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Pepperdine University
Gareen Darakjian, Managing Editor, Pepperdine Magazine

Editors Letter

The Spring 2018 issue of Pepperdine Magazine explores the different meanings of home

How do you define "home?"


It’s the place where we begin and end each day. It’s where we gather and feast. It’s where we seek shelter and sanctuary. We leave its comfort to explore worlds beyond its four walls, and when we return it greets us with a familiarity akin to a warm hug. In one of my all-time favorite TV monologues, Don Draper calls it “a place where we know we are loved.”

Whether we inhabit it for a moment or for a lifetime, we fill our home with a spirit that is unique to that place. And when we find ourselves stripped of our safe place by circumstances beyond our control, we mourn it deeply. We feel unhinged. Home is the only place that truly makes us feel like ourselves. It’s where everything makes sense.

As my own family recovers from a devastating house fire that has displaced us for more than a year, I am particularly sensitive to the unseen and rarely discussed realities of being without a home. That day, in the ash- and asbestos-contaminated cloud that suffocated my pre-disaster life, nothing made sense. I felt remarkably unprepared as I began to grapple with losing the place that hosted my favorite arts-and-crafts birthday parties as a kid and the groups of friends that milled about nervously before high school dances. That tiny dwelling that saw many transformations throughout its 20 years of service to my family was where my immigrant parents first felt the comfort, safety, and satisfaction of home in a foreign land.

It has been 14 months, and sometimes it’s still hard to imagine what it will be like to move back into a house that was so recklessly and unfairly stripped of every memory. It will be new and it will be different. Though its spirit survived, its bones were mangled and misshapen, and every shred of familiarity was destroyed forever.

The Spring 2018 issue of Pepperdine Magazine explores the different meanings of home—from the distant sanctuary that stokes and stirs your innermost thoughts and desires, to the inclusive space where colleagues can express their distinct selves and thrive, to the trappings of a recovered life disguising a desperation to survive. We invite you to discover what home means to a road-weary traveler, a graduate student seeking temporary residence in a home away from home, and a military veteran searching for community in a new way of life.

Now in its 10th volume, Pepperdine Magazine has, through words and whimsy, illuminated the place that our community of faculty, staff, students, and alumni call home. Over the last several months, the content curators and creative whizzes ofPepperdine Magazine have given it a fresh coat of paint and updated its look and feel to reach more of you in new ways. We hope you feel a bit closer to Pepperdine when you pore through the pages of this issue and that you drop us a line atmagazine@pepperdine.edu to share your feedback. We’d love to hear from you.

Gareen Darakjian