News and Events
Pat and Shirley Boone Endow Center For the Family
Legendary entertainer Pat Boone and his wife, Shirley, longtime supporters of Pepperdine University, have funded a $3 million endowment in support of the University's Center for the Family in Malibu. The Boone's received Pepperdine's 2006 Friends of the Family Award at its third annual Savvy Chic luncheon in Beverly Hills Wednesday, Nov. 15 when the Center was officially named in their honor.
In accepting the award with his wife at his side, Pat Boone said, “Except for our relationship with God himself, our family has been the most important relationship of our lives.” He added, “I don’t separate God and family because the family is God’s idea.” And of their gift naming Pepperdine’s Center for the Family, he noted, “We believe we are giving to God by giving to the family, which we believe he holds very, very dear.”
Hosted by the Pepperdine Friends of the Family League, and billed as a “celebration of fashion, fare, and friends in support of healthy relationships and strong families,” the Savvy Chic event featured a fashion show with clothes by Nicole Miller and A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz. Proceeds from the luncheon were earmarked for the Pat and Shirley Boone Center for the Family, a program which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year as a nationally acclaimed division of Pepperdine’s prestigious Graduate School of Education and Psychology.
Pepperdine President Andrew K. Benton praised Pat and Shirley Boone, saying their gift would “strengthen the outstanding programs of the Center for the Family, and in turn, significantly impact the lives of couples and families across the nation.” President Benton noted that Pat and Shirley “exemplify the heart of the Center for the Family’s mission” and that their long-time devotion to Pepperdine “has made a very real difference in the lives of students.”
“These generous funds will create opportunities for the Pat and Shirley Boone Center for the Family at Pepperdine to conduct further research on relationships, expand its Speakers Bureau, become a nationally recognized entity, and have a greater influence on policy concerning family,” added Margaret J. Weber, Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Psychology.
Pat Boone was born June 1, 1934 in Jacksonville, Florida, and is a descendant of American frontier folk hero Daniel Boone. He attended high school in Nashville where he served as student body president. After graduating, Boone married Shirley Foley, the daughter of country star Red Foley, and after a period at Nashville's David Lipscomb College, he transferred to and attended North Texas State University. He won television’s popular “Amateur Hour” after leaving North Texas State. He then transferred to Columbia University for his last two years where he graduated magna cum laude. He did all this while devoting time to his recording and acting career, his own prime time TV show, and his and Shirley’s four daughters.
In 1954, Boone made his first recordings for the small Republic label, followed a year later by his Dot Records debut “Two Hearts, Two Kisses.” As 1955 drew to a close, he notched his first Number One hit, a rendition of Fats Domino's “Ain't That a Shame.” Boone went on to record numerous cover versions of songs first credited to African American performers including Little Richard, the Flamingos, and Ivory Joe Hunter.
Boone’s climb to fame earned him thirty-eight “Top 40” hits. Between 1956 and 1963, he made some 54 chart appearances, many of them with two-sided hits. He hosted his own ABC television series, The Pat Boone-Chevy Showroom, and also starred in 15 features including “Bernadine” and “April Love.”
A prolific author, Boone has written a series of self-help books for adolescents including Twixt Twelve and Twenty; Between You, Me and the Gatepost; and The Care and Feeding of Parents. Boone’s latest book, released this month, is Pat Boone's America: 50 Years. It is a reflection about the life of integrity he maintained while working in the entertainment industry. Remaining true to his faith, family values, and love of God made Boone a spectacle in the eyes of many as he was able to balance his beliefs with his career. The novel combines photos and memoirs along with Boone’s signature humor, creating a heartwarming story about the life and times of Pat Boone.
About the Center for the Family
Founded in 1996 as a branch of Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology, the Center for the Family is a community outreach program that promotes healthy relationships and strong families. It provides resources to encourage and equip young adults, couples, parents, and families in their relationships. The Center is headquartered in the Graduate School of Education and Psychology of Pepperdine University on the Drescher Graduate Campus in Malibu, California.
The main emphasis of the Center is to teach marriage, parenting, and family relationship skills while also equipping others to conduct these workshops. The Center’s staff consists of licensed therapists and family life educators. They offer on-site trainings and seminars at their Malibu location and at churches, schools, and other locations nationwide. In addition to staff resources, the Center for the Family features a Speakers Bureau, which includes notable speakers and relationships experts who are available for speaking engagements.
By providing seminars on relationships to Pepperdine University students, the Center for the Family provides invaluable resources for both students and families. The seminars offered vary in type from a coaching approach to better family communication, to tips on managing healthy roommate relationships, and classes on building successful dating relationships. Students who have participated in these seminars have been so impacted that many have expressed the wish that the seminars be mandatory for all incoming freshmen.
The courses are all taught either by volunteer professionals or graduate students in the Graduate School of Education and Psychology. The Center for the Family is directed by Dennis Lowe, a respected expert in the field of relationships who, along with his wife, Emily, is called upon to speak at conferences and seminars around the country.
About the Friends of the Family League
The Friends of the Family League is an auxiliary of Pepperdine University’s Center for the Family. Its mission is to enrich the work of the Center by raising annual and endowment funds, thus sustaining the Center’s educational and training programs for individuals, couples, families, and students.