Jody Brightman Stump


Jody Brightman Stump, director of career services at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy for the past eight years, passed away peacefully on June 21 at the side of her beloved husband of 30 years, Bill.

For several years, Jody also contributed a column to The Malibu Times, often accompanied by a cooking recipe.

At Pepperdine, Jody provided invaluable guidance to the students and alumni she counseled. Her professional advice was imparted with genuine friendship, which extended to students beyond their graduation. She has been a steadfast and strong tie between the school and its over 500 alumni, impacting their career paths and personal lives, helping them to fulfill their goals and passions in serving and influencing others through their work.

James R. Wilburn, dean of the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy, noted, “I can think of no other person who has had a greater influence than Jody on transforming the lives of literally hundreds of students and alumni of the School of Public Policy. She was a valued counselor with an unwavering, deep dedication and compassion for our students, following their careers and family developments as alumni as well. When I needed to know anything about an alumnus, she had the answer. She opened her heart to all students and in some cases opened her home, where she and Bill invited two students from the country of Georgia who did not have housing to come to live with them during the two-year program. They became a part of her family.” Wilburn added, “Jody’s innovative ideas, energy, and strength will forever leave an indelible mark on the school. She was a dear friend and confidant to me who will be dearly missed.”

Prior to her position at the School of Public Policy, Jody served as an adjunct professor of marketing at Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. She also spent two decades as a marketing executive, strategist, and consultant in a variety of industries. Jody was a PhD candidate at the Pacifica Graduate Institute, where she also received a master’s degree. She received an MBA from the University of Southern California and a BA in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

“The dignity with which Jody battled her disease is an inspiration to all of us, as was her dedication to our students. Jody devoted many of her last hours to fine-tuning our students’ resumes and assisting them with internship placements. She loved them,” observed Angela Hawken, associate professor of public policy, “We’ll miss her humor, her can-do spirit, and her big heart. There’s some comfort in knowing that Jody’s energy will live on in the accomplishments of our students for many decades to come. We were lucky to have her.”

Jody’s Pepperdine family will fondly remember her for her passion for travel and sailing; her ardor for the Los Angeles Kings; her energetic Yorkies, Chipper and Jackson; her amazing cooking skills; and the beautiful baby blankets she knitted for our newest family members.

Jody is survived by her adoring husband, Bill Stump.