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Historical Facts

Historical picture of an AWP event - Pepperdine University

The Associated Women for Pepperdine has given more than $4 million, as well as countless thousands of hours of dedicated service. But the story of AWP cannot be told in numbers; rather, it is the story of friendship and fellowship that has blessed the lives of all of us who have prayed, planned, and worked together.


Helen M. Young smiles - Pepperdine UniversityHelen M. Young
Founding President

"In the spring of 1958 my mother, Irene Young Mattox, and my husband Norvel encouraged me to begin a woman’s organization to support Pepperdine College. Mother had been involved in the beginning of “Stepping Stones,” a support group for Oklahoma Christian College, the second such organization among colleges related to Churches of Christ.

I called Gloria Sanders, Helen Pepperdine, Thelma Allen, Margaret Davidson, Elizabeth Randolph, and Bettye Shipp. We seven formed a steering committee to make plans for what would become the Associated Women for Pepperdine. We spent many hours talking, planning, and praying, and the organizational meeting was set for June 5, 1958.

More than 300 interested Christian women attended a brunch held in the beautiful garden of the president’s home on the Los Angeles campus. Many of our present members were there and felt the excitement of this new concept in educational support. The enthusiasm was electric. That day more than 140 women became charter members, including 20 life members.

I read a letter recently from one of those charter members indicating the spirit of dedication and sacrifice that was felt. “When I heard you introduce the idea of ‘Women for Pepperdine,’ I purposed that with God’s help I would begin selling greeting cards to earn enough to be a life member. I went door to door and successfully earned that $100 for my life membership.”

In the 55 years since that first meeting, thousands of women—great officers and just as great members—have worked with willing hands and loving hearts to enable thousands of students to receive scholarship aid to attend Pepperdine University. And the future is as bright as the promises of God."