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Letter from the Editor

Pepperdine Magazine is the feature magazine for Pepperdine University and its growing community of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends.

How do you define leadership?

Some might argue that the term defies definition and is unquantifiable by traditional measures of success.

True leadership, while abstract and subjective, is not determined by a company’s organizational chart, but demonstrated in the process of growth by serving others: modeling grace in the face of challenge, revealing the strengths of those around us, and inspiring action that benefits the greater good.

In this issue, we recognize the leaders who work both in the spotlight and behind the scenes, mobilizing communities to think, feel, and act and engaging others in broader conversations that signal progress and promise in a changing world.

In our collection of 40 outstanding alumni, we find bridge builders, storytellers, and advocates who are truly and intentionally living out the University mission in their respective fields.

It is in the marriage of scholarly work and public thought leadership that faculty like Derek Muller live out the School of Law’s commitment to forming students for the 21st-century law practice.

Leadership is found on a global stage in Edinburgh, Scotland, where this summer 18 Seaver College theatre students amplified the dangerous and complex circumstances surrounding issues of sexual assault on college campuses.

Indeed, one would be hard-pressed to identify a single archetype of leadership. At Pepperdine all are encouraged to express their leadership in constructive ways. As an overwhelming spirit of cultural angst and uncertainty swirls around us, Pepperdine this year is exploring what it means to welcome all to the unique, inclusive open table. And, in the words of President Andrew K. Benton, we must exercise “convicted civility,” most importantly in the days, months, and years ahead as we discover how leadership plays out on a grander scale.

These ideals are woven into the fabric of the student, faculty, staff, and alumni experience at Pepperdine. It is up to us to seize the myriad opportunities to serve others and, in doing so, to become the leaders that encourage and inspire the greatness we wish to see in the world.

Gareen Darakjian