Former Professor Passes

Jim L. Brock, 1949 - 2009

Jim The York College community is saddened by the sudden passing of alumnus and former YC faculty member, Jim "JB" Brock. JB died on Thursday, Jan. 15 at approximately 1:00 p.m. after suffering from a cardiac arrest, internal bleeding, kidney failure and other complications, according to a Pepperdine University housing office official. JB was a long-time housing administrator at Pepperdine, serving the university for more than twenty years. He was 59.

Across the Pepperdine campus, many recall Brock's larger-than-life presence.

"If JB was in the room, you knew it," said Greg Lee, a resident advisor in Fifield who worked with Brock in the housing office over the summer. "Whether it was because of his big smile or just the warmth you felt from his heart … you knew he was in the room."

"JB made everyone he met feel like they were special… and that's because he was the special one," said Mark Davis, Seaver College dean of student affairs. "He put people first, and as a result he made us a stronger and more loving community."


JB graduated from York College in 1969, majoring in speech and drama. He was president of the Sigma Tau social club and performed in many of the theatre productions while at YC, including Merchant of Venice where he was awarded Best Supporting Actor for his role as the Prince of Arragon.


He returned to campus to head the communications department and direct the YC theatre productions (1977-1982). He sponsored Soul Concern, taught speech, and directed the forensics team in his seven years on the faculty. He also helped to direct Songfest and was a co-sponsor of Sigma Tau.


JB began his career at Pepperdine in 1984 in the Seaver College Career Development Center. He went on to serve as director of residential life, associate dean of students in student affairs, and director of housing.

The son of a former Green Bay Packer, Brock was known for his love of life and dedication to students and the university. He was known as a "softie" around the office because he always took the side of the student and was firm believer in second chances.

"Whenever we were asked to change a policy that was benefiting the students here, he would fight for their right to have whatever that was," said Susan Gamboa, graduate campus coordinator.

"He was so compassionate," Lee said. "If you needed a favor and you didn't know him, he would do it for you in a heartbeat. He's touched everyone at this university whether they know it or not," Lee said.

Brock is survived by his grown daughter Allison, his five grandchildren and his sister Mary Lou. Although no announcements have been made about Brock's funeral, it is sure to reflect his special spirit.

Pepperdine's housing office is compiling a tribute book for Brock's family. All are invited to e-mail submissions with memories and reflections on Brock's life to or post them on the Facebook page created in his memory, which can be found online at the bottom of the article posted on the Pepperdine website until Wednesday, Jan. 29.

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