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Sharon Beard Named Dean of Students at Pepperdine University

Sharon BeardSharon Beard (’94, MDR ’01), who has served Pepperdine University for 24 years in various roles, has been appointed to the position of dean of students.

As the associate dean of students within the Office of Community Standards since 2003, Beard directed all aspects of the student disciplinary process for all five schools of Pepperdine. She previously held positions in Student Activities, where she directed New Student Orientation and advised campus Greek organizations, clubs, and the Student Government Association. Prior to that, she managed special events with University Events.

Sharon holds a bachelor of arts in communication from Seaver College and a master’s in dispute resolution from the Caruso School of Law. Upon completing her graduate degree, Beard served as an ombudsman at UCLA where she was responsible for resolving student conflicts and creating solutions to address complex problems within the UCLA community. Beard returned to Pepperdine in 2003 to begin her work with student conduct and gained increased responsibility as she advanced from primarily serving Seaver College to expanding her scope of work with students at all five schools, including online students.

Mark DavisBeard succeeds Mark Davis, who joined Pepperdine in 1995 as assistant dean of students under then dean of students D’Esta Love (MDiv ’03). Davis will continue to teach Seaver College first-year seminars Preparing for a Life of Purpose, Service, and Leadership and Christianity and Culture. From 1999 to 2001, he served as dean of the First-Year Program at Abilene Christian University and returned to Pepperdine in 2002 as the dean of student affairs. In 2015 he became the vice president of student life and dean of student affairs as the unit expanded its service to all five Pepperdine schools in areas such as Title IX. In 2017 Mark transitioned to the role of dean of students where he continued to report to the provost on University-wide initiatives, such as centralizing the Student Code of Conduct and revising policies to comply with new Title IX regulations. He also continued to work with Beard in her role as associate dean as the final appeal on student conduct matters.

“For the past 19 years, I have had the privilege of serving Pepperdine with Mark Davis as my supervisor,” says Beard. “His leadership modeled for me that our work with student conduct is a ministry and a calling. Mark lives out the Christian mission in every aspect of his life, and I am grateful for the opportunity to advance the good work he began so many years ago.”

Davis served as a campus minister and completed his PhD at Purdue University with an emphasis in college student affairs administration. 

“Looking back on my 25 years at Pepperdine, I am most proud of the many people I have worked with who combine a strong faith, warm heart, and professional acumen to lead Pepperdine forward as a preeminent, global, Christian university,” Davis says. “I am so grateful for the many ways Pepperdine has blessed my life through the gift of its exceptional students and colleagues, and I hope to continue to find ways to ‘freely give’ as I move into this next chapter of my life strengthened by the spirit of this place.”