Pepperdine Honors the Life of Larry Donnell Kimmons
Pepperdine Magazine is the feature magazine for Pepperdine University and its growing community of alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends.
The Pepperdine community gathered at Payson Library on September 20 to honor the life of Larry Donnell Kimmons, who, on March 12, 1969, was fatally shot at age 15 by chief security guard William Charles “Charlie” Lane on the George Pepperdine College campus. Kimmons, a junior varsity basketball captain at nearby Washington High School, often visited the South Los Angeles campus with friends after school to practice in the gymnasium.
Attendees witnessed the rededication of a refurbished portrait of Kimmons first commissioned in 1971 and heard from various members of the Pepperdine community who reflected on the magnitude of the event. Speakers included David Humphrey, associate dean of student affairs for diversity and inclusion; Tabatha Jones Jolivet (’97, MA ’03), former Pepperdine associate vice president and Title IX coordinator for students; Candace Jones Mitchell (’99, MA ’03), an alumna and former Pepperdine professor who dedicated her master’s thesis to Kimmons; Eric Wilson, Pepperdine associate chaplain; Rod Wright (’73), Kimmons’ childhood friend; and President Andrew K. Benton, who closed the service with prayer. Seaver College students also read statements written by George Pepperdine College alumni who were students at the time of the incident.
“This event is momentous,” said Humphrey in his message. “I am convinced that our willingness to sit in a place of discomfort, grief, and pain will be the catalyst to uprooting the wells of bitterness and hate that furnish the gardens of oppression and ignorance and isolation in fear.”