Time marches ... time matters.
The past 12 months at Pepperdine have been all about looking back and leaning forward in a very visible way. On banners across the Malibu campus and at our Southern California centers, in shopping plazas and airport terminals, on community kiosks and lampposts, and in an array of magazines, we proudly proclaimed Pepperdine's 75th anniversary year.
Scores of Pepperdine alumni reunited across the country—including 200 at a signature event in Houston—equipped with 75th anniversary party packs provided by our alumni relations staff to help them celebrate in style. Here on campus, we opened a towering "Headlines of History" exhibit that recounts our modest beginnings and mighty advances over seven decades and more. If you have not seen it, visit the Thornton Administrative Center where it remains on display.
In March, nearly 1,000 guests filled the New York Street back lot at Burbank's Warner Bros. Studios, as Pepperdine Associates and alumni—many in vintage attire—paused to recall what it was like in the Depression-era '30s as George Pepperdine built his college some 20 miles south.
Our yearlong anniversary festivities came to a nostalgic close on September 19 as 3,000 students, faculty, alumni, staff, and board members assembled in Firestone Fieldhouse and later for lunch in Alumni Park to commemorate Founder's Day. Around the Southland, Los Angeles Times subscribers awoke that morning to find our 20-page, full-color insert, sharing our 75-year story and congratulatory messages from loyal fans and friends.
This year's annual report celebrates these momentous 12 months in Pepperdine's history. Those of us privileged to be part of the University family will remember in the years ahead that 2012 was our time—teaching in classrooms, coaching athletes, conducting research, mentoring students, working in the library, grooming the landscape, serving others, changing lives.
"Time has a wonderful way to show us what really matters," writes author and artist Margaret Peters. As we close this celebratory chapter in Pepperdine's still rather brief but colorful history in the annals of Christian higher education, I am reminded of the eight months it took George Pepperdine to open his college—from decision in February to dedication on September 21, 1937.
I especially love his response to skeptical educators Batsell Baxter and Hugh Tiner, who would become his first and second college presidents, respectively. "But this is already February," Tiner protested. "I know," said Mr. Pepperdine, "so while we will have plenty of time, we won't have any to lose."
Indeed, time marches ... and time matters. On Mr. Pepperdine's firm foundation, fueled by faith that endured far beyond the fortune he invested, this University shines today as our "city on a hill." As I expressed during the September Founder's Day ceremony, at Pepperdine we press confidently forward, earnestly toward our centennial year in 2037, because we believe in differences that matter, people who matter, and a heritage that matters.
Andrew K. Benton
President and Chief Executive Officer