Friday, September 27, 2019
This has been quite a week at Pepperdine as we celebrate the Inauguration of Jim Gash, former Associate Dean for Strategic Planning and External Relations and Professor of Law at Pepperdine Law School, as President of Pepperdine University. Jim is one of my dearest friends, and I am thrilled for him, for Joline, and for Pepperdine. Here are the remarks I delivered at Wednesday's ceremony:
On behalf of the deans of Pepperdine’s five schools, I want to congratulate Jim Gash on becoming our eighth president. All presidents bring unique backgrounds and experiences to the position, and Jim is the first to come to the presidency as a faculty member and administrator at one of the five schools.
In his twenty years at the School of Law, Jim made enormous contributions to our rise in prominence. Jim joined an unranked law school, and he leaves behind a school poised to take its place among the nation’s top fifty law schools.
Jim served as Dean of Students for many years. The past two years, he served as associate dean with a broad portfolio, encompassing admissions, advancement, alumni affairs, global justice, online programs, and strategic planning. He leaves a legacy of success in all of these areas.
But Jim’s greatest legacy at the School of Law is in the lives of his students. He famously leaned the names of every one of his students during the first week of classes, and he remembers them to this day. Jim invests heavily in the lives of his students, and builds deep and enduring relationships with them.
We deans are excited to have as our leader a fellow traveler, someone who knows first-hand both the challenges and the opportunities of our work as faculty and as administrators, and someone who loves both the history and the promise of Pepperdine.