Pepperdine Alumnus Continues Historic Relationship with the Rotary Club of Los Angeles

August 2, 2013  | 2 min read

Jay Richardson (MBA ’94), the first Pepperdine alumnus to serve as president of the historic Rotary Club of Los Angeles (LA5), the fifth oldest Rotary Club in the world, recently concluded his term as its 104th chief executive. This milestone coincides with the doubling of Pepperdine representation in the membership from 10 to 20.

“It has been an incredible honor and privilege to serve as president of this club that has played such an important role in the history of the city of Los Angeles,” says Richardson.

At his inaugural meeting last July, Richardson helped Pepperdine celebrate its 75th anniversary by presenting Pepperdine president Andrew K. Benton with an honorary membership to the club. “It was such an honor to recognize President Benton and to receive a commendation from him for my being the first Pepperdine alumnus to serve as president of LA5,” he recalls.

Due to Pepperdine’s significant presence in LA5, Richardson proposed the creation of a Pepperdine standing committee within the club, which endeavored to create an additional point of fellowship for members to enjoy. This allowed LA5 to participate in Pepperdine-led service opportunities, such as Step Forward Day, and to develop a relationship with the Rotaract Club at Pepperdine, a Rotary-sponsored service club for young men and women ages 18 to 30.

Since Pepperdine opened its doors near downtown Los Angeles in 1937, the Rotary Club of Los Angeles has maintained a close relationship with the University. Former president Hugh M. Tiner was an active Rotarian, even serving as district governor of the LA5 in the 1940s. William S. Banowsky, upon moving to Los Angeles in 1968, delivered his “maiden” address, “The Abuse of Freedom,” to the LA5, a speech that Blanche Seaver had republished and circulated nationally.

Of the approximately 400 members that comprise the LA5, 20 are Pepperdine alumni, faculty, staff, or relations thereof, and five serve on the current board of directors (Anthony Calloway (MBA ’99),Paul Jacques (MBA ’12),

vice chancellor John Miller, Jay Richardson (MBA ’94), and Rick Sarmiento (MBA ’04)). Past and current members include former Pepperdine presidents M. Norvel Young and William S. Banowsky, chancellor Charles Runnels, chief marketing officer and vice president for Public Affairs and Church Relations Rick Gibson, and many others.