prominent television production company.

Nizet hopes his professional experience and knowledge of the region will benefit the college and the local community.

“On an individual level, collegiate athletics serves as a unique teaching tool,” Nizet says. “The student-athlete has the opportunity to learn discipline, teamwork, sportsmanship, integrity, perseverance and self-confidence. On a broader level, collegiate athletics adds to the spirit and richness of the learning environment and is an exciting way to connect the college to the community at large.”

Warrior Athletics Tees it Up

Warrior Sports Associates’ annual fall golf tournament, which raises funds for scholarships, takes place Monday, October 8, at the Saticoy Country Club. The 24th annual Golf Classic will feature a raffle that gives every golfer a chance to win either a complete set of TaylorMade golf clubs or a trip for two to The Broadmoor in Colorado. There will be many other exciting raffle and tee prizes. Saticoy’s culinary team will provide lunch and dinner. The format of the tournament is a modified scramble with a shotgun start at noon.

Funds raised through the tournament are critically important for attracting quality student-athletes. The entry fee to the event is $295 for an individual golfer or $1,180 for a foursome. The tournament is limited to the first 120 players. There are many sponsorship opportunities available. Call Jeff Azain at 805-565-6107 for reservations or more information.

Two New Hall of Famers

Basketball standout Mark Miller, who graduated from Westmont in 1977, and soccer goalkeeper Casey Roberts, a 1980 Westmont alumnus, will be inducted into Westmont’s Hall of Fame at a special ceremony, Saturday, October 6, in Founder’s Dining Room. Tickets for the $25 event, which includes dessert, can be purchased by calling Warrior Athletics at 805-565-6110.

Miller scored 1,671 points in his four years at Westmont, the second most ever at the college. He holds the record for career field goals and is just one of three Warriors to chalk up over 1,000 rebounds.

As a sophomore, Miller recorded the most points ever scored by a Warrior against cross-town rival UC Santa Barbara. Miller tallied 42 points against a team that featured future Los Angeles Laker Don Ford.

Roberts, who played soccer for Westmont from 1976-79, is the Warriors’ career saves leader with 601. He holds the college record for most saves per game, and his 38 career shutouts are second on the all-time list.

In each of his four seasons, the Warriors won the NAIA District III Tournament and advanced to the NAIA Area 1 Championship.

Computer Science Grant

Future computer science students will reap the benefits of a major new grant. The National Science Foundation awarded Westmont $287,500 to fund computer science scholarships over the next four years. Professors Kim Kihlstrom and Wayne Iba serve as principal and co-principal investigators. The grant provides scholarships of up to $10,000 per year for students that demonstrate financial need and academic promise. Recipients will be selected during Connection Weekend, a recruiting event and scholarship competition to be held on campus early in 2008.

Space: The Final Frontier

Weather permitting, Westmont’s Carroll observatory will be open for a free public viewing, Friday, Sept. 21, at 8 pm. The new Keck Telescope and other instruments owned by members of the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit will be aimed at the skies. Download wallpaper images taken by the Keck Telescope at www.westmont.edu/wallpapers.

Rouault Art Lecture

William Dyrness, professor of theology and culture at Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, will present a lecture on “Georges Rouault, Jacques Maritain and Cultural Renewal in France,” Thursday, September 27, at 7 p.m. in Westmont’s Reynolds Gallery. This free talk expands on the gallery’s current exhibit, “Georges Rouault: Miserere et Guerre.” Dyrness is an authority on theology and visual culture, holding degrees from Wheaton, Fuller, the University of Strasbourg, Free University in Amsterdam, and Cambridge. He uses images to demonstrate how art affects culture, especially intellectual culture, rather than merely reflecting it.

Jane Eyre Reading Marathon

If you enjoy picking up a good book and reading it from cover to cover, Westmont’s English Department has the event for you. Faculty and students will read aloud the entire text of Charlotte Brontë’s classic 1847 novel “Jane Eyre,” between 9 am and midnight Saturday, September 29, in Reynolds Hall. Community members are invited to come by, listen and enjoy light refreshments provided throughout the day. This event anticipates the school’s upcoming theatrical production of “Jane Eyre” Fridays and Saturdays, Oct. 19-20 and 26-27, at 8 pm in Porter Theatre.