Pepperdine University to Celebrate 2017 Commencement Ceremonies
Pepperdine University will host commencement ceremonies for the School of Public Policy, Graziadio School of Business and Management, Frank R. Seaver College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences, School of Law, and Graduate School of Education and Psychology on the Malibu campus throughout April and May.
The ceremonies will feature a robust lineup of speakers who will address the graduates as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.
School of Public Policy
Friday, April 21 | 10:30 AM | Alumni Park
Honorary Doctorate Recipient: John Sibert
A resident since 1985, years before it was incorporated as a city, John Sibert served as mayor of the City of Malibu from 2012 to 2013 and again from 2016 to 2017. Shortly after moving to Point Dume over 30 years ago, Sibert served on the Malibu Township Council and was later elected to the Malibu City Council, where he served from 2008 to 2016.
Over the course of a varied and distinguished career, Sibert was an assistant professor of chemistry at Yale University (1969-1978); research chemist and manager of the Corporate Research Laboratory at Atlantic Richfield Company (1978-1986); chemistry and chemical engineering division administrator at California Institute of Technology (1986-1989); founding executive director of the Alaska Science & Technology Foundation (1989-1995); vice president and chief operating officer of California State University Institute, Long Beach (1995-2001); managing partner at Global Financial Group (2000-2010); and a member of the board of directors of WEX Pharmaceuticals Inc. (2004-2011).
Sibert completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and received his doctoral degree in chemistry in 1969 from University of California, San Diego.
Graziadio School of Business and Management
Saturday, April 22 | 10:30 AM | Firestone Fieldhouse
Honorary Doctorate Recipient: Thomas J. Donohue
Thomas J. Donohue is president and chief executive officer of the US Chamber of Commerce. Since assuming this position in 1997, Donohue has built the Chamber into a lobbying and political powerhouse with expanded influence across the globe.
In an era of economic and fiscal challenges, Donohue has aggressively advanced the American Jobs, Growth, and Opportunity Agenda—a plan that includes expanding trade and domestic energy production, rebuilding America’s infrastructure, combating an avalanche of new regulations, protecting intellectual property, revitalizing capital markets, and reforming entitlements and the tax system.
Donohue established the US Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, which advances significant legal reforms in the courts, at the state and federal levels, and in elections for state attorneys general and Supreme Court judges. He has dramatically expanded the activities of the US Chamber Litigation Center, the Chamber’s law firm, and has reinvigorated the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which houses Hiring Our Heroes, a program that identifies job opportunities for tens of thousands of returning veterans and military spouses.
Previously Donohue served for 13 years as president and chief executive officer of the American Trucking Associations, the national organization of the trucking industry. Earlier in his career, Donohue was deputy assistant postmaster general of the United States and vice president of development at Fairfield University in Connecticut.
Donohue earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University and a master’s degree in business administration from Adelphi University. He holds honorary degrees from St. John’s, Adelphi, Marymount, and Bradley universities, as well as the National University of Ireland at Maynooth. He is a 2013 recipient of the Horatio Alger Award.
Saturday, April 29 | 10:30 AM | Alumni Park
Honorary Doctorate Recipient: Dan Beckerman
Dan Beckerman is president and chief executive officer of AEG, one of the world's leading presenters of sports and entertainment programming. Beckerman oversees AEG's many divisions as well as long-range planning, acquisitions, financial oversight, and corporate governance.
Previously he was AEG's chief operating officer and chief financial officer, leading its operations and fiscal planning for its subsidiaries, including Staples Center, the Los Angeles Kings, the company's Major League Soccer franchises, two minor league hockey franchises, international holdings, and AEG Live, the live entertainment division.
Beckerman joined the organization in 1997 as chief financial officer of the Los Angeles Kings. He played a key role in investment of over 5 billion dollars to develop facilities, such as Staples Center, LA Live, O2 in London, and O2 World in Berlin; operations of sports franchises worldwide; and the creation of AEG Live.
Earlier he was vice president, finance, for the Los Angeles Clippers. Before his stint with the Clippers, Beckerman was a senior accountant at Arthur Andersen in Los Angeles where he specialized in corporate taxation.
