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Jim Gash speaks at his inauguration as the eighth president of Pepperdine University.
Photo by Ron Hall

Five facts about Jim Gash, Pepperdine University’s new president

MALIBU, Calif. — Jim Gash was inaugurated this fall as Pepperdine University’s eighth president.

Here are five facts about him:

The Gash family — Jessica, Joshua, Jim, Joline and Jennifer — at the inauguration of Jim Gash as Pepperdine University's eighth president.

The Gash family — Jessica, Joshua, Jim, Joline and Jennifer — at the inauguration of Jim Gash as Pepperdine University’s eighth president.

1. He grew up in Churches of Christ.

His home congregation was the Sonoma Avenue Church of Christ in Santa Rosa, Calif., north of San Francisco. That church is where Gash and his future wife, Joline, met as teenagers. He was 19, and she was 16, when they started dating.

Related: From global justice champion to Christian university president

2. His parents, John and Rosella Gash, met and fell in love at Pepperdine.

However, Jim Gash didn’t choose Pepperdine for his undergraduate studies. He did earn his law degree at Pepperdine in 1993, returning in 1999 to serve as a law professor.

3. He majored in finance at Abilene Christian University in Texas.

Why not Pepperdine? He wanted to play football. ACU, also associated with Churches of Christ, has an intercollegiate football program. Pepperdine does not. So Gash headed to West Texas, where he was a quarterback and placekicker as well as a javelin thrower on the track team.


4. He gained a reputation for learning the names of all the hundreds of students in his law classes.

“And he doesn’t do it like a card trick,” said Bob Goff, a mentor and author of the best-selling book “Love Does.” “He does it because he wants to demonstrate to them that he cares that much. And I think Jim brings that to all of the things that he puts his mind to. He just wants people to know that he cares that much.”

5. He is a man of routine. And faith.

Most days, Gash eats the same thing for breakfast (a banana or oatmeal) and lunch (an apple with peanut butter and two boiled eggs). The former University Church of Christ elder and his chief of staff, Danny DeWalt, begin each workday by praying and exercising, be it running or shooting baskets at Firestone Fieldhouse.

Pepperdine University, Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA, USA

Filed under: Abilene Christian University Jim Gash National Partners People Pepperdine Pepperdine University

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