Lisa Smith Wengler Endows Center for the Arts
University Board member and longtime Pepperdine friend Lisa Smith Wengler has made a magnanimous estate commitment to the Campaign for Pepperdine to endow the University’s Center for the Arts. Lisa has been a friend and benefactor to Pepperdine for nearly two decades and has served on the University Board since 2011. With this major gift, the campaign has now raised more than $400 million of its $450 million goal.
Born and raised in Germany, Smith Wengler is a successful builder and developer in Malibu. Her friendship with Pepperdine began in 1994 when she met and enjoyed the company of former Pepperdine president Norvel Young and Pepperdine matriarch Helen Young (‘39). In addition to her service on the University Board, Smth Wengler is also a member of the University Libraries campaign committee and has a special interest in the arts and scholarships.
“We are so proud to count Lisa as part of our Pepperdine family,” said Keith Hinkle, senior vice president for advancement and public affairs. “Her heart for philanthropy has always been an inspiration to us, but this latest gift is simply transformational and will provide unimagined opportunities for our fine arts programs at Pepperdine.”
Prior to this major commitment, Smith Wengler has made other significant gifts to the Center for the Arts, as well as the Payson Library renovation. Acknowledging her faithful support, Pepperdine named in her honor in 2005 the beautiful fountain terrace at the entrance of Smothers Theatre. Beyond Pepperdine, she is also a member of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council board of directors where she serves as vice chair.
Fall 2013 highlights at the Center for the Arts included Wynonna and The Big Noise, Roger McGuinn and Marty Stuart with the Fabulous Superlatives, and the Golden Dragon Acrobats. This spring, the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art will open an exhibit, “Works on Paper,” by acclaimed California Pop artist Wayne Thiebaud.