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Pepperdine University

Pepperdine University
Motto Freely ye received, freely give
Established 1937
Type Private
Affiliation Churches of Christ
Endowment $811.0 million[1]
President Andrew K. Benton
Academic staff
Undergraduates 3,474 (Seaver College)
Postgraduates 4,294 (Pepperdine University)
Location Malibu, California, USA
Campus Suburban
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Blue and Orange

Athletics NCAA Division IWCC
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Mascot Willy the Wave
Affiliations NAICU

Pepperdine University is a private, nonprofit, coeducational research university affiliated with the Churches of Christ. The university's Script error: No such module "convert". campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean in unincorporated Los Angeles County, California, United States, near Malibu[2][3] is the location for Seaver College, the School of Law, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, the Graziadio School of Business and Management, and the School of Public Policy. Courses are taught at the main campus, six graduate campuses in southern California, and at international campuses in Germany, England, Italy, China, Switzerland and Argentina. The Ed.D. program in Organizational leadership, (EDOL) has held international courses in China, Argentina, Chile, Belize, Costa Rica, and India.

The 2015 edition of U.S. News & World Report lists Pepperdine as a "more selective" national university and ranks it 54th in this category.


Early years

In February 1937, against the backdrop of the Great Depression, George Pepperdine founded the university as a Christian liberal arts college in the city of Los Angeles. On September 21, 1937, 167 new students from 22 different states and two other countries entered classes on a newly built campus on Script error: No such module "convert". at West 79th Street and South Vermont Avenue in the Vermont Knolls neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles,[4] referred to later as the Vermont Avenue campus.[5][6] By April 6, 1938, George Pepperdine College was fully accredited by the Northwest Association.

Pepperdine had built a fortune founding and developing the Western Auto Supply Company, which he started with a $5 investment, but his prosperity led to his greater ambition to discover "how humanity can be helped most with the means entrusted to [his] care. [He] considered it wrong to build up a great fortune and use it selfishly." Mr. Pepperdine voiced his twofold objective for the college that bore his name, "First, we want to provide first-class, fully accredited academic training in the liberal arts ... Secondly, we are especially dedicated to a greater goal—that of building in the student a Christ-like life, a love for the church, and a passion for the souls of mankind."[7]

Move to Malibu

By the 1960s, the young college faced serious problems. The area around the Vermont Avenue campus developed issues with crime and urban decay; tensions also arose due to the Civil Rights Movement and attempts to circumvent it such as California Proposition 14, which challenged federal fair housing laws.[6] The situation exploded in the 1965 Watts Riots.[6] In 1969 activists in the Watts area threatened to burn down the campus; however, they were talked out of it after all-night negotiations by then-President M. Norvel Young.[6] In addition, the Vermont Avenue campus was running out of room to expand.[6]

In 1967, the school began planning to move the undergraduate campus and a committee was formed to look at alternative locations, including sites in Valencia, Orange County, Ventura County and Westlake Village.[6] Pepperdine favored the Westlake Village location until the Adamson-Rindge family, who owned hundreds of acres near Malibu, offered Script error: No such module "convert". of land. Despite concerns over building costs on the mountainous site, the school decided to move forward based on its prime location and potential for raising donation.[6] Construction began on April 13, 1971 and the new campus opened for student enrollment in September 1972.[6] The campus and many of its buildings were planned by Los Angeles-based architect and urban planner William Pereira.[8]

The old campus was sold to Crenshaw Christian Center, whose minister, Frederick K.C. Price, then oversaw construction of the "FaithDome," the largest domed-church in the United States, seating over 10,000.

School of Law

Pepperdine gained university status in 1971 when the school of law was added and the business and education departments became separate schools. In the 1980s, Pepperdine rose to prominence as one of the United States' leading centers of conservative politics, attracting many conservative-leaning professors from nearby UCLA and USC. Prominent conservatives on the Pepperdine faculty have included Bruce Herschensohn, Ben Stein, Kenneth Starr, Arthur Laffer, Douglas Kmiec, and Daniel Pipes.

Smoke billows on a hill near Pepperdine University's Theme Tower.


In 1985, 1993 and 1996, massive brushfires threatened the campus with destruction, but firefighters successfully protected almost all structures. On October 21, 2007, fast-moving wildfires forced campus residents to relocate and shelter in the Firestone Field house and Cafeteria, plus evacuations of local homes and businesses.[9] Similarly, another November 2007 fire in Corral Canyon, accidentally set off by a group of Los Angeles youths, caused an evacuation of the Drescher Campus. However, most students were off-campus for the Thanksgiving holiday.


