Hello Pepperdine alumni!
The start of each new academic year fills me with hope. I'm especially excited about this one; a year that promises both tradition and transformation.
Tradition, in the distinctive educational experience that we believe sets Pepperdine apart from most colleges and universities around the world.
And Transformation? Well, here at Pepperdine we believe that knowledge calls, ultimately, for a life of service. Our alumni engage in acts of service every day, transforming their lives and indeed the lives of others; not just in Southern California, but in cities and countries around the globe.
This fall we're rolling out one of our top priorities, with a vision that began, frankly, with you. It's called "Waves of Service," the action plan of Pepperdine's Global Service Initiative.
We're committing staff and resources to connect more than 80,000 alumni with service opportunities throughout the world. We're supporting our students and their lifelong call to service by building a fund for loan forgiveness, for those who choose service as a career. We're launching unique service pilot programs in three major regions across the country. And we're planning special ways to recognize and celebrate what you and your fellow alumni do.
To recognize people like Jennifer Trubenbach, who leads an all-volunteer medical non-profit called Operation of Hope. They perform facial reconstruction surgeries on children in third-world countries. And Robert Cardwell, who's run 10 New York City marathons to raise funds for pediatric cancer research. And Rachel Johnson, who works with the non-profit Touch a Life, dedicated to eradicating child slavery and empowering children in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Ghana.
Beyond these three wonderful stories are countless more, created by Pepperdine alumni just like you. Like Step-Forward Day. Each September, thousands of students, faculty, staff, and alumni unite on campus and across the nation to serve in their communities. This year, Step Forward Day goes global in Tokyo and London!
Nowhere is Waves of Service more profoundly expressed than in the motto that guided the founding of this college in 1937: "Freely Ye have Received, Freely Give." This is not just a motto for us; it is a culture of service, calling for a life of service.
Through Waves of Service you have the opportunity to advance a tradition that will lead to change all over the world. We encourage you to hire or mentor a fellow alumnus, who, like yourself, carries on the Pepperdine tradition of service.
It's your purpose, your passion and your leadership, and we hope you'll include us by sharing your stories and those of your friends. And so I invite you today, to join us in increasing Pepperdine's ever-widening waves of service.
Serve your communities
Good luck! We hope to hear from you soon.
And, may God bless you.
President Andrew K. Benton