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Pepperdine | Community

With Gratitude

New Mexico sunset

On the occasion of Employee Appreciation Day, I am filled with gratitude for you, my colleagues, who breathe life into the mission of our University. We often say that the extraordinary people who comprise our community make Pepperdine special. That is always true, but perhaps exceedingly apparent in this time of displacement.

Over the past year, you have shown adaptability in new work environments; flexibility in your work; perseverance in juggling competing priorities; faithfulness in navigating ambiguity; courage in the face of challenge; and love throughout. You bring heart to all you do, creating a depth to our shared life together that transcends operation and transaction.

Our University is rich in spirit and life abundant, even as we continue to endure this pandemic. I share below a reflection and prayer from Stephen Copeland, so we may remember we have an opportunity in these desert days to strengthen the ties of community, assess what is most important to us, and rest more fully in God.


Whether it's waiting or working, it can sometimes feel like we are journeying through the desert with no end in sight. But it's often in the desert that we learn the most about God, ourselves, and what we are grateful for in the present. May this prayer be a reminder of the spiritual landscape of the desert.


In these days
that blur together,
may grace surprise me
When the world
stops turning,
may I still see
the splendor of earth.
As I labor
beneath the scorching sun,
may I be grateful
for the work.
Thank you, Lord,
for desert days
that help me love you
all the more. 


Sean Michael Phillips
Associate Vice President
Human Resources and Business Services