The main campus is located among several ridges that overlook the Pacific Ocean and the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California. The main campus entrance road ascends a steep, well-groomed grassy slope past a huge stylized cross, known as the Phillips Theme Tower, symbolizing the university's dedication to its original Christian mission. Most buildings were constructed in a reinterpretation of Mediterranean Revival Style architecture (red tile roofs, white stuccoed walls, large tinted windows). The majority of the construction on the main campus was completed in 1973. There are views of the Pacific Ocean, Catalina Island, Palos Verdes Peninsula, Long Beach and the westside of Los Angeles from numerous points. Landscape architects (Eric) Armstrong and (S. Lee) Scharfman were responsible for the campus green space planning and design.

Graduations take place at Alumni Park, a broad expanse of lawn overlooking Pacific Coast Highway and the Pacific Ocean. The main academic plaza for undergraduate programs of Seaver College lies just above Alumni Park and includes Stauffer Chapel, Tyler Campus Center, Payson Library, and the Ahmanson Fine Arts Center. Undergraduate housing and athletic facilities sit to the north/northwest of the academic complex. The Law School exists even higher above these areas. The central campus is surrounded by a loop road consisting of Seaver Drive, Huntsinger Circle, and John Tyler Drive. Banowsky Boulevard separates Alumni Park from the main academic complex and is named in honor of William S. Banowsky, the 4th president of Pepperdine.

Spur roads to the east of the central part of campus lead to faculty housing. To the northwest, Via Pacifica winds uphill to the Drescher Graduate Campus, completed in 2003 and home to the School of Public Policy, the Villa Graziadio conference center, as well as the full-time programs of the Graziadio School of Business and Management and the Graduate School of Education and Psychology. Housing for graduate students, undergraduate honors students, and faculty are also located here.

Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art

Recent noteworthy exhibitions in the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art include:

Roy Lichtenstein: January – March, 2011

David Gallup: Channel Islands: May 2011

Graduate campuses

The Graziadio School of Business and Management and the Graduate School of Education and Psychology are headquartered in West Los Angeles at the Howard Hughes Center next to Interstate 405. These two schools also offer programs at graduate campuses in Encino, Irvine, Santa Clara, and Westlake Village. International programs of the University's various schools have taken place in London, Heidelberg, Florence, Buenos Aires, Paris, Madrid, Lausanne, Johannesburg, Tegucigalpa, Brisbane, Chiang Mai, Hong Kong and Tokyo.


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Houses adjacent to the Malibu campus.
University rankings
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Frank R. Seaver College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences

Seaver College is named for Mr. and Mrs. Frank R. Seaver, the principal benefactors of Pepperdine's Malibu Campus. The college offers undergraduates a liberal arts education, and each candidate for a Bachelor's Degree must complete a series of general education courses crossing disciplinary lines. Seaver College students attend classes at the Malibu main campus and study abroad courses are offered at the University's permanent international campuses in Germany, England, China, Italy, Switzerland, and Buenos Aires. Michael Feltner is the current dean.[13]

Seaver College comprises 8 divisions and offers 40 majors (listed below), as well as 37 minors:

Business Division: Accounting, Business Administration, International Business

Communication Division: Advertising, Integrated Marketing Communication, Journalism, Public Relations, Media Production- Production and Sports Sequence

Fine Arts Division: Art, Art History, Music, Theatre Arts, Theatre & Music, Theatre & Media Production

Humanities and Teacher Education Division: Creative Writing, English, Film Studies, History, Liberal Arts, Philosophy

International Studies and Languages Division: French, German, Hispanic Studies, International Studies, Italian

Natural Science Division: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science/Mathematics, Mathematics, Mathematics Education, Nutritional Science, Physics, Sports Medicine, Natural Science- Engineering 3/2 Program

Religion Division: Religion

The Religion Division offers undergraduate and graduate education in ministry, administers a Center for Faith and Learning and an Office of Church Relations, and publishes Leaven: A Journal of Christian Ministry.[14]

Social Science Division: Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology

In addition, the college offers the following graduate degrees: Master of Arts in American studies, Master of Arts in Communication, Master of Science in Communication, Master of Arts in Media Production, Master of Arts in Religion, Master of Divinity, and Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Screen & Television. Seaver students can also earn both single-subject and multiple-subject teaching credentials.

