Rarely can you stroll Pepperdine’s manicured campus in Malibu and not encounter sightseers taking pictures from various stunning vantage points. In fact, a widely read college guide named Pepperdine the “Most Beautiful College Campus in America” as voted by students across the country. Yet, to consider only this distinction is to miss what lies beneath the beauty of this place.
As chair of the Board of Regents, it has been my privilege to witness the remarkable achievements of our undergraduates at Seaver College. I have gained an insight into their character. I know of their acts of kindness, their scholarship, their exhibition of good sportsmanship, and their service to humanity. Only when you take in these heart-filled endeavors do you glimpse the true beauty of Pepperdine University.
Likewise, I have seen impressive work from our graduate programs. Over half of our student body pursues career growth and professional studies at the School of Law, the Graziadio School of Business and Management, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP), and the School of Public Policy. Guiding intellect by faith, our talented professors and graduate students enrich their careers and their lives by dedicating themselves to dispute resolution programs within the School of Law, the Urban Initiative project at GSEP, or the service component of the Graziadio School’s MBA program. And that, too, is beautiful.
Pepperdine’s influence extends far beyond Southern California as students and alumni serve the world community in profound and selfless ways. Whether, as you will read in this report, in South Africa, Honduras, the Republic of Georgia, or Iran, you will find students and faculty blending creativity, competency, and knowledge, with love for their fellow man. And it, too, is beautiful.
I am proud to be associated with a university that remains faithful to George Pepperdine’s vision. He believed that education did not simply exist for itself and said, “Education should include the right outlook on life, a realization of our responsibility to society, to our country, and to God…that young people be taught that their place in the world is to serve and to give.”
President Benton and his administrative team are deeply committed to that idea. They understand that knowledge brings freedom; so, they work tirelessly to make certain that the highest standards of academic excellence are fully rendered in the classroom. They also believe that with knowledge comes opportunity and responsibility. As stewards of Mr. Pepperdine’s vision and the resources provided by Pepperdine’s two benefactors—Blanche Seaver and George L. Graziadio—the administrative team seeks to use Pepperdine’s resources to improve the student experience today while building the university of tomorrow.
As you review this year’s annual report, I hope you will enjoy the beautiful pictures of our University campuses; but more importantly, I hope you will see the real beauty beyond our ocean vistas and acclaimed facilities. For I believe the brilliant light pouring forth from our community of scholars, students, staff, friends, and alumni is more spectacular than anything nature can offer on its own.