Promenade Spring 2009

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The Promenade newsletter is the voice of the alumni of George Pepperdine College. It is a place where memories live vividly through fervent storytelling by each of you. We invite you now to relax and drink in the words of your fellow Waves in the pages that follow, and as their recollections reignite stories of your own, we hope you will participate by reaching out to share them with us.

Text of Promenade Spring 2009


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  • Dear Fellow Waves,The Promenade newsletter is the voice of the alumni of George Pepperdine College. It is a place where memories live vividly through fervent storytelling by each of you. We invite you now to relax and drink in the words of your fellow Waves in the

    pages that follow, and as their recollections reignite stories of your own, I hope you will participate by reaching out to share them with us.

    I am looking forward to hearing from you!

    God bless,Matt Ebeling (SC, 99)Executive Director, Alumni AffairsSeaver College & George Pepperdine College(310) 506-4348 |

    3 Sound Marriage Is His Message with eHarmony.comDr. Neil Clark Warren (56) on life, love, and his mission to foster healthy marriages.4 Whos Your Favorite Professor? Alumni recall fond memories of GPC Professor, Dr. Richard A. Hogan (42).5 Gammas Thrive in the 21st CenturyAlumnae of the Sigma Pi Gamma sorority stick together over the years by embracing technology. 6 GPC Photo AlbumA glimpse of GPC student life through the eyes of Jon Washington (63).8 Whos Your Favorite Professor? Alumni recall fond memories of GPC Professor, Dr. Harry Robert Fox.9 Football Was a Winner From the StartA look back into the history of the Pepperdine Football program.10 GPC Student Body Presidents Where Are They Now?Alumnus John Rettberg (59), his path to the presidency, and life after graduation.11 GPC Grad Named Board Chair of Another Christian CollegeChristian education remains a priority for Jim Randolph (66).12 M.I.T.A.Y. and the Power of StorytellingA special GPC alumni tradition continues in Long Beach, California.15 GPC Returns to Life for Seaver StudentsThe Waves of Malibu visit the heart of Pepperdine at 79th and Vermont and are transported back in time through heartfelt storytelling.15 In MemoriumRemembering the lives of fellow alumni recently passed.16 Class NotesBrief updates in the lives of our fellow Waves.

    Promenade StaffEditor Matt EbelingGraphic Designer Gabriela MorenoProduction Manager Jill McWilliamsCopy Editor Vincent WayContributing Writers Bob Andrew (52), Norma Wade Young-Mahaffey (61), Jon Washington (63), Robyn Winn Hall (61), Harry Nelson (50), Ferne Hogan (42), Chuck Cole (62), Darlene Adam Gruwell (62), Avesta Carrara, and Matt Ebeling (99) In This Issue

    GPC Athletes Continue to Be Chosen for Pepperdine Athletics Hall of FameFormer Wave standouts John Furlong (51) and Dr. James Brinton (57) join an exclusive group.14

    What Ever Happened ToDr. Lucille Todd, Pepperdines first Dean of Women?7

    A R T I C L E S 2

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  • A R T I C L E S 3Soundis His Message with

    By Bob Andrew (58)

    A healthy marriage has a certain rhythm in the relationship between man and wife that echoes in musical theme language used by Dr. Neil Clark Warren, the founder of and a 1956 graduate of George Pepperdine College. That musical note also sounds in the title of one of his 10 best-sell-ing books, Catching the Rhythm of Love.

    Dr. Warren had already spent 35 years as a psychologist and marriage counselor before he and one of his sons-in-law, Greg Forgatch, launched in 2000 the Internet site where, on average, 236 people who were matched on the site get married each day.

    However, it was not the sound of music but the desire to assure that his three daughters were harmonically matched when they selected their husbands that first stimulated Neil to undertake his extensive study of couple compatibility. Oddly enough, however, he claims that it was not his own family background that directed his vision.

    Solid, unshakeable marriages run in his family, beginning with his parents who were married for 70 years. However, by the standards he applies in the 29 key criteria of compatibility that make up a solid and lasting marriage, he admits he would not have predicted such a long-lasting relationship for them. Over the years, his father owned an auto dealership, a John Deere store, and a grocery store. Then Papa ran for the board of supervisors for his county and Mama voted against him be-cause she thought politics was a dirty business.

