Lauren Cosentino, vice president for Advancement and chief development officer, speaks at the PAC information session in the Fireside Room on Aug. 29. Cosentino spoke about mentorship opportunities through PAC. Photos by Sharon Stevens
Pepperdine Ambassadors Council is returning for the 2023-24 academic year, according to an Aug. 1 email from PAC to the Pepperdine community. The Office of Advancement held an information session for PAC’s relaunch Aug. 29, where members of Advancement explained the history of PAC and their vision for its future. Applications are due Sept. 5.
PAC is an organization made of student volunteers who represent the University, working underneath Advancement and closely with the President’s Office.
The University placed PAC on a pause for the 2022-23 academic year, according to previous Graphic reporting. PAC members and Advancement did not agree on the reason for the pause, as members said the reason was a disagreement over changes to the future of PAC, whereas Advancement wrote the pause provided a chance to re-envision the organization.
“What I hope to do is to continue with the incredible service tradition of PAC, and the tradition involves students who love Pepperdine — students who can represent Pepperdine to our outside constituents as well as our inside family,” Hung Le, senior vice chancellor, said.
This will be the 33rd PAC, and Le said he will be one of the PAC advisers and is still learning the role.
“This is my 34th year working at Pepperdine,” Le said. “So, I’m very familiar with PAC and its impact and its contribution to the University.”
When Le was a student (1983-87), Pepperdine used the term “student ambassador” for the first time, he said. For Pepperdine’s 50 anniversary, the school had entered a float into the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, also known as the Rose Parade, and the eight students Pepperdine chose to ride that float became known as student ambassadors.
In the 1990s, former SGA president Christine Grimm formalized the role, and PAC was born, Le said.
The information session for PAC began with time for prospective applicants to mingle with both one another and members of Advancement, and Advancement provided refreshments. Then, applicants sat down to hear from Advancement staff regarding what PAC is and what to consider when applying.
“To be the group that restarts PAC is really special of an opportunity to build off of a legacy of so many people who have come before you guys in this group,” James Gehrels, Seaver alumnus (’17), former PAC member and the director of the Waves Athletics Fund, said. “The blazers mean a lot; the name PAC means a lot.”
Le said a committee of staff, faculty and alumni will be reviewing applications, and the goal date to release decisions is Sept. 29.
Lauren Cosentino, vice president for advancement and chief development officer, spoke about the mentorship opportunities that come with being on PAC and events applicants can look forward to.
“This group is going to teach you the ways to go and be the best representatives of yourself and this place [Pepperdine] in those [official] settings,” Gehrels said.
Senior Ryan Marumoto said he heard about PAC from friends who had participated in the organization in the past and learned about the application from the emails PAC sent. He plans to apply for the 2023-24 academic year.
Junior Isaac Bonilla said he also heard about PAC from a friend who previously served on the council and enjoyed hearing from former members of PAC about representing the University.
Junior Londyn Johnson said her parents are Pepperdine alumni, and her father spoke highly of PAC. Hearing from a former PAC member was helpful, she said.
“I wanted [from the information session] more depth and detail about what this year’s program would entail,” Johnson said. “How much of a time commitment [PAC is], the benefits of the program. I think I got it.”
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