Pepperdine Voice Magazine
Pepperdine Honors 2008 Distinguished Alumni
At each graduation Pepperdine honors an alumnus who has achieved extraordinary success and distinction in his or her chosen discipline or field of endeavor. All Distinguished Alumni, chosen for exemplifying the Pepperdine ideal of leading a life of purpose, service, and leadership, are invited to address the graduating class with words of encouragement and challenge.
This year's Distinguished Alumni are:
Alejandro Bustamante (MBA '82), president of Plantronics Mexico (PLAMEX), the world's leading manufacturer of communication headsets for mobile, home, and office use
Lydia Ledesma-Reese (EdD '87), former president of Oxnard College in Oxnard, California, and Skagit Valley College in Mount Vernon, Washington
Leslie Landon Matthews ('87, MA '89), clinical psychologist and coauthor of When Children Grieve: For Adults to Help Children Deal with Death, Divorce, Pet Loss, Moving, and Other Losses (HarperCollins, 2001)
Melodie Mayberry-Stewart (MBA '83), chief information officer and director of the Office for Technology for the State of New York
Monica Rivera-Mindt (MA '94), clinical neuropsychologist, researcher, and assistant professor of psychology at Fordham University
Montgomery "Monty" F. Moran (JD '93), president and chief operating officer of Chipotle Mexican Grill
Andrew Weathers ('98, MPP '00), public health advisor with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Rick Marrs Named Dean of Seaver College
Rick Marrs has been appointed dean of Seaver College following the retirement of W. David Baird.
Marrs earned his Ph.D. in Near Eastern studies at The Johns Hopkins University in 1982 and both his bachelor's and master's degrees at Abilene Christian University in 1973 and 1976 respectively. A member of the Religion Division faculty at Pepperdine since 1987, he was the Blanche E. Seaver Professor of Religion from 2001 to 2006. He also served as associate dean of the college for the last five years.
Marrs is regarded as an exceptional scholar of the Old Testament and the literature of the Ancient Near East with knowledge of Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Phoenician, and Ugaritic, and in the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls. He is author of Embracing the Call of God and Face to Face with Jesus among other titles, and was coeditor of Worship and the Hebrew Bible: Essays in Honor of John T. Willis. In addition, Marrs has authored many articles and dictionary or encyclopedia entries and articles on teaching pedagogy.
"Rick Marrs is an exceptional scholar, teacher, administrator, and human being," noted Darryl Tippens, provost and chief academic officer. "He has a keen understanding of what makes a great Christian university. Rick knows our challenges and recognizes our opportunities. He is absolutely one of the hardest working persons on this campus, a man known for his integrity. He will hit the ground running."
Visit www.pepperdine.edu/pr/audio-video to listen to an interview with Dean Marrs.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
Delivers William French Smith Memorial Lecture
The Honorable Clarence Thomas, associate justice of the United States, delivered the second annual William French Smith Memorial Lecture on September 5 at the Pepperdine School of Law.
Justice Thomas spoke in conversation with Charles R. Eskridge (JD ‘90), a partner with the commercial litigation law firm of Susman Godfrey L.L.P., and Shelley Ross Saxer, the associate dean for academics at Pepperdine University School of Law. The discussion was moderated by Ken Starr, former judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, former U.S. solicitor general, and the Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean of the School of Law.
The William French Smith Memorial Lectureship Series on Law and the Judiciary was inaugurated on August 7, 2008, with a lecture featuring Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and attorney Carter G. Phillips. The $1.6 million-endowed lecture series is named in honor of William French Smith (1917-1990), the 74th attorney general of the United States, who served on the School of Law Board of Visitors.
The lecture brings prominent speakers to the school to discuss issues of law, the judiciary, and public policy. The third lecture will bring retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor to Pepperdine on March 27, 2009.
Watch a video of the lecture at:
Jack F. Kemp Library Coming Soon
The School of Public Policy is well into Phase One of implementing the Jack F. Kemp Institute for Political Economy: compiling the former politician's congressional papers as a special collection of the Payson Library, and working toward its goal of raising $5 million. The institute was introduced in October 2007 to honor Kemp and help educate the next generation of political leadership.
