News & Features
Celeste and John Plueger Commit $1 Million, Dr. Aaron L. Plueger Reading Room Dedicated
By Nate Ethell ('08, MBA '13)
Back row, Terie Ramos, Tim Plueger, Celeste Plueger,
John Plueger, Priscilla Nelson, and Jeff Nelson
Front row, Ryan Plueger, Joyce Plueger, and Alex Plueger
University regent John Plueger and wife, Celeste, and family have made a $1 million commitment to the University Libraries campaign in honor of John’s father, the late Dr. Aaron L. Plueger, member of the George Pepperdine College Class of 1950. Funds from the gift will support the future Payson Library renovation.
Establishing a reading room in his father’s memory was an obvious choice, according to John. After graduating from George Pepperdine College with his English degree, Aaron Plueger earned his master’s degree in divinity and was ordained into the ministry at Mt. Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church in Los Angeles in 1953. He spent his career as a Lutheran minister and theological scholar, authoring the book Things to Come for Planet Earth.
“To my dad, reading was the foundation of all knowledge,” John remarked. “He read all the time—writing notes and scribbling on everything he read. My family and I had been looking for a way to honor his legacy and keep his name alive, and with my father’s graduation from Pepperdine, our son Ryan’s attendance at Pepperdine, and now the honor I have serving on the Board of Regents, the idea of naming the reading room seemed like the perfect tribute.”
“We are so blessed to have friends like the Pluegers, who contribute their time, experience, and resources to furthering the mission of Pepperdine University,” said dean of libraries Mark Roosa. “The Plueger Reading Room will offer inspiration, insights into spiritual formation, and writings that resonate with students and help inform their future. We are grateful to Celeste and John, who share our vision for a 21st-century library that will serve as a centerpiece of this institution.”
John is the president, chief operating officer, and member of the board of directors of Air Lease Corporation, with more than 27 years in the aircraft leasing and aviation industry. He is a member of the board of directors of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and also serves on the board of directors of the Wings Club and several other charitable organizations. Celeste and John’s son Ryan is a student at Seaver College and member of the Pepperdine men’s volleyball team.