Pepperdine Tau selected to Reagan leadership committee

9 February

KAPPA EPSILON (Pepperdine) — Last August, two Pepperdine students were named as members of the National Youth Leadership Committee for the Ronald Reagan Centennial Celebration. Though President Reagan died in 2004 of Alzheimer’s disease, the celebration was announced by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation to celebrate what would have been the 40th President’s 100th birthday on Feb. 6.

Pepperdine students Kendall Fisher and Katie Black are two of the 38 young men and women who have been selected to serve on the committee. The committee is chaired by Nick Jonas and Jordin Sparks, and includes students, athletes, musicians, models and members of the U.S. military. Among them, they have earned 18 Olympic medals, 11 NCAA All-American selections, five NCAA Championships, two Platinum Records and a host of other awards. In spite of their differences in skills and background, all of them share a common inspiration from the ideas and life of Reagan.

“Ronald Reagan is a personal hero of mine,” said Nick Jonas, a member of the iconic Jonas Brothers trio, in his comments regarding his selection to the committee. “I admire the way he stood up for causes he believed were right, no matter what.”

The attitude of service and leadership runs through the group, whose character runs alongside what Reagan said on May 17, 1981, at the University of Notre Dame.

“We need you. We need your youth. We need your strength. We need your idealism to help us make right that which is wrong. Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we’ve ever known,” Reagan said.

Both of the Pepperdine students who were selected as members of the committee are similarly high-achieving individuals. After graduating in 2007 from Seaver College, Katie Black returned to Pepperdine’s Law School where she is now in her third year. She was selected for a White House internship under the administration of George W. Bush, has interned at the Republican National Committee and also worked in various election campaigns.

“Ronald Reagan once said, ‘Within the covers of the Bible are all the answers for all the problems men face.’ President Reagan’s leadership inspires me because he valued the word of God and was a man of great moral character and charisma,” Black wrote to the Presidential Foundation about Reagan’s values. “His life was an example of one who had great hope, not just for our nation, but for the world. He believed the best in people and he showed the world that his priorities were God, his wife and the prosperity of our great nation. Ronald Reagan still inspires my generation and will continue to inspire future generations.”

Kendall Fisher is an accounting major at Seaver College where he actively participates in campus events and is a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. He has gone on service trips to the Dominican Republic and East Africa in his time at Pepperdine.

“What made President Reagan such a lasting icon of American leadership was his determination to promote the values of the United States,” Fisher wrote of Reagan’s brand of leadership. “He gave America what it needed in a tumultuous time: a strong leader. Individuals that have the ability to lead with an unbiased heart are often found only once in a lifetime, and it is for that reason that I believe we should all celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of such a heroic national figure.”

Across the nation, events are planned leading up to Feb. 6 by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and countless private organizations and groups. In the memory of President Reagan, all funds for the events are from private donations.

“Live each day to the fullest,” President Reagan said, speaking of the spirit that the National Youth Leadership Committee hopes to promote on Feb. 6. “Live each day with enthusiasm, optimism and hope. If you do, I am convinced that your contribution to this wonderful experiment we call America will be profound.”

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