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In 2001, Andrew K. Benton, the newly installed President of Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, looked ahead to the next major milestone in the university’s future: its 75th anniversary, to be celebrated in 2012. In his inaugural paper, “Envisioning a Bold Future,” he laid out the university’s values and explored its beginnings. In laying out the path for the next 11 years, Andrew K. Benton emphasized the university’s Christian identity, and challenged the university’s community to meet a set of challenging goals, among which was the growth of the university’s reputation as a center for vibrant exciting scholarship and intellectual excellence. President Benton also pledged prudent management and growth of the university’s resources, and a continued strong commitment to diversity, which he called a critical element of any Christian institution. In addition, he called on the Pepperdine family to build an even stronger, more interconnected community.Pepperdine’s commitment to diversity was highlighted in 2009, when Andrew Benton partnered the university with the Posse Foundation, which identifies outstanding public high school students who might be overlooked in the traditional college selection process. These students, in multicultural groups of 10 are called Posse Scholars; they are enrolled in partner schools, which award Posse Scholars full tuition scholarships. Benton’s remarks at the time the partnership was announced emphasized the importance of diversity in a Christian university.Andrew Benton had no intention of leading a career in academia, to say nothing of heading one of the nation’s premier Christian universities. He trained as a lawyer, earning his JD from Oklahoma City University’s School of Law. Admitted to the bar in 1979, he maintained a private practice in Oklahoma until 1983, when his friend and mentor, David Davenport, asked him to come to Pepperdine and address some land use issues the school was experiencing. Andrew Benton joined the university’s staff in 1984 and held a number of senior administrative posts. David Davenport assumed university’s presidency in 1985; in 1991, Benton became the university’s executive vice president. Andrew Benton was appointed President when Davenport stepped down in 2000.

Work experience

Jun 2000Present


Pepperdine University


Jan 1998Jan 2000


Oklahoma Christian University