Pepperdine has six international branch campuses located in Heidelberg, Germany; London, England; Florence, Italy; Lausanne, Switzerland; Shanghai, China; and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Graziadio School of Business and Management

Pepperdine University's George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management enrolls approximately 2,000 students in its full-time and part-time degree programs. The school was founded in 1969, and has since graduated over 30,000 alumni. Dr. Linda Livingstone has served as dean since 2002. In 2011, US News ranked Pepperdine 75th out of 437 business programs in the United States.[15]

School of Law

The Pepperdine University School of Law is located adjacent to the Seaver College Campus, and enrolls about 670 students who come from all parts of the country. It is fully approved by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. The school of law recently has attained membership in the prestigious Order of the Coif.[16][17] Pepperdine's Straus Institute of Dispute Resolution is consistently ranked as the number one dispute resolution program in the country, offering LL.M., master's and certificate programs. Some of its other newer degree offerings include the juris doctor/master of divinity in conjunction with Pepperdine's Seaver College. Other joint degree programs include the JD/MBA, JD/MPP, and JD/MDR. The school offers both a summer session and a fall semester in London, England. Deanell Reece Tacha is the dean.

File:Keck Science Center Pepperdine.jpg
An example of Pepperdine's Mediterranean architecture, The Keck Science Center

The school placed 52nd among the nation's "Top 100" law schools by the 2016 U.S. News and World Report rankings[18] and is the fourth highest ranked law school in Southern California. It is known for its entertainment law,[19] and also its dispute resolution program, which is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation.[20]

Graduate School of Education and Psychology

With a focus on collaborative learning, leadership and academic excellence, the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) offers both masters and doctorate programs in education, educational technology, education administration, leadership, organizational change, organizational leadership, social entrepreneurship and change, school counseling, psychology, clinical psychology, and clinical psychology with emphasis marriage and family therapy. Dr. Helen Easterling Williams is the current DEAN. In 2014 The Ed.D. Organizational Leadership Doctoral Program, directed by Dr. June Schmieder-Ramirez was selected as #13 in the ranking of top leadership programs globally. The rankings are determined by view of alumni, structure of courses and eventual positions held by graduates. ( Journal of Academic Excellence) 2014

School of Public Policy

Approximately 120 graduate students are enrolled in the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy, which offers a two-year masters of public policy degree. Not simply the study of government, public policy is the study of how governments, non-profits, and even individuals and businesses address problems of public concern. Students specialize in economics, international relations, American politics, or local/regional policy in addition to their core studies and are required to complete a policy-related internship.

Joint degree programs include the MPP/Juris Doctor degree in conjunction with the School of Law, the MPP/Masters of Dispute Resolution degree in conjunction with the School of Law's number one ranked Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution[21] and the MPP/MBA degree in conjunction with the Graziadio School of Business and Management.

Notable faculty at the School of Public Policy include: Ted McAllister, James Q. Wilson, James Prieger (Senior Economic Advisor, FCC), Joel Fox, Angela Hawken, Gordon Lloyd and Robert Kaufman.

Notable graduates include at least one former member of the Bush Administration: Eryn Witcher, Director of Television.[22]

The current dean of the Public Policy School is James R. Wilburn.



Main article: Pepperdine Waves
File:Pepperdine logo.png
Pepperdine Waves Logo

Pepperdine University participates in the West Coast Conference, a conference made up exclusively of religiously affiliated schools. Appropriate for its location adjacent to the Pacific Ocean, Pepperdine's teams are known as the Waves.

Pepperdine University was recently ranked by the Sears Cup as having the most successful athletic program for non-football Division I schools. (Stanford was ranked the most successful Division I athletic program with football.) Pepperdine University sponsors fourteen NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics teams: baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, tennis, volleyball and water polo teams for men; and basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming, tennis and volleyball for women. There are also several intercollegiate sports clubs such as men's soccer, men's and women's lacrosse, surf team, Ultimate Frisbee and men's rugby.

