News & Features

Featured Stories

Graziadio Alumni "Stromatize" Endowment for Presidents and Key Executives Program

By Nate Ethell ('08)

Graziadio Alumni 'Stromatize' Endowment for Presidents and Key Executives Program

Oh, to be stromatized as a Graziadio MBA.

The Graziadio School of Business and Management hosted a special tribute event in February, honoring Dr. Wayne Strom, Professor Emeritus of applied behavioral sciences and one of the business school's first and longest serving faculty members. An institution at Pepperdine for more than 40 years, Professor Strom was a key architect of the Presidents and Key Executives (PKE) MBA, the Graziadio School's premier degree program for business executives.

Professor Strom with Dean Linda Livingstone

"I had so many PKEs tell me how Wayne Strom had impacted their personal and professional development," said Christine Bishop, director of Pepperdine's Executive Associates program. "He had such a following and such a fan club, which inspired me to find a way to gather all of these individuals who had this collectively shared experience."

And gather they did. More than 100 former students, colleagues, and friends assembled at the California Club in downtown Los Angeles to honor the contributions Professor Strom had made in their lives as students and business leaders. Special tribute speeches were offered by PKE alumni Earl Cummings (MBA '09, PKE 122), David Neu (MBA '09, PKE 122), Winifred Wilson (MBA '00, PKE 104), and Steve Milovich (MBA '99, PKE 102).

Professor Strom with Dean James R. Wilburn

With this event, the Graziadio School also fulfilled a funding goal to honor Professor Strom's legacy of teaching excellence, raising more than $160,000 from PKE alumni and friends to establish the PKE Wayne Strom Leadership Endowment. Gifts to the endowment will be used to raise the profile of Graziadio's PKE program and further develop its branding and recruitment efforts.

"These [gifts] and all that we hope to raise for this fund … will benefit thousands of executives just like you who will join our distinguished graduates in the years and decades ahead," said Linda Livingstone, dean of the Graziadio School.

During his Graziadio tenure, Professor Strom also served as associate dean, director of graduate programs, and chair of several of the school's academic committees. A teacher and organizational specialist whose style was rooted in an applied understanding of human behavior, he received Pepperdine's prestigious Howard A. White Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010.

For more information or to contribute to the PKE Wayne Strom Leadership Endowment, please contact Christine Bishop at (310) 568-5554 or