Facebook pixel Inauguration of James A. Gash | Pepperdine University Skip to main content
Pepperdine University
Inauguration of James A. Gash - Pepperdine University

Inauguration of James A. Gash

Inauguration activities for James A. Gash, the eighth president and chief executive officer of Pepperdine University, will commence the week before and continue the week of the presidential inauguration ceremony, providing members of the Pepperdine community with a vast array of opportunities to welcome the new president and celebrate the University through fellowship, inquiry, worship, and prayer.

Schedule of Events


Capture the Moment
Tuesday, September 17, 2019 | 10 AM to 4 PM
Joslyn Plaza

Pepperdine Graphic Media is inviting students, staff, and faculty to stop by, have a cookie, and tell us what your hopes and dreams are for Pepperdine as the University inaugurates a new president. These interviews will be used to create an archive around President Gash's inauguration.


Graziadio Alumni Welcome Reception with President Gash
Tuesday, September 17, 2019 | 5:30 PM
E.P. & L.P. Rooftop Lounge

Expand your Graziadio alumni network on a rooftop lounge with stunning views of the Hollywood Hills at sunset. This complimentary event is the Graziadio School's biggest networking event of the year and not to be missed. Join Graziadio alumni, faculty, students, and staff as they welcome the school's newest graduates and incoming students to the Graziadio community.

Registration Required


Homeland Security Advisory Council Gala
Tuesday, September 17, 2019 | 6 PM
Montage Beverly Hills

Join the School of Public Policy as it celebrates its new academic enterprise, the Homeland Security Advisory Council at the School of Public Policy with a signature gala event at Montage Beverly Hills. The event will honor Pepperdine President Emeritus Andrew K. Benton for his stewardship of this strategic collaboration and his leadership during last year’s Woolsey Fire, as well as pay tribute to HSAC@SPP board member and former Los Angeles city controller and city councilwoman Wendy Greuel.

Registration Required


A WORD of Welcome: Welcoming President Gash through Spoken and Written Word
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 | 11:30 AM
Hahn Fireside Room

Faculty and students from the Humanities and Teacher Education Division will welcome President Gash through spoken and written word. Poetry readings, spoken word, short movie clips, and teaching about the power of words will be included. Each demonstration will represent the various disciplines of the HUTE Division. Refreshments will be served.


Why Faith-Based Education Matters: An Evening with Rabbi David Wolpe
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 | 5 PM
Raitt Recital Hall

Seaver College will host a lecture by David Wolpe, senior rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Focused on interfaith understanding and why faith matters in higher education, Rabbi Wolpe’s lecture will be followed by a 15–20 minute Q&A session with the audience.


Developing Globally-Minded Students
Thursday, September 19, 2019 | 1 PM
Kresge Reading Room

Seaver College International Programs will celebrate the achievements of the college's study abroad programs and discuss how and why it intentionally develops globally-minded students that make impacts throughout the world. The presentation will start with a dessert reception followed by a 30-minute presentation.


Seaver Showcase
Thursday, September 19, 2019 | 3–5 PM
Surfboard Room

All eight of Seaver College’s divisions will participate in a poster session in the Surfboard Room to highlight undergraduate research and honors work done by the students of Seaver College.


Pepperdine Resilience Program Launch: Health and Well-Being
Thursday, September 19, 2019
3–4 PM: Healthy Happy Hour | Mullin Town Square
4–5 PM: Program | Elkins Auditorium
5–6 PM: Refreshments | Mullin Town Square

The Student Wellness Advisory Board in partnership with Campus Recreation will host their first Healthy Happy Hour of the year focused on resilience, serving as the launch and celebration of the Pepperdine Resilience Program. This event will take the form of an educational Convocation program with time allotted before and after the program for the community to engage in refreshments, learn about resources, and access information about health and wellness on campus. The program will define resilience and educate the community about the importance and the vision of the Pepperdine Resilience Program. Attendees will also have opportunities to participate in dialogue and other activities centered on resilience.


Natural Science Showcase: Beyond the Classroom
Friday, September 20, 2019 | 2–4 PM
Rockwell Academic Center and Keck Science Center

Join the Seaver Natural Science Division for a reception and open house highlighting research labs/discoveries and programs in NASC. There will be food, maps, and "fun" at the prayer garden near NASC lobby to welcome participants. This event will also serve to introduce first year science majors to the NASC division.