NCAA Division I team championships:

  • Baseball (1992)
  • Men's golf (1997)
  • Men's tennis (2006)
  • Men's volleyball (1978, 1985, 1986, 1992, 2005)
  • Water polo (1997)

NCAA Division I individual titles:

Notable alumni

There are currently 80,000 living alumni worldwide.[23] Notable alumni of Pepperdine University include prominent scientists, musicians, businessmen and women, engineers, architects, athletes, actors, politicians, and those who have gained both national and international success. The Pepperdine alumni network consists of over 30 alumni groups on four continents.[24]




Fine Arts


  • Adam Housley (B.A. 1994) -National Correspondent Fox News Channel, Emmy Winner
  • Michelle Fields (B.A., 2011) – Political Reporter
  • Anna Song (B.A., 1999) – KATU investigative reporter, weekend anchor (1999–present), 2007 Emmy for Human Interest News Series, 2007 Regional Edward R. Murrow award for investigative reporting.
  • Bill Weir – Co-anchor of ABC News Nightline
  • Joel Widzer (B.S., 1986) Author and Correspondent MSNBC
  • Eric Perkins KARE 11 Sports Anchor

Politics and government


Notable faculty

  • Michael Crooke, assistant professor of strategy, founding and lead professor of the Socially, Environmentally, and Ethically Responsible (SEER) Certificate program, Graziadio School of Business and Management, former Navy SEAL, CEO of Patagonia, Inc. (1999-2006)
  • Craig Detweiler, director, Center for Entertainment, Media, and Culture
  • Allen Fox (born 1939), tennis player (ranked as high as # 4) and coach
  • Bruce Herschensohn (born 1932), senior fellow School of Public Policy
  • Christopher Parkening, distinguished professor of music
  • Kenneth Starr, former law school dean
  • Ben Stein, law professor (1990–97)
  • L. Timothy Perrin, former law school vice dean (2007-2012), current president of sister school Lubbock Christian University

Battle of the Network Stars

From 1976 to 1988 Battle of the Network Stars, which was a series of competitions where television stars from ABC, CBS, and NBC would compete In various sporting events, was filmed on the Pepperdine University campus.

Zoey 101

Zoey 101 is an American comedy television series that ran on Nickelodeon from January 9, 2005 to May 2, 2008. Zoey 101 was filmed on the Pepperdine University campus, which was referred to as the PCA (Pacific Coast Academy) in the show.

Rankings and reputation

The Princeton Review ranked Pepperdine on the list of colleges with "Dorms Like Palaces" in 2004 and 2007 and #1 under "Most Beautiful Campus" in 2006 and 2007. Pepperdine also appeared on other lists including "Students Pray on a Regular Basis" and "High Quality of Life." Because of its Christian affiliation, some contend that the student body breeds a religious and politically conservative atmosphere.[45] Princeton Review also ranked Pepperdine University #13 in its list "Alternative Lifestyles not an Alternative".[46] In 2007 Pepperdine was named as "One of the Top Producing Colleges and Universities" by the Peace Corps of America. The 2005 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges has also noted Pepperdine as being one of the nation's largest conservative colleges. U.S. News & World Report (see “Pepperdine at Glance” in the external links section) has ranked Pepperdine as the 53rd best national university for undergraduate education. It is also ranked one of the 10 worst party schools in the country.[47]

The School of Law placed 54th among the nation's "Top 100" law schools by the 2014 U.S. News and World Report rankings[18] and is the third highest ranked law school in Southern California. It is known for its entertainment law,[19] and also its dispute resolution program, which is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation.[20]

In 2010, US News ranked Pepperdine's business school tied with Santa Clara University at 82 in America.[15] It ranked its part-time program 9th best in California.[48] Forbes magazine has ranked the Graziadio School's Fully Employed MBA programs in the world's Top 20 based on ROI.[49][citation needed] In 2008, the magazine In Tune for music educators named Pepperdine one of the 38 best music schools in the United States. In 2009, the Sustainable Endowments Institute awarded Pepperdine a "C" for its sustainability efforts in the annual College Sustainability Report Card.[50]

The Nickelodeon series, Zoey 101 was shot on Pepperdine's Malibu campus. Pepperdine signs were covered with trendy, purple signs reading "Pacific Coast Academy", the name of the boarding school attended by the students on the show.[51]

