May 28, 2019 | Matthew Dildine (JD ’08), the CEO of the Fresno Rescue Mission, was honored at the annual Graduation Breakfast as Pepperdine Law’s 2019 Young Distinguished Alumnus. Matt holds degrees from three Pepperdine schools: Seaver College, the School of Public Policy, and School of Law. During Matt’s time at the law school, he was an involved student in the Palmer Program (first year), Legal Aid Clinic, and a Dodgeball Champion. Matt is married to Kym Dildine (also a graduate of Seaver College), and the two share five children. Kym serves as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Community Food Bank of the Central Valley, serving 280,000 people who cannot afford meals each month (100,000 of those meals are to children under the age of 8).
The Young Distinguished Alumnus award is presented annually to alumni who have recently graduated and embody the law school’s mission of purpose, service, and leadership in their career. Matt was honored because both he and his wife, Kym, are changing how the city of Fresno serves and assists their homeless population. The Fresno Rescue Mission is an operation recognized across California for its excellence and service, and Matt took over last year with new vision. He has already purchased a large hospital to use as a community college, and discussed his plan to incorporate a free grocery story on the campus. Matt left a successful career as a partner in one of Fresno’s largest law firms to serve at the Rescue Mission, and he also oversees real estate investments in the Fresno area.
Matt spoke to the students about how he learned to define success in the legal profession and the joy of service to others. Matt concluded his speech by walking in the middle of the Smith Atrium to pray over the students and their future success and careers. Congratulations to Matt on this well-deserved honor! To connect with Matt and learn more about the great work of the Fresno Rescue Mission, click here.