President, Pepperdine University
Andrew K. Benton has served in higher education for more than 40 years. Although he planned a career in law or the judiciary, the course of his life turned toward young people and their hopes and dreams, arriving in California in 1984. He became president of Pepperdine in 2000 and has filled a number of leadership position in American higher education, including chairman of the American Council on Education, the largest convening higher-education organization in the United States. He now serves as chairman of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
Enjoy most: The creative learning environment in which talented scholars and willing students collide is nothing short of amazing.
Proudest moment: Realizing that I have found a profession where my wife, Debby, can be my full partner in all I do.
Toughest challenge: Walking the tightrope of a faith-based university in a complex and competitive world.
Best advice: Make yourself invaluable in the workplace and inspire the confidence of others.
Fun fact: I play rock and roll music without apology and with great enthusiasm. While I am not good, I am loud.
Most excited: This answer surprises me: I no longer fear the future, and I am ready to face it head on.
Alma maters: Bachelor’s, Oklahoma Christian University; JD, Oklahoma City University.