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Voices of Alumni

Scot Hutton, BSM '11/MBA '12

When I enlisted in the Marine Corps on my 22nd birthday, I enlisted during a time of peace. The twin towers stood tall in New York as a symbol of American freedom. But, as we know, the world soon changed forever.

And so would mine. After 18 months of very strict training in aviation mechanics, leadership, and flight, an injury ended my career in Iraq before I really had time to use my skills. It was not until after my third surgery and another 18 months of occupational therapy that I conceded to the fact that I would be forced to retire from the Marine Corps.

Being retired at age 26 was not part of my game plan, but I tried to use my aptitude for computers to create a successful direction for my life. Over the next three years, I worked eight to twelve hours a day and studied three to five hours in the evenings in order to gain 10 of the top certifications in information technology and information security. Although I was working hard to achieve my goals in this profession, I realized my full potential would never be reached until I could combine my mastery of technology with the business acumen I lacked.

Where could I go to learn more about business and business decisions? Business schools, especially those with reputations like the Graziadio Business School, were never an option for me. However, I found that Pepperdine was one of the first schools in the area to match GI Bill contributions with the National Yellow Ribbon Program. I could hardly believe that through a university initiative, driven by the generosity of alumni, the barrier to my future could be removed.

While working full time and going to school full time, I will achieve my next personal and professional milestone. On August 4, 2012, I will be able to say, “One year ago, I had no degree, and today I will earn my MBA from the Graziadio Business School – the best business school in America.”

The Yellow Ribbon Program, supported by the generosity of alumni, enabled me to gain an education far beyond what I ever imagined. Thank you for supporting students like myself who rely on alumni support for scholarships, innovative programs, and life-changing experiences. Your gift, no matter the size, is paving the way for hard-working, values-centered individuals to find success in business – sometimes against all odds.


Scot Hutton, BSM ‘11/MBA ‘12

P.S. To see what programs, innovations, and scholarships your gift to Graziadio supports, visit bschool.pepperdine.edu/giving.