Kemp served as a New York congressman for nine terms, as well as Housing Secretary for George H. W. Bush, and Bob Dole's running mate in the 1996 presidential election. He is also considered the architect of the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, which became the foundation for the Reagan economic reform of the 1980s.
"Our students will have direct access to some of the most important papers detailing that explosion of economic growth," says James R. Wilburn, dean of the School of Public Policy. "Also, it signals that Pepperdine is moving into a new phase as a research university. We hope in the future to attract other special collections of papers from important leaders and this paves the way for that to happen."
The Jack F. Kemp Library will be available for student use soon after the year's end. Phase Two, the creation of a distinguished speaker series, will roll out in the fall of 2009. The following year will bring Phase Three, the appointment of a "Distinguished Visiting Chair," who will have the opportunity to teach and write in a graduate setting.
Order of the Coif Welcomes Pepperdine Law School
The executive committee of the Order of the Coif, an honorary scholastic society of law schools, has unanimously approved the School of Law to establish a chapter at Pepperdine. The Order of the Coif is conferred upon schools that have demonstrated an environment of outstanding scholarship and academic excellence and Pepperdine School of Law is the first to gain admittance to the society in four years.
"It is a high honor for Pepperdine to join the ranks of many of the nation's top law schools with Order of the Coif chapters," notes President Benton. "This distinction is a significant accomplishment and one of which we are all very proud."
The purpose of the Order of the Coif is to "encourage excellence in legal education by fostering a spirit of careful study, recognizing those who as law students attained a high grade of scholarship, and honoring those who as lawyers, judges, and teachers attained high distinction for their scholarly or professional accomplishments."
The constitution of the Order of the Coif provides that students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class and fulfill other requirements are eligible to become members. At the time a new chapter is formed, it may elect alumni for membership who graduated within the last two years and would have been eligible at the time of graduation.
Listen to an interview with deans Tim Perrin and Rick Cupp about this honor:
Five Pepperdine Students Receive U.S. Student Fulbright Awards
Every year, a committee of faculty advisors and a team of administrative staff assist a new crop of Fulbright hopefuls, sending off their applications and wishing for the best. This year, 16 Seaver College students applied and seven applicants were selected as finalists.
The final results revealed a record-breaking year for Pepperdine University: five of its recent graduates have joined the elite rank of Fulbright Scholars, one of the most prestigious scholarly awards worldwide.
Former Seaver College dean David Baird notes that 2008 has been a remarkably good year for the Fulbright harvest. "To think that five of the seven finalists received the grant makes me very proud. It is an incredible affirmation of the quality of our students, faculty, and staff," he says.
Three of the five recipients earned English language teaching assistantships: creative writing major Alissa Smith (‘08) will be teaching in Turkey; international studies major Erin Shitama (‘08) is bound for Indonesia; and international studies major Brian Clark (‘06) will head to Spain come fall.
The other two recipients were awarded full grants to undertake graduate research: music-voice major Keith Colclough (‘08) will journey to Germany to study language, while biology major Laura Merwin (‘08) will head down under to Australia, where she'll examine plants in drought and fire-prone ecosystems.
The five Pepperdine students are among 1,100 U.S. Fulbright scholars who will travel abroad this year. Established in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the program's purpose is to build mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the rest of the world. The program operates in over 150 countries worldwide.
Learn more about Pepperdine's Fulbright Scholars:
Waves Alumni Win Olympic Medals in Beijing
Pepperdine alumni completed one of the school's best-ever Olympic showings this year with four athletes bringing home medals in three different events at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Sean Rooney ('05), a former National Player of the Year with the Waves, earned the biggest prize: a Gold Medal with the USA men's volleyball team. Merrill Moses ('99) and Jesse Smith ('05) brought home Silver Medals with the USA men's water polo team, while Simon Aspelin ('98) of Sweden claimed a Silver Medal in the men's tennis doubles competition.
