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Pepperdine Graziadio Business School Mourns the Loss of Faculty Member and Friend, Richard C. Rierdan

Pepperdine Graziadio Business School mourns the loss of faculty member and friend Richard “Dick” C. Rierdan, PhD. Dr. Rierdan began teaching as a faculty member in 1970 - the earliest years of the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School. During his time at Pepperdine, Dr. Rierdan helped senior-level executives become more effective leaders including producing research, an executive guide, and co-authoring a book on the art of delegation. He also contributed peer-reviewed research focused on helping executives manage stress. Dr. Rierdan primarily taught in the Bachelor of Science and Management (BSM) and Fully Employed MBA program. In response to the federally funded Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP), Dr. Rierdan was instrumental in the development and marketing of the Bachelor of Science in Public Management (PMP) program in the mid-late 70s. He taught the behavior course in this program to students who were primarily employed in the public safety sector. He also taught the Organization Behavior course (BSM 418) in BSM and the Human Behavior in Organizations course in the MBA program (MBA 669) in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Dr. Rierdan also taught in Hawaii and Subic Bay, Philippines where he delivered Pepperdine Graziadio’s MBA2 (Executive MBA) program which started in the 1970s. Dr. Rierdan taught his last class in Summer 2002. Our sincerest condolences to the friends and family of Dr. Rierdan. 

Remembering Richard "Dick" Rierdan:

"Certain people enter an organization at critical times and make a profound difference in the developing culture, values, beliefs and practices that inevitably shape future generations. That was Richard “Dick” Rierdan. He was part of the early PGBS faculty who came from non-traditional backgrounds often blending practical experience in organizations with a deep interest in human potential. He had a doctorate in English literature and behavioral science from UCLA combined with work in the Los Angeles business community.

Dick referred to himself as a shamanic engineer; his eclectic background in well-being, the arts, literature, spirituality and human potential was combined with a practical savvy that made him a popular professor and a delightful friend. His emphasis on whole-person leadership and wellbeing was well ahead of its time. 

When I think about the Pepperdine affirmation that includes the line, "That the student, as a person of infinite dignity, is the heart of the educational enterprise” I see Dick sitting in a circle with students and colleagues facilitating and weaving his irreverent, pragmatic, compassionate magic in a way that encouraged all of us to go beyond our limiting thoughts and beliefs. He has left an energetic imprint on our school and touched the lives of many, myself included." - Terri Egan

"I will always cherish the deep friendship that I had with Dick. He was my Organizational Behavior professor in 1992 and that class was a “mind-opening experience”, to say the least! It changed my life and started my journey to eventually teach the same subject. I have done many workshops with Dick and visited his home on numerous occasions, always being mentored by him, gaining much knowledge and insight into the subtle nuances of human behavior. I will miss him dearly and will hold on to the memory of our special times together." - Max Ellzey

"Dick Rierdan was an irreverent and creative force! He cared about human development and would challenge students and colleagues alike to examine their assumptions and behaviors. I remember him making sure that our faculty retreats included significant discussions with each other – as well as providing music! He certainly demonstrated how to have fun." - Ann Feyerherm

"Dick was a friend, colleague, and mentor. A free spirit harkening back to the '60s, he could be counted on for sharing a different point of view - whether it be creative, outlandish, or deeply wise. He welcomed me and loved me, and enriched my life. He was devoted to the business school. I mourn his passing." - Miriam Lacey

"I am very saddened to hear of Dick's passing. He was a caring, passionate teacher and colleague. He was admired by his colleagues and played a significant role in building the mantra associated with ABS/OTM-- that is, the development of the whole person. His classroom was a center for raising self-awareness, one of the critical ingredients of an effective leader." - Mark Mallinger