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MBA Student, Andrew Marr, Turns Adversity into Positive Change


Andrew Marr (MBA ‘20) is an exceptional illustration of how one is not defined by adversity, but defined by action in times of adversity. His remarkable journey proves that it is nothing more than a barrier waiting to be overcome. Serving as a Green Beret in the United States Army Special Forces, Andrew faced many difficult situations throughout his service with a courageous heart. Sustaining multiple health issues later in his life, Andrew faced continuous challenges after his military service, including depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Even after visiting multiple doctors throughout the country and receiving constant prescriptions for mediations, Andrew struggled to find a resolution that worked. He soon found himself coping with these medical challenges by drinking heavily and having little certainty of what future lay ahead.

However, in the wake of his adverse circumstances, Andrew found solace in his family, particularly his 13-month old son dealing with a significant medical issue of his own. His father graciously provided Andrew guidance that if he made his new mission in life to “help someone else, you will find that it will be able to help you.” This pivotal moment had Andrew choose to embrace the pain, channeling his energy to create action and lead to positive change within his life. He came to realize that it falls onto us on how we choose to receive, internalize, and respond to what happens in life. Andrew then made a promise to both his son and himself that he would make a return to being the man of his pre-injury status. He would then seek a way to detach himself from the medication that he was prescribed. Lastly, his goal came to be in the form of helping others.

Today, Andrew is happily leading a healthy life, symptom-free. He is celebrating 11 years of marriage with his wife and their seven children, has co-founded an organization, authored a best-selling book, and is currently finishing his MBA at Pepperdine Graziadio. Andrew’s organization helps reach and treat thousands of individuals who have had similar experiences as his own, and he is proudly making a positive impact on the lives of others. He acts as an indicator of Graziadio’s vision of being a Best for the World Leader. Andrew is a proudly proven example that our lives are not defined by circumstance - but defined by action.

Hear the entirety of Andrew’s remarkable story during his recent talk at a TEDx event.