Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand. —Albert Einstein
There is no great university without great ideas to animate it. A great university presupposes a compelling vision, a coherent story, a deep sense of purpose, mission, identity—and an audacious, imaginative dream.
This year’s faculty conference will be an intimate collegial conversation, in which we focus on the future of our University. We face an unprecedented opportunity. A break-out moment is upon us. What will it look like? As stewards of a promising future, not merely caretakers of a glorious past, we must be inventors and discoverers of our own future, with God’s help and guidance.
In his inaugural address, President Benton declared that “Pepperdine has the right and the mandate to be distinctive.” How should we define the great, distinctive, Christian university in the third millennium? What is our unique place in the landscape of higher education? What are the central elements of our compelling story? Six years into President Benton’s tenure, it is appropriate to celebrate and clarify the University’s unique qualities.
While we have much to learn from other universities, we cannot rely on them to do our philosophical or intellectual work for us. It is appropriate for Pepperdine’s faculty to conceptualize in fresh ways the fundamental theory and character of the faithful university enterprise.
This year’s conference provides an occasion to give expression to this unseen future. This is a timely topic as the University plans for its next major fund-raising campaign—an effort that will enable the University to rise to a new plateau of service and effectiveness. Albert Einstein once said: “Imagination is everything. It is the preview to life’s coming attractions.” We invite you to join us—to imagine and to preview an exciting “coming attraction” called the Pepperdine University of the future.