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Kimberly Lowe Earns Top Marks as 2006 Seaver College Valedictorian
Kimberly Lowe deserves a vacation. Within days of her April graduation from Pepperdine University, the hard-working West Hills native jumped instead into a full-time summer job with the Humanities and Teacher Education Division. But Kim has never been one to take it easy. As the 2006 Seaver College valedictorian, Kim graduated summa cum laude and earned the highest cumulative grade point average in her class.
Though she cites the honor as her proudest Pepperdine achievement, Kim values the relationships she built and faith she practiced here over the results of her schoolwork. “When they learned I might be valedictorian, so many people came up to me to say, ‘I hope you get it.’ They said this not because they thought I’m smart, but because I had somehow shown Christ to them. It showed me that in these four years I haven’t just gone to school.”
And that's exactly what Kim had in mind when searching for a college. "I can’t imagine a better school for me," reflects Kim, who found a perfect match in the intellectual rigor and faith-based mission of Pepperdine University.
An avid seamstress and painter, Kim arrived in Malibu unsure of a possible major, but aware of her fondness for the past. “I love art, costumes, old buildings, and people's life stories," she notes. "I view the world in terms of how past experiences and events have shaped the way things and people are today.”
Kim found her way academically as a history major, and nurtured her inquisitive mind through international study experience. Her “fascination with Mediterranean culture and admiration of the region’s art” led to a year in Florence and an Italian minor. A summer spent pouring over books in London’s British Library helped give birth to her challenging thesis about British women’s magazines during the First World War.
Professor Jeffrey Zalar, whose “Global History of World War II” course made Kim examine both her knowledge of the time period and her moral perspective on the war, observes in Kim the very balance she sought to maintain throughout her undergraduate experience.
“Her professors say of her that she is one of the most stunning undergraduates ever to derive from the History Program at Pepperdine University. But she is so much more than mind! She also possesses all of the moral virtues that promote true human understanding: humility, honesty, compassion, charity, courage, kindness towards others. She leaves here a paragon of the Christian academic life and our primus omnium, first among all.”
A four-year member of the sorority Delta Delta, Kim enjoyed the fun times and strong support network developed among friends. “The girls encouraged each other to pursue their goals and dreams,” she says. Kim fondly remembers the laughter and music of two Songfest performances, and the life-changing experience of her Project Serve trip to Albania. Of her days spent renovating a Church of Christ and staying with an Albanian family, Kim explains: “It changed my whole outlook on life.”
In the fall, Kim plans to apply to Ph.D. programs in history, focusing on material and cultural history in the twentieth century. She hopes to teach eventually. “Here at Pepperdine I saw how professors can have a dramatic impact on someone’s moral character and the actions she takes in life. More than sharing academic knowledge, teaching is about shaping individuals and helping them make the world better.”
When Kim finally gets her well-deserved vacation, she will spend most of it reading historical mystery novels, traveling, and catching up on the little things she hasn’t found time for recently. But don’t expect her to put her feet up for long. “I leave Pepperdine confident that if I work hard enough, I can feel good about whatever comes my way.”
By Megan Huard