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Pepperdine University

My First Day

August 1, 2019

It is with great excitement and humility that I take the reins today to serve alongside you in this big idea called Pepperdine. I am grateful for your connection to this institution we all love so dearly that is deeply committed to the integration of faith and excellence in all we do. I began the day today on my knees in prayer for you and the work you have been called to do in this world. As you will see when you visit my office in the future, I have captured on my wall one of my favorite quotes of George Pepperdine:

"...the work which will be done
in the days and years and generations to come
will be of very great importance
if it is guided by the hand of God."

I am honored to stand with you as we write the next chapter of Pepperdine's enduring legacy. Thank you for your continued love for the Pepperdine community and its students. I hope you will add your voice and passion to this unfolding story.

I would also like to express my excitement about the leadership team I have formed to help me lead this world-class institution. All of the existing members of the Steering Team have agreed to continue their leadership in their current roles:

  • Provost & Chief Academic Officer Rick Marrs
  • Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer Gary Hanson
  • Senior Vice President & Chief Advancement Officer Keith Hinkle
  • Senior Vice President & Chief Investment Officer Jeff Pippin
  • Chief Financial Officer Joan Singleton
  • Vice Provost Lee Kats
  • Vice President for Public Affairs and Church Relations & Chief Marketing Officer Rick Gibson
  • Vice President for Student Affairs Connie Horton
  • Vice President for Administration & Chief Administrative Officer Phil Phillips
  • Dean of Seaver College Michael Feltner
  • Duane and Kelly Roberts Dean of the School of Law Paul Caron
  • Dean of the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School Deryck van Rensburg
  • Dean of the Graduate School of Education & Psychology Helen Easterling Williams
  • Dean of the School of Public Policy Pete Peterson

In addition to this fantastic team, I would like to introduce to you three new members of the Steering Team:

  • Chancellor Sara Young Jackson
  • Senior Vice President for Strategic Implementation Tim Perrin
  • Vice President & Chief of Staff Danny DeWalt

Today on my first day I was pleased to welcome the Pepperdine community in fellowship at an open house in the president's suite. I'm pleased to share a few photos from this gathering.

I also want to give you a preview of the inauguration week when the University and all five schools will host a series of events and activities throughout the week. We'll be updating the full calendar of events on the inauguration website as planning details are confirmed, and I hope you will be able to attend as many of these events as possible.

Monday, September 23 - Inauguration Worship and Prayer Event
Hillsong Worship | Bob Goff | Dave Clayton
7 PM | Firestone Fieldhouse

Tuesday, September 24 - Inauguration Lecture
Jennifer Wiseman, PhD | Astronomer and Astrophysicist
7 PM | Smothers Theatre

Wednesday, September 25 - Inauguration Ceremony
Ceremony and Luncheon
10 AM | Alumni Park

Wednesday, September 25 - Global Justice Gathering
Screening of REMAND Documentary
Panel Discussion with Ugandan Leaders
7 PM | Smothers Theatre

I look forward to seeing you there and at alumni gatherings around the country.