Pepperdine University Commencement 2017 Speakers Announced

LOS ANGELES--()--Pepperdine University will host commencement ceremonies for Seaver College; Graduate School of Education and Psychology; Graziadio School of Business and Management; School of Law; and School of Public Policy on its Malibu campus throughout April and May.

Dan Beckerman, president and chief executive officer of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), will deliver Seaver College’s commencement address and receive the University’s highest honor, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree. Beckerman oversees AEG's many divisions as well as long-range planning, acquisitions, financial oversight, and corporate governance. Previously he was AEG's chief operating officer and chief financial officer, leading operations and fiscal planning for its subsidiaries, including Staples Center, the Los Angeles Kings, the company's Major League Soccer franchises, two minor league hockey franchises, international holdings, and AEG Live, the company’s live entertainment division. Beckerman joined the organization in 1997 as chief financial officer of the Los Angeles Kings. He played a key role in the investment of over $5 billion to develop facilities including Staples Center, L.A. LIVE, O2 in London, and O2 World in Berlin; operations of sports franchises worldwide; and the creation of AEG Live. Earlier he was vice president of finance for the Los Angeles Clippers. Before his position with the Clippers, Beckerman was a senior accountant at Arthur Andersen in Los Angeles where he specialized in corporate taxation. He holds an undergraduate degree in economics and a master of business administration degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

More than 10,000 visitors, friends, and community members will attend the Seaver College commencement ceremony on Saturday, April 29 at 10:30 AM at Alumni Park on Pepperdine’s Malibu campus.

Commencement Speakers for Graduate Schools

  • John Sibert served as mayor of the City of Malibu from 2012 to 2013 and again from 2016 to 2017. Shortly after moving to Point Dume over 30 years ago, Sibert served on the Malibu Township Council and was later elected to the Malibu City Council, where he served from 2008 to 2016. Sibert completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and received his doctoral degree in chemistry in 1969 from University of California, San Diego.

    School of Public Policy Commencement
    Friday, April 21, 10:30 AM at Alumni Park, Malibu campus
  • Thomas J. Donohue is president and chief executive officer of the US Chamber of Commerce. Since assuming this position in 1997, Donohue has built the chamber into a lobbying and political powerhouse with expanded influence across the globe. Donohue earned a bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University and a master’s degree in business administration from Adelphi University. He holds honorary degrees from St. John’s, Adelphi, Marymount, and Bradley universities, as well as the National University of Ireland at Maynooth. He is a 2013 recipient of the Horatio Alger Award.

    Graziadio School of Business and Management
    Saturday, April 22, 10:30 AM at Firestone Fieldhouse, Malibu campus
  • Michael M. Boone is a member of the board of directors of Haynes and Boone and one of the cofounders of the firm. He has over 40 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, securities transactions, and board of director representations. Boone received his BBA degree in accounting at Southern Methodist University in 1963 and his JD degree at the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in 1967.

    School of Law Commencement
    Friday, May 19, 10:30 AM at Alumni Park, Malibu campus
  • Thema Bryant-Davis (MDiv ’16) is a licensed psychologist, minister, and sacred artist. Bryant-Davis joined Pepperdine University in 2007 and is now a tenured associate professor at the Graduate School of Education and Psychology. Bryant-Davis received her doctorate at Duke University and her post-doctorate at Harvard Medical Center.

    Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Psychology Division Commencement
    Saturday, May 20, 10 AM at Alumni Park, Malibu campus
  • Mildred Garcia has served as the seventh president of California State University, Fullerton, since June 2012. At CSU Fullerton—one of the largest and most diverse universities in the western United States—she supports multicultural alliances and believes that these alliances bolster the strength of establishments and communities, as well as work to enhance students’ development and opportunities. Garcia holds a master’s degree in higher education administration and a doctor of education degree from Columbia University, Teachers College; a master’s degree in business education/higher education from New York University; a bachelor’s degree in business education from Baruch College, City University of New York; and an associate of applied science degree from New York City Community College.

    Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Education Division Commencement
    Saturday, May 20, 2:30 PM at Alumni Park, Malibu campus

The Pepperdine University Malibu campus is located at 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90263. For more information about commencement speakers visit the Pepperdine Newsroom. Commencement speaker headshots are available for download here. Follow #PeppGrad17 for the latest commencement news.


Pepperdine University
Alexandra Forero

Release Summary

Pepperdine will host commencement ceremonies featuring industry leaders, including Dan Beckerman, president and chief executive officer of AEG, throughout April and May.


Pepperdine University
Alexandra Forero