    My dad was just so stinking bright and my mom was so sweet, but she was two standard deviations below him in intelligence, Neil said in an Internet interview by Rebecca Traister. While his father liked to discuss the Middle East conflicts between Arabs and Jews, his mother didnt know where the Middle East was, which resulted in his spending a bored childhood sitting there with two people who never talked.

    Neil was only 20 years behind his parents when he celebrat-ed 50 years of marriage in March to his bride who graduated from Pepperdine in 1958 as Marylyn Mann, a princess in that school years Homecoming Court. They didnt begin to

    date until after they had both graduated, he said. When they started dating, Neil earned a modest level of envy from every fraternity member on campus.

    Marylyn didnt work until the Warrens third daughter went off to college, but then she made up for it by serving for 11 years as vice president and head of devel-opment for the Huntington Library and by handling eHarmo-nys public relations after that project had been launched. She is still active, including being a member of the Pepperdine University Board of Regents for more than a year.

    About the time they married, Neil received his masters de-gree in divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary (1959) and went on to earn a PhD in psychology from the Univer-sity of Chicago. He then became a professor, and later the dean, at Fuller Theological Seminarys Graduate School of Psychology.

    He also maintained a private practice as a psychologist and marriage counselor. That was where he learned that half the marriages in the U.S. end in divorce and half of those that dont divorce are still unhappy. He came to realize that similar values and interests are the anchors that hold the solid marriages in place, but it took years of research to con-firm that conclusion.

    Neil conducted 500 divorce autopsies involving interviews with both former spouses, their children, and parents. He discovered that, because of wide separations in interests and beliefs, more than 70 percent of those marriages had been in trouble before the final I do was spoken.

    Starting from that point, Neil and his business partner son-in-law, Greg Forgatch, began in 1995 to analyze 5,000 married people, eventually narrowing their focus down to 200 people in each of four categories: 1) very happily married, 2) pretty hap-pily married, 3) unhappy but not ready to quit, and 4) very dis-couraged couples. Then they concentrated on groups 1 and 4 and discovered that those couples gave widely divergent answers in 29 categories of compatibility questions. Neil sur-mised that marriages would greatly increase the survival rate

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  • if they were formed from couples with similar responses in categories that include curiosity, intellect, appearance, spiri-tuality, and values.

    Ive often said that my dream is to get the divorce rate down to single digits, Neil told Readers Digest for an interview entitled Dreamers: The Love Doctor.

    Warren declares that compatibility in deeply held conviction areassuch as spiritual orientation and politicsis especially critical in a securely founded marriage.

    Similarities are like money in the bank. Differences are like debts you owe. Its all right to have a few debts as long as you have plenty of equity in your account. Otherwise, your mar-riage may be bankrupt at an early point, he told National Review for an online interview.

    In that same article, Neil rejected the old adage that opposites attract. I often say that opposites do attract, and then they attack, he said.

    In one of my books, Finding the Love of Your Life, I list 50 areas in which it is good to be similar to your mate. You dont have to have all 50 of these similarities, but it certainly is good to have in the upper 30s or lower 40s. You want to have way more similarities than differences. Otherwise, you will be maritally bankrupt at a frighteningly early point in your mar-riage.

    In the first five years on the Internet, eHarmony registered more than 6.5 million men and women who were searching

    online for the ideal marriage partner and continues to register approximately 15,000 more each day.

    One of the more controversial aspects of eHarmonys rules for finding a mate is that an exchange of photographs is dis-couraged at first. Warren said this standard was established to help prevent a strong early attachment to one person based on physical attraction rather than harmonic quality standards.

    The fact is that the most important qualities that contribute to long term marital satisfaction are qualities from the inside of a persontheir values, their heart, their character, their personality. When you get to know these inside qualities, you will tend to be more forgiving of external features. Sometimes people veto another person on the basis of external factors, but if they had actually gotten to know them from the inside out, they would have discovered what a perfect mate this person might have been for them.

    Greg, Neils business partner, is also the husband of his oldest daughter, Lorrie. The Forgatch family has four sons: Matt, Joe, Warren, and William. The middle Warren daughter, Luann, and her husband, Rolf Sohlberg, have three daughters: Mary-lyn, Sarah and Amy. The youngest Warren daughter, Lind-say, and her husband, Jon Vinnik, have a son, Andrew, and a daughter,