I graduated in June 1958, the last of three brothers to earn their BA at the old Vermont campus of Pepperdine. For my last three years at school I worked nights for the Los Angeles Examiner, the start of a 52-year career as a newspaper journalist working for six different papers over that time. But I started my journalism traditions by working on the staff of the Graphic, the Pepperdine weekly newspaper, all four years.
By October 4, 1957, I had risen to the position of feature editor. That night editor Phil Pennington and I were working late on the layout for that week's edition. It was a few minutes after 10 p.m. when we left the little old office building about in the middle of the campus, just west of the Dolores statue and midway between the business lecture building and the bookstore. As we locked the door, a streak of light distracted us. We looked up and witnessed the third orbit of the earth by Sputnik 1, the universe's first man-launched orbiting satellite.
Bob Andrew ('58)
After spending my freshman year at a college in Texas, Charles Runnels persuaded me to attend Pepperdine during its first year on the Malibu campus in the fall of 1972. My plan was to spend a year at Pepperdine and then return to my original college. I met my future wife within two days of arriving in Malibu (we ended up having our first kiss in the cafeteria a few days later), met many wonderful friends, participated in the first Songfest (we begged students to come for free), and enjoyed the adventures that came with many other "firsts." The campus was not quite ready for us (e.g., ongoing construction and no toilet seats in the girls' dorms), but we were ready for it. We witnessed first-hand the Miracle of Malibu and were blessed by the experience. By the way, I never made it back to Texas. Instead I'm approaching my 30th year on the faculty at Pepperdine.
Dennis Lowe, '75, '77
Professor of Psychology
M. Norvel and Helen Young Endowed Chair in Family Life
My history with the University and the Law School goes back to 1975. In those days, we did not have computers at our desks. Staff members—collectively there were 10 of us—had electric type writes. All of our systems were manual systems: the admissions process, student registration and billing, grade posting and reporting, all written correspondence, etc. During the late 70's, I served the law school as records coordinator. Part of my responsibility was to record grades, calculate GPAs and class standing, and manually type transcripts. At the end of the each semester, it was also my job to post the grades using an anonymous exam number—after dean approval, of course.
At the end of my first semester in this capacity, I was walking down a long corridor which separated the administrative wing from the classrooms. I was openly (and foolishly) carrying grades for all to see. It was a little disconcerting and unnerving to have about 20 students follow me down this corridor. They followed closely, but were careful not to overtake me. I was relieved when they stopped about two feet behind me and allowed me to post the grades; it was then my task to make it out of the crowd unscathed. It was a close call, but I made it. After that lesson in judgment, I always posted grades as discreetly as possible.
Executive Director, Fiscal and Financial Services
School of Law
As a young man, John Drescher had worked as a mining engineer, and when I heard that he had been awarded several patents I was eager to discuss this with him, since I teach a course in Creativity and Innovation at our Graziadio School. My wife Molly accompanied me, and as we got closer and closer to the address we were given for Mr. Drescher, it looked like we were not headed for a fancy residence but for old industrial property. At the address, an older man who looked like a factory worker came to the curb and waved at us. It was Mr. Drescher! He took us to lunch in a beat-up diner, with cracked linoleum on the floor. The owner greeted us with, "Got your tuna sandwich ready, John."
His nearby office was lined with faded Hawaiian grass mats, and his office couch was the back seat of an old automobile. He told us stories about the days when he rode the rails as a hobo during the Great Depression and was grateful for finding work in building the Hoover Dam. So Molly and I have no memories or associations of luxury or of a mansion from that day; instead, we treasure vivid memories of a modest, generous soul we will admire always. We are so humbled and grateful whenever we think of John Drescher.
Professor of Applied Behavioral Science
Graziadio School of Business and Management
When I was at the crossroads of my decision to attend Pepperdine, Dr. Wilburn's unwavering, strong yet gentle style reinforced my decision every day. A single event, however, was solidified it all. Mikhail Gorbachev was a guest of the School of Public Policy for a small intimate gathering in a conference room. No fanfare or bright lights, a low-key gathering with public policy students and their mentors and teachers for a short conversation.
We had time for just a few questions and I was blessed enough to be called on. I asked how he could have made such unpopular moves in his political life that certainly would have doomed his presidency. He looked over at me and the rest of our gathering, and spoke of family and how the importance of our actions today will affect generations to come. He went on, but the meaning was as important as the many reasons we were at Pepperdine: to serve others, with the benefits to be all encompassing and not self-serving. It was a true foundation of our class, our program, our professors, our University, and our leader James Wilburn.
Anthony Scardino (MPP '99)
The psychology clinic at our Irvine campus opened on October 17, 1994. Two weeks later my wife and I were vacationing up on the central coast of California with some friends. Someone turned on the news there was our campus—on fire, the whole building in flames. The entire north end of the three story building was destroyed. We lost classrooms and offices, and though the clinic didn't actually catch fire, thick, oily, greasy soot and smoke came through the ventilation system and covered everything inside. We had to throw everything out and start from scratch.
School was in session, so the campus rolled a few vehicles up to the front for the administrative offices and rented out hotel rooms in the local area for classrooms. The clinic stumbled along in new quarters (we met even in my private practice office), while our space was stripped of carpeting and cleaned with Q-tips. Everything was soaked from the firehose and giant fans were installed to dry it. Clean up and restoration happened at the same time.
Everything was eventually cleaned up, repainted, and we held a Christmas party that year in the clinic itself. By February it was complete. The whole process was unforgettable and gave us an opportunity to take an outdated setting in an old campus and reconfigure it. I still keep a great big piece of melted aluminum here in my office.
