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Pepperdine University Celebrates Launch of Fred Sands Institute of Real Estate

Over 350 friends, faculty, community leaders, and longtime associates gathered at the Beverly Wilshire, Beverly Hills, on Wednesday, June 24, for a dedication and celebration dinner to launch the Fred Sands Institute of Real Estate at the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University. The event recognized the consummate career of industry icon and entrepreneur Fred Sands and applauded his commitment to educating future generations of real estate professionals through a dynamic new enterprise within the University’s business school.

With an exclamation that “the entrepreneurial spirit pervades Pepperdine University,” president Andrew K. Benton welcomed the distinguished attendees, including Frank E. Baxter, U.S. ambassador to Uruguay, and a host of Sands’ closest friends and associates who paid tribute to the real estate figure’s achievements in business and real estate.

Following an invocation by Drew Sams, senior pastor and head of staff of Bel Air Presbyterian Church, Graziadio School dean David M. Smith offered his remarks about the impact of the Fred Sands Institute on the University.

“I feel especially fortunate that Fred Sands has invested and trusted in us to help lead the legacy of real estate education at Pepperdine,” Smith said. “We commit to honoring that trust and, with Fred’s help, establishing entrepreneurs and individuals who are game-changers in the real estate landscape who will grow the vision and mission of the program. ”

Current and former business associates also paid tribute to Sands’ enduring commitment to the industry. Longtime friends Doris Gustafson, former executive vice president and general sales manager of Fred Sands Realtors; Roger Burghdorf, executive vice president of leasing at Vintage Real Estate; and Zev Yaroslavsky, former member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, shared memories and voiced their support of the noteworthy venture.

“A legacy is something you leave for future generations,” said Yaroslavsky. “I don’t think there is a more significant thing to do than endow the Fred Sands Institute of Real Estate at Pepperdine University.”

As he took the stage, Sands expressed his gratitude to friends, family, and supporters for the opportunity to share his expertise in this way. “I’m flattered, I’m honored, and I’m touched,” said Sands. “Thank you for supporting my family and Pepperdine University in this endeavor.”

In his concluding remarks, Benton reinforced the sentiments shared throughout the evening with his own confidence in and excitement about the promise of the Fred Sands Institute.

“Real estate, for Fred, is so much more than a mere business transaction,” said Benton. “The future of the Fred Sands Institute is bright, indeed.”

For more information about the Fred Sands Instute of Real Estate, visit the Graziadio School of Business and Management website.

Photo of Benton and Sands: Stefanie Keenan/WireImage