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The Necessity of Joy theme graphic

President's Report 2022


Jim Gash

Though joy may elude us on earth as we seek its sustaining force, we know it never gives up on us because it is "a fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22).


waves crashing on the shore
The Necessity of JOY

Focusing on God's providence, firmly rooted in love, creates a foundational sense of enduring joy and sustains us in the everyday moments that delight, dismay, and challenge us.

Institutional Highlights


Deborah Crown

Deborah Crown was appointed the 10th dean of the Graziadio Business School and began her tenure on November 1, 2022. Crown was previously a professor of management and the dean of the Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College and prior to that had served as the dean of the College of Business at Hawai‘i Pacific University. Throughout her career, Crown has been devoted to elevating academic programs and enhancing student learning technologies for in-person, hybrid, and online programs. Entering the education field as a teacher, Crown has received many awards for her teaching, research, mentoring, and service.

students serving on Step Forward Day

volunteers served
20 organizations on Step Forward Day.

The School of Public Policy launched the Edwin Meese III Institute with a $10 million gift from alumni Chandra ('99, JD '02) and Adam ('99) Melton. The institute will serve as a center for scholarship, teaching, and events focused on the importance of faith in shaping moral public leaders and ethical public policy.

Byron Johnson

The Pepperdine Center for Faith and the Common Good was established to provide a home for research in the arena of faith, religion, and human flourishing. Led by president Jim Gash (JD '93) and Byron Johnson, Distinguished Professor of Social Sciences and director of the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University, the center's initial focus will entail a series of rigorous studies on prisons and the role of faith-based programs in offender rehabilitation and recidivism reduction, as well as general issues in correctional reform.


The third annual Pepperdine Worship Summit—a powerful evening of worship and fellowship—drew nearly 3,000 attendees united in praise. The evening featured headliners Dante Bowe of Bethel Music and Maverick City Music and international speaker Christine Caine, along with Aaron Moses of Maverick City Music and music ministry United Voice Worship.

Seaver College ranked in the top 30 for "Best Undergraduate Teaching" in the nation.

U.S. News & World Report
2022-2023 Rankings

students discussing book
Thema Bryant-Davis

Thema Bryant-Davis (MDiv '16), professor of psychology at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, was elected the 2023 president of the American Psychological Association. As president of the organization, the largest scientific and professional organization in the United States with more than 121,000 members, Bryant-Davis will chair both its board of directors and its council of representatives.

students at Pepperdine Gives booths

Pepperdine Gives, the University's annual giving day, raised more than $1 million. The event kicked off at midnight on Wednesday, October 19, with more than 3,000 Waves giving to a Pepperdine school, program, or passion of their choice. The community celebrated throughout the day with festivities across Pepperdine's four campuses that featured games, giveaways, phone-a-thons, and opportunities to come together with the shared purpose of advancing University initiatives.

Jonathan Haidt

The President's Speaker Series welcomed an esteemed group of thought leaders throughout the year who examined a variety of topics related to the pressing issues of our time. In February, authors Will Ford III and Matt Lockett discussed their book, The Dream King: How the Dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. Is Being Fulfilled to Heal Racism in America. In March, Byron Johnson, Distinguished Professor of the Social Sciences at Baylor University, led a discussion on the impact of faith on human flourishing. In September, Jonathan Haidt, author and professor of ethical leadership at the New York University Stern School of Business, led a discussion on the topic of free speech in the academy.

presentation booths at SCCUR event

Pepperdine hosted the Southern California Conference for Undergraduate Research (SCCUR) at the Malibu campus, giving more than 600 undergraduate students from around the world the invaluable opportunity to present their scholarly work in a professional setting. More than 1,500 attendees converged to view the presentations, 52 of which were given by Seaver College students. The event also featured a keynote address from astronaut José Hernández and other activities centered around the theme of "inspiration."

law book signatures

$1.2 billion
The University's FY22 endowment funds (unaudited)

