Tag Archives: archives

When the Olympics came to Pepperdine: Today’s featured digital object

As the 2012 Summer Olympic Games open in London, we look back to 1984 when the Olympics came to Los Angeles and the Malibu campus of Pepperdine University. Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool served as the site for all of the water polo matches, bringing international attention to Pepperdine University. At a poolside press conference in February 1982, Olympic organizers made it clear that the selection of Pepperdine for the events owed in part to the great beauty of its surroundings.

Players and coaches rally during an Olympic water polo match at Pepperdine, 1984

Pepperdine did not disappoint. Runnels Memorial Pool was temporarily transformed into a first rate Olympic venue, complete with grandstands, souvenir shops, and vistas of the Pacific. The US National Team, featuring Pepperdine alumnus Terry Schroeder, played hard, beating out ten other teams to win the silver medal. Schroeder went on to play in several Olympic games and is now head coach of the Pepperdine men’s water polo team.

In the photo to the right, from the University Archives Photograph Collection, the drama of the match is captured in the excitement of the players and coaches cheering their teammates on from the pool’s edge. Schroeder is on the far left and head coach Monte Nitzkowski is center, left.

As you cheer on the US teams in this year’s Summer Olympics, take a moment to look back at photographic highlights from Pepperdine’s moment in the Olympic sun.

The Torches Are Lit Again: New Olympic Exhibit in Payson Library

The 2012 Summer Olympics are coming!  The games begin July 27th and run through August 12th, with most events in London, and others around the south of England and the United Kingdom.

In light of the 2012 summer games, Special Collections and University Archives pulled materials from the vault to showcase during the month leading up to the opening ceremonies.  A special new exhibit about the 1984 Summer Olympics is ready for viewing across from the circulation desk in Payson Library! Stop by to get a glimpse of photographs, one of the 1984 Olympic torches, tickets, and other items.

(The venue area seen at night, with refreshment area to the left, and pool to the right.  Click the image to view it larger.)

Traveling back to the 1984 Summer Olympics, hosted in Los Angeles, some may be surprised to find out that the water polo matches were hosted at Pepperdine University’s own Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool!  President Howard A. White was instrumental in bringing the Olympics to Pepperdine.  The Olympic torch relay passed through Malibu and a party was held in the middle of the night to welcome the torch.  (BBC News has a torch timeline with pictures, descriptions, and trivia available for all torches used from 1936 to the present!  Very neat!)

(President Howard A. White stands with the 1984 Olympic mascot, Sam the Eagle.  Click the image to view it larger.)

Pepperdine students, alumni, and coaches have participated in many Olympics, including Terry Schroeder, who played water polo for Team USA in the 1984 Summer Olympics.  A list of Pepperdine individuals involved with the Olympics since 1956 may be found on the Pepperdine University Athletics site.

(Team USA plays Brazil at Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool.  Click the image to view it larger.)

Curious to know where sports popular in Malibu will take place in London?  Beach volleyball will be at a temporary stadium in the Horse Guards Parade.  Horse Guards Parade is a large open parade ground in the center of London where the queen’s mounted guards perform the Trooping of the Colour – the grounds share a wall with 10 Downing Street, where the Prime Minister lives.  5,000 tons of sand were trucked in for the games!  Water polo will be at a new venue in the Olympic Park – the first time water polo has had its own arena built specifically for the event.  The structure was built with sustainability in mind: the roof is made of inflatable, recyclable PVC; the seating was rented; and the entire arena will be dismantled after the Olympics.

Multiple archival collections held in the Special Collections and University Archives have materials related to the 1984 Olympics, including the Howard A. White papers, the M. Norvel and Helen Young papers, and the University Photographs.  For more information about these collections, or to set up an appointment to see the items up close, please email specialcollections@pepperdine.edu.

Did you know?
Facts from the 1984 Summer Olympics

  • 6,829 athletes from 140 countries participated in the Summer Olympics.
  • Synchronized swimming, rhythmic gymnastics, and wind surfing debuted as new Olympic events.
  • President Ronald Reagan officially opened the games.
  • Mary Lou Retton became the first gymnast outside Eastern Europe to win the gymnastics all-around competition.
  • Future Dream Team members Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, and Chris Mullin were on the team that won the gold medal in basketball.
  • Sam the Olympic Eagle was the mascot of the 1984 Olympic Games.
  • The United States finished with the most medals followed by Romania, West Germany, and China. The Soviet Union and other Communist and Socialist countries boycotted the games in retaliation for the U.S. led boycott of the 1980 games in Moscow.

Interested in doing sports research off campus?  Visit the LA84 Foundation online or in person — their headquarters are in Los Angeles a few miles away from the University of Southern California (USC), and their library houses a largest collection of sports information in North America.