In 2012, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni included Pepperdine in its What Will They Learn? study, which is an annual evaluation system of colleges and universities. The report assigns a letter grade to 1,070 universities based on how many of the following seven core subjects are required: composition, literature, foreign language, American history, economics, mathematics and science. Pepperdine was one of 21 schools to receive an "A" grade, which is assigned to schools that include at least six of the seven designated subjects in their core curriculum.[52][53]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2014. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2012 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2011 to FY 2012" (PDF). 2012 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. 
  2. ^ "American FactFinder". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  3. ^ "Malibu Campus – Seaver College" (PDF). Pepperdine University. Retrieved October 27, 2011. 
  4. ^ Collier, Aldore (December 1989). "FaithDome: A grand-slam homer for Jesus. - Ebony". 
  5. ^ Jahn, Vanessa (Spring 2006). "GSEP 35th Anniversary: A Celebratory Evening to Remember". Colleague Alumni Magazine. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Domingo, Tracy (November 14, 2002). "Miracle at Malibu Materialized". 
  7. ^ Dochuk, Darren. "From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: plain-folk religion, grassroots politics, and the rise of evangelical conservatism". pp. 51–52. 
  8. ^ "Pepperdine University | Los Angeles Conservancy". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  9. ^ Associated Press according to CNN
  10. ^ "America's Top Colleges". LLC™. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Best Colleges". U.S. News & World Report LP. Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  12. ^ "2014 National Universities Rankings". Washington Monthly. n.d. Retrieved May 25, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Meet the Deans and Directors". Pepperdine University. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  14. ^ "Religion Division | Seaver College | Pepperdine University". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  15. ^ a b "US News Rankings". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  16. ^ "News | School of Law | Pepperdine University". 2013-12-06. Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  17. ^ Anesha Smith. "member chart". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  18. ^ a b "Best Graduate Schools – Education – USNews". Retrieved 2015-03-19. 
  19. ^ a b "Best Entertainment Law Schools and Sports Law Schools". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  20. ^ a b "Best Graduate Schools – Education – USNews". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  21. ^ "Best Dispute Resolution Programs | Top Law Schools | US News Best Graduate Schools". Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  22. ^ Pepperdine University – School of Public Policy Celebrates 2006 Graduation[dead link]
  23. ^ "Welcome | Alumni Association | Pepperdine University". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  24. ^ "Under Construction | Chapters | Alumni Association | Pepperdine University". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  25. ^ "Hats Off For Cancer". Retrieved 2012-12-01. 
  26. ^ "Pepperdine University Annual Report 2003". Retrieved 2012-12-01. 
  27. ^ Coslovich, Gabriella (23 January 2010). "The art of the deal". Melbourne: The Age. 
  28. ^ "Annual Report 2011" (PDF). Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild. Retrieved 19 June 2012. 
  29. ^ The MT Interview: Robert Tchenguiz[dead link]
  30. ^ "eHarmony #1 Trusted Relationship Site Move Beyond "Traditional" Online Dating". Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  31. ^ "Kelly Zong, daughter of Chinese billionaire beverage tycoon Zong Qinghou, says she never had a boyfriend". Belle News. 2013-01-14. Retrieved 2013-03-04. 
  32. ^ "Red Rising by Pierce Brown - Book - eBook". Random House. 2014-01-28. Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  33. ^ "Kelly Hu Graduated From Pepperdine University In Malibu California". Cele Hollywood. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
  34. ^ "Pretty Little Liars Creator Marlene King's Got Some Secrets!". 
  35. ^ "Photos of the Day - Photo Journal - WSJ". 2009-11-09. Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  36. ^ Baxter, Kevin (2010-06-21). "It's easy to flag down American fans at this World Cup - Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  37. ^ "NewsCred | Content Marketing Software For Brands". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
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  39. ^ "Lisa-Marie Kohrs - Fashion Model | Models | The FMD". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  40. ^ "Waxman recognized for cancer advocacy - Malibu Times: People". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  41. ^ Call, Roll (1952-03-30). "Janice Hahn : Rollcall Members of Congress". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  42. ^ "Ten of Pepperdine's Female Greats Honored by WCC". 
  43. ^ "". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  44. ^ "Mike Scott Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 3, 2012. 
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  47. ^ Top party, sober schools from Princeton Review Chicago Tribune, August 1, 2011
  48. ^ "Part-time Program Rankings". Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  49. ^ "Best Business Schools". Forbes. August 18, 2005. Archived from the original on December 8, 2012. 
  50. ^ "Pepperdine University – Green Report Card 2009". 2007-06-30. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  51. ^ "The Graphic - What Pepperdine learned in "Zoey 101"". 2004-08-30. Retrieved 2014-03-08. 
  52. ^ Czupor, Z.J. "National study ranks Colorado Christian in top 2% of colleges". Denver Post. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  53. ^ "Pepperdine University". What Will They Learn?. American Council of Trustees and Alumni. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 

External links

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