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Pepperdine University
Gareen Darakjian, Managing Editor, Pepperdine Magazine

Letter from the Editor

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

Confession time: A few weeks ago I found myself channel surfing at 4 pm in true “lazy Sunday” fashion and thought I would amuse myself by checking the Health app on my iPhone to see how many steps I had accrued on my jaunts from couch to kitchen and back again.


Staring down at the alarming number—33!—I felt a panic set in: I hadn’t been productive all day and had only a handful of hours to make the most of the fading weekend.

As my head hit the pillow that night—a mere six hours later—I drifted into dreamland satisfied that my bathroom had never been cleaner, my car had never shined so brightly in the moonlight, and three healthy meals had been prepared for the week. In those six panicked hours, I had managed to accomplish more than I had all weekend—or any weekend for that matter!

As an editor, I know my best work is inspired by the threat of impending deadlines. It is the curse of the creative. But what moves us to make progress in life when we are not bound by the quarterly editorial schedule? Is it the thrill of competition? The fear of missed opportunity? The ominous passing of time? The George Eliot quote, “It is never too late to be what you might have been,” comes to mind when we consider the enduring spirit demonstrated by those who are featured in this issue.

On page 26, George Pepperdine College alumnus Lawrence Schiller, our cover story, who at 80 years old is still curating exhibitions (at the Smithsonian, no less) and being recognized for his six decades of journalistic work that includes intimate moments with the most extraordinary figures in history, reminds us that “nothing is too late if you have a good idea.” Laurie Nelson, who has broken a world record by performing incredible physical feats that many men and women more than half her age would find challenging and even impossible, has clearly taken that advice to heart. And in our list of 40 remarkable alumni over the age of 40, we meet individuals of all stripes who are challenging their limits, disrupting established industries, and reinventing themselves far beyond what society considers their prime.

Indeed, this may be the “Never Too Late” issue, and we at Pepperdine Magazine recognize it’s always a good time to celebrate those who continue to accomplish incredible things through every stage of life. As for me, I continue to be inspired by those who are compelled by their own fire and harness their experience, confidence, and perspective to throw known limits out the window.

Gareen Darakjian