What a remarkable year 2009 has been. In fact, I haven't experienced one quite like it since I've been at Pepperdine. Though it would be easy to fixate on the financial crisis that has gripped the nation and much of the world, it would be a mistake to race past all the goodness of the past year. The service, the scholarship, the many achievements flowing from our students, faculty, and alumni is astounding. By anyone's measure, Pepperdine's output is remarkable.
The story of Pepperdine's successful year starts with a community that pulled together in the face of adversity. We learned to accomplish more with fewer resources. We reduced expenses significantly and redoubled our efforts to ensure that our current students could continue their education in spite of the economic hardship. One of our proudest moments came when we learned that of all eligible Seaver College undergraduate students, 96.6 percent enrolled to return.
The majority of our enrollment targets have been met and several have been exceeded. Demand for a Pepperdine education is as strong as ever. In fact, it has caught us a bit off guard. The record number of admitted students enrolled in our Malibu programs this last year strained our ability to house them all. (It's a challenge I am only too happy to accept.)
Though I suspect we have not seen the end of this crisis, I am confident that the measures we have taken have positioned us well to fend off the threats of the next surge of this financial storm, if indeed it comes. Pepperdine is prepared to venture far into the future because of the difficult decisions and the multitude of sacrifices that have been made this past year.
In the meantime, we have seen a surge of activity on and off campus. The Town Square project in Malibu was completed, adding new state-ofthe- art classrooms and beautiful lecture space. More importantly, it has added a real sense of community to the heart of our campus.
Our alumni continue to be active throughout the world as entrepreneurs, business leaders, and community volunteers. The Waves of Service initiative was launched to support and recognize the good that Pepperdine Waves are doing worldwide. Our alumni are networking with each other and are mentoring and hiring our students like never before.
I hope you will find this annual report to be an honest appraisal of the past fiscal year. The challenges we faced and met are clearly presented, as are the measures we have taken to defend against other financial threats. But remember, the facts and figures presented in this report are only part of the story. The truest Pepperdine story emerges through the stories of students, faculty, and alumni. Let me encourage you to read and savor every word. Don't race past the good that is being done around you.
Andrew K. Benton