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Editor's Letter

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

Can you feel it? Something is shifting. Just as we collectively emerge from the days-long daze brought upon by the ever-controversial daylight saving time shift, it seems that a noticeable brightness is being cast over us all with a warmth that feels—dare I say—familiar. And we could all use a little bit of light now, just months after passing a sobering milestone that stirs up more pain than possibility for many. It could be that we are slowly moving into a post-pandemic reality that seemed to have come on more quickly than we anticipated. But we have all had to adjust our expectations and understanding of time over the last year, haven’t we? We have all been—whether by nature or circumstance—primed and positioned to pivot.

In the dance world, a pivot turn is when a performer’s body rotates on one axis, on one foot, without traveling very far. By placing one foot in front of the other, the dancer shifts their weight to move forward and then spins on one heel to face the opposite direction while remaining in the original spot. A simple move in theory, it requires much experience and coordination, especially when performed with a partner. While many of us may not be bound for the stage, over the last year we have all had a taste of the push-and-pull motion of attempting to move forward and change course without feeling like we were getting anywhere.

In this issue of Pepperdine Magazine, as in many of our own lives, we come to terms with the art of the pivot—why we must keep shifting and innovating and how to do so gracefully and with intention. Flip through these pages to discover journeys filled with soaring highs after disappointing lows faced by people of color who have created their own success in an economic system not built with them in mind; the full-circle pivot of a lifelong educator returning to his first love, the classroom, after a transformative career as an administrator; students who have taken their scholarship to their own backyards during an unexpected shift to distance learning; and a school that has moved and adapted with the needs of the community that it serves with a boundless spirit.

While these next few months will undoubtedly continue to test us and challenge us to keep moving, I suspect we will all feel that shift we have longed for over the last year. I suspect we will all feel like we are finally getting somewhere.


Gareen Darakjian