Tag Archives: archives

Papers of Pepperdine Professors Open for Research

The collections of three Pepperdine professors have been processed by Special Collections and University Archives, with finding aids now available on the Online Archive of California for research!  The Ronald W. Batchelder papers, Joel S. Fetzer papers, and John F. Wilson paper, all processed as a part of the NHPRC project, are briefly described below.

Ronald W. Batchelder is a Professor of Economics at Seaver College, as well as an involved member of many Pepperdine faculty organizations.  Materials in the collection consist of correspondence, minutes, notes, memorandums, reports, handbooks and calendars mostly related to faculty issues and organizations at Pepperdine and Seaver College, including the University Faculty Council, Seaver Faculty Association, and the Social Sciences Division within Seaver College.  The collection spans from 1986 to 2009.  Click here to view the finding aid.

Joel S. Fetzer is a Professor of Political Science at Seaver College, as well as the author of numerous publications on comparative immigration politics and on religion and political behavior.  Materials in the collection consist of items collected by Joel Fetzer during his research trips to Germany, France, England, and Luxembourg in 2001 and 2008, including interview notes, audiocassettes and compact discs of interviews, correspondence, printed reference materials, and other printed materials used as research material for his two books,  Muslims and the State in Britain, France and Germany (2004), and Luxembourg as an Immigration Success Story: The Grand Duchy in Pan-European Perspective (2011). (The links will take you to the books’ catalog records in the library catalog.)  Click here to view the finding aid.

John F. Wilson is a Professor of Religion, Emeritus at Seaver College, as well as a field archaeologist, author, and lecturer on archaeology in the Middle East.  Materials in the collection consists of printed materials related to Wilson’s academic and professional career, including correspondence, date books, his faculty portfolio and a signed copy of the book Discovering the Bible (1986). (The link will take you to the books’ catalog records in the library catalog.) The collection dates span from 1953 to 1998. Click here to view the finding aid.

Other professors’ papers are already on the Online Archive of California, including the B. Lamar Johnson papers (Johnson was an educator known as the “father of the community college”), Earl Vivon Pullias papers (E.V. Pullias was a psychology professor and higher education scholar), and M. Norvel and Helen Young papers (Norvel was a professor and later an administrator, and Helen taught many Bible and womens’ classes).

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

The pictures below are from the John F. Wilson papers.  Click the images to view them larger.


John Wilson (right) as the Captain Corcoran in his high school’s production of the musical H.M.S. Pinafore, in 1955.


The program from the HMS Pinafore performance.


An advertising brochure for a “Bible Lands Pilgrimage” tour hosted by Dr. Wilson in 1969.  The multi-country, 8 day tour (with 2 extra days for flying) included roundtrip airfare between New York City and Tel Aviv, hotels, tours, and all meals for only $599!  (With inflation, that would cost about $3,600 in 2012 dollars.  It seemed like a deal…)

Blanche Ebert and Frank R. Seaver Papers and James L. Lovell Papers Ready for Research

This post was written by our graduate student assistant, Jessica Geiser.

Two more finding aids from Special Collections and University Archives are now available for research and can be found on the Online Archive of California!  The Blanche Ebert and Frank R. Seaver papers, and the James L. Lovell papers, both processed as a part of the NHPRC project, are briefly described below.

Blanche Ebert and Frank R. Seaver were prominent philanthropists in the Los Angeles area, thanks to Frank’s successful career in the oil industry.  The Seaver family proved influential in Pepperdine’s growth as a university through their generous donations, which was reflected in the decision to name Seaver College after Frank, as well as the appointment of Blanche as a Life Regent at Pepperdine.  Materials in the collection range from 1882 to 1996 and document Blanche’s involvement with Pepperdine; Frank’s business, the Hydril Company (an early oil company in Los Angeles; materials also include many pictures of oil equipment and workers); Blanche’s former career as a composer and musician; and their personal lives.  Click here to view the finding aid.

