Today is a very special day for Pepperdine University. Some 76 years ago this September, on a sunny afternoon that chased away the clouds of the Great Depression, Christian businessman George Pepperdine opened a brand new college at 79th and Vermont in Los Angeles, investing his fortune and faith in the promise of a life-changing education.
Today’s celebration, simply called ‘Founders Day’ calls the university back to its roots with a reading of Mr. George Pepperdine’s Dedicatory Address from 1937, a performance of John Williams’ “The Champions” by the Pepperdine orchestra and concert choir, a recitation of memorable quotes from Pepperdine’s history, and remarks by President Andrew K. Benton.
Of all George Pepperdine’s memorable quotes, This one is my favorite:
“…There are many good colleges and universities which can give you standard academic training, but if our school does not give you more than that, it really has no reason to exist. The great difference between this college and other colleges is that we are endeavoring to place adequate emphasis and greater stress upon religious teaching and Christian character. We want to present to you, in teaching and example, the Christian way of life. We do not compel you to accept it. You are free to make your own choice, but we want you to know what it is.”