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Distinguished Alumnus Award

John R. Rettberg ('59), 2015 Honoree

"This is a terrific family and you need to stay a part of it, and you will be fulfilled the rest of your life."

- John R. Rettberg ('59)


John R. Rettberg ('59) is a retired vice president and treasurer from the Northrop Grumman Corporation.  He retired from Northrop Grumman in 1995 concluding a 33-year career at the world-renowned provider of United States and international aircraft, defense and commercial electronics, information systems integration, and nuclear and non-nuclear shipbuilding and operating systems.  As corporate treasurer, banking and investment relationships, risk management, pension and savings plan administration, and investment manager oversight.

Mr. Rettberg started at Northrop in 1962 as an engineering clerk performing budget functions, subsequently holding several positions of increasing responsibility.  One of his most notable projects was his assignment from 1980 through 1988 as vice president of finance and business management for the $50 billion B-2 Stealth Bomber produced for the United States Air Force.  Following his retirement from Northrop Grumman, he provided consulting services to the company while also serving as a director on several public, private, and nonprofit company boards.

Mr. Rettberg graduated from George Pepperdine College in 1959 with a BS in administration science.  He currently serves on the Pepperdine Athletics Board where he held the chair from 2005 to 2008.  He has been a member of the Seaver Board of Visitors, the Alumni Leadership Council, and the Alumni Association, for which he served as president.  He is a past recipient of Pepperdine's Olaf Tegner Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service.  He was inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009 for his basketball skills and service to the University.