I have kept a diary since I became president and I make entries from time-to-time when significant events occur. This unfamiliar practice of blogging is very interesting and the number of those who have commented on the Web page our team has faithfully maintained is quite interesting to me. After this last post on the Route 66 2008 journey I am not sure what I will do to replace this daily "download" of events. Perhaps I will start by commenting on some of the notable messages attached to blog entries; in fact, that is exactly what I will do.
At the end of the day, this whole effort has been about relevance, leadership, and listening. Our students and alumni deserve no less. About half of our students come from California and the remainder from about 45 other states and many foreign countries.
As we contemplate the future of Pepperdine, all stakeholders should have a voice and we should listen. If Pepperdine can play a small role in enabling voices from America's heartland to be heard, I will be very proud, and in that we supply leadership. In addition to the federal government, state government, accrediting agencies, and so forth, the hopes and dreams of parents, community leaders, teachers, and many others will help us keep faith and maintain relevance in the programs we offer our students.
Last evening, we held a final event with alumni on the famous Santa Monica Pier. Attendance was wonderful and the spirit was very encouraging. The event was populated by alumni, parents, and friends. There were also a couple of incoming freshmen. In my brief comments I singled out one young woman from Chicago to make this point: with a Pepperdine education a student can go anywhere, reach any goal, and enjoy success – real success – far beyond his or her wildest imagination. Several in the room last evening have already proved that. We are in the business of dream fulfillment; I saw that from Chicago to Santa Monica, and it feels very good indeed.
Thanks for riding along with me over the past couple of weeks. I continue to welcome your comments on this blog.
Very importantly, my thanks to all who made this trip possible and who supported various endeavors (many of whom are Pepperdine alumni):
TEAM LEAD-UNIVERSITY COMMUNICATIONS
TEAM LEAD-PUBLIC RELATIONS AND NEWS
ALUMNI EVENT COORDINATION
Sandra Barsoum (Alumni Affairs)
Giuseppe Nespoli (Alumni Affairs)
We started with a prayer and, after I close this final entry, I will offer one privately for all who worked together on this project.