Pepperdine University | Seaver College

Things For Which I Am Grateful 

written by George Pepperdine in 1959

First of all: I AM GRATEFUL to Almighty God and to my parents for my existence in this world. My 73 years of life have been an experience abundantly worthwhile. Almost everyone wishes for the opportunity to live life over again, so that improvements could be made, but I doubt if all of us would do better if given a second chance. However, since there is no such possibility, we should make the best and most of the one life we have.

I AM GRATEFUL for our free country and our forefathers of Colonial Days who framed the Constitution of the United States, which I believe is the greatest document ever written (except the Bible). It recognizes our God-given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and it undertakes to protect us in the exercise of such rights by laws made pursuant to the Constitution; and I am also grateful to the stalwart Americans who have defended and protected the Constitution through all the life of this Republic.

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I AM GRATEFUL to my wife, Helen Louise, to whom I give special tribute. She has been a blessing, a joy, and a dynamo of helpful energy since our marriage in 1934. Not only is she a lovely lady, a faithful and loving wife, and the mother of our three children, but also a tireless and intelligent worker in college and church activities. She has performed admirably as a member of the board of trustees of the college and as a leader in the Faculty Wives Club and the Mothers Club. I thank God for the day I met her and for all the days in which she has brought happiness and strength into my life. God bless her.


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I AM GRATEFUL to my family; the younger children now maturing, the older children and their mother, my first wife who passed away in 1930, and also my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren. I wish for all of them the best rewards that life can offer.

I AM GRATEFUL to the good people of the church, those of "like precious faith" whose brotherly fellowship and encouragement have provided spiritual strength and helped to make my life in this world more worthwhile and the hope of eternal glory more real.

I AM GRATEFUL to the members of the board of trustees of the George Pepperdine College, the administration, the staff, the faculty, the students, the alumni, and all the people who have made contributions to the college.

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I AM GRATEFUL to all the people who helped me many years ago with effective and cooperative service to make my business, the Western Auto Supply Company, a success. It is impossible to name them all, but they include the executives, officers of the company, the office and warehouse employees, the buyers, the salesmen, store managers and district managers, the field superintendents and all other employees.

I AM GRATEFUL to hundreds of personal friends whose cheerful words, encouragement, confidence and helpful assistance in many ways have added so much to my life.

I AM GRATEFUL that it has been my privilege to live during the most exciting and important period in history. In the last 73 years more scientific, cultural and spiritual progress has been made than in centuries before. Scientific discoveries, mechanical inventions, aviation, radar, radio and TV, atomic and nuclear advances have astounded the world. New theories, philosophies and speculations have become prominent. Surges up and down of religious faith and doubt have been exciting, and now a gradual settling back to the "faith of our fathers" on the part of many thoughtful people is reassuring.

I AM GRATEFUL that my short stay here on this planet has been moderately fruitful. I realize that it is only a brief interlude between two vast eternities. I know that human life, animal life and all nature progressed for many centuries before I came here, and all will continue for many more centuries after I am gone.

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The ocean waves will continue to roll up on thousands of sandy beaches and rocky shore lines. The blazing sunrises and the beautiful, subdued rosy sunsets will be the same. The natural grandeur of the mighty mountains, great forests, green valleys and waving fields will continue to give thoughtful men a self-defacing perspective which shows the futility of exaggerated self-importance. The succeeding generations of people, growing, flourishing and then falling like the crops of grain or fruit, show evidence of the continuity of human life on the earth, and the need of the omnipotent power of God to sustain His whole earthly program.