Donald V. Miller Papers and Earl Vivon Pullias Papers Ready for Research

Two more finding aids from Special Collections and University Archives are now available on the Online Archive of California! The Donald V. Miller papers and Earl Vivon Pullias papers, both processed as a part of the NHPRC project, are briefly described below.

Donald V. Miller was a Life Regent at Pepperdine University, who also served as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1956-1976.  The materials in this collection are photocopies of original correspondence, reports, and other items collected by Miller, related to administrative changes at Pepperdine in 1957 and 1958.  Click here to view the finding aid.

Earl Vivon Pullias was a professor, administrator and scholar of higher education.  The collection includes materials that document his positions at Pepperdine College (as Dean of Students and psychology professor) and the University of Southern California (as a professor of higher education), his academic career and research on higher education, and his personal and family life.  Materials in the collection range from the 1910s to the early 2000s.  Click here to view the finding aid.

For more information about the collections, or to set up an appointment to use the collections, please email specialcollections@pepperdine.edu.

Some items in the Earl V. Pullias papers include photographs, and a large number of letters written between Earl and Pauline (his wife) during their courtship and after their marriage.  See an example of one of each, below.  (Click the images to view them larger.)

Earl Pullias with two students wearing freshman beanies.

Earl writes a letter to Pauline, describing the long trip he took to get to the mailbox to find her letter.  The envelope was dated 1929; the two married in 1930.

Young at Heart in the Archives: M. Norvel and Helen Young Papers Open for Research

The finding aid for the M. Norvel and Helen Young papers is now available on the Online Archive of California!  The collection was processed as part of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant awarded to the department of Special Collections and University Archives.

The collection contains the personal and professional papers of M. Norvel and Helen Young. The bulk of the materials range from the 1900s to early 2000s and document the Youngs’ involvement with Pepperdine University; their families’ lives; and their activities while based in Tennessee, Texas, and California.

The Youngs were involved in Pepperdine from the beginning – Helen was a student during the first year of classes in 1937, and Norvel taught history for a few years, starting in 1938.  The two moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to further their education at the George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, then moved to Lubbock, Texas, so Norvel could preach at the Broadway Church of Christ from 1944 to 1957.  The family (including their four children) moved to Los Angeles in 1957, when Norvel accepted the job of President of Pepperdine (later transitioning to Chancellor and Chancellor Emeritus).  Helen and Norvel were very involved in the various Churches of Christ they attended, and also edited multiple nationwide church publications.  Norvel and Helen continued their support of Pepperdine for decades, until Norvel’s death in 1998 and Helen’s retirement in the mid-2000s.

The collection has a fascinating depth of information about the Youngs as a family (including their extended families – pictures, family trees, and family history!), their educational careers, Pepperdine as a university, their travel around the world, and the Churches of Christ – all with information spanning from the early 1900s to the early 2000s.

For more information about the collection, or to set up an appointment to use the collection, please email specialcollections@pepperdine.edu.

The pictures shown below were selected and scanned by our graduate student assistant, Jessica Geiser.  These pictures (plus other pictures and objects from the M. Norvel and Helen Young Papers, the J.M. McCaleb Papers, and the George Pepperdine Family Papers) are on display the week of May 1-4 for the 69th Annual Bible Lectures in Special Collections (room 326) in Payson Library.  The display also includes rare books from Special Collections.  The items can be viewed from 1-5 pm Tuesday, and 12-5 pm Wednesday through Friday.

(Click the images to view them larger.)

Norvel, age 7, with a pony.

From the left, on camels: Norvel, Helen, and Norvel’s mother (Ruby) in Egypt, 1949.

Helen, Norvel, and other Pepperdine people looking at a campus map on-site in Malibu.

Helen and Norvel on the swings in Korea.

Norvel and Helen at their 50th wedding anniversary party.

A Student’s Perspective: What It Was Like Working In Special Collections

Catie Golitzin, a freshman at Pepperdine, has worked in Special Collections and University Archives as a Student Assistant since last fall. Over the past 7 months, Catie has played an important role in our department. She paged materials for researchers, scanned images, and worked on many special projects including creating finding aids for the Webster Family Papers, the Rindge and Adamson Family Papers, and the Associated Women for Pepperdine Records. Catie is leaving to study in Italy, but before she goes, we asked her to talk about a few projects that she enjoyed working on. Here is what she had to say:

From the beginning of my time here in October, I was researching genealogical databases and historical articles online in order to learn more about the Webster family of Malibu.  It was fascinating to look through census documents online which mentioned John Webster’s immigration into the US from Scotland.  (I took a detour to research the immigration of my own great-grandparents from Russia!)  Included in the collection itself are several cards and letters from young Bill Webster to his parents from camp, usually asking for more allowance and even a horse!

A letter sent by Bill Webster asking his parents for a horse, 1923.

