Photo courtesy of Pepperdine Public Relations
James A. Gash, associate dean of the Pepperdine School of Law, will succeed Andrew K. Benton as the eighth president and CEO of Pepperdine University, according to a press release from Pepperdine University Public Relations.
“Pepperdine has always been a story of unbridled progress and never more so than under the leadership of Andy Benton, who has propelled this university to the highest echelons of Christian higher education in the United States,” said Gash. “I am both humbled and thrilled to have the opportunity to build on his administration’s legacy of growth and excellence, fueled by the imagination, innovation, and creativity of Pepperdine’s talented faculty, staff, students, and alumni around the world.”
Gash will officially take on title “president-elect” at 9 a.m., March 4, in Elkins Auditorium.
“The board’s selection of Jim Gash to serve as the next president of Pepperdine is an auspicious moment in the history of this remarkable university,” said Ed Biggers, chair of the Board of Regents. “Throughout his venerable career at Pepperdine and beyond, Jim follows in the footsteps of Pepperdine presidents before him who have demonstrated the kind of inspiration, integrity, strength, and measured leadership that have made this university into the elite academy it is today. We will be fortunate to have Jim’s guiding vision for Pepperdine as we write our next chapter and continue to be a leading university in Christian higher education.”
Gash is the first alumnus to ever hold the office of the presidency, according to the press release. Gash graduated from Pepperdine’s School of Law in 1993. Before assuming this position, Gash worked as the associate dean for strategic planning and external relations, while also being a law professor at Pepperdine Law.
His most notable work includes his 25 mission trips to Uganda, Africa, with Pepperdine students in an effort to reform the justice system in the country.
Benton announced that we would step down as president last March after 19 years in the position.
The other four candidates considered as finalists for the position include, Provost Rick Marrs, Dean of Yale Divinity School Gregg Sterling, Provost of Louisiana State University-Shreveport Nancy Jordan, and President of Lubbock Christian University Tim Perrin.
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