Graphic by Karl Winter
President Jim Gash hosted the final President’s Briefing of the spring 2022 semester April 6 via Zoom for Pepperdine community members.
Gash said the briefings will resume in person in June and provided updates on COVID-19, study abroad programs and upcoming events.
“As you recall, we don’t have President’s Briefings in May because that is the middle of our annual Harbor Bible Lectures. We’ll resume in June and our goal is to be in person,” Gash said.
Overview of the Briefing
Professor of Sports Medicine Cooker Storm opened the briefing with a devotional, teaching about God’s unimaginable love for humanity.
“My hope for us and my encouragement for us is not that we ignore our present circumstances but that we take deep hold of the present hope that is offered in this Easter season,” Storm said.
Senior Callie Mechelke then performed My Soul Sings by Maverick City Music for the community and shared about how the decision to attend Pepperdine has influenced her life and her music.
Gash introduced Biology Professor Helen Holmlund, who shared about her research as a physiological ecologist and her time at Pepperdine.
COVID Community Update
Chief Operating Officer Phil Phillips provided the community with a COVID update. Within the past week the positivity rate continues to drop and only nine COVID cases were recorded.
Phillips said masks are now not required on Pepperdine shuttle buses. Phillips also said vaccine clinics will be available on campus to receive a second COVID-19 booster.
Gash also updated the community on the progress of the chateau in Switzerland and said the renovations are set to be completed on time by next summer.
Gash said the formation of Pepperdine’s new Center for Faith and Common Good will be led by Vice Provost Lee Kats with additional consulting by Baylor Professor Byron Johnson.
“The focus will be on studying and doing evidence based research on the impact of faith on individual human flourishing and on society at large and the common good,” Gash said.
Upcoming Events and Q&A
The Associates Dinner will be May 7 and at which, the plans for The Mountain will be unveiled through a simulated video and a scale model, Gash said.
Chief Business Officer Nicolle Taylor then opened the Q&A portion of the briefing.
Taylor clarified abroad programs in the summer, in particular Florence, would not be extended due to COVID cutting the programs short.
In the Q&A portion, Phillips also clarified masks are required on shuttles that provide transportation to off campus locations.
In addition, Phillips said there are Highway Patrol and Sheriff’s on campus patrolling the stop signs after the local residential community complained and wanted increased enforcement.
Gash ended the briefing with prayer.
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