Thanks for the Memories
Whether in quiet moments with undergraduate students or during public appearances with global figures, President Andrew K. Benton has left an indelible mark on Pepperdine history
In honor of President Benton’s 35 years of service to Pepperdine and his leadership in the development of the Drescher Graduate Campus, the street formerly known as Via Pacifica was renamed Benton Way on March 11, 2019.
Flanked by King Neptune, Pepperdine’s mascot in the early 90s and 2000s, as well as members of the University’s advancement staff, including (from left) Lisa Cappelli Bergstedt (’85, MBA ’90), Todd Prepsky, and Claudia Arnold, President Benton celebrated his first day in office with fantastical flair.
President Benton, then executive vice president of the University, and former Pepperdine president David Davenport performed a rousing skit as Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar, characters from the 1992 comedic film Wayne’s World, at the faculty/staff banquet in 1993.
President Benton shares a celebratory moment with Jim Wilburn (MBA ’82) at the future site of the Drescher Graduate Campus, then a 50-acre plot of land located on the upper north side of the Malibu campus.
First Lady Debby Benton makes final adjustments to President Benton’s ceremonial regalia before he takes the podium to deliver his “Promises to Keep” address at his inauguration on September 23, 2000.
A practicing lawyer for five years before moving to California to begin his Pepperdine career, President Benton frequently teaches undergraduate law courses, an opportunity that allows him to “geek out” over the Constitution and connect with a small group of students on a personal level.
In summer 2007 President Benton explored Corinthian ruins on a weekend expedition to Greece during one of his trips to Florence, Italy, as faculty family with Pepperdine’s international programs. During that trip, the students planned an intimate celebration for the Bentons in honor of their 33rd wedding anniversary that coincided with the trip.
President Benton first arrived on campus in 1984 in a legal capacity to work on University regulatory matters related to wastewater treatment associated with the development of the Drescher Graduate Campus.
In 2008 President Benton, who served as board chair of the American Council on Education at the time, trekked the historic Route 66 from Chicago to Malibu on a listening tour to get to know what Pepperdine alumni in the heartland had to say about American higher education. His goal? To return home a better university president than when he left.
On October 30, 2008, President Benton presented former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher with an honorary doctorate to commemorate the reopening of Pepperdine’s London campus at 56 Princes Gate following extensive renovations.
A friendly sight: President Benton has been known to get around campus in his signature golf cart, smiling and waving as he cruises by.