Pepperdine-affiliated coaches also fared well at the Olympics, though coaches are not awarded medals. Waves men's volleyball coach Marv Dunphy ('74) served as consultant coach for the Gold Medal-winning USA men's volleyball team, and Pepperdine water polo coach Terry Schroeder ('81) led the USA men's water polo squad to a Silver Medal finish. Former volleyball All-American Troy Tanner ('92) coached USA women's beach volleyball players Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh, who won their second Gold Medals.
Of the nine Pepperdine players and coaches who went to Beijing, only two were not part of medal-winning teams. Ryan Radmanovich ('93) was a player on Canada's baseball team that placed sixth, and Brian Goorjian ('76) was the head coach of the seventh-place Australia men's basketball team.
GSEP Event Examines Racial Tensions in California
While many individuals have a general understanding of the racial tensions that exist between African Americans and Latinos in the Golden State, there is little discussion regarding the challenges and struggles raging between these two cultural groups.
A panel of African American and Latino high school students, parents, educators, and mental health professionals gathered at the Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology for precisely this kind of dialogue. Members of the Los Angeles community also participated in this unique opportunity to discuss and generate strategies toward resolving the underlying racial tensions that exist between African Americans and Latinos in Los Angeles.
Surprisingly much of the conversation wasn't what the panel discussants at the "Multicultural Issues Impacting Community" event were expecting. High school juniors and seniors, both African American and Latino, reported that media portrayals of the two minority groups competing over limited opportunities are misrepresentations. What's needed is a foundation of respect for everyone—even different members of the same communities.
The Diversity Council was formed by GSEP to promote a better understanding of cultural divides and ways to overcome them. Tony Collatos, assistant professor of education, joined the parents, therapists, and community workers who participated on the panel.
Watch a video of the event at http://gsep.pepperdine.edu/newsevents/events/divcouncil/.
2008 Brings Notable Speakers to Pepperdine
From the president of Jelly Belly to the "Voice of the L.A. Dodgers" and a Supreme Court justice, Pepperdine University hosted an array of speakers throughout the spring of 2008.
As part of the Dean's Executive Leadership Series presented by the Graziadio School of Business and Management, Pepperdine hosted Los Angeles Times columnist and award-winning author Steve Lopez, as well as Robert M. Simpson, Jr., president and COO of Jelly Belly Candy Company, and Robert Eckert, chair and CEO of Mattel, Inc. (Listen to the presentations at http://bschool.pepperdine.edu/dels/podcast/.)
The W. David Baird Distinguished Lecture Series welcomed noted speakers including theatre historian Charlotte Canning, business ethicist Marianne Jennings, and evangelical scholar Mark Noll. (View the lectures online at http://seaver.pepperdine.edu/dean/lectureseries/.)
Graduates of Pepperdine's Seaver College replaced their graduation caps with Dodger blue baseball caps to honor famed sportscaster Vin Scully during his commencement speech. (Witness this special moment at www.pepperdine.edu/pr/releases/2008/may/scullyspeech.htm.)
Supreme Court justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and world-renowned criminal defense attorney Alan Dershowitz visited the Pepperdine School of Law for memorable presentations. Alito delivered a lecture titled "Lawyering and the Craft of Judicial Opinion Writing," while Dershowitz, the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, spoke in conversation with Pepperdine School of Law dean Ken Starr. (Watch the video of the conversation at http://law.pepperdine.edu/media/dershowitz.html.)
Visit www.pepperdine.edu for this semester's full calendar of engaging speakers.
Graziadio School Offers New Degree Programs
The Graziadio School of Business and Management now offers new full-time master's degree programs in applied finance and global business designed for non-business undergraduate majors wishing to pursue careers in business. A new part-time M.S. degree in management and leadership has been designed for experienced business professionals who wish to enhance their management and leadership abilities. Classes in this new program begin in Fall 2008.
Additionally, Fall 2008 marks the start of a new program in which a select group of business-track undergraduate students can earn both a bachelor's and MBA degree in only five years. Students will receive their B.S. in business administration, international business, or accounting from Seaver College and either their MBA or International MBA (IMBA) from the Graziadio School. The program will accept a limited number of students annually to ensure a personal and collaborative learning experience among faculty and peers. Students will be required to complete two summer internships to further develop their knowledge and business experience.
Learn more at http://bschool.pepperdine.edu/.