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George Pepperdine's Dedicatory Address

George Pepperdine Giving Dedicatory Address

In 1937 George Pepperdine founded his college with the belief that "Education should include the right outlook on life, a realization of our responsibility to society, to our country, and to God . . . that young people be taught that their place in this world is to serve and to give."

George Pepperdine's high goals for his college were clearly stated in this dedicatory address of September 21, 1937:

What we say here today in the dedication of these buildings is of very little importance, but the work which will be done through the days and years and generations to come will be of very great importance if that work is guided by the Hand of God.

What I mean by the statement “guided by the Hand of God,” is that God’s spirit working through his Holy Word, the Bible, shall influence and control the lives of each and every member of the faculty to such extent that he will spread Christian influence among the students.

America and the world need Christianity. Yes, they need knowledge, culture, education, but they need Christ even more. The heart of man usually grows to be perverse unless trained by the influence of God’s Word. If we educate a man’s mind and improve his intellect with all the scientific knowledge men have discovered and do not educate the heart by bringing it under the influence of God’s Word, the man is dangerous. An educated man without religion is like a ship without a rudder or a powerful automobile without a steering gear. There is no life so much worth while in this world as the Christian life because it promotes the most happiness and contentment and the greatest promise of life hereafter.

Therefore, as my contribution to the well-being and happiness of this generation and those to follow I am endowing this institution to help young men and women to prepare themselves for a life of usefulness in this competitive world and help them build a foundation of Christian character and faith which will survive the storms of life. Young men and young women, in this institution will be given educational privileges equal to the best in the liberal arts, business administrations, Bible training, and later, we hope, in preparing for various professions. All instruction is to be under conservative, Fundamental Christian supervision with stress upon the importance of strict Christian living.

To the faculty members, each and every one of you, I am giving this solemn charge before this great company of our fellow citizens and before God—that you shall conduct your lives in such a manner as to be noble examples of Christian living in the presence of the students who are likely to be influenced more by what you do than by what you say.

Let us this day dedicate these buildings and this institution, The George Pepperdine College, to the cause of High Learning under the influence of Fundamental Christian leadership. And at the same time let us, the members of the Faculty and Board of Trustees, dedicate ourselves anew to the great cause of beautiful Christian living. In this way we shall do our small bit to glorify the name of God in the earth and extend His Kingdom among the children of men.

–George Pepperdine