Clinical Faculty; Clinic Director, Irvine; and MFT Program Director
Graduate School of Education and Psychology
The Zeta Kappa Sorority was founded at the George Pepperdine College Vermont Campus in 1939. Clara Marble, Coach Al Duer's sister, was sponsor of the sorority for many years. The sorority was active on the Malibu Campus until 1996 when they were colonized by the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority.
However, the Zeta Kappa Alumnae have been very active ever since being started in 1950 by Barbara Long Booth, Ann Craig Guitierrez, Lee Reagen Kinney, Dene Golden Reed, and Jacquie Dalton Dedona. Barbara Booth continued to coordinate yearly gatherings for luncheons and other activities including establishing the GOLDEN ANGEL SCHOLARSHIP fund at Pepperdine for active Zeta Kappa Sorority students. Since then donations have been given to the Barney Barnhart Bench Fund, the Chris Sangster Memorial Fund, the Oly Tegner Fund, and to the Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology Scholarship Fund.
After Barbara's passing, Lorraine Hill Brinton and Margie Sorenson-Lundholm continued Barbara's legacy. Margie Sorenson-Lundholm has coordinated yearly luncheons since 1997 with the help of many ZK.
Alumnae Ramona Hahn, wife of Kenny Hahn, was a Zeta Kappa and Helen Young was made an Honorary Member of the Zeta Kappa Alumnae.
Margie Sorenson-Lundholm ('58, MA '75)
Memories of George Pepperdine College Vermont and Normandy Campus are many. I was there from January of 1957 through January of 1961. There are many recollections form the Sub-Ts serenading the latest pinning by a member by putting up a ladder to the 2nd floor of the girls dorm and sending up the Sub-T to hold his sweet Heart as we all sang the Sub-T Rose below. " Mother" Hall was not impressed by these antics but said little.
The memory I speak about the most was when I was a Yell Leader and The Pepperdine Basketball Team was playing against Loyola in the Inglewood High School Gym. Myself, Herman Whitfield, Bob Waldron, and Bob Pratt had just finished the P E P P E R D I N E spell out and switch to "give me a W" At this point WILLIE WAVE walked out from a side door. Willie Wave was a paper mache cover that a young man wore that looked like a breaking wave. When Willie walked out the Loyola Stands stood up and asked "Who's the Drip?" It was extremely funny and broke up both Loyola and The Pepperdine Stands. Us Yell Leaders were laughing so hard we couldn't come up with a sharp reply. Recovery was not rapid. I do not recall our what happened next.
Don Aston '61
The Time I Got Locked in Payson Library
As many know, there is small room in the women’s bathroom with a couch. Many would go and study there for quiet solitude or to take a nap. I was studying one late evening in that very room of Payson Library. I had fallen asleep reading and when I woke up, not knowing what time it was, decided I had better go back to my dorm and go to bed. I packed my things and walked out of the bathroom into the pitch black darkness. I had been locked inside the library! Apparently, the library staff didn’t check that area of the library before they closed. I started to panic a little, walked around the library afraid to set off an alarm. No one was there and I didn’t know the number for public safety. Not knowing what to do, I went back to that little room and fell asleep. I woke up around the time the library opened and walked out of the library. The people working at the front desk looked at me like “where did she come from?” And that’s about the time I got locked in Payson Library….
Ten years ago I was fortunate enough to spend two semesters abroad in Florence. While I knew that I was about to change my life by being able to embrace new countries and cultures, I did not know to what extent I would be truly changed. It was during my time abroad that I met what would be my future wife, Heather. We started dating two weeks after arriving while on a field trip to Sicily. Now, ten years later, we have twin baby daughters and a life full of wonderful memories of our experiences there. None of this would have been possible without Pepperdine. Thank you for making it all possible.
One of my cherished memories of Seaver College is the required Convocation attendance. At first glance this weekly mandatory attendance looked unfair and unrealistic. As I went to each one it started to grow on me. I see how much it gave me and our community. Not only was it a time for spiritual reflection, but also a time of seeing our community, and feeling part of something. Another highlight of my Pepperdine years was distributing a petition to add 2 things for our graduation ceremony: (1) to list our majors in the program and (2) to have a tassel-moving ceremony. This was back in 1989, so I'm not sure that these exist today, but I commend the administration for seeing that the graduating class wanted these to be part of the ceremony, and although it wasn't part of history before then, they were willing to let the students take the lead. That type of honor and commitment to the student is what makes Pepperdine a school that build leaders.
Tina Mertel ('89)
I joined the psychology faculty of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) in the fall of 1986, along with Kathi Borden and Lou Cozolino. It was an exciting time at GSEP: the Psy.D. program had just been launched and new training clinics were planned for each of the graduate campuses. No doubt there were some growing pains but I also recall many great memories of those years. One that stands out in particular was the day in 1990 when the American Psychological Association awarded full accreditation to our doctoral program. To receive full accreditation on our first attempt was a great accomplishment and it meant that even our inaugural class would graduate from a fully accredited program. Dean Nancy Magnusson threw a party for the faculty at a local restaurant and we really celebrated. I think that was the last time I danced with Barbara Ingram!
A more recent great memory is from January 2001, when Aaron Aviera and I had the opportunity to start GSEP’s mental health clinic at the Union Rescue Mission (URM) in central Los Angeles. With funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and support from Pepperdine and URM, we began a program to provide needed psychological services to homeless men and women. For over ten years, psychology doctoral students from GSEP have received training and experience in addressing the mental health treatment needs of the most oppressed and marginalized people in our community. It has been an important and fulfilling venture, one that over 75 doctoral students have participated in to date. This is complex and challenging work, but the project has been blessed by support from our Dean and Associate Dean, as well as from psychology faculty who have lent their expertise. I look forward to creating more great memories at GSEP in the years ahead.
Cary Mitchell, Professor of Psychology