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President's Message

Andrew K. Benton - Pepperdine GSEP

Beginning in 1937, when an experienced and dedicated faculty was gathered for the school's first year, Pepperdine University has maintained a long and rich heritage of academic excellence. Today we continue that tradition as we apply ourselves to an important goal, strengthening our emphasis on scholarship and culture. We are interested in seeing that each member of the faculty is encouraged to rise among his or her peers in scholarship and to advance thinking within that chosen discipline.

As we focus on scholarship, we do not for a moment remove our attention from what we believe is the central task of education: teaching. Though some institutions may agonize over the problem, for Pepperdine the issue is not teaching or research—it is nationally recognized scholarship in support of excellent teaching.

We understand that you, as a student, want and need training for a successful career in life. That is a "given." But Pepperdine also believes it is important that we help you to become an enlightened, civil, and cultured citizen. In addition to your major academic concentration and perhaps familiarity with other disciplines, it is important to celebrate music, drama, literature, poetry, and art. We hope you will be in daily contact with these expressions of human spirit.

A number of distinguished scholars have observed the weakening of our culture. In 2000, the eminent Jacques Barzun, former professor and provost of Columbia University, released his opus, From Dawn to Decadence. The title seems to speak volumes. It is certainly not impossible to wake up one day and realize that we have become a nation of highly trained (and perhaps even highly paid) barbarians. But at Pepperdine, we believe that higher education has a duty to preserve those things that are timeless and that ennoble humanity.

The graduate programs in education and psychology are built upon a gifted faculty, a sound curriculum, and the remarkable array of talents and experiences our students bring to the classroom. We offer a unique opportunity for students who are both ready for a challenge and excited about the future.

Welcome to a University that cares deeply about the past, present, and future. We honor the past, live and serve in the present, and plan for a bright future. We also commend to you the life of the mind, the life of the spirit, and the life of community.

Andrew K. Benton
President