A truly eye-opening collection was the Rindge and Adamson family papers. To briefly sum up the Rindges’ story:  Frederick Hastings Rindge—businessman, philanthropist, and writer—bought the property that is now Malibu and some of the surrounding area in the late 1800s and made it his family ranch, alongside his wife, Rhoda May Knight Rindge, where they would raise four children. The collection spans from 1891-1967 and sheds light on what led to the development of present day Malibu.  Working with this collection, I was able to handle the actual legal documents, correspondence, and handwritten notes kept by the family.

In this collection, I especially enjoyed reading Frederick Rindge’s poetic musings on nature, written on scraps of paper in the late 1890s.  Some gems include:

“The baby horned toads are the essence of chubbiness.”

“Here grows the fig tree, the only tree I know of which has no blossom but yet bears fruit.  Here also will grow the almond whose peculiarity, noted in the Scriptures, is that when in blossom is a mass of pure white, with no tinge of pink as in other trees.”

An example of a poem written by Frederick Rindge.

The collection I did the most work for, besides the Rindge and Adamson family papers, was Associated Women for Pepperdine (AWP).  AWP funds scholarships for active Church of Christ students—including some of my friends here—by hosting year-round events such as bake sales, auctions, dinners, etc.  It was amazing and humbling to see how much work goes into this kind of organization, and to see how motivated the women are to provide education for their students—especially as I too am a scholarship recipient, although from a different organization.  I enjoyed looking at some of the scrapbooks and newsletters, and it was also fun to piece together some “detective work” when writing the Historical Note for the finding aid.

Cover of a scrapbook from the 1960s.


Inside the scrapbook is a sketch of George Pepperdine.

I would like to thank the Special Collections and University Archives for the privilege to work alongside them this year.  It has been a pleasure to learn more about Malibu and Pepperdine history, and to learn about the behind-the-scenes of archival processing.  I encourage students to come visit—anyone can research these materials by simply contacting Katie Richardson at katie.richardson@pepperdine.edu—or, even better, apply to be the new student assistant!

A historic debate on free love and morality: Today’s featured digital object

Anson Mount, William Banowsky, and Hugh Hefner in 1967

What’s this, you say? Former Pepperdine University President Bill Banowsky standing—all smiles—with Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner? What occasion could have produced such strange bedfellows? The answer lies in our new digital collection of Historic Sound Recordings. On October 8, 1967, Dr. Banowsky, then minister of the Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas, engaged in a much-publicized debate with Anson Mount, the religion editor for Playboy, on the topic of sex and morality. The photo above—with Mr. Mount on the left—was used to publicize the event.

Billed as a “clash of philosophies” between “Christianity and hedonism,” the debate was held in Lubbock before an audience of 3000 college students. As the moderator suggests, the event showcased “two perspectives on how 1967 should be,” as Mr. Mount argued for a humanist approach to sex based on situation ethics and Dr. Banowsky countered with a Christian perspective. As he put it during the debate: “I am affirming the moral principles of Christ, which honor the power, and majesty, and beauty of sex as the sacred, limited, exclusive gift of married love.”

For Dr. Banowsky, who had already expressed an interest in returning to Pepperdine to oversee the move to Malibu, the debate was a catalytic moment in his meteoric career. Within four years he became President of Pepperdine University at the age of 34.

The recording of the debate is at once historic and timeless—it captures the public discourse on morality typical of the late 1960s, while maintaining relevance for today’s listener. It is a frank, well-articulated, and thought provoking discussion on both sides of the issue. You can listen to this debate in its entirety in our digital collection of Historic Sound Recordings. Enjoy.

New digital collection of historic sound recordings

Historic Sound Recordings

Pepperdine University Libraries is pleased to announce the release of our latest digital collection. The Historic Sound Recordings collection features streaming recordings of memorable speeches and significant events that chart the history of Pepperdine University and, more broadly, Southern California. The collection includes archival recordings ranging from political speeches and debates on morality, to musical performances and lectures on history. Prominent speakers include past Pepperdine presidents, including M. Norvel Young, William S. Banowsky, and Howard White, as well as national figures, such as Ronald Reagan, Milton Friedman, and singer Pat Boone. This initial launch features recordings of six different events, but the collection will grow over the coming months as we continue to digitize the aural history of Pepperdine. Check it out and enjoy.

10,000th photo added to digital photograph archive!

The Digital Initiatives division of Pepperdine University Libraries recently noted another milestone: we added the 10,000th digitized photograph to the University Archives Photograph Collection. As one of our flagship digital collections, the University Archives Photograph Collection has been growing steadily over the last two years, thanks in large part to the effort of diligent, dedicated, and enthusiastic student workers.

Digitized photo number 10,000

And what snapshot of Pepperdine history does photo number 10,000 provide? It’s a rather unassuming photograph of a man at a lectern leading the Pledge of Allegiance. This patriotic ritual is as good an image as any to represent the visual history of our institution afforded by this digital collection.

