Edwin L. Biggers

Message from the Chair - 2012

Pepperdine: Tradition and Trajectory

The contrasts between 1937 and 2012—the first 75 years of Pepperdine University—are striking.

Few would argue that the dramatic change in its physical location—from a flat, 34-acre neighborhood campus in south Los Angeles to 138 acres in the spectacular foothills of Malibu—offers the most extraordinary comparison. The bold architectural lines of Streamlined Moderne on the 1930s original campus gave way to the classic, coastal Mediterranean buildings of renowned planner William Pereira, as Pepperdine became a university and made its miraculous move to Malibu in the early 1970s.

And that initial Malibu real estate, thanks to strategic acquisitions and the support of many friends, has grown to 830 acres, enhanced globally by five metropolitan campuses in California, a grand new facility in Washington, D.C., and thriving international centers on three continents.

There are other comparisons, both significant and amusing, from Pepperdine's Depression-era days to the new millennium—clothing and hairstyles, language and lore, cars and music, and certainly degree programs and requirements for admission and graduation. But across 75 years of a college on the move and 93,000 graduates making a difference in the world, the unchanging feature of Pepperdine University is the constancy of its character.

Same enduring motto from Matthew: "Freely ye received, freely give."

An unchanging mission: "…a Christian university committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values…"

Same aspirations for students: "…to strengthen lives for purpose, service, and leadership."

The video contained in our annual report for 2012 recounts many more of the traditions that still flourish after seven-plus decades of Pepperdine progress. Embedded in the fun facts is the University's abiding commitment to scholarship, service, and stewardship; to our Christian heritage; to building community; and to maintaining our connections with alumni across the globe.

Yes, traditions set the stage for our trajectory. As Pepperdine moves confidently toward its centennial milestone in 2037, we invite you to join us in our journey, working together to transform the lives of those we teach and serve.

Edwin L. Biggers's Signature

Edwin L. Biggers
Chair, Board of Regents