News and Events
Pepperdine Celebrates New Shanghai International Program
Pepperdine celebrated a new beginning in international programs on Friday, Oct. 24, as the University hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate its new program in Shanghai, China.
More than 40 Seaver College students began the inaugural semester of the Shanghai program on September 1. With the help of partner school Fudan University, one of the most prestigious universities in China, Pepperdine has established a base to enrich the lives of students while creating ties with the local community.
The Shanghai ceremony included addresses from Pepperdine president Andrew K. Benton and Charles F. Hall, dean of international programs, as well an overview from Chris Van Velzer, Shanghai program director. Sophomore David Ari Marzban publicly reflected on the program, as did a representative from the Fudan University community.
"It was a fitting way to celebrate such an historic night for International Programs and the University with friends of Pepperdine, colleagues, and students," says Van Velzer. "The best part of the evening, for me, was seeing how excited the students were to be a part of such an important moment in the 'life' of the program. The program reflected the importance of the occasion perfectly."
President Benton opened the event with an address that noted the significant role that international programs plays at Pepperdine, with more than 50 percent of Seaver students spending a semester abroad. Explaining the importance of a Pepperdine program in China, Benton told the attendees, "As one of the world's busiest seaports with more than a dozen institutions of higher learning, Shanghai provides fertile ground for ideas and innovation that will help to shape the future of our global economy and international leadership."
"The Shanghai celebration was an acknowledgement of President Benton's vision to launch a program in Asia," says dean Hall. "It was a recognition that this is the culmination of a vision he had when he started his presidency in 2000. The ceremony was also an acknowledgement of the Chinese and Chinese Americans who have helped us in the process of getting all the necessary legal aspects together."
After remarks from Benton, Van Velzer, Marzban, and Hall, the attendees joined together at the entrance of the property for a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of Pepperdine's Shanghai program.
For the program, Pepperdine is leasing a facility that was built in 1937, the same year that George Pepperdine College was founded. The building has been remodeled for students from an office building into a livable, self-contained dwelling complete with a student lounge, offices, and computer labs.
As well as officially opening the new program, welcoming new students, and forging bonds with the local community, Shanghai Program patrons and Pepperdine parents Jean Tong and Shao Xi Liu were acknowledged for generously providing furniture to both the Shanghai facility as well as the recently refurbished Pepperdine property in London.
Click here for more information on the Shanghai international program.