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Curt Portzel, J.D., M.T.S.

Curt Portzel headshot - Pepperdine University

Executive Director
Phone: (310) 506-4003
Fax: (310) 506-4859

Curt's responsibilities include structuring charitable gifts to simultaneously benefit Pepperdine students and help Pepperdine alumni and friends incorporate charitable giving into their financial, tax and estate planning. Curt develops gifts to meet individualized goals and objectives.

In his capacity as Executive Director, Curt is also responsible for the day to day operations and management of the Center for Estate and Gift Planning. Curt is an alumnus of Pepperdine's Seaver College, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1992. Curt also attended Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, completing a Juris Doctorate and Masters of Theological Studies in 1997.

Prior to joining the Center for Estate and Gift Planning in 2005, Curt was in private law practice with McGuireWoods, LLP, concentrating on complex commercial real estate transactions. Curt's real estate experience is an asset to the Center, particularly when developing complex real property gifts. Curt is admitted to practice law in California and Georgia. Curt has guest lectured at the Pepperdine School of Law and presented at the Western Regional Planned Giving Conference. He has published in various periodicals, including Planned Giving Today, Journal of Law and Religion, and Journal of Church and State.

Aaron White, J.D.

Aaron White headshot - Pepperdine University

Planned Giving Officer and Legal Counsel
Phone: (310) 506-4737
Fax: (310) 506-4859

Aaron is a Planned Giving Officer and Legal Counsel for the Center for Estate and Gift Planning. Aaron began his practice with Andersen Tax LLP (formerly WTAS LLC) as a tax associate, gaining experience with tax planning strategies for high net worth individuals and corporate entities. Most recently, Aaron was an associate with Stern & Goldberg in Encino, where he worked with corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, charitable organizations, and individuals in connection with tax controversies, business entity formations and dissolutions, mergers and acquisitions, and litigation in both civil and probate contexts. His background in business and taxation is an asset to Pepperdine donors, friends, and advisors.

Aaron is a 2009 cum laude graduate of the School of Law, where he participated on the Moot Court and trial teams. He earned his B.A. in Mathematics from Hillsdale College in 2004, graduating cum laude from the Honors Program. He is currently earning an executive LL.M. in Taxation from New York University, with an anticipated graduation of May 2018. Aaron is admitted to the State Bars of both California and Michigan.


 Sophia Hamilton, J.D.

Sophia Hamilton headshot - Pepperdine University

Legal Associate
Phone: (310) 506-7606
Fax: (310) 506-4859

Sophia is the Legal Associate for the Center for Estate and Gift Planning, where she assists in the preparation of planned giving proposals and estate plans. Before joining the CEGP, Sophia was in private law practice in Riverside, California as a solo practitioner, concentrating on business and employment law. Prior to starting her solo law firm, she worked as an associate with Clayson, Mann, Yaeger & Hansen in Corona, California.

Sophia is an alumnus of the Pepperdine University School of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctor in 2011 and served as the symposium editor of the Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship and the Law. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Walla Walla University in 2006, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Sophia is admitted to practice law in California.