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Former Heidelberg Program Director and Professor Emeritus Herbert Luft Passes
The Pepperdine community was saddened to learn that Herbert Luft, who held several key positions with the University over 26 years, passed away this week. He was 69 years old.
An alumnus of Pepperdine, Luft began his professional career with the University in 1967 as an assistant professor of history. He went on to achieve tenure and emeritus status as a faculty member.
From 1981 to 1983, Luft was executive vice president, after which he served as dean of European programs and director of the Heidelberg, Germany, program until 1993. At Pepperdine, he was an active member of several administrative councils and committees, including the Seaver Academic Council and Faculty Committee on Teaching and Learning.
W. David Baird, dean emeritus of Pepperdine’s Seaver College, said of him, “Herbert was an effective administrator, a skilled teacher, and a loyal churchman. His role in the history of Pepperdine was significant, especially in his contribution to its international programs. Hundreds, if not thousands, of Pepperdine students live fuller and richer lives as citizens of the world because of him.”
Added Charles F. Hall, dean of international programs at Pepperdine, “We owe a great deal to this early pioneer of study abroad. It's hard to imagine how Dr. Luft administered Pepperdine's only study abroad program without email, Skype, cell phones, Facebook and Twitter. I talk to alumni of that period and they recall how well Dr. Luft ran the program and how committed he was to providing students a life-changing experience.”
During his life, Luft was a committed Christian and member of the University Church of Christ in the U.S. and the Mannheim Gemeine Christi in Germany. His passion for history led him to author numerous articles and book reviews about Hitler, the Nazi movement and European history. He was honored by the American Historical Association, the German Studies Association and the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society for his lifelong work on the topic of European history. Additionally, he was awarded the distinction of Who’s Who in the World (1995), Who’s Who in the Pacific (1999), Who’s Who in California (1997), and Who’s Who among Students in American Colleges and Universities (1965).
Luft earned his B.A. and M.A. from Pepperdine and a Ph.D. in history from USC. He is survived by his wife Yvonne, his children Sebastian and Rebekka, and three grandchildren.