On occasion, I will invite a friend or a prospective student and her or his family to take a short "road trip" around the Malibu campus with me. Without fail, my guests will comment on the stunning view and pleasant sea air. Together, we will breathe deeply and note that we are in a blessed place. But then their attention will turn to those whose names and portraits they see in hallways, classrooms, theatres, and on the side of buildings, and they will ask about these people.
"These are the leading characters in the Pepperdine story," I tell them. "Many of them stood in this spot when it was a barren hillside and they saw a world-changing possibility. As they surveyed this very place they saw an opportunity to change the world one student at a time. These men and women believed in Pepperdine's record of providing a distinctive liberal arts education to bright, high-minded undergraduate students. They joined us as we expanded our vision to include purpose-filled yet practical graduate programs in law, public policy, business, education, and psychology." My guests listen as the story unfolds and they breathe deeply, take in the air, and note that we have been blessed.
A World-Changing Possibility
When I ponder Pepperdine's 70-year journey, I am amazed by how far we have come in such a short period of time. The explanation for this success lies deep within the University's unique mission that demands that our students receive an education that informs both the heart and the mind. At Pepperdine, the pursuit of truth is informed by both faith and academic excellence. It is a place where faith is not only tolerated, but encouraged; a place where the concern and love of neighbor is equally relevant in the pursuit of wisdom. I see the potential that flows from this mission every day.
Whether considering our excellent faculty made up of world-class scholars who have not lost their love for teaching, or our talented, purposeful students who have a strong sense of optimism for not only their future but that of the entire planet, or the remarkable impact our alumni are having across the globe, I can't help but feel that something greater than all of us is at work at Pepperdine University.
It is my personal belief that God has been with this University since its founding. We have been preserved through crisis and elevated during moments of triumph in ways that only divine providence can adequately explain. Today, we stand in a position of strength thanks to a growing endowment, fueled by generous friends and alumni who share the values of this University and its promise for tomorrow.
I give thanks for the outpouring of generous support that we received last year. I am humbled when I think of the many people who continue to give of themselves to empower new opportunities. As I look forward to our best years yet to come, my prayer for Pepperdine is that we will continue to build upon George Pepperdine's vision in a manner that glorifies God. In the coming year, I invite you to dream with us and to recommit yourself to this special place as we seek to transform the world one student at a time.
Vice President for Advancement and Public Affairs
Keith Hinkle, Helen Young
Charles Runnels, Lou Drobnick
Ron Phillips, Sara Jackson
Claudia Preston, Michael Warder
Drew Hoff, Lance Keene, Ann Kratz
Curt Portzel, Kira Baccari
Debi Klein, Sam Lagana
Jon Kemp, Heidi Bernard, Michael Neils
Claudette LaCour, Michael Zakian
Cathy Kort, John Miller