Waves In The Community
Pepperdine University's goal is to "strengthen lives for purpose, service and leadership" and the Pepperdine Athletics Department is a strong believer in helping its student-athletes to meet this goal. Pepperdine's motto is "Freely ye received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8), and thus, the school's athletic teams embrace the concept of volunteerism and service to the community. Both teams and individual student-athletes are regularly taking on projects that will better the lives of others.
-- Step Forward is an annual day held each fall devoted to community service, when more than a thousand Pepperdine students, staff, faculty and alumni will disperse throughout Southern California in order to lend a hand to those in need. Pepperdine's athletic teams have been front and center as part of this event. Every available team took part in 2007 doing such duties as cleaning trails at local parks, washing trucks at the Ventura Food Bank, hosting free inner-city clinics at schools and working at the AARP phone bank regarding phone scams,
-- Student-athletes work with the Esperance Center, which has brought developmentally challenged adults to campus on Thursdays and Fridays the past five years. On Thursday, they golf together on the university's front lawn, and on Friday, they swim or play water polo together in the pool.
-- The women's basketball program will hold its second annual Time Out 4 HIV/AIDS Tournament on Nov. 23-24, 2007. The four-team tournament is designed to increase awareness of HIV and AIDS-related issues, particularly its impact on children in Africa and on African-American women, and to raise money to fight the disease.
-- Additionally, the women's basketball team is making the fight against cancer part of their 2007-08 season. In October, they will take part in Light the Night, a two-mile cancer awareness walk in Woodland Hills. In February, they plan on devoting a home game to also raise awareness.
-- A year after the men's tennis team won the 2006 NCAA championship, the Waves were invited to visit the White House to meet with President Bush, as is the custom with national champions. The Waves traveled to Washington D.C. a day early to put on an inner-city tennis clinic. President Bush then specifically mentioned the Waves' volunteerism in his speech.
-- During spring break in 2007, the cross country/track teams traveled to Tampa, Fla., for a week. While they ended their stay by competing at a meet, most of the week was spent at the Hope Children's Home, doing various jobs at a volunteer facility that cares for children who are either orphaned or rescued. Team members did cleaning, landscaping and computer work in addition to working and playing with the children.
-- On Thursdays, members of the women's soccer team help feed the homeless in Malibu.
-- As part of the university's Project Serve, student-athletes have gone on mission trips all over the world. Some have gone to places to teach English using the Bible. This past summer, three women's soccer players did a mission trip to Uganda during summer 2007 where they put on soccer clinics for children, volunteered in medical clinics and shared their faith.
-- The baseball team went to the Santa Monica Food Bank and reorganized and restocked their warehouse around Christmas 2006.
-- Men's volleyball players selected the United Way of Greater Los Angeles as their charity of choice last season and made a donation.
-- Greg Bonann, creator of the show Baywatch, has joined with men's water polo players to put on clinics in order to teach inner-city kids how to swim.
-- The women's volleyball team is one of many across the country that will hold a "Dig for the Cure" night to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the fight against breast cancer. Pepperdine's designated match is on Oct. 11, 2007, against San Diego. Team members are taking pledges to raise money.
-- A 50/50 raffle at women's volleyball matches has been held during the 2007 season, with 50 percent going to the winning ticketholder and the other 50 percent going to the Livestrong Foundation.
-- Pepperdine's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which promotes the welfare of student-athletes, has done canned food drives and holds a Mr. All-America Pageant (a spoof on the Miss America pageant) and devotes 50 percent of proceeds to a charity in the community.
-- A student-led Christian fellowship group called "The Goal" meets on Wednesday evenings to share their faith and to help those seeking it.
-- Former men's water polo coach Terry Schoeder (who has temporarily stepped down so he can be the head coach for the U.S. at the 2008 Beijing Olympics) has long been involved with the Special Olympics. He is a Pepperdine graduate and competed at three Olympiads.
-- The baseball coaching staff holds free coaching clinics every year for parents who are becoming new coaches in the Malibu Little League.
-- The men's tennis and women's basketball coaches regularly hold free clinics for kids in the community.
-- Other less-specific examples of service, both past and current, include: student-athletes speaking in local elementary schools about the important of education ... student-athletes serving as tutors for underprivileged children ... teams putting on clinics before and after games for children in attendance ... volunteers helping Habibat for Humanity build a house in Oxnard ... collecting toys for Toys for Tots at events in exchange for game admission ... collecting food for local homeless shelters at games in exchange for game admission.
(updated Oct. 3, 2007)