Successor to Pepperdine President Andrew K. Benton Announced

James A. Gash, incoming Pepperdine president

Pepperdine University named James A. Gash as its next president, as announced Thursday morning, Feb. 14. The news comes exactly 11 months after Andrew K. Benton officially announced the end of his term as president emeritus.

Gash previously served as the Pepperdine School of Law associate dean for strategic planning and external relations, and as a professor. He takes over from Benton—Pepperdine’s longest serving president—as the university’s eighth president and chief executive officer for the upcoming 2019-20 academic year.

“I am both humbled and thrilled to have the opportunity to build on his administration’s legacy of growth and excellence, fueled by the imagination, innovation and creativity of Pepperdine’s talented faculty, staff, students and alumni around the world,” the new president said, in a statement provided by the university.

Gash is the first Pepperdine alumnus to serve as president; he graduated with a Juris Doctor degree from the School of Law in 1993. Two of his children are undergraduates at the university while a third graduated last year.

A ceremony to formally acknowledge Gash as Pepperdine president will be held on March 4 at the Elkins Auditorium on campus.