Founder and History
George Pepperdine was a man of deep Christian faith and a lifelong member of Churches of Christ. He was also a businessman who founded Western Auto Supply when he was 23 years old. He was committed to sharing his wealth to educate men and women in a values-oriented environment, and Pepperdine University, founded in 1937, is the realization of his dream. For the first 30 years of its life, the institution was a small, mostly undergraduate college. University status was achieved in 1970 as the institution added graduate and professional schools.
Founder's Day: Each year, the Pepperdine community gathers together on the Malibu campus for the University's Founder's Day celebration. This special event honors the vision of our founder, George Pepperdine; affirms the University's mission; and declares the opening of a new academic year.
"I am endowing this institution to help young men and women to prepare themselves for a life of usefulness in this competitive world and help them build a foundation of Christian character and faith, which will survive the storms of life."
-George Pepperdine, 1937 dedicatory address
Learn about the history of Pepperdine's colors: blue and orange.
Read the background of our mascot, Willie the Wave.
Finally, review the history and learn the lyrics of Pepperdine's Alma Mater and Fight Song. Once you do, sing along with the videos below.
Review Pepperdine's mission, vision, and affirmation statement.
Pepperdine University keeps a vital affiliation with Churches of Christ of which its founder, George Pepperdine, was an elder and lifelong member. Pepperdine University aspires to be an institution that nurtures the love of God with "heart, soul, strength, and mind," where the integration of faith and learning and a commitment to spiritual formation pervades all aspects of its institutional life; where spiritual commitments shape the lives of teachers, scholars, administrators, and staff; and especially, where Christian faith impacts the classrooms of all academic disciplines through research and pedagogy. Learn more about spiritual life at Pepperdine.
Read Pepperdine's strategic plan, Ascend Together.
The forty member Board of Regents, a majority of whom must be Church of Christ members in good standing, is the legal governing body and chief policy board of the University. The University Board is a national advisory group that provides additional guidance and leadership. The University Administration, working in tandem with the governing and advisory boards, shapes the direction of the University.
To learn about and to register for events at Pepperdine and its five schools, click here.