10-year total endowment growth

$1.7 billion
Value of FY22 net assets maintained by the University

Andrea Gyorody

Art historian and curator Andrea Gyorody was named the director of the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art in August 2022. Gyorody brings more than a decade of expertise in 20th- and 21st-century European and American art to the Weisman Museum. She curated the summer 2022 exhibition Gwynn Murrill: Animal Nature, and she partnered with Bridge Projects in the recent restaging of their exhibition To Bough and To Bend at the Weisman. Gyorody is also overseeing the speaker series Thought Partners featuring conversations about art and religion, which began in August, and is organizing the first West Coast solo exhibition of paintings by Hildur Ásgeirsdóttir Jónsson for fall 2023.

trash bins

Pepperdine began enhanced organic waste collection services on the Malibu campus in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works. Such services allow community members to participate in diverting their food waste to organic waste disposal, which is hauled away by Waste Management. While the University has already been disposing of its pre-consumer food waste and landscaping trimmings with its waste hauling partner, enhanced organic waste collection services will allow community members to now participate in diverting their food waste to organic waste disposal.

trash bins

Pepperdine University was awarded the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association's All-Sports Trophy, recognizing the Waves' overall success throughout the last academic year and its seasons. This is the fourth time in department history that Pepperdine has received the first-place All-Sports Trophy. The Waves earned points in six sports—men's golf, women's tennis, women's soccer, men's tennis, women's volleyball, and women's golf.

A new religious liberty clinic was established In January 2022 as part of the Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics at the Caruso School of Law. The clinic was created in connection with a transformational gift from the Hugh and Hazel Darling Foundation and explores enduring questions related to how civil governments treat the religious beliefs, expressions, and institutions of their citizens and residents. In the clinic's first semester, clinic leaders and Caruso Law students filed amicus briefs in four cases, including one heard by the US Supreme Court.

Notable Grants

National Science Foundation
$2M for international STEM learning

Lilly Endowment Inc.
$1M for the Compelling Preaching Initiative

$1M for the Foster Grandparent Program

student on exercise bike with mask
Inside Waves cafe

Bon Appétit Management Company began its service as the University's dining service provider at the opening of the fiscal year. Bon Appétit, which incorporates a simple kitchen philosophy focused on cooking from scratch using locally produced, seasonal ingredients, ushered in a new era of dining with a renewed focus on Pepperdine's values of fellowship and joy over shared meals. The restaurant company succeeded Sodexo, which partnered with Pepperdine for more than four decades providing exceptional hospitality services.

speakers at luxury talk

Luxury Recalibrated, the Graziadio School's first luxury-focused symposium was held in September. The event featured luxury brand experts sharing their insights on market trends, forecasts, and themes in the industry, such as sustainability and emerging technologies.

Jonathan Winder

Jonathan Winder ('08) was announced as head coach of the men's volleyball team. Winder is a National Collegiate Athletic Association champion and a former national player of the year for Pepperdine. He brings more than eight years of coaching experience from his time as volleyball head coach at California State University, Fresno, and as an assistant coach and head coach at the University of Washington.

students at memorial dropping flowers

The Pepperdine community gathered for special events to commemorate the anniversary of the Borderline Shooting, where 12 people, including one of Pepperdine's own, Alaina Housley, were killed, and the historic Woolsey Fire, which ignited just hours after the shooting and devastated the Ventura and Los Angeles County communities. The events recognized the fourth anniversary of the tragedies as students, faculty, staff, and alumni commemorated the events and honored the community that continues to support one another through great loss.

Washington DC view of capital

A $1 million endowment gift to the School of Public Policy (SPP) from SPP Board of Advisors chair Joseph Czyzyk and his wife, Farima, will support the school's highly regarded summer program in Washington, DC, which will be renamed the Joseph and Farima Czyzyk DC Scholars Program. The annual summer scholars program explores the role of faith in shaping domestic and foreign policy and the foundational philosophies of education policy.

women golfer

Graduation success rate for student-athletes, higher than national Division I and II averages