January 19, 2017 | By Alexa Brown — Longtime friend to Pepperdine Law Rick Caruso (JD ’83) was recently given the high honor of Knight Commander of St. Gregory the Great by Pope Francis. The ceremony, administered by His Excellency Archbishop José Gómez, took place on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles.
The Papal Order of St. Gregory the Great was founded in the early part of the 19th century by Pope Gregory XVI. It is given to outstanding Catholic individuals (men, Knights; ladies, Dames) upon the recommendation of the diocesan Archbishop. It is the preferred award to acknowledge an individual’s particular meritorious service to the Church. The inaugural brief of the order indicates that it is given to ‘[persons] of proven loyalty to the Holy See who, by reason of their nobility of birth and the renown of their deeds or the degree of their munificence, are deemed worthy to be honored by a public expression of esteem on the part of the Holy See.’
The emblem of this title is an eight-pointed star. This year in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, only a few were given the honor by His Holiness, Pope Francis. Previous notable recipients include: Bob and Dolores Hope, Roy E. Disney, Ricardo Montalban, Eunice Kennedy Shriver and Roger Wagner, among others.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Caruso Affiliated, Caruso sits on the Board of Visitors at Pepperdine Law. He and his wife, Tina, created the Rick J. Caruso Research Fellows Program, which supports the ongoing scholarly efforts of full-time law faculty members. Pepperdine Law’s beautiful Caruso Auditorium was also made possible by Rick Caruso, named through a generous donation in honor of his parents Henry J. and Gloria Caruso. You can watch Caruso share his story with Pepperdine Law students and speak on developing the now famous shopping center in Los Angeles, The Grove, here.