Margaret Martin Brock

“Margaret was highly principled. She was prudent. And she lived her life searching to do good.”

These are the words of President Andrew K. Benton, current leader at Pepperdine and friend of the late Margaret Martin Brock. His words pay tribute to a woman who was a leader – not just for the Republican party, but for Pepperdine’s legacy and beyond. This is the story of an advocate who changed her world for the better.

Born in 1904, Mrs. Brock was a debutant, an alumna of Mount Vernon College, and the daughter of a well-known stockbroker. After her husband, the owner of renowned Brock and Co. jewelry stores passed away, Mrs. Brock focused her time and energy on her career in politics -- beginning to utilize and build upon their good fortune. President Benton acclaims Margaret’s start of her working legacy as a testament to her tenacity and commitment to her deeply held religious values.

Ever the advocate and never afraid to be involved, Mrs. Brock forged connections and friendships with five Republican presidents over her lifetime. One such president was Ronald Reagan, who dubbed her “Mrs. Republican.” Co-founder of the Republican Eagles and one of its first female members, Margaret is an estimated multi-million dollar donor to different organizations and presidential candidates. She is remembered as a trusted advisor to presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George Bush – but her heart was always with Pepperdine. President Benton reminisces that “she adopted each of the current Pepperdine students and their predecessors as her own.”

But beyond sentiment, Mrs. Brock was an advocate for change on Pepperdine’s campus. She became involved with the school in the 1970s when Pepperdine began building the Malibu campus. A longtime member of the school’s Board of Regents, Mrs. Brock funded the Brock House: the primary residence of every Pepperdine president since its dedication in 1975. Mrs. Brock leveraged her presidential connections to garner support for the school; one such example was convincing President Reagan to speak at a meeting to collect financial support for Pepperdine’s endeavors. Furthermore, President Benton credits Mrs. Brock with the creation of the Drescher Graduate Campus. When the University’s board questioned whether moving forward with the project was feasible, President Benton remembers Mrs. Brock’s resounding words: “Gentlemen, if we don’t build this campus now, we never will.” Much to her excitement, Mrs. Brock saw the Drescher construction begin. After Mrs. Brock’s death, her legacy continued through the Margaret Martin Brock Scholarship Fund, aiding law students and supporting the future of the legal system ever since.

In her personal life, Margaret was a regular presence at the local country club. She enjoyed chatting and laughing with guests; however, she never left her principles on the coat hanger. Ever prudent, Mrs. Brock insisted on bringing home any food she did not finish in a paper bag to share with her guests when they came for a visit. Some of Mrs. Brock’s favorite treats were bran muffins and lemons, and she constantly kept her house stocked with fruit. Friends and family affectionately recall Margaret’s persistence for her guests to eat an apple before they left her home.

Margaret Martin Brock lived a full and impactful life. An elevating voice within the Republican party and at Pepperdine, Margaret stood up for her principles and did not back down when pushed. President Benton fondly remembers Mrs. Brock’s direct, matter-of-fact nature expressed through the signature closing of all her stories: “Well, there you have it!” Well, reader, there you have it – the abridged story of a remarkable person who “wasn’t perfect, but real and authentic, a strong woman, willful advocate, and a lighthouse for the things she valued” (President Benton).


Baird, David W. Quest for Distinction: Pepperdine University in the 20th Century. Pepperdine University Press, 2016.

Banowsky, William S. The Malibu Miracle. Pepperdine University Press, 2010. Oliver, Myrna. “Margaret Martin Brock; Major GOP Fund-Raiser.”

LA Times, 14 May 1997.