Where the River Flows

Andrew K. Benton, President

The names of many of the world’s great rivers are familiar to us: Amazon, Nile, Zambezi, Thames, and of course, our own mighty Mississippi. These awesome forces of nature, stretching for many thousands of miles, are intriguing for their beauty and power, and they have played a pivotal role in human affairs throughout history.

Their impact on the world has been significant as they have gathered and harnessed their abundant gifts for a greater purpose—from generating electricity and irrigating farmlands to creating industries and providing millions with clean and dependable sources of drinking water. For centuries, commerce has depended upon these liquid superhighways to transport goods, raw materials, and food products; and along their fertile banks, vibrant cities have emerged providing housing and jobs to large populations.

Like the world’s great rivers, Pepperdine has been fed by many sources over its short 70-year history. Students, faculty members, and friends, drawn by the bold mission of our founder—George Pepperdine—have offered their talents and professionalism, their bold ambitions and dreams, and have invested themselves in the formation of this University.

Pepperdine has gathered and harnessed these talents and gifts for a greater good—to bring positive change to a suffering and needy world. We are already witnessing the results of this lofty ambition. While many members of our University family serve in quiet, understated ways in everyday life, others have made dramatic contributions to their communities and the world at large. You will read about some of their inspiring stories in this report.

You will also be introduced to three members of our community whose thoughtful essays represent very personal views of this University and its future. I believe you will see how each embodies that which is distinctive about Pepperdine; for each one, though personally formed by different sources, shares a strong and unified perspective of what Pepperdine is and what it is becoming.

Finally, you will be encouraged to learn that our enrollment continues to rise to historic levels while world-class scholars and teachers have come to help shape our very exciting future. They sense, as I do, that the currents flowing through Pepperdine are growing stronger and that the reach of the University is broadening. They see great promise in the Pepperdine mission which acknowledges that academic excellence is inextricably linked to the pursuit of truth. While committed to the stringent study of science, history, the arts, literature, business, education, and the law, our scholars are free to consider and even imagine the possibilities hidden within the universe’s greatest truths and virtues.

As we consider the accomplishments of the past year and our future, let me close by thanking you for your expressed interest in Pepperdine University. Your gifts of love, encouragement, and financial support have strengthened our University and now flow through the halls, classrooms, and lives of our students who are passing those gifts along to the betterment of our community and world.