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Annual Pepperdine Caruso School of Law Dinner to Honor Founding Dean Ronald F. Phillips

Dean Ronald F. Phillips

On Saturday, April 6, 2024, at 6 PM, the annual Caruso School of Law dinner will honor Ronald F. Phillips, the founding dean of the Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. The event will honor Phillips’ lifetime of dedicated service to the University and the law school and celebrate the success of School of Law students, showcase the school’s progress and commitment to the Pepperdine mission, and build enthusiasm for its vision.

As the founding dean and dean emeritus, Phillips has played a significant role in the success of the Caruso School of Law. In 1970, Phillips left a successful law practice in Texas to head the unaccredited night school that Pepperdine had acquired in Orange County the year prior. Over the course of his 27-year tenure as dean, he secured the school's accreditation, oversaw its move to Pepperdine’s main campus in Malibu, and helped steer it towards becoming one of the premier law schools in the United States.

Phillips’ decades of inspired leadership were built on two unshakable commitments—the first of which was to God. Faith and prayer guided him as he shaped the curriculum and culture of the law school, which he saw as an institution for developing legal professionals with deeply held values and a passion for service. The second commitment was to his students, whom he viewed not only as legal practitioners but as peacemakers and servant-leaders. Phillips was intentional about selecting the faculty and staff who would help these students reach their full leadership potential and served as a devoted mentor to countless graduates who would proudly attest to his wisdom, kindness, and the lasting impact he has had on their lives and careers.

To commemorate his indelible impact at Pepperdine, the University is committed to raising $1 million toward the Ronald F. Phillips Chair at the Caruso School of Law. This fundraising initiative will elevate the distinguished endowed position to ensure that the Caruso School of Law continues to attract influential legal scholars and world-class educators who will follow in Phillips’ footsteps. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit this fund, which will honor Phillips’ faithful leadership and service to Pepperdine.

Register for the 2024 Caruso School of Law Dinner honoring Ronald F. Phillips on the Caruso School of Law website.