Elinor Nootbaar

Elinor Nootbarr

Elinor Nootbaar, wife of Herb Nootbaar of Laguna Beach, died March 27. She was 87.


The couple’s love for Pepperdine University’s School of Law motivated them to endow the Nootbaar Institute on Law, Religion, and Ethics with $10 million, the most generous gift in the law school’s history.


The Nootbaars’ ties to Pepperdine began in the 1950s when they became acquainted with the university’s president and supporters Norvel and Helen Young. Their direct involvement and support increased when the law school named Kenneth W. Starr its dean in 2004.


“When we realized the extent of the institute’s work and the programs and mission, we were so inspired and wanted to help,” said Elinor in an article in Pepperdine’s law school magazine.


In recent years, the Nootbaar Institute endowment has funded interdisciplinary seminars, conferences, and symposia on asylum, international criminal justice, genocide and religion. The endowment has also strengthened Pepperdine’s Global Justice Program, which provides students stipends to work with human rights organizations.


The couple, who married in 1983 following the death of Herb’s first wife, was known for supporting nearly three dozen charities and traveling to 126 countries.


The service is planned for Elinor Nootbaar on Friday, April 8, at 11 a.m. at the Laguna Presbyterian Church. A reception will follow the service at El Niguel Country Club. All are invited to attend.

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