James L. Lovell, most often known as Jimmie, was a prominent member of the Churches of Christ, prolific author and editor of religious publications, and a member of Pepperdine University’s Board of Trustees for 35 years.  Materials in the collection span from 1932 to 1999, and contain correspondence, articles, minutes, notes, reports, photographs, and slides documenting Lovell’s relationship with Pepperdine and its administrators, his involvement in the Churches of Christ and individual churches, and his personal life including his career in the construction industry.  Also included in the collection are copies of publications produced by Lovell throughout his life, most notably West Coast Christian and California ChristianClick 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.

Mr. and Mrs. Seaver in Mexico in the 1950s.  (Click the image to view it larger.)

M. Norvel Young assisting Mrs. Seaver (right) in breaking ground on Pepperdine’s Malibu Campus (late 1960s).  Mrs. Pepperdine is in the blue on the left.  (Click the image to view it larger.)


Jimmie Lovell on the cover of a special issue of America’s Builders in 1966 celebrating his 70th birthday.  America’s Builders, a magazine for the construction industry published at Pepperdine, was one of the many publications founded by Lovell during his lifetime.  (Click the image to view it larger.)

Past Presidents’ Papers Open for Research

Three new finding aids for the papers of former Presidents of Pepperdine University, located in Special Collections and University Archives, are now available on the Online Archive of California!  The William S. Banowsky papers, David Davenport papers, and Howard A. White papers (all processed as part of the NHPRC project) are briefly described below.  (The papers of M. Norvel Young, another past President of Pepperdine University, were mentioned in an earlier post and are also available for research.)

The William S. Banowsky papers contain professional and personal papers of William S. Banowsky dating from 1926 to 2009. The bulk of the materials range from 1955 to 1990 and document his professional involvement with Pepperdine University, the University of Oklahoma, Gaylord Broadcasting Company, the Texas Superconducting Super Collider Authority, and National Medical Enterprises; political topics and professional services; collected printed and written material (such as poems and articles); and personal documents including speeches, personal and family history, travel, photographs, and book research for The Malibu MiracleClick here to view the finding aid.

The David Davenport papers contain materials from David Davenport’s time as president of Pepperdine University from 1985 to 2000, and includes earlier items from the president’s office beginning in 1968. The collection contains donor files and subject/correspondence files on various topics. Items include mainly correspondence, photographs, and other printed materials such as brochures and reports.  Click here to view the finding aid.

The Howard A. White papers contains professional and personal papers of Howard A. White dating from 1938 to 1991. The bulk of the materials range from 1957 to 1990 and document his professional involvement with Pepperdine University in various administrative roles, and personal documents including speeches, personal and family history, and book research for Crest of a Golden WaveClick 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.


Architectural plans for an expansion of the Moore Haus in Heidelberg, Germany, where students stay during their time abroad.  The plans are dated October 23, 1979, and are from the Howard A. White collection.  This image shows the entire page of the plan.  Other drawings of individual levels and from other vantage points are also in the collection.  (Click the image to view it larger.)


This is an 11″x17″ scan of the architectural plan.  The colored parts appear to be the proposed additions.  Phrases include: “dachneigung” for “roof pitch”, “zimmer” for “room”, “untergeschoss” for “basement”, “mit 2 verschiedenen gebäudehöhen” for “with two different [options for] building heights”, “obergeschoss” for “upstairs”, and “erdgeschoss” for “ground floor”.  (Click the image to view it larger.)


This section reads: “Building Expansion, Graimbergweg 10 — Pepperdine University”.  The Moore Haus is located at Graimbergweg 10 in Heidelberg, Germany.  (Click the image to view it larger.)

The 2012 Los Angeles Archives Bazaar Is A Success!

On October 27, 2012, Special Collections and University Archives participated in the 7th annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar held at Doheny Memorial Library on the USC campus. Over eighty archives were represented and hundreds of scholarly researchers, journalists, history buffs, and those simply interested in exploring the stories of Los Angeles attended the one-day event. Special Collections and University Archives shared materials from the Malibu Historical Collection, University Archives, and the Digital Collections with the public over the course of the day. Over one hundred people stopped by our table!

