News and Events
Annual Founder's Day Celebration Brings University Community Together to Remember Founder's Vision
The Pepperdine community filled Firestone Fieldhouse on September 23, 2009 for the University's annual Founder's Day celebration. Each year, this special event honors the vision of the University's founder, George Pepperdine; affirms Pepperdine's mission; and declares the opening of the new academic year.
"It was not always like this: beautiful vistas; an international outreach; a sense that we can do whatever we set our hearts and minds to do," said Pepperdine president Andrew K. Benton in his address. "I am overwhelmed with gratitude for what has changed and what remains changeless about us. Through the years—over the span of time given us—much as happened. Everyone in this room today has a story, one that contributes to the true timeline of our very existence. Each of your stories adds color and texture to the mosaic that is this very special place of higher learning."
Provost Darryl L. Tippens opened the ceremony with words of welcome and an engaging description of the Founder's Day tradition. He officiated at the ceremony and introduced representatives of various University boards and councils who led the procession into Firestone Fieldhouse. Led by a Scottish bagpipe and drum corps, faculty emeriti and representatives from the classes of 1939 to 2008 marched to conclude the academic procession.
This year, alumnus Neil Clark Warren (GPC '56), chair and founder of eHarmony.com, gave the invocation, followed by a musical performance of the Pledge of Allegiance by the Pepperdine University Concert Choir under the direction of Milt Pullen.
Central to the Founder's Day tradition is a reading of George Pepperdine's dedicatory remarks from 1937. Students Jennifer M De La Riva ('05, GSBM '10), Gregory A. Lee ('10), and Morgan R. Beach (SPP '10) delivered the address this year. Tony Cason conducted Pepperdine's concert choir and orchestra for a performance of "America the Beautiful" before Benton addressed the crowd.
Tippens declared the opening of the 2009-2010 academic year, and offered the benediction followed by a musical presentation of the Pepperdine Alma Mater.