Valued Beacon readers and Pepperdine community members,
As we begin a new semester under a new set of leaders, I felt it would be wise to introduce myself and to share our goals for this spring with you. My name is Laurel Wood, and I will be taking over as Editor-in-Chief of The Pepperdine Beacon while Caden Benedict is studying abroad. It is my honor and privilege to be working with our Beacon editors, writers, and leadership, and my pleasure to serve the Pepperdine community.
As the Spring 2022 semester commences, we find ourselves two years into the pandemic era, which has exposed numerous fissures in our Pepperdine community as well as in American society at large. Prolonged periods of isolation, rising distrust in legacy media, and a feeling of disconnect from our fellow citizens have created a fractured society hostile to dissent and differing opinions.
Of course, none of this is news to you. Most of us recognize these issues and lament the damage they have caused in our country as well as in our personal lives. While one person can only do so much to rectify our situation, it is my hope that as Editor-in-Chief, I can promote the welfare of our community by advancing two key principles: communication and connection.
Communication in the age of social media and technology was complicated even before the pandemic. In a time of uncertainty concerning the feasibility of in-person classes and normal operations for businesses, schools, and families, communication has only become more convoluted, and has suffered as a result of isolation and misinformation. The journalists and editorial staff at The Pepperdine Beacon are dedicated to combating both of these issues through honest, straightforward reporting. Our job, above all, is to communicate with our peers, providing them with information that will enrich their understanding and inform their decisions. Distrust in the media is higher than ever before, and it is imperative that we, as writers, seek to rectify the damage done by misinformation through truthfulness and transparency.
As a practicing Christian, I firmly believe in the liberating power of truth. Jesus says in John 8:32 that “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Truth eradicates the haze in our minds and lights our way forward, allowing us to understand one another at a deeper level. To that end, The Pepperdine Beacon seeks to foster connection between students through honest reporting on topics of interest to the community at large. We want to highlight stories of hope as they unfold on our campus, bringing Pepperdine students, faculty, and staff together in celebration of the good things that still happen even in the strangest of times. We will also continue to feature unique perspectives from across all five Pepperdine schools in the hopes of fostering connection among people with diverse viewpoints and opinions.
Admittedly, these are high ideals to strive for, and one person can only do so much. When many like-minded individuals work together, however, anything is possible. And so my mission statement for this semester would be incomplete without recognizing the amazing team here at the Beacon. For your dedication, hard work, and creativity, past and present, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I would like to end this letter with an invitation to you, the Pepperdine community. We at the Beacon are always looking for unique perspectives from alumni, students, and faculty—as well as dedicated writers and passionate students with a heart for service. If you find yourself inspired by the pursuit of truth and excellence, we would be delighted for you to join us in our endeavors. Feel free to reach out to me or anyone else on our Beacon team!
Best wishes to all of you as the spring semester begins. We hope you will be edified and encouraged by our work this year!
Editor-in-Chief, The Pepperdine Beacon