Murray Dempster came to Southern California College as a student receiving his B.A. in 1969. He served the college in the following capacities: Dean of Men, Assistant Professor, Adjunct Professor, Director of the Graduate Program for Religion, Associate Professor, Professor, and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost before being named President in 2000. Dempster was responsible for the implementation of the Graduate Program and also proposed the creation of the Lewis Wilson Institute for Pentecostal Studies. Dempster also worked tirelessly to move the college to university status. While he was President he was named one of the Daily Pilot's 103 most influential people in Newport Mesa.