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School of Public Policy Mourns the Passing of Professor Emeritus Gordon Lloyd

Gordon Lloyd in front of SPP Building

The School of Public Policy is saddened to announce the passing of Professor Emeritus Gordon Lloyd, who passed away on April 30, 2023, at his home in Malibu. Lloyd was the inaugural Robert and Katheryn Dockson Professor of Public Policy and the founding faculty member at SPP having taught at Pepperdine for 18 years. An accomplished author, intellectual, and constitutional scholar, Lloyd developed the curriculum that serves as the school’s foundation.

The author and coauthor of numerous books on the American founding and sole author of a book on the political economy of the New Deal, he also has numerous articles, reviews, and opinion-editorials to his credit. His latest co-authored book with David Davenport, former president of Pepperdine University, is titled Equality of Opportunity: A Century of Debate and is due for release June 1, 2023. Lloyd’s other books include How Public Policy Became War with David Davenport, The Bill of Rights: Core Documents, The Constitutional Convention: Core Documents, Rugged Individualism: Dead or Alive? with David Davenport, The American Founding: Core Documents, Debates in the Federal Convention of 1787, The Two Narratives of Political Economy with Nicholas Capaldi, The New Deal & Modern American Conservatism: A Defining Rivalry with David Davenport, and The Two Faces of Liberalism: How the Hoover-Roosevelt Debate Shapes the 21st Century, among many others. 

He was the creator, with the help of the Ashbrook Center, of four highly regarded websites on the origin of the Constitution and the Constitutional Convention. He served on the National Advisory Council for the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Presidential Learning Center through the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, was a Bill of Rights Institute network scholar, and a senior fellow at the Ashbrook Center. He was a frequent contributor to Law & Liberty and Liberty Fund.

At Pepperdine, Lloyd created and taught the foundational course Roots of American Order: What is Public Policy? as well as numerous electives in political economy, statecraft, race and the Constitution, social regulation, and the New Deal. He led the annual Constitution Day lecture given at SPP and the Reagan Library, and developed a short-course series on capitalism vs. socialism. Lloyd developed one of the internet's most robust educational websites on America’s founding with extensive research available to students and teachers on topics including: The American Founding, The New Deal, Constitutional Law Cases: Rehnquist Court, Intellectual Foundations of Political Economy, and the French Revolution. He has received many teaching, scholarly, and leadership awards including admission to Phi Beta Kappa and the Howard A. White Award for Teaching Excellence at Pepperdine University.

“Combining a prodigious mind with a heart for students, Professor Lloyd taught hundreds of SPP students about the enduring importance of the Constitution and the relevance of America’s founding debates to today’s policy issues,” says Pete Peterson, dean and Braun Family Dean's Chair of SPP. “While we have lost one of SPP’s ‘founding fathers,’ his legacy as a scholar committed to civil deliberation will live on.”

Students often remember Lloyd by the pocket Constitution he would hand out on the first day of class—a physical reminder of the founding principles of this country—but also the wisdom and knowledge that Lloyd instilled in each one of them. “Gordon was a teacher unlike any of us had ever known,” says alumnus Jason Ross (MPP ’01). “He brought us into a conversation with one another and with the greatest minds in history. He also showed us how to have a conversation—in good faith and good humor, serious but with a spirit of friendship. Gordon never failed to bring out the best in his students and anyone around him. All who had the good fortune to meet him are better for it.”

Born in England, Lloyd spent his childhood in Trinidad and attended McGill University in Quebec where he earned his bachelor of arts degree in economics and political science. Lloyd gained his US citizenship during the completion of his PhD and a master of arts degree in government at Claremont Graduate School. He also completed all the course work toward a doctorate in economics at the University of Chicago.

He is survived by his wife, Angela; son, Neil, and his significant other, Margaret, and his children, Nicole and Jack; son, Derek and his wife, Jackie, and their children, Dillan and Jackson; stepdaughter, Stephanie, and her husband, Matt, and their children, Ella and Lily.

For those who wish to send condolences to the family, please send cards, notes, or letters to: Angela Lloyd, c/o Pepperdine University, School of Public Policy, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90263. 

Gordon Lloyd Memorial Service Program
Gordon Lloyd Memorial Service Video