Pepperdine People Magazine
Pepperdine People Magazine Fall 2005
Places of the Heart: Three family names endure by gracing Malibu and Heidelberg facilities.
By Lyn Klodt
ROCKWELL. MOZILO. BLANKENBERG EDWARDS.
These three family names are among the distinguished cadre of individuals who make dreams become realities at Pepperdine University. The individuals behind the names embody the entrepreneurial and philanthropic spirit that was George Pepperdine.
The Margaret M. Rockwell Student Dining Center
Dr. Leon H. Rockwell loves to share his memories of his one great love in life, Margaret. It's been almost a year and a half since his wife of 62 years passed away. "She was always so agreeable, tolerant, and unpretentious," remembered Dr. Rockwell in a special prayer honoring his sweetheart. "She was always a good sport in the many moves that I caused us to make in the Air Force and college."
Chancellor Charles B. Runnels and
University President Andrew K.
Benton thank Dr. Leon Rockwell
Dr. Rockwell chose to memorialize her with more than words. The Margaret M. Rockwell Student Dining Center has been a hub of activity since "day one," when it was dedicated last summer. Located centrally on the Drescher Graduate Campus, the dining center serves students, faculty, staff, and visitors year-round. This popular meeting place can accommodate more than a hundred guests, and its expanse of windows provides a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. Students who use the dining center include those from the adjoining Beckman Management Center, a building which houses the Graziadio School of Business and Management. Both Dr. Rockwell and his son, Robert, earned graduate degrees from the business school.
"This student dining center has become a popular meeting place for fellow students to take a break from their intense graduate studies, unwind, and enjoy not only great food but a breathtaking ocean view," noted Keith Hinkle, associate vice chancellor for Pepperdine's Center for Estate and Gift Planning.
It seems an appropriate place to be named for someone committed to family. Margaret was a busy, attentive, nurturing mother of three who willingly joined the workforce to assist her husband while he finished college and dental school. A plaque acknowledging the dining center's benefactor hangs on one wall, as well as a portrait of the mother/grandmother/great-grandmother honoree, rendered in soft watercolors.
This is just the latest chapter in a long history of one of Pepperdine's most generous donor couples. Margaret and Leon Rockwell have provided a major legacy honoring family by building several academic and residential facilities on the Malibu campus. They include: the Leon and Margaret Rockwell Academic Center, which houses Seaver College's Natural and Social Science Divisions; the Richard Rockwell Classroom in the Ahmanson Cultural Arts Center, and the Richard Rockwell Towers Residence Hall, the latter two as legacies to their late son; and the Leon Sr. and Bessie M. Rockwell Dining Center, dedicated in 1999 as Leon's tribute to his late parents.
The Mozilo Family Executive Dining CenterUniversity's gratitude from President
Andrew K. Benton.
Family is also a central focus of Phyllis and Angelo R. Mozilo, who are devoted to their five children and grandchildren. The Mozilo Family Executive Dining Center in Villa Graziadio represents a recent choice that this couple made, an investment in education that will endure beyond their lifetimes.
It links them in perpetuity with fellow benefactors and friends, Reva Graziadio and her late husband, George. The two families continue to share a commitment to the progress of the Graziadio School of Business and Management. Among a long list of honors, Angelo Mozilo and George Graziadio each received the Horatio Alger Award, the pinnacle honor for American entrepreneurs.
Mozilo holds an honorary doctor of laws degree from the business school at Pepperdine University. He is founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Countrywide Financial Corporation, a global leader in residential finance and related services. Angelo was president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, representing 3,000 member firms, and continues as a member of its board. He is also a National Housing Endowment trustee, and is on the board of his alma mater, Fordham University.
Balancing leadership with community involvement, Mozilo has received the Hogan Entrepreneurial Award, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and the Albert Schweitzer Award for service to youth.
Phyllis also serves in the community, donating her time and talents to the Oakmont League, the National Charity League, and the Wellness Community-Foothills in Pasadena.
The Blankenberg Edwards Student Reception Room
Trudy Blankenberg Edwards
is honored at a reception
recognizing her generosity
Several years ago, the late Fred Edwards and Waltraud "Trudy" Blankenberg Edwards became acquainted with Pepperdine University. Because the couple shared an interest in education and a love for Pepperdine, Trudy recently made a generous gift. An overseas celebration of her generosity took place in April in Heidelberg, Germany, as the Blankenberg Edwards Student Reception Room at Moore Haus was dedicated. This reception room, a busy hub of activity for Seaver students, underwent refurbishment and now reflects the mansion's elegant heritage. Its transformation is a legacy to the life of Trudy's husband Fred, and it recognizes the couple's support of the University and the young people it serves.
Trudy was especially interested in Pepperdine's Heidelberg campus because Germany is Trudy's homeland. Born in Berlin, Trudy was just a young girl during World War II when she became her younger brother's primary caregiver. She immigrated to America in the 1950s, committed herself to volunteering for several charitable causes, and became a successful real estate professional. The Parkinson's Resource Organization honored her in 2003 with its Exemplary Caregiver Award for her heroic care of her husband who struggled with Parkinson's disease for two decades.
The support of these three families is realized most profoundly by the graduates of Pepperdine University, who step out confidently to become national and international entrepreneurs, managers, and leaders.
Margaret M. Rockwell
Born in Beach, North Dakota, Margaret became a wife, mother, business partner, and dedicated philanthropist. In 1942, the former Margaret Mary Ellen McLaughlin married Leon H. Rockwell in Tempe, Arizona. Her husband became a decorated air-combat veteran in the South Pacific during World War II, while Margaret continued to work at Tibbets Paint Company stateside. The Rockwells went on to establish private dental practices in Las Vegas and Fresno, spanning 19 years of personal and professional success, while Margaret served as a certified dental assistant and raised their three children. Upon the Rockwells' move to Fresno, they began developing their own professional build- ings and together established ROMANCO, Inc., a property management company. The memory of Margaret Rockwell's life will live in perpetuity through the Margaret M. Rockwell Student Dining Center at Pepperdine University.