Pepperdine People Magazine
Pepperdine People Magazine Spring 2008
Associated Women for Pepperdine
Celebrating 50 Years of Service to Pepperdine Students
More than 300 Christian women from churches all over Southern California gathered on June 5, 1958, for a historic moment in the Pepperdine community.
Helen Young, first lady of George Pepperdine College, envisioned forming a women's organization dedicated to supporting Christian students in their academic pursuits. Inspired by her mother, Irene Young Mattox, and her husband, then Pepperdine president Norvel Young, Helen brought together six women, including Helen Pepperdine, for a steering meeting. Then hundreds came to the Youngs' home on the college's original campus in Los Angeles. On that June day 50 years ago, what would become the Associated Women for Pepperdine (AWP) was born.
By the end of its first year, AWP boasted 750 members in 18 districts. Within three years the membership numbered more than 2,000. Today nearly 2,800 women and men (known as AWP Fellows) belong to this organization committed to serving Christian students at Pepperdine University. "Our purpose is clear," says Helen Young. "We want Christian young people to have the opportunity for an excellent academic education in a Christian environment."
Each year AWP awards more than 400 scholarships to Pepperdine students from Churches of Christ. In total the group has given more than $4.5 million, as well as thousands of hours of volunteer service.
"The interaction of members and students gives vibrancy to the organization," adds Patty Atkisson, executive coordinator of AWP for 24 years. "Members have the pleasure of knowing some of the students and working with them to help them accomplish their goals. Seeing students mature and develop career choices in a Christian environment is always a blessing."
The group hosts its annual Fall Festival and special dinners at the Pepperdine Bible Lectures. Since 2001, AWP has also produced the Pepperdine University Commemorative Ornaments, designed to tell a story and capture the spirit of the University.
Reflecting upon the group's 50-year story, AWP president Sandy Dawson notes, "We have such a rich history and every time we look back it is a reminder of who we are and the journey that we continue to make." Today and for years to come, the AWP journey remains one of friendship, fellowship, and vision.
To learn more about AWP, please contact executive coordinator Tami Williamson at 310.506.4567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.