News and Events
Pepperdine University Names Three New Regents to Board
Pepperdine University has announced three new additions to its 40-member Board of Regents, the governing board of the University. Michelle Hiepler, Dennis "Denny" Lewis, and Danny Phillips have accepted the role of helping to shape the direction of the University. "Pepperdine has benefitted greatly over the years from the collective wisdom, will, and generosity of our regents," Pepperdine President Andrew K. Benton said.
Hiepler (SOL '89) is a partner at the Law Offices of Hiepler & Hiepler, a nationally known civil trial firm. Prior to forming the Oxnard-based law practice, she served as associate general counsel at Pepperdine and as an associate attorney at Adams, Duque, & Hazeltine. A 1986 cum laude graduate of University of Colorado, Boulder, Hiepler is a 1989 cum laude graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law and she is a licensed member of the State Bar of California and Colorado.
"I am looking forward to advancing the University's mission and fulfilling a promise I made 20 years ago to then President Dr. Davenport, that I would do something with my life to impact the next 100 years," Heipler said of her appointment. "I humbly believe that being a regent at Pepperdine University will enable me to fulfill that promise by safeguarding, preserving, and continuing to advance this mighty institution, which will impact many generations of students long after my life ends."
Hiepler is married to Mark O. Hiepler, a distinguished alumnus of Point Loma Nazarene University and Pepperdine University School of Law. They have three children and are active members at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church of Camarillo where she is the Vacation Bible School director and Mark is an elder and Sunday School teacher.
Lewis (GPC '65) is president and owner of WorldTravelService, a nationwide travel management company specializing in corporate, government and leisure travel markets with offices located throughout the mid-Atlantic. Lewis' previous business endeavors include four decades in the travel industry with United Airlines, where he served in various leadership positions and as vice-president for field services at Carlson Travel Group. Prior to founding WorldTravel Service, Denny was senior vice-president/general manager for U.S. Travel where he directed 2,200 employees in 15 operating companies worldwide.
Lewis earned his bachelor's degree from Pepperdine College in 1965 and completed graduate studies at Northern Illinois University in Chicago. He was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of Seaver College in 2007. He and his wife, Keri, reside in Great Falls, Virginia. They are the national co-chairs for Pepperdine's Seaver College Parents Council and have three children. He is an active member of the Fairfax, Virginia Church of Christ and serves as a coach for girl's soccer and basketball leagues in the Great Falls-McLean community.
“In many respects it's nice to come full circle," said Lewis. "As a graduate of Pepperdine's first campus in Los Angeles, and also having two daughters who are Pepperdine alumni, it is wonderful to continue my association with the University.”
Phillips began his career as a certified public accountant at Condley and Company. He later served in various senior financial roles at Harken Energy Corporation, was chief financial officer for Aloha Petroleum, and executive vice president and chief financial officer for Advance PCS, a pharmaceutical distribution company. Phillips currently serves on various ministry and university boards, and he is also the owner of Diamond P Ranch, a registered Texas Longhorn operation.
Phillips called it an “honor and privilege” to be named a Pepperdine regent. “I’ve always been impressed with Pepperdine and its students and very much appreciate President Benton’s leadership and the work of the faculty and staff. I am very excited about joining a forward-thinking group to continue to shape the future strategy of the University.”
A graduate of Abilene Christian University, Phillips has a B.B.A. in accounting. He and his wife, Carole, reside in Colleyville, Texas. They have three children.
In addition to announcing the new regents, Pepperdine named legendary entertainer Arthur G. Linkletter and prominent business executive Robert G. Jackson as Life Regents. The honorary title recognizes their longstanding dedication to Pepperdine, to which they've devoted much interest and support for decades.
Linkletter began his association with Pepperdine in 1973 and has been a guest speaker, loyal Pepperdine friend and ambassador, and recipient of the University's highest distinction, the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. He and his wife, Lois, are founding members of Pepperdine's Center for the Family Advisory Board and, in 2005, were named the Center's inaugural Friends of the Family Award, recognizing their enduring commitment to strengthening the institution of the family.
Jackson, a prominent businessman and leader within the Churches of Christ, joined Pepperdine's board of regents in 1986 while serving as president of the Ford Motor Land Development Company. During his remarkable 23-year tenure as a Pepperdine regent he served with distinction on several strategic board committees where his insight and intellect had far-reaching impact on the University and its students. He and his wife, Jane, were benefactors of the Associated Women of Pepperdine (AWP), the Davenport Institute of the School of Public Policy, and the Boone Center for the Family within Pepperdine's Graduate School of Education and Psychology.
For more information about the University Board of Regents, click here.