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Pepperdine | School of Public Policy

Pepperdine School of Public Policy Receives $1 Million Endowment Gift to Establish the Joseph and Farima Czyzyk DC Scholars Program

Joe and Farima Czyzyk

The Pepperdine School of Public Policy (SPP) has announced a $1 million endowment gift from SPP board of advisors chairman Joseph Czyzyk and his wife, Farima. This endowment will support the school's highly regarded summer program in Washington, DC, which will be renamed the Joseph and Farima Czyzyk DC Scholars Program

Joseph A. Czyzyk, as chairman & CEO of Mercury Air Group, Inc., is credited with transforming the 66-year-old company into a global aviation leader in the aviation and US government service sectors. He is chair of the Board of Advisors of the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy as well as a Pepperdine University Board member. He is the former chair of the US VETS and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, as well as the former president of City and State Commissions. In addition, Czyzyk is a decorated US veteran, having served with the US Navy Seabees (1966–1969) in the US and the Republic of Vietnam. Czyzyk and his wife, Farima, are the parents of four adult children and have two grandchildren.

Offered at Pepperdine’s Washington, DC campus each summer, the Czyzyk DC Scholars Program explores topics typically untouched by many Washington, DC-based policy studies programs, including the role of faith in shaping domestic and foreign policy, as well as the foundational philosophies of education policy. With this endowment gift, prospective students serving in full-time and internship positions in the Washington-area will receive full scholarships for these accredited three-unit graduate classes.

“For more than a decade, I have seen firsthand the good work of the faculty and administration involved in Pepperdine’s public policy program and more importantly, I’ve had a chance to meet the outstanding graduates from these programs and have witnessed their accomplishments,” Czyzyk said. ”These interactions and my determination that Pepperdine’s public policy education be available in Washington DC, made establishing the Czyzyk DC Scholars Program an easy decision, especially as we mark the program’s 25th anniversary,” said Czyzyk, adding, “Today, America needs great leaders. Pepperdine prepares students to be those great leaders. It is also important to me that 90% of Pepperdine’s students receive scholarship support, making the Czyzyk DC Scholars Program attainable for everyone with the desire to serve.”

Joe’s vision for a larger DC presence for the policy school goes back over a decade. In 2011, Joe and Ed Feulner, then Chair of the Board of Advisors, walked out of lunch in DC and talked about having a location for Pepperdine’s public policy program in the nation’s capital. It’s been Joe’s passion to see Pepperdine in DC ever since.

The gift marks another step in the School of Public Policy’s plans to expand the program in Washington, DC. As Pete Peterson, dean of the school, remarked, “Though based on one of America’s most beautiful campuses here in Malibu, Washington is home to our second largest alumni chapter with many alumni serving in pivotal political and policy-related positions, and it’s a major part of our vision to grow the impact of our unique graduate program throughout the country.” Peterson concluded, “Joe has been a remarkable and visionary leader of our board for years, and I’m both grateful for and excited about the role this gift will play in growing our presence in the nation’s capital, preparing our next generation of policy leaders.”