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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.

Unplugging. The concept seems so foreign in a digital age when we are constantly connected and feel a need to be available and “on” at all times.

And, yet, when we experience moments of disconnection, when we quiet the buzzing and humming of the devices on which we have come to depend, the silence is nothing short of spiritual.

We talk a lot about engagement—it has become sort of a buzzword for me in my job, as I am constantly seeking ways to better understand the needs of the Pepperdine Magazine audience. The results of the reader survey (see page 3) demonstrate that you are engaging with us, and we are listening to you in more ways than ever before. This magazine would not exist were it not for the connections, both personal and digital, that help us share the Pepperdine story.

But what happens when we disengage? In this issue we discover that spiritual leaders across the University have been doing just that each spring for the last three years. In fact, it is the ritualistic practice of surrendering all technological devices for three days that brings them closer to what God created them to be—human beings rather than human doings.

This issue also celebrates the connections that are made when love shows up in the streets of South Los Angeles, an underserved community that Seaver College alumna Linda Forster (’90) has been tending to ever since she can remember. Then, there is School of Public Policy alumnus Almis Udrys (MPP ’01), who serves the 1.4 million citizens of San Diego by facilitating their connection with their government using the power of technology.

The value of rest is undeniable, and the idea of disconnecting to reconnect is a powerful one. So, here’s to powering down to power up. May it restore our spirits, reinvigorate our purpose, and encourage us to seek out more ways to connect with one another.

Gareen Darakjian