(Lindsey Gant and Katie Richardson exhibit some of the materials from Special Collections and University Archives)

The Rindge and Adamson family papers, which are part of the Malibu Historical Collection, were also featured in the special session “A Very Quick Tour of Los Angeles Area Archives” where thirteen L.A. as Subject members shared one notable collection from their archives as a way of introducing their materials. Approximately 80 people attended the session.

A special thanks to Jessica Geiser, Lindsey Gant, and Kevin Miller for making the day a success!

For more information about Special Collections and University Archives please contact Katie Richardson at katie.richardson@pepperdine.edu or (310) 506-4323.


Governor Reagan and Pepperdine’s Malibu “birth”: Today’s featured digital object

Bill Banowsky and Ronald Reagan with Pereira's sketch of Malibu campus, 1970

With the 40th anniversary of Pepperdine University in Malibu upon us, this entry is the first in a series dedicated to the historic events and hardworking individuals that made the vision of Pepperdine in Malibu a reality and shaped its presence in this seaside community. We begin with a “birth.” Nearly two years before construction crews laid the 40-foot-deep, steel-reinforced concrete foundations of Seaver College in 1971, an event known in Pepperdine lore as the “birth of a college” dinner cemented the new college’s philosophical (and financial) foundations. Officially known as the Pepperdine College at Malibu Master Plan Announcement Dinner, the “birth of a college” dinner brought together educators, politicians, and donors on the rainy evening of February 9, 1970 to reveal the architectural plans and educational vision of the new campus. With over 3,400 people in attendance, the capacity crowd in the Century Plaza hotel spilled into the nearby Beverly Hilton, and the featured speakers shuttled between the two locations.

The keynote speaker for the event was Ronald Reagan, then governor of California and a longtime friend of Pepperdine College. President Nixon was represented by his aid, Jeb Stuart Magruder, a name later associated with the Watergate scandal. William Pereira, an architect who—already famous at the time—would go on to design the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, presented his renderings of the Malibu campus buildings. Bill Banowsky, soon to be president of the new multi-campus Pepperdine University, gave a farsighted speech about liberal arts education. Pat Boone provided the musical entertainment.

By the 1960s, Pepperdine College had outgrown its location in southeastern Los Angeles, and social unrest in the area spurred the hunt for a new undergraduate campus. The “birth of a college” dinner marked a pivot point in Pepperdine’s history. The undergraduate campus was reborn in Malibu and the original “urban campus” became the graduate school for education and professional studies, with students serving as teachers in the local community. Pepperdine became a university.

Governor Reagan’s twenty-minute speech at the event lauds the importance of independent colleges and warns against an overemphasis on faculty research at the expense of actual teaching. His speech also invokes the milieu of 1970, with references ranging from student activism to the LA Rams. Reagan concludes:

“Let no one carelessly dismiss our obligation to the independent colleges and universities, which are so much a part of the educational tapestry of America. Without them, I promise you that tapestry would soon become a very simple fabric of great monotony and very little color.”

The “birth of a college” dinner is well documented in our Pepperdine Digital Collections. Over one hundred photographs capture the events of the evening and those in attendance. Put faces to the names that grace the buildings of Seaver College: Charles Payson, Fritz Huntsinger, Richard Scaife, Mildred Phillips, George Elkins, and, of course, Blanche Seaver. You can view selected highlights or, if you wish, the complete collection. You can also listen to Ronald Reagan’s speech or a recording of the entire event. Enjoy.

October is American Archives Month!

In addition to celebrating the American record, archives month also raises awareness among the general public regarding the value of archives and archivists. Over the past few years, Pepperdine University Libraries Special Collections and University Archives has participated in the annual Archives Bazaar to promote such awareness. The event celebrates the diversity of Southern California’s history by bringing together archives, archivists, scholarly researchers, journalists, history buffs, and those simply interested in exploring the history of Southern California in one central location at USC’s Doheny Memorial Library on Saturday, October 27, 2012, from 9am to 5pm.  The event is FREE and open to the public.

