News and Events
Never Too Young
By Jovie Baclayon
Helen Young will receive an honorary doctorate degree from Oklahoma Christian University on Monday, Apr. 29, and will travel to Oklahoma to receive the honor at the school’s graduation. She has been described by Richard Hughes, professor of religion and director of Pepperdine’s Center for Faith and Learning, as "perhaps the most visible and influential woman among churches of Christ in the second half of the 20th century."
Born Helen Mattox, after graduating from George Pepperdine College in 1939, she married M. Norvel Young. Norvel became the third president of the University in 1957 and held the position for 14 years.
Recognized as an educational and philanthropic leader throughout her life, Helen founded the Associated Women of Pepperdine, a women's support group dedicated to raising funds for student scholarships. In 1986, The M. Norvel and Helen Young Professorship in Family Life was established in their honor at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP). The new GSEP building on the Drescher Graduate Campus in Malibu has been designated to be named in honor of the Youngs. Of the $3 million cost for the facility, 80 percent has already been donated by generous friends. The drive continues to raise the remaining $240,000 to complete the funding.
Norvel passed away in 1998 but Helen has continued her lifelong commitment to Christian and public service, and remains a life member of Pepperdine’s Board of Regents.