2013 Hall of Fame Inductees: Lou & Kathy Colombano

Lou & Kathy Colombano

Oct. 16, 2013

MALIBU, Calif. -- The Pepperdine University Department of Athletics' 2013 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is coming up this Sunday (October 20) in Firestone Fieldhouse.

Contact Jamil Macias at 310-506-4935 or jamil.macias@pepperdine.edu to see if tickets are still available ($60 per person, includes dinner).

From now until the event, PepperdineSports.com will be running profiles on each of the inductees. Today is Lou & Kathy Colombano's turn:

For nearly 30 years, Lou and Kathy Colombano have been major supporters of Pepperdine University, with a particular love for the school's athletic teams. Their distinguished service to the department has merited a spot in the Athletics Hall of Fame.

Both of the Colombanos grew up in Southern California. They met when they were both working for the Northrop Corporation and were married in 1965. In 1977, Lou's job took them to Rome for five years, and then to Kansas City for another five years.

The Colombanos' long association with Pepperdine began in the fall of 1985 when their son Mark enrolled in Seaver College. Though still living in Kansas City, Lou made frequent trips to Los Angeles due to his job, and attended many Pepperdine events with Mark. The men's basketball team's 1986 NCAA Tournament appearance was a memorable bonding point for the family.

Sadly, Mark passed away during his sophomore year after a motorcycle accident. The tragedy would bring the family even closer to Pepperdine, as they started the Mark Colombano Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship supports one student every year that has a love of learning, leadership potential and enthusiasm for extracurricular activities at the University. Kathy is the administrator of the scholarship, and they look for recipients that are students in Mark's mold.

The job with Northrop eventually allowed the family to move back to Southern California, and more on-campus opportunities came about, leading the Colombanos to become fixtures in the Pepperdine community. They have been involved with the Center for the Arts, the Seaver Board of Visitors, the Crest Advisory Board and the Campaign for Pepperdine. They've also remained close to Mark's fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon.



The family's love of Pepperdine Athletics, which began with the experiences that they shared with Mark, continued as well. In addition to the generosity that they have shown the department over the years, the Colombanos can regularly be found at the various athletic venues on campus, cheering on the Waves and supporting the school's coaches and student-athletes. Lou has served on the Athletics Board since its founding and was once chair of the committee.

They've grown particularly close to the men's basketball program. The Colombanos became good friends with Tom and Carlie Asbury during the Pepperdine coach's early years with the program, and when Asbury returned in 2008, it brought the two families back together. The Colombanos began to travel with the Waves to some out-of-town games, and still do, as current head coach Marty Wilson considers them a good-luck charm.

In 2010, the men's basketball team took a foreign trip to Italy, and the Colombanos were invited to go along. Having lived there for five years, Lou and Kathy were able to add to the coaches' and players' experiences with their first-hand knowledge of Rome.

Their daughter Lisa also attended Pepperdine and she earned her bachelor's degree from Seaver College in 1991, as well a law degree in 1994. Their family has grown over the years with Lisa's husband, John Marking (who also earned his law degree from Pepperdine in 1994), and two grandchildren, Connor and Danielle. All are regular attendees at Pepperdine games and Connor recently attended the Marty Wilson Basketball Camp.

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