He holds an undergraduate degree in economics and a master of business administration degree from University of California, Los Angeles.
School of Law
Friday, May 19 | 10:30 AM | Alumni Park
Honorary Doctorate Recipient: Michael M. Boone
Michael M. Boone is a member of the board of directors of Haynes and Boone and one of the cofounders of the firm. He has over 40 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, securities transactions, and board of director representations.
Boone has been selected as one of the 25 greatest Texas lawyers of the past quarter-century and the “Go-To-Lawyer” in Texas in the field of corporate/business law by Texas Lawyer Magazine. He was also named Best Lawyers’ 2013 Compliance Lawyer of the Year, 2012 Dallas Corporate Governance Law Lawyer of the Year, one of the top corporate finance/mergers and acquisitions lawyers in Dallas by D Magazine, and one of the Top 10 Super Lawyers by Texas Monthly magazine and Law & Politics magazine.
Some of Boone’s professional and business activities include: member of the board of trustees of Southern Methodist University (SMU); member of the executive committee SMU Dedman School of Law; former adjunct professor of law (securities law) at SMU Dedman School of Law; former president of the Highland Park School Board; former member of the board of trustees of Abilene Christian University; and former chair of the Dallas Citizen Council.
His awards and honors include: distinguished alumnus of SMU Dedman School of Law (1990); distinguished alumnus of SMU (1996); distinguished alumnus of Highland Park High School (1998); Next Millennium Award from the Freedom’s Foundation at Valley Forge for involvement in education (1999); Justinian Award for Public Service (2004); Friend of the Year Award from the Friends of Texas Public Schools (2006); and the Jack Lowe, Sr., Award for Community Leadership (2006).
Boone received his BBA degree in accounting at SMU in 1963 and his JD degree at the SMU Dedman School of Law in 1967.
Graduate School of Education and Psychology (Psychology)
Saturday, May 20 | 10 AM | Alumni Park
Speaker: Thema Bryant-Davis
As a licensed psychologist, minister, and sacred artist, Thema Bryant-Davis (MDiv ’16) joined Pepperdine University in 2007 and is now a tenured associate professor at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology.
Inspired by her parents' ministry outreach to those in need, Bryant-Davis entered the field to provide trauma survivors, women, minorities, and other groups alternative coping strategies, such as exploring spirituality and the arts.
Bryant-Davis received her doctorate at Duke University and her post-doctorate at Harvard Medical Center. She chose to teach at Pepperdine University because she believes the school's mission is in line with her interest in “spiritual growth and emotional wholeness.”
Graduate School of Education and Psychology (Education)
Saturday, May 20 | 2:30 PM | Alumni Park
Honorary Doctorate Recipient: Mildred Garcia
Mildred Garcia has served as the seventh president of California State University, Fullerton, since June 2012. At CSU Fullerton—one of the largest and most diverse universities in the western states—she supports multicultural alliances and believes that these alliances bolster the strength of establishments and communities, as well as work to enhance students’ development and opportunities.
Garcia’s research in higher education has focused on the impacts of equity, diversity, and outreach on practice and policy. She has served on editorial boards for several scholarly publications and has been an advisor and partner in the policy work of the National Science Foundation, the American Educational Research Association, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and other national, regional, and state higher education organizations.
She serves on President Obama’s Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, on the board of directors for the Association of American Colleges and Universities, and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, on the advisory boards of Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, the board of trustees for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, and as founding board member of the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships. In 2010 US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appointed Garcia to the US Committee on Measures of Student Success.
Previously Garcia served as the president of CSU Dominguez Hills, as the 11th female president and first Latina president in the California State University system. She also served as the chief executive officer of Berkeley College. She has held both academic and senior level positions at Arizona State University, Montclair State University, and Pennsylvania State University, among others. She acts as a speaker at national and international conferences and an academic researcher.
Garcia holds a master’s degree in higher education administration and a doctor of education degree from Columbia University, Teachers College; a master’s degree in business education/higher education from New York University; a bachelor’s degree in business education from Baruch College, City University of New York; and an associate of applied science degree from New York City Community College.