Central to our work at Pepperdine is the importance of leading a life of service. In this issue of Colleague, we are proud to celebrate the men and women of the military, who have dedicated years of their lives to serving others, and in some cases, have paid an extremely high price for doing so.
One such example is U.S. Army major Jonathan Silk (MA ’12), who, while serving in Iraq, was hit in the chest by a land mine. Thankfully he is alive and well today—body armor saved his life—but the impact was strong enough that he required a new mitral valve for his heart. Nevertheless, he remains as active and as interested in service and leadership today as he was prior to this traumatic experience.
Similarly, Leon McCleary, a current candidate in the clinical psychology master’s program, underwent his share of trauma, along with his fellow servicemen and servicewomen, while serving in the U.S. Navy. He chose to let that experience shape his future by studying psychology so he can ultimately serve other veterans.
In honoring these individuals and their stories, we also acknowledge our gratitude for the Yellow Ribbon Program. This program provides eligible veterans with the funds to pay for tuition and fees at an institution of higher learning. It’s a tremendously practical and positive way to pay tribute to the men and women who choose to risk their lives for the good of their country. Pepperdine is proud to be one such institution of higher learning, and we are proud of our students and alumni who dedicate their lives to service.
Margaret J. Weber, PhD