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Words of Wisdom from our 2013 Commencement Speakers

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

As Pepperdine’s 2013 graduates crossed the stage to receive their diplomas and begin their lives as alumni, they were sent off by a distinguished group of commencement speakers who offered personal lessons they learned in life after school. Here is some of their sage advice.

"So many times we look at the big problems in the world and have a desire to want to serve or help, but we think that it’s not going to make that big of a difference. When you incorporate giving into your life, it is an amazing tool for good business and building this personal brand that is going to be so critical to you as you now go out into the world."

Blake Mycoskie

Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS Shoes

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

Seaver College

"As you move through your chosen career paths, as well as through the rest of your lives, keep before you that whenever there are discussions about the latest innovation promising to change your lives, your learning, and your relationships for the better, that 'the human touch' is where we all start, where the greatest learning and healing takes place, and where we all end."

Laura Skandera Trombley

(’81, MA ’83)

President of Pitzer College

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters

Graduate School of Education and Psychology

"If you go through life focused on what you want to be, at the end of the road when your light goes out, you might find yourself to be one very unhappy camper. To be truly happy, the decisions you make from here on out better be built around who you are and not what you think is valued."

Blake Irving

(MBA ’88)

CEO of Go Daddy

Distinguished Alumnus

Graziadio School of Business and Management

"Innovation and creativity are often the products of failure. One of the most profound pieces of advice I have ever received is, 'Fail frequently, fail cheaply.'"

Al Plamann

Chief Executive Officer of Unified Grocers

Honorary Doctor of Laws

Graziadio School of Business and Management

"Do your best to remember that the future is what you make of it, and that what you do each day creates the text of a future best- selling business book. Make things happen by doing everything you can to make that book an interesting one."

Thomas Mitchell (MBA ’13)

Student Speaker

Graziadio School of Business and Management