Caruso School of Law Dinner 2024
Honoring Ronald F. Phillips
No single person has been more important to the success of the Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law than Ron Phillips, its founding dean and dean emeritus. Dean Phillips left a successful law practice in Texas in 1970 to head the unaccredited night school that Pepperdine had acquired in Orange County the year before; over the course of his 27-year tenure as dean, he would secure the school's accreditation, oversee its move to Pepperdine’s main campus in Malibu, and point it on a course toward becoming one of the premier schools of law in the United States.
Dean Phillips’ decades of inspired leadership were built on two unshakable commitments, the first of which was to God. Faith and prayer guided him as he shaped the curriculum and culture of the law school, which he saw as an institution for developing legal professionals with deeply held values and a passion for service. The second commitment was to his students, whom he viewed not only as legal practitioners but as peacemakers and servant leaders. Dean Phillips was intentional about selecting the faculty and staff who would help these students reach their full leadership potential, and he himself served as a devoted mentor to countless Caruso School of Law graduates who will proudly attest to the way his wisdom and kindness had a lasting effect on their lives and careers.
We are proud to hold the 2024 Caruso School of Law dinner as a tribute to Dean Phillips’ legacy of faith, integrity, and service—a legacy that has transformed both Pepperdine and the lives of thousands of students.
To commemorate his indelible impact at Pepperdine, we are committed to raising $1 million toward the Ronald F. Phillips Chair at the Caruso School of Law. This fundraising initiative will elevate the distinguished endowed position to ensure that the Caruso School of Law continues to attract influential legal scholars and world-class educators who will follow in Dean Phillips’ footsteps. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit this fund, honoring his faithful leadership and service to Pepperdine.