Pepperdine Presidents and Churches of Christ
Monday, September 23, 2019 | 1 PM
Surfboard Room

Lecture by Jerry Rushford, hosted by the Office of Church Relations


Inauguration Worship and Prayer Event
Monday, September 23, 2019 | 7 PM
Firestone Fieldhouse

Pepperdine will begin inauguration week with a powerful time of worship and prayer, led by the internationally acclaimed praise and worship group Hillsong Worship. Bob Goff, New York Times best-selling author and founder of nonprofit organization Love Does, and Dave Clayton, lead church planter and pastor at Ethos Church, will also offer inspirational messages.

Registration requested


Davenport Discussion with County Assessor Jeffrey Prang
Tuesday, September 24, 2019 | Noon
SPP Room 175

The Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership will host Jeffrey Prang, Los Angeles County assessor, as he discusses his journey in local government with Pepperdine Public Policy students. This is a professional development opportunity for policy students who are ready to begin their own professional journeys. Community members will have the opportunity to ask questions during this interactive lecture/discussion.

This is a lunchtime discussion at which food will be provided.


Inauguration Keynote Lecture
Tuesday, September 24, 2019 | 7 PM
Smothers Theatre

Honoring the traditions of the academy, as part of its inauguration activities Pepperdine will host a distinguished academic lecture entitled featuring renowned astronomer and astrophysicist Jennifer Wiseman.

Registration requested


Inauguration Ceremony
Wednesday, September 25, 2019 | 10 AM
Alumni Park

The inauguration ceremony, consisting of many long-standing academic traditions and protocols, will include a procession of delegates from other colleges and universities, the formal investiture and installation of President Gash as the University's eighth president, and the delivery of President Gash's inaugural address. The inauguration luncheon in Alumni Park will immediately follow the ceremony. Inauguration luncheon to immediately follow

Registration requested


Pepperdine's Quest for Global Justice: Spotlight on Reform in Uganda
Wednesday, September 25, 2019 | 7 PM
Smothers Theatre

The School of Law will host a screening of the 39-minute documentary REMAND followed by a panel discussion with Ugandan leaders. A reception with light refreshments will be held after the event.


Spread the Gospel: Missionary Collections from the University Archives
Thursday, September 26, 2019 | 10 AM
Payson Library - Seminar Room - Second Floor


Historic Bibles from the Pepperdine Libraries' Special Collections
Thursday, September 26, 2019 | 11 AM
Payson Library - Seminar Room - Second Floor


Inauguration Student Celebration with President and Mrs. Gash
Thursday, September 26, 2019 | 6 PM
Alumni Park

Students are invited to a special celebration event to meet President and Mrs. Gash. Join the new president and first lady in Alumni Park for a festive evening of music, food trucks, and interactive games.

Registration requested


Additional events will be added to this schedule as planning details are confirmed.

Honorary Inauguration Committee

Paula and Edwin Biggers
Richard Bloom
Pat Boone
Tina and Rick (JD '83) Caruso
Kalli O'Malley and Terry Giles (JD '74)
Janice K. Hahn
Gary Haugen
Michelle (JD '89) and Mark (JD '88) Hiepler
Sheila J. Kuehl
Diana and Michael Kuan
Jenny and Alfred Li

Sharon and Terry Mullin
Geoffrey H. Palmer (JD '75)
Kristen and Timothy ('87) Phillips
Lis and Arsjad ('93) Rasjid
Jennifer ('76) and Frederick Ricker
Dee Anna ('86) and Hubie Smith
Alice and Ken Starr
Henry I. Stern
Amy and Hock Ghim Toh
Jefferson Wagner

Inauguration Steering Committee

Claudia Arnold
Paul L. Caron
Danny DeWalt
Louis W. Drobnick (MBA '91)
Nathan L. Ethell ('08, MBA '13)
Michael E. Feltner
Rick Gibson (MBA '09, PKE 121)
Gary A. Hanson (JD '80)
S. Keith Hinkle (JD '97)
Connie Horton ('82)
John Hsuan
Sara Young Jackson ('74)
Lee B. Kats

Rick R. Marrs
Tami McKelvy
Matthew J. Midura ('97, MA '05)
Marnie Duke Mitze
L. Timothy Perrin
Pete Peterson (MPP '07)
Phil E. Phillips ('88, JD '92)
Ronald F. Phillips
Jeff Pippin (MBA '83)
Deryck J. van Rensburg
Valerie Vollmer
Helen Easterling Williams