President's Report 2019: The Mountain
Very few things in life promise lasting value or carry a spirit and sentiment that will endure long after our time on this earth. In the age of innovation, the notion of eternity often pales in the potency of novelty and ephemera. The temporary nature of our lives on earth is only satisfied by the promise of the eternal purpose we seek and pursue relentlessly in all we do.
The most distinct reminders of God's promise are often encountered in the natural world, where time seems endless and the wonders of his creation mystifying. The mountain—a symbol of God's greatness, permanence, and sacred power—stands unchanged, immovable by the forces of nature that often threaten its bedrock. Extending almost endlessly toward the sky, the majestic landforms evoke stillness, transcendence, and even the nearness of Heaven.
But in nature, mountains are created in chaos, whether by the violent jolt of continental collision; the mercurial eruption of heat, rock, and ash from the core of the earth; or through the transformative forces of wind, water, and ice that erode and shape raw land into elegantly sculpted monuments. Once formed, however, mountains, with their immense magnitude and powerful presence, are exemplars of resilience and equanimity in the face of adversity.
As an institution rooted in and devoted to the mental, physical, and spiritual transformation of every member of its family, it is our charge to create lasting value in the lives of our community beyond the challenges of their earthly pursuits. As we witness the degradation of moral leadership and attempt to alter the trajectory of ethical erosion that is terrorizing our nation and our world, our commitment to the development of leaders of character and conviction in the midst of unpredictable circumstances has and will remain unchanged.
The mountain represents both the challenge and the purpose and is our fixed point—a symbol of strength and a guiding force for the future leaders of the world who are embarking on a journey in pursuit of excellence in scholarship, faith, and community.
The Pepperdine Resilience-Informed Skills Education (RISE) Program launched in fall 2019 in response to a growing desire to prepare students to develop their resilience skills, care for themselves and their peers in times of need, and reinforce their ability to bounce back from life's challenges no matter how great or small.
Pepperdine places in the top 50 universities in the nation for the fourth consecutive year in the U.S. News & World Report 2020 Best Colleges rankings.
The First 100 Days Campaign resulted in remarkable success, uniting the global University community for a common purpose—to lift Pepperdine to even greater heights of achievement and excellence in the months and years to come.