This year, the Rindge and Adamson Family Papers from Special Collections and University Archives, will be featured in the session “A Very Quick Tour of Los Angeles Area Archives.” Here is the description of the session:

“Just as speed dating brings together lonely hearts, this quick-paced series of 5-minute presentations will help connect scholars, students, and history buffs with the archival collections they need. More than a dozen L.A. as Subject members will share one notable item from their archives as a way of introducing their collections. Bring a notepad, watch the presentations, and then head down to the exhibition hall for a second date.”

Special Collections and University Archives will also have a booth at the event so stop by and say hi to learn more about the history of the university as well as the region!

For more information about the event please visit the Archives Bazaar website or contact Katie Richardson at katie.richardson@pepperdine.edu

Click here to view the Archives Bazaar Poster


Today’s featured digital object: Pepperdine’s 1987 Rose Parade float

As Founder’s Day 2012 draws to a close Pepperdine University’s 75th anniversary celebration, we thought we’d revisit another great milestone in Pepperdine’s history, it’s 50th anniversary celebrations from 1987. One of the crowning achievements of those celebrations was Pepperdine’s entry of a float into the 98th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, California. The theme of the float was “The Quest for Atlantis,” a Classical theme reflecting Pepperdine’s quest for academic excellence. Pepperdine Digital Collections is pleased to announce the launch of a new digital collection that captures this moment in Pepperdine’s history: Pepperdine’s Rose Parade Photo Album.

The collection is based on a selection of photographs, both formal and candid, digitized from a photo album provided by Hung Le, one of the eight students chosen to ride on the float as representatives of Pepperdine. Each photo tells a piece of Pepperdine’s Rose Parade story, from the genesis of the idea, to the hours of float decorating, to the parade itself. Based on an oral history with Hung Le, now Associate Vice President and University Registrar at Pepperdine, it’s a story about our university coming together as a community to celebrate a milestone—much as we have this last year with the 75th anniversary. This collection also offers a fascinating look behind the scenes at the Rose Parade, an annual 2-hour event that requires months of planning and preparations.

Click the link above to browse the collection. Enjoy!

Four New Archival Collections Ready for Research

Four finding aids from Special Collections and University Archives are now available on the Online Archive of California! The Pepperdine University Archives Individual Files, the Pepperdine University Archives Individual Photograph Files,the Kenneth Hahn collection, and the Zeta Kappa collection (all processed as part of the NHPRC project) are briefly described below.

The Pepperdine University Archives Individual Files is a collection created by Special Collections and University Archives staff and consists of biographical information, article clippings, correspondence, publications, memoranda, and speeches about former faculty, staff, donors, distinguished guests, and other individuals associated with Pepperdine University. Materials are filed alphabetically by individual’s last name.  Click here to view the finding aid.

The Pepperdine University Archives Individual Photograph Files is a collection created by Special Collections and University Archives staff and consists of photographs, slides, and negatives of former faculty, staff, donors, distinguished guests, and other individuals associated with Pepperdine University. Materials are filed alphabetically by individual’s last name.  Click here to view the finding aid.

Kenneth Hahn was a former Los Angeles County Supervisor and Los Angeles City Councilman who served for over 40 years, making him the longest serving elected official in California’s history. The Kenneth Hahn collection contains materials about Hahn’s life and passing, including photographs, collected obituaries, and items from a public television program on Hahn produced after his death entitled “A Salute to Kenneth Hahn”. Click here to view the finding aid.

The Zeta Kappa collection contains materials related to Zeta Kappa, a local sorority on the Pepperdine campus in existence from 1938 to 1996. Materials in the collection include scrapbooks documenting sorority activities and members; annual member lists and accomplishments of the chapter; photographs and slides of sorority events; and memorabilia related to events and activities of the sorority. Also included are materials from the Zeta Kappa Alumnae Association, including newsletters, photographs, histories, correspondence, and event invitations.  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.


Harry S. Truman shakes hands with Kenneth Hahn.  This photo is one of many in the collection taken with United States presidents; most are signed and dedicated to Kenneth Hahn.  (Click the image to view it larger.)


A page from the 1951-1952 Zeta Kappa scrapbook.  (Click the image to view it larger.)


A 1994 Zeta Kappa scrapbook, complete with lacy ruffle and ribbon ties. (Click the image to view it larger.)

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.