Convocation celebrates the beginning of your academic journey as a Westminster student. It's an opportunity for the Westminster community to formally welcome you, recognize the importance of your educational work, and vocalize a commitment to supporting you as you pursue your education. You'll hear from a variety of leaders on campus, including the college president, provost, and student body president, and have the opportunity to bond with your fellow classmates as you begin this momentous journey together.
We sing to Alma Mater
with reverent hearts and true.
Beneath the Wasatch mountains,
skies of azure blue.
Oh may thy men and women
e’er pledge their love to thee.
To our Westminster College,
we sing this song to thee!
History of Westminster College
More Than 140 Years of History
Westminster College has played a pivotal role in the educational heritage of the intermountain area. Today, Westminster exists as a fully independent, privately funded, nondenominational, comprehensive liberal arts institution of higher learning with selected graduate programs, meeting the West’s educational needs as it has since 1875.
Night reflects the towering silhouettes of the mighty Wasatch Mountains at the end of each day. A color of royalty, rejuvenation, and revelation, this rich shade embodies the heights of achievement and knowledge.
Copper is an abundant mineral in the state of Utah. It acts as a natural connector and conductor, propelling energy forward and changing the world for the better—much like the students at Westminster College.
Snow is the primary element of the Utah winter: clean, crisp, and wide open. This blank canvas serves as a reminder to Westminster College students of the endless possibilities on their horizon.
Flint often acts as the foundational spark of fire—just as Westminster College is the spark that ignites students’ passions and fuels their dreams.
Birch is an intrepid species, with roots that fan out to seek water and new soil. At Westminster College, students take this spirit to explore the unknown; establishing and flourishing wherever they go.
Thistle adapts and blossoms in any environment. Westminster College students will be challenged, learning adaptability and flexibility—growing and going wherever the future takes them.
The sky is wide and vast, touching every corner of the world. After graduation, alumni venture out into the world with the same boundless opportunities.
Convocation took place on Aug. 17, 2020. Students, faculty, and staff were all invited to attend convocation virtually.
The Utah Pipe Band was formed in 1939 by Scottish immigrants. The band still adheres to its original constitution, which sets forth its purposes of community service, individual development, and musical excellence.
Bethami Dobkin (she, her, hers) is Westminster College’s 19th president. She comes to Westminster with over 30 years of teaching and leadership in higher education and a distinguished record of scholarship in media criticism, political violence, and gender studies. Dr. Dobkin is challenging Westminster to bring the strengths of a liberal arts foundation—broad knowledge, analytic thinking, ethical action—to the contemporary challenges of leadership. She believes that integrating all aspects of student life gives students the knowledge, skills, and experience to build the communities that will solve both today’s problems and those we have yet to imagine. Dr. Dobkin brings a service orientation to leadership, providing students with an inclusive and supportive education that challenges them to create, innovate, and lead with passion and integrity. She is driven by her conviction that that learning can be transformative, and that education is imperative in creating a more just, humane, and sustainable world.
Erica Johnson (she, her, hers) joined the Westminster community in the summer of 2019 as the vice president for enrollment management. Previously, Erica served as the associate vice-president of enrollment and director of admissions at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. Erica has a bachelor of arts degree in history from Lewis & Clark and a master of education in enrollment management and policy from the University of Southern California. Originally from northern Utah, Erica and her family love being back in Salt Lake. Along with her husband, 2 kids, and their black lab, she enjoys exploring the outdoors and trying great new restaurants.
Debbie Tahmassebi (she, her, hers) has served as Provost at Westminster since July 2019. Prior to that, she was the dean for the College of Arts and Sciences at Santa Clara University and a professor of chemistry at the University of San Diego. Debbie has an undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of California, San Diego, a PhD in organic chemistry from the University of Washington, and she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Rochester. Debbie loves the beach, the ocean, and traveling.
Brian Jorgensen (he, him, his), professor of marketing, was born in California and grew up in Utah, Pennsylvania, and Germany. He has degrees from the University of Utah and Brigham Young University, as well as a PhD in marketing from the University of California, Los Angeles, with an emphasis in consumer behavior. He has taught in many areas of marketing, as well as business law, since joining Westminster 19 years ago. He also does research and writing in marketing communications, marketing pedagogy, and the history of marketing. In his free time time, he enjoys running, reading, drawing, and painting.
Students will break out into small groups for faculty-led discussions about Westminster and your academic journeys as Griffins.