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Ascend Together - 44th Annual Pepperdine Associates Dinner

44th Annual Pepperdine Associates Dinner

At the heart of every pursuit—of truth, passion, and purpose—lies a fixed point, a true north, that beckons all who take on the challenge of exploring something beyond what they know.

It’s to that orienting point, guided by our values and beliefs, our hopes and dreams, and an extraordinary mission, that Pepperdine is plotting a course for the future as it embarks upon an intrepid new era under the leadership of its eighth president, Jim Gash.

"Our collective dreams for the next chapter of Pepperdine are so grand and unbounded," said President Gash in his inauguration address. "They are like a mighty mountain beckoning us—to climb."

Join Pepperdine for a memorable evening on February 22 as President Gash shares his vision for a University community that continues in its preeminent pursuit of excellence and ascends to even greater heights . . . together.



Saturday, February 22, 2020
6 PM Reception
7 PM Dinner


Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills
9500 Wilshire Boulevard
Beverly Hills, California

Black Tie Optional

Contact Us

Pepperdine University
University Events
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263



Featured Entertainment

Jennifer Hudson - Pepperdine University

GRAMMY® Award-Winning Recording Artist

A two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist, Academy Award-winning actress, and best-selling author, Jennifer Hudson is an extraordinary talent. From humble beginnings, Hudson began singing in a small Chicago church where, week after week, she brought the congregation to its feet. From there, she’s gone on to worldwide acclaim. She can currently be seen in Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of Cats and is currently in production for the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, directed by Liesl Tommy.

Last year, she returned for her second time to NBC’s The Voice alongside Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, and Kelly Clarkson and for her third time and winning coach to season eight of The Voice UK alongside coaches Tom Jones, will.i.am, and Olly Murs. Hudson’s song, “I’ll Fight,” written by Grammy-winning songwriter Diane Warren for the critically acclaimed documentary RBG, was nominated for a 2019 Academy Award. In 2007 Hudson won an Academy Award for her role as Effie in the smash hit Dreamgirls, an adaptation of the Broadway musical. Her breakout film performance also garnered a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BAFTA, and an NAACP Image Award.

Keynote Remarks

Jim Gash - Pepperdine University

President and CEO

Jim Gash began his term as the eighth president and chief executive officer of Pepperdine on August 1, 2019. Recognized internationally for his transformative work in international justice reform, Gash has devoted himself to advancing the rule of law in developing countries and, since 2010, has visited Uganda nearly 30 times with Pepperdine students and alumni to support the country's judiciary in deeply impactful ways.

Read President Gash's Full Bio

Dinner Committee

  • Sherry and Frank W. (MBA ’78, EdD ’04) Cornell Chairs
  • Paula and Ed Biggers
  • Sheila and Tom Bost
  • Rita and Dale (’64) Brown
  • Alida and Stevan Calvillo
  • Tina and Rick (JD ’83) Caruso
  • Joanne and Clark (’77) Cowan
  • Marlyn (’90, JD ’94) and Robert Day
  • Linda and Scott Fish
  • Kalli O’Malley and Terry Giles (JD ’74)
  • Beth and Louis Graziadio
  • Mary Lou Graziadio
  • Janet and Wayne Gretzky
  • Misty and Michael Hammer
  • Jolyn (’02) and Seth (’02) Haye
  • Michelle (JD ’89) and Mark (JD ’88) Hiepler
  • Karen and Thomas (MBA ’77) Higgins
  • Sara (’74) and Sam (’75, EdD ’84) Jackson
  • Blanche and Peter James Johnson, Jr.
  • Deanne (’84) and John (’83) Lewis
  • Keri and Denny (’65) Lewis
  • Kimberly and Don Lindley
  • Paula and Rick Marrs
  • Patricia and Eff Martin
  • Amy and Vincent (MBA ’01) Monteparte
  • Sharon and Terry Mullin
  • Melissa and Gary Oakland
  • Geoffrey H. Palmer (JD ’75)
  • Carrol and R. Rex Parris
  • Carole and Danny Phillips
  • Kristen and Timothy (’87) Phillips
  • Celeste and John Plueger
  • Carolyn and Ted (’59, MBA ’75) Porter
  • Agatha and J. Anthony (’93) Precourt, Jr.
  • Jennifer (’76) and Frederick Ricker
  • Kelly and Duane Roberts
  • Twanna (MBA ’77) and Tim (MBA ’77) Rogers
  • Amy Jo Runnels (’00)
  • Dee Anna (’86) and Hubie Smith
  • Laure Sudreau (JD ’97)
  • Judy and Jay Welker