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University Statement: Pepperdine University Mourns the Loss of Four Seaver College Students



October 18, 2023 – Malibu, CA – The University has received confirmation and has had the opportunity to speak with the families before releasing the students’ names to the Pepperdine community.

Seniors Niamh Rolston, Peyton Stewart, Asha Weir, and Deslyn Williams, passed away in a car accident on Pacific Coast Highway last night.

“To the students who loved, lived with, and were in community with the departed members of our Pepperdine family, my heart is broken with yours,” said University President Jim Gash in a message to the Pepperdine community. “I join you in your grief as we process this profound loss.”

“In this time of immeasurable grief and heartache, we stand together as a community and turn to our faith and each other to find hope and healing in the midst of this tragedy,” said Connie Horton, Vice President for Student Affairs. “Each departed student brought a unique gift and spirit to the University, and we deeply grieve the unfulfilled hopes and aspirations of our precious community members.”

A prayer service will be held on Thursday at 10 AM for members of the Pepperdine community. Members of the media may not attend in person but are welcome to join the event via Zoom.

Plans for memorial services are underway as the University works with the families to appropriately honor each student.


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