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Alumnus Peter Fretheim Receives Inaugural Waves of Service Award
Seaver College alumnus Peter Fretheim ('86) has been named the inaugural recipient of Pepperdine's Waves of Service Award. Fretheim, who was honored for his work serving the poor and needy in Nigeria, accepted the award at the 34th annual Pepperdine Associates dinner, which addressed the theme "Answering the Call" to serve.
Watch alumnus Peter Fretheim accept the inaugural Waves of Service Award, with an introduction by Pepperdine president Andy Benton.
Through his nonprofit organization Go Nigeria, Fretheim has for the past 11 years helped orphans, street children, victims of leprosy, widows, and the impoverished in that African nation obtain food, clothing, medical treatment, jobs and, more than anything, hope for the future.
After growing up in comfort in Greenwich, Connecticut, Fretheim traveled to the West Coast to attend school in Malibu, and had positioned himself for a successful and rewarding career in corporate America. Instead, while doing volunteer work at a homeless center in New York, he was drawn to serve the poor. After earning a master’s degree in divinity, a mission trip to Africa changed the course of his life forever.
“We don’t own much, but we are among the richest people on earth,” says Fretheim, who lives with his wife Miriam and four children in Nigeria. There he directs the activities of Go Nigeria, which he founded, and also serves as director of City Ministries in Jos. “We have the privilege of serving these wonderful people…making an impact and an investment that will last for eternity.”
“His joy is in seeing former street kids smile and sing for joy,” Miriam adds. “To watch a person who has never had the ability to walk, climb into a wheelchair and have freedom of movement…to see widows who can’t read or provide for their children attend our widow’s school and graduate. Peter knows that what really matters in this life is letting God use him to change lives.”
Pepperdine president Andy Benton praises Fretheim as "one of thousands of Pepperdine alumni who have been prepared and equipped to answer the call to serve. Through the work of this one, we celebrate the fulfillment of George Pepperdine's dream that the alumni of his college would create ever-widening waves of service and goodwill throughout the world."
The Waves of Service movement celebrates, supports, and connects Pepperdine alumni committed to volunteerism and careers of service worldwide. Developed by the Alumni Leadership Council at the encouragement of President Benton, Waves of Service began to flow in 2009 with the unwritten motto, “serve where you are.” Today, Pepperdine graduates are fulfilling Mr. Pepperdine’s founding vision around the globe.
To learn more about Waves of Service, call (310) 506-4464 or visit the Waves of Service web site.