The man is question is Thomas Kemp, the CEO of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, who would later serve the Board of Regents of Pepperdine University as vice-chairperson. Kemp led the Pledge of Allegiance, as seen here, at the 1983 Private Enterprise Award dinner, an annual event sponsored by Pepperdine University’s Center for American Private Enterprise. Kemp’s brother, Jack Kemp—who would later serve as Bob Dole’s running mate in 1996—gave the keynote address that evening.

Special thanks to Lindsey Gant and all past student workers for helping us achieve this milestone.

Our Changing Library: Today’s featured digital object

Payson Library in 1982

If you’re a regular to Payson Library, the image to the right may seem at once familiar and oddly out of place. This is a semi-outdoor stairway that used to lead upstairs from the Pendleton Learning Center to the first floor of the library—a skylight opened overhead and a decorative screen separated the stairs from the first floor entrance just outside. There was no stairway here to the second floor, which at the time was home to university administration offices accessed directly by a footbridge to the parking lot.

An historic capital campaign in the mid-1980s—the Wave of Excellence Campaign—gave us the Charles B. Thornton Administrative Center, allowing Payson Library to reclaim its second floor amidst massive library-wide renovations. In 1987, Payson Library emerged greatly expanded with a new, distinctive northern (mountainside) entrance and an infrastructure better designed for the computer era. This is the Payson Library we know today.

Proposed design for Payson Library entryway

Now, nearly four decades after Pepperdine’s arrival in Malibu, we find ourselves in the midst of another ambitious capital campaign, the Campaign for Pepperdine. A portion of these funds is designated for the renovation of Payson Library based on the belief, as expressed by President Andy Benton, that “a university cannot rise higher than the quality of its libraries.” The goals for the campaign include a new Learning Commons, a Special Collections and Archive wing, and a new second floor entrance that connects the library to Mullin Town Square (above). The result will be a library reimagined as the new student union—a third space between the dorm and the classroom for students to study, collaborate, and socialize.

On the eve of this exciting transformation, we invite you to explore the Payson Library of days past. Click here to view a selection of photos from the University Archives Photograph Collection that capture Payson Library before the 1987 remodel. See if you can spot the differences.


A Window Into 1960s Television: Scripts Open For Research

The finding aid for the Ivan Goff collection of television scripts is now available on the Online Archive of California!  The Online Archive of California (OAC) is part of the California Digital Library and is a great tool for starting a research project.  The OAC allows access to finding aids (detailed descriptions of collections of primary resource materials) from over 200 institutions in California, including museums, libraries, historical societies, the University of California system’s libraries and archives, and others.

Jessica Geiser, the graduate student assistant for the NHPRC project, processed the materials earlier in the year and the collection is now open and available for research.  Here is what Jessica had to say about the collection:

Ivan Goff was an Oscar-nominated screenwriter who authored a number of successful movies from 1949 to 1960 with his writing partner, Ben Roberts.  Goff and Roberts also wrote and produced several popular series for television in the 1960s and 1970s. The collection contains scripts and production notes from three television series in which Goff was involved as a writer or producer: Mannix, Nero Wolfe, and The Rogues.

Mannix was a Golden Globe-winning detective series that ran from 1967 to 1975 on CBS, and starred Mike Connors as the Los Angeles private investigator Joe Mannix. While Mannix was considered extremely violent for its time, it also is known as one of the most popular detective series of all time.

Nero Wolfe was another detective series, based on a Sherlock Holmes-type character created by American mystery writer Rex Stout.  The show ran for one season in 1981 on NBC, and starred William Conrad as the genius, but sedentary detective Nero Wolfe.

The Rogues was a television series about a trio of former con men who, while no longer in the business, could be persuaded to use their skills to take down an immoral mark.  The series, a Golden Globe-winner, ran for one season from 1964 to 1965 on NBC, and starred David Niven, Charles Boyer, and Gig Young.

The collection is a great resource not only for those interested in these particular series, but also for anyone interested in television production in general. Most of the scripts in the collection include various production notes, which shed light on many aspects of producing a network television show, including scheduling, casting, and network interference.

Another collection for those with similar research interests is the Stanley M. Kallis scripts, also recently processed and available on the OAC.  The collection has scripts from two television shows: The Dick Powell Show and Royal Bay.

These items are available to view by visiting Special Collections and University Archives in Payson Library, and anyone may browse more detailed inventories of available scripts in person.  For more information about the collection, please email specialcollections@pepperdine.edu.

A script page from the Mannix episode, “Harvest of Death,” which was the tenth episode of the sixth season, airing November 19, 1972.

Network Program Practices notes for “Harvest of Death,” detailing the changes that the network wanted made on this particular episode.  The last note on the page is actually for the scene depicted in the script page shown above!