November 27, 2018 | The past few weeks have been devastating to our entire community, but our collective faith at Pepperdine University has proven to be unshakeable. The immediate response to the Southern California Woolsey fire from the University and School of Law administration, faculty, and staff has been nothing short of tremendous. David McNeill, a second-year law student and George Page Residential Advisor, remained on campus from the time of initial evacuation on Friday until the University’s shelter-in-place safety measure was lifted on Sunday, and he told us, “I was so impressed with President Benton, Dean Gash, Dean DeWalt, and others…I was impressed with basically everybody.” McNeill added, “There was a lot of heartbreak and emotion running through our community, but understanding that this was an emergency situation, everybody went into ‘go-with-the-flow’ mode.”
When asked about his impressions of the on-campus response, McNeill said, “I don’t know who was required to be there but they were there, working alongside fire and safety officials to secure campus and check for signs of hotspots or other potential threats.”
There has been no shortage of support for our community in this time of intense uncertainty. The School of Law administration has worked tirelessly to ensure all ABA academic standards are met. Since learning of the campus closure, the administration has created a new class and final examination schedule that would accommodate the various needs and considerations of our law school community.
Trying times certainly serve as a reminder of the extraordinary community that we have built here at Pepperdine and how we come together to share in each other’s pain and serve together to provide for all those in need of our important work.
Please continue to monitor the University’s Emergency Information Page for updates.
We have TWO ways you can give to the disaster/crisis relief at Pepperdine:
In the wake of the mass shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks on November 7 and the Woolsey Fire in Malibu and the surrounding areas, we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support for our Pepperdine family.
Many have asked how they can help and where they can give to support students and families dealing with such sudden and tragic loss. The tePepperdine Strong Fund will enable the University to respond quickly to our community in this time of crisis, providing needed support for the students, faculty, and staff directly impacted by these events.
In 2017, Pepperdine Law alumni Alex Caruso (JD ‘17) and Caelan Rottman (JD ‘18) created the Student Emergency Fund (SEF) in order to provide a means of immediate financial support specifically for law students in the wake of an emergency situation. Alex Caruso communicated to us, “If there was ever a time for the SEF to provide comfort and relief to students, now is certainly the time.” (scroll down to SEF)
The Malibu and Calabasas campuses are open following the Thanksgiving holiday period.
We thank you all for your generosity and indefatigable gestures of love and prayer. We are proud to call ourselves part of the Pepperdine family.