Category Archives: Places

American Council on Education


I am currently in Washington, D.C., to attend the American Council on Education national conference.  Through the Helen M. Young Fellow program at Pepperdine University, I have the honor of participating in a conference consisting mostly of chancellors, presidents, and chief academic officers (i.e., provosts) from higher education institutions all over the nation, and in fact, all around the world.  The honor of attending is matched by the outstanding quality of the presentations.

I recognize that it is odd to post a picture (above) of the hotel entrance I have used to go to dinner the past two evenings.  I learned today that it is a famous entrance.  For those of you older than most of our student body, you will appreciate the historical significance when I add a picture below from that recalls such a scary day in American history.

Such events remind us all of the significance of the rule of law:


Spring Break, Part 2

GJP Trip to India (at Holi Festival 2015)

Several of our students are in India for spring break through our Global Justice Program to work with an organization started by Pepperdine Law alum, Jon Derby, called Counsel to Secure Justice.

As you can see from the picture above, this trip also provided the unique cultural opportunity to take part in Holi Festival 2015 (the Festival of Colours)!!!

Brand New Website

For the past year, Pepperdine has undertaken a university-wide initiative to redesign the Pepperdine website, including the law school’s website, The redesigned website is now live.  Check it out HERE.

Thanksgiving Day!!!

I am simply thankful to be a part of the Pepperdine University School of Law family!  Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!



I had the opportunity to share an update on our Parris Institute for Professional Formation at Pepperdine University’s Advancement and Public Affairs Annual Retreat yesterday morning.  The event was held at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

After my panel, I left to return to the law school, and on my way out I had to stop and take the picture above.  I am sure that you remember President Reagan’s famous statement to Mr. Gorbachev regarding the Berlin Wall.  In my opinion, one of the neatest things at the Reagan Library is this 9 1/2 foot tall section of the Berlin Wall.

What a wonderful reminder of the human quest for freedom.



Some major office moves are taking place around the law school this week.  Specifically, the clinical offices are relocating to the area that has been inhabited by the journal offices, and the journal offices are moving to the former clinical office space!  This qualifies as one of those win-win situations where it will be improvements for both.

One smaller aspect of this relocation has me particularly excited.  Our Student Bar Association (“SBA”) office has historically been in a deep, dark corner of the law school, and although SBA officers have enjoyed having a storage space, it really wasn’t much of an office–and, it surely wasn’t a student-friendly location.  But now, with the office moves, the SBA office will be in the glassed-in portion of the law school cafeteria (behind the curtains in the picture above).  This will provide a huge increase in space, but more importantly, it will put these student leaders in close proximity to the student body.

This is just one of many things happening this summer that has me excited for the year to come!

Breakfast Team Retreat

The new academic year is rapidly approaching, and this morning I have the pleasure of hosting a “breakfast team retreat” for the 20+ members of my team.

It is my honor to work with the following departments:

  • Admissions
  • Financial Assistance
  • Records
  • Student Accounts
  • Career Development
  • Parris Institute for Professional Formation
  • Alumni Relations
  • Communications
  • Events

One of the unique characteristics of our team is that we have significant influence on the law student experience before students arrive on campus and throughout the careers of our graduates.  It will be good today to regroup, refocus, and join forces in anticipation of the wonderful year that lies ahead!

Waves of Justice

With Independence Day on the calendar tomorrow, I found myself thinking of our students, staff, and faculty who are spread around the globe this weekend through the work of our Global Justice Program.  That led me to read through the amazing blog entries from our students on the Waves of Justice blog.  I encourage you to do the same, and I suspect you will be blessed, too.

If you don’t have time to read them all, I suggest scrolling down to the entry on May 29 from rising 2L, Andrew G.  Andrew is an Army veteran with tours of war in Iraq, and I found his entry titled, “Why Come to Uganda?” particularly touching.



Please join me in praying for Seattle Pacific University in the wake of yesterday’s tragedy.  I am thankful for the heroism of the young student security guard along with all the campus security officers who are willing to encounter great danger to provide a safe learning environment for our students, faculty, and staff.

Al Sturgeon
Dean of Students

A Graduation Picture (Value: 1,000 Words)

With John Adams (Diploma)

I love this picture from, and of, John Adams.  Due to John’s last name, he was the first graduate to receive his Juris Doctor degree last Friday.  However, John was a leader in the Class of 2014 in ways far beyond leading the alphabetical order.

Why I love the picture is that it captures the smiles of Dean Tacha (presenting the diploma), Professor Ogden (who served as Marshal), and myself (who served as Lector). The Pepperdine University School of Law is a top-notch law school, but it is simultaneously a place where the faculty, staff, and administration love students.  This picture is definitely worth at least a thousand words.

We are so proud of all our new graduates!

Al Sturgeon
Dean of Students