Pepperdine students music performance


In our ambitious efforts to activate and generate, to create and nurture, a progressive environment in which individuals have the freedom to ardently pursue what they have been called to do, we are challenged by the enduring questions: Where do we go from here? How can we think beyond the now and be caretakers and bearers of the fire that the world so urgently needs?

Forging a third way necessitates finding and fortifying the balance between tradition and innovation while bringing together the best insights of all sides and expressing our faith in ways that are more dialogic, more participatory, and more inclusive. We forge a third way by immersing our community in inquiry and promoting the development of engaged and educated citizens of the world—ones who value discourse that is diverse and dialectical, ask questions around morality and justice, and arrive at what is right and good for the individual and the community.

Forging a third way requires individuals to look at themselves and consider the ways in which they are pursuing the quest for truth—especially in the mysteries uncovered in scholarship, research, and study—knowing they have been able to experience and explore without hindrance.

Our path at Pepperdine is not one marked by signposts offering apologies for who—or whose—we are. The opposite is true; we stand proudly and humbly in support of extraordinary scholarship as a deeply faithful institution that every day for the length of our existence will be determined to exhibit the third way as uncommon and deserving of our commitment.

From left, Avery Davis and Dan Suh

In a new study published in Conservation Biology, a team of Seaver College faculty and students discovered a link between invasive species and disease in Southern California. The research team, comprising Gary Bucciarelli, adjunct biology professor and the paper's lead author; Lee Kats, vice provost for research and strategic initiatives and professor of biology; and now-alumni Avery Davis ('16) and Dan Suh ('16), found that areas within the Santa Monica Mountains with a significant presence of the invasive red swamp crayfish were related to higher numbers of mosquito larvae in the area, a particularly problematic discovery, as the increase in the incidence of the disease-carrying flies poses a heightened risk to human health.


Total FY18 Internal Research Awards


Total FY18 Faculty/Student Participants
(Approximate Number, All Five Schools Represented)

Jeffrey Baker

The School of Law launched the Disaster Relief Clinic to provide pro bono services to those affected by the hurricanes that devastated Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, as well as the wildfires in California, in 2017 and 2018.

Led by Jeffrey Baker, director of clinical education and associate clinical professor of law, the Disaster Relief Clinic is forging partnerships to expand its work in order to provide research assistance to other volunteer attorneys in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. The clinic has also connected with legal aid agencies and volunteer lawyers in Northern California to extend assistance to people displaced by recent wildfires.

Lorenzo Romar

Lorenzo Romar returned to Pepperdine University to serve as head coach of the men's basketball program. Having previously coached the Waves for three seasons in the late 1990s, Romar is known as one of the nation's top recruiters.

"My comfort level with Steve Potts (JD '82) and President [Andrew] Benton played a huge role in my decision to return to Pepperdine," Romar said. "The Christian mission that Pepperdine stands for, its values, and the fact that the University is committed to putting forth the resources to get Pepperdine back to the highest level where it once was is very exciting to me."

Women in leadership conference

The Women in leadership reachout conference was held in Malibu in February. Hosted by the Graziadio Business School and the Pepperdine Center for Women in Leadership, the conference was presented in partnership with C200, a highly acclaimed international women's executive leadership organization. During the event, C200 awarded three outstanding Graziadio women MBA students with $10,000 scholarships to support their professional development in the business world.

"The conference brought C-suite level women to our campus to share real-life stories of making it to the top and thriving once you get there," said Bernice Ledbetter (EdD '05), director of the Center for Women in Leadership and professor at the Graziadio School. "Audience members were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from some of the top women executives in the nation."

online program

A psychology program is now offered entirely online at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology. Through a partnership with 2U, a global leader in education technology, the MA in psychology course work was offered online this October and will be offered again in January 2019. The Marriage and Family Therapy program will be offered online starting in April 2019. GSEP faculty have concurrently been working to bring their course work online and thinking through how to